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Associated Press Hard Copy: "JOHN LENNON HAS BEEN SHOT", 12-08-80

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    Posted 8 years ago

    (21 items)

    Okay Beatles fans, I'm REALLY going to need help with this one. Anyone who is familiar with the way radio stations got their news back in the day will know about the old Associated Press machines that were really loud and would print current news all day. Whoever was on the air would "Rip and Read", meaning they would pull the typewritten copy off the machine and read the news to the audience.
    What I have here are three small sheets of that copy, dealing with the shooting of John Lennon on December 8, 1980. Each sheet has the date and time it was printed on the bottom left corner. First, date 12-08-80 at 2327 EST (military time for 11:27 pm) has a dateline (New York), and beings with "THERE'S BEEN A REPORT THAT JOHN LENNON HAS BEEN SHOT. IT HAPPENED IN NEW YORK, ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE". It goes on to say that he was shot and wounded, a suspect has been taken into custody, and no word on how serious the attack was.
    The second is actually dated 12-09-80, but it was written at seven minutes after midnight, and it has more details. It begins by saying Lennon was indeed shot to death, that it was in front of his apartment building, and the man in custody was described by police as "a local screwball", and appeared to have no motive.
    The third sheet says that Lennon's producer, Jack Douglas, told the AP about what Lennon was doing that evening before the shooting, and quotes a witness named Sean Strub, who gave his witness to police. This sheet is also dated 12-09-80 at sixteen minutes after midnight.
    I know that half the people reading this will have a newspaper from 12-9-80 about the shooting, but have any of you ever seen the literal copy from an AP ticker before? There has to be some value here, right? I hope you can see from the pictures how cool this stuff is.

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