Tribute to Lennon at Symphony Space Endures in 35th Year

By Matt Beardmore / November 17, 2015


Debbie Harry and Kate PiersOn at last year’s Tribute. 
Credit: Derek Meade

Tuned to “Monday Night Football” on his transistor radio, Joe Raiola nearly wrecked his taxi on Queens Boulevard when he heard the somber news on Dec. 8, 1980: John Lennon had been shot and killed that evening outside his home in Manhattan.

Mr. Raiola, now an editor at Mad magazine, founded Theater Within’s John Lennon Tribute, and its 35th annual celebration will be Dec. 4 in Manhattan.

Mr. Raiola said the event got its start “as a little neighborhood grief session in 1981.”

“It’s a joyous event now,” he said.