On December 8, 1980, Dave Sholin and his RKO Radio crew interviewed John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their Dakota Apartment in Manhattan for over three hours. Tragically, it would be Lennon’s very last interview—not one of the last—the last. He was shot dead just hours later in the very entryway of the building that Sholin and his crew had just left. Shot dead by a “fan” whom they had seen hanging around the Dakota as they left.
Sholin would receive the news after landing in San Francisco. The most incredible day of his life suddenly turned into a nightmare. Now that he had Lennon’s last words in his hands, some of which were incredibly prophetic, his day lasted another three without sleep. He immediately was summoned to the station for live on-camera interviews with every news program including Good Morning America, which was going live at 4am PST (7am EST) to talk about John Lennon’s tragic murder and the legacy he had left behind. The world was in deep mourning.
RKO Radio had planned to put together a fully produced radio program on Lennon based on this interview that would air the following month, but now they had just four days to get this out to a grieving public.
The bit about the sixties we were all full of hope and then everybody got depressed and the seventies were terrible – that attitude that everybody has; that the sixties was therefore negated for being naïve and dumb. And the seventies is really where it’s at, which means, you know, putting makeup on and dancing in the disco – which was fine for the seventies – but I don’t negate the sixties. I don’t negate the seventies. The … the seeds that were planted in the sixties – and possibly they were planted generations before – but the seed… whatever happened in the sixties the… the flowering of that is in the feminist, feminization of society. The meditation, the positive learning that people are doing in all walks of life. That is a direct result of the opening up of the sixties. Now, maybe in the sixties we were naïve and like children everybody went back to their room and said, ‘Well, we didn’t get a wonderful world of just flowers and peace and happy chocolate and, and, and it wasn’t just pretty and beautiful all the time’ and that’s what everybody did, ‘we didn’t get everything we wanted’ just like babies and everybody went back to their rooms and sulked. And we’re just gonna play rock and roll and not do anything else . We’re gonna stay in our rooms and the world is a nasty, horrible place ’cause it didn’t give us everything we cried for’, right? Cryin’ for it wasn’t enough. The thing the sixties did was show us the possibility and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility, and the seventies everybody gone ‘Nya, nya, nya, nya’. And possibly in the eighties everybody’ll say, ‘Well, ok, let’s project the positive side of life again’, you know? The world’s been goin’ on a long time, right? It’s probably gonna go on a long time… ”