Tag: John Lennon

John Lennon was best man at Peter Boyle’s wedding — who knew?


Died on this day December 12, 2006 at the age of 71.

Not everybody knows that Boyle and fellow anti-war activist John Lennon were friends — such good friends that Lennon was best man at Boyle’s marriage to Loraine Alterman in 1977.

Loraine, who worked for Rolling Stone magazine, knew Yoko Ono and from that a friendship was forged. “We’d go to dinner and we’d talk about everything from gurus to music to politics,” said Boyle.


Many people remember Peter Boyle as the cranky curmudgeon in the hit TV sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond,’ and as the lovable monster in the movie ‘Young Frankenstein.’

But I remember him most dramatically from the violent 1970 anti-hippie movie ‘Joe.’ The final scene blew me away — as it did, literally, the hippies Joe hated.


Wealthy businessman Bill Compton confronts his junkie daughter’s drug-dealing boyfriend and in a furious argument, kills him. Panic-stricken, he wanders the streets and ends up in a bar, where he meets a drunken factory worker named Joe, who hates hippies, blacks, and anyone who is “different.” The two start talking, and in the end, it leads to this scene:


Peter Boyle was born on October 18, 1935, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He grew into a 6-foot-two prematurely bald young man and pursued an acting career while working at many jobs, from bouncer to waiter.

His first break came in 1965 when he joined the national company of ‘The Odd Couple.’ In the late 1960s he joined Chicago’s Second City improv group. He made his Broadway debut as a replacement for Peter Bonerz in the 1971 play ‘Story Theatre.’


Boyle’s breakout film role, as the bigoted factory worker Joe, directed by John Avildsen, led to major supporting roles, including Robert Redford’s campaign manager in the 1972 film ‘The Candidate.’

Boyle joined ranks with Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland as a Vietnam War protester, which he brought to the screen in the 1973 anti-establishment picture ‘Steelyard Blues.’ 

It was at this time that he formed a strong friendship with John Lennon.

Seeking to avoid the stereotype of a violent character, Boyle played the lovable monster in the 1974 Mel Brooks spoof ‘Young Frankenstein.’ One of the most popular scenes was as the Fred Astaire-inspired dancer performing ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ with Gene Wilder.


Roles in the late 1970s included the self-absorbed cabbie in Martin Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976) and a private investigator in Paul Schrader’s ’Hardcore’ (1979) with George C. Scott.

He acted in several TV mini-movie roles, including that of the stockade brute Fatso in the 1979 miniseries remake of ‘From Here to Eternity,’ and as right-wing Senator Joe McCarthy in ‘Tail Gunner Joe’ (1977), for which he received an Emmy nomination.

Despite a stroke in 1990 that impaired his speech for six months, Boyle was given the ‘Archie Bunker’-type role of Frank Barron in the long-running TV sitcom ‘Everybody Loves Raymond.’

He received seven Emmy nominations without a win, the only prime player on the show unhonored. In 1999, he survived a heart attack on the set but managed to return full time for the remainder of the series’ run through 2005.


He capped his career with an critically acclaimed turn as Billy Bob Thornton’s unrepentantly racist father in the 2001 Oscar-winner ‘Monster’s Ball.’

Boyle died of cancer at New York Presbyterian Hospital in 2006, and was survived by his wife Lorraine and two children. He was 71.

— With notes from IMDb  

Four bullets from a madman’s gun

On December 8, 1980 at 10:50 p.m. outside the Dakota Apartments on the Upper West Side, a man who had been stalking the Beatles legend stepped out of the shadows and fired five hollow-point bullets from a .38-caliber revolver. Four of the bullets ripped into John Lennon’s back.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono had just returned to the Dakota after a recording session downtown. They got out of their limousine at the 72nd Street curb.

A fat little nobody was standing just inside the arch to the building. As the Lennons walked by he called out, “Mr. Lennon.” Then, he reportedly dropped into “a combat stance” and emptied the chamber of his .38 revolver. Four of the bullets struck John Lennon, two in the left side of his back and two in his left shoulder. All four caused massive internal damage and bleeding.

Lennon staggered up six steps to the room at the end of the entrance used by the concierge and said, “I’m shot.” He fell to the pavement.

Police artist sketch of the shooting


New York City cops Steve Spire and Peter Cullen were in their patrol car at 72nd Street and Broadway when they heard a report of shots fired at the Dakota. They raced to the scene and found the shooter “very calmly” standing there.

He had dropped the revolver. He had a paperback copy of J.D. Salinger’s ’The Catcher in the Rye,’ and a cassette recorder with 14 hours of Beatles tapes.

The second police team to arrive, Bill Gamble and James Moran, picked up Lennon and stretched him out on the back seat of their patrol car. Lennon was still alive. One of the cops asked him, “Are you John Lennon?” Lennon moaned, “Yeah.”

The cops sped to nearby Roosevelt Hospital.


In the emergency room, Dr Stephan Lynn and his team worked frantically to try to bring the music icon back to life.

“He had no signs of life, no blood pressure, no pulse,” Dr Lynn later told reporters. “We opened his left chest with a scalpel. I held his heart in my hand as the nurses rapidly transfused blood. But there was no way we could repair the massive injury to all of the blood vessels in the body.”

John Lennon was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. No one could have lived more than a few minutes with such injuries, said Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Elliott Gross.

Yoko Ono was taken to Roosevelt Hospital, crying “Tell me it’s not true,” She was led away in shock when she learned her husband was dead.


Within minutes, hundreds of people, many openly weeping, began to gather at Roosevelt Hospital and in front of the Dakota, reciting prayers, singing Lennon’s songs and burning candles.

TV sports reporters interrupted a tied game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins with less than a minute to play with a news bulletin of Lennon’s murder. The NBC network broke into its East Coast feed of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson with a bulletin of the tragedy.

New York rock station WNBEW-FM immediately suspended all programming and opened its lines to calls from listeners. Stations throughout the country switched to special programming devoted to Lennon and Beatles music.

Throughout the world there was an outpouring of grief on an unprecedented scale. At least three Beatles fans are known to have committed suicide.

Lennon was cremated on December 12 at the Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. His ashes were given to Yoko Ono, who, instead of holding a funeral, asked fans around the world to observe ten minutes of silence.

The shooter, a psycho named Mark David Chapman, pleaded guilty to murdering the music legend and was sentenced to 20-years-to-life. Now 64, he has been denied parole ten times since he became eligible in 2000. His eleventh parole hearing is scheduled for August, 2020.

Imagine all the people living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people sharing all the world