“It was difficult for everyone in the world cause he was such a loved character and such a crazy guy, you know, that he was so special."
Tributes from all around the world continue to flow in every December in memory of Beatles legend John Lennon who passed away in December 1980. In a recent interview with SiriusXM's The Beatles Channel, Paul McCartney recalled the horrible day. The terrible incident that served as the song's inspiration—John Lennon's death in 1980—came to mind as McCartney talked about the recording of "Here Today," his heartfelt acoustic homage to his deceased comrade. "It was difficult for everyone in the world as he was such a loved character and such a crazy guy, you know, that he was so special."
The loss of his Beatles bandmate, McCartney, 80, added, hit him so hard "that I couldn't really talk about it", according to Rolling Stone. He recalls feeling as if he couldn't engage in the kind of forward-looking sorrow other people exhibited because it just didn't feel right to him more than four decades later. “I remember getting home from the studio on the day that we’d heard the news he died and turning the TV on and seeing people say, ‘Well, John Lennon was this,’ and ‘What he was, was this,’ and ‘I remember meeting him,’” the musician shared. “And it was like, I don’t know, I can’t be one of those people. I can’t just go on TV and say what John meant to me. It was just too deep. It’s just too much. I couldn’t put it into words.”
Instead, McCartney gave himself time to digest his feelings before beginning to write songs on John Lennon's passing. “I was in a building that would become my recording studio, and there were just a couple of little empty rooms upstairs,” he explained. “So I found a room and just sat on the wooden floor in a corner with my guitar and just started to play the opening chords to ‘Here Today.’” The song, which was included in Lennon's third solo studio album Tug of War in 1982, featured McCartney asking Lennon questions and speculating on his possible answers. “And if I said I really knew you well/What would your answer be/If you were here today?” he asks in the opening verse, continuing: “Well, knowing you/You’d probably laugh and say that we were worlds apart.”
The song's reference to "the night we cried" in the lyrics was also explained by the vocalist. Following the cancellation of a concert in Florida, the two once got drunk together. “The night we cried, that was to do with a time when we were in Key West down in Florida,” McCartney explained. “We told each other a few truths, you know, ‘Well, I love you. I love you, man. I love that you said that. I love you.’ And we opened up. So, that was kind of special to me. I think that was really one of the only times that ever happened,” he recalled.
According to New York Post, Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon. During his sentencing, the murderer admitted to New York state officials that he knew killing the musician was wrong but did it nevertheless because he wanted fame and had "evil in my heart." As he and his wife Yoko Ono entered their Upper West Side apartment in New York City, Lennon, 40, was shot and killed. Lennon had given Chapman an autographed copy of his just-released album, "Double Fantasy," earlier that day. Lennon's murder, according to Chapman, was "my big answer to everything," he told the board. " I wasn't going to be a nobody." The board's justification for putting Chapman in jail was his "selfish regard for human life of global consequence." The board noted Chapman's behavior has left "the world recovering from the void of which you created" in its decision to refuse him freedom.