At 2300 local time, the 40-year-old singer songwriter John Lennon was shot several times as he entered the Dakota, a luxury apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side. He was rushed in a police car to St Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, where he died.
Millions of fans across the world cried for the loss of a man who had brought them so much and pleasure and awareness with his meaningful music and lyrics. I was saddened by his death but I was angry that it had happened when Lennon had so much more to give.
There were thoughts of conspiracy and assassination. Was the F B I involved? Was this a political assassination? It sure felt like it was. Here was a man in his prime, who had the public’s ear who could express and unite their feelings, dissatisfaction and pain in great commercial songs played worldwide. Lennon could have fathered a revolution.
The sadness at his death bred uproar and outrage. This was a crime of the highest order. His death was the bullet that killed all our dreams for a better more peaceful world. It should never have happened, we needed him, his music and his insight. His life had been torn from us before any of us were ready. We were angry; we were crying for ourselves, for the loss our friend, our champion and our new world leader.
While our tears were still flowing, while the disbelief and sadness troubled the very beating of our own hearts, Ronald Regan, soon to be President of the United States of America, was rumored to have had gone on US national radio in support of handguns. How could he do that? He obviously knew about the shooting. Was this a deliberate act? Was he just cold, insensitive or just plain stupid?
In my pain and paranoia, it was obvious to me Regan was a fake and not responsible for his own actions. His “controllers” had set him up to support handguns no matter what. Regan was just an actor doing the job he was paid to do, act. He was a good but his handlers had made a huge mistake, showing him to be completely insensitive to the public’s pain. The very fact that Regan showed no sympathy for Lennon’s demise was an indication to me that he was not speaking his truth from his own heart. He was acting, mouthing the lines of those whose only concern was power in politics. He didn’t fool me I could see through him. I knew he was just a mask, a pastiche of all the qualities of a President created and manufactured by dark forces only to manipulate the public.
Reading about the shooting a week later in an “US” magazine, I was still fuming at Regan’s lack of response to Lennon’s death. In the same magazine was a full “in praise of Ronald Regan” article with an almost full size “good old boy” black and white photo of him all smiles. I ripped out the photo, dug out his eyes and his nose and slapped the photo on my face like a mask. I looked in the mirror “I am the President” I growled.
Regan, as President was responsible for and represented the rights of every American. Now I saw he was just a mask. When I wore his face I realized he didn’t represent anyone but himself and his handlers. He betrayed the people and the democracy they trusted and believed in. I knew that if this man had spoken the truth from his own heart he would have shown more caring and consideration and appreciation the American public’s loss.
Maybe it was all paranoia on my part. Regan had been an actor all of his life. Was he an actor playing the part of the President? Had he put all that behind him? Was he now an honest man? I doubted it. Lennon was betrayed. We were all betrayed. My anger found song lyrics eager to spill out onto the page... My life was in danger from the ego of an actor politician, who with one wave of his hand can make the world disappear.
“Fear not, I am the President
I am very important and I don’t like you
You can trust me I speak honestly
I am the President.
I solemnly swear to uphold the constitution
With your vote I am elect, with your vote I thee break”
This to me was the real Ronald Regan, someone who didn’t care about people and never would. The man had shown his true colors. As the President, There was only one way he could ever redeem himself in my eyes. He had to learn to listen to the voice of his heart.
“Everyone is a Judas selling out for gold
This is your last chance to do as you’ve been told
You’ve lost your love you have no solution
You see the end in your own confusion
Listen to the heart. Listen to your heart!”
Both songs were recorded and released wrapped in ragged punk rock hysteria. They were too late and too inept to create anyone’s passing comment. I gave away a thousand masks of Regan. They were all swallowed up in 20 minutes outside a democratic convention. Everyone was shouting, “I am the President” In their belief that their very existence made them part of the President’s mandate. They were part of him and they didn’t like it. This was the backdrop that created my idea for the movie story “I am The President”