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  1. #1

    April 1, 1984: Where were you when you heard the news?

    I was not born obviously when this fateful day happened (I arrived prematurely 11 days later that year) but I wonder to all of those who were there that Sunday afternoon when you heard the awful news what were you doing when you heard that the Prince of Motown was dead?

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  2. I was working as a bagger at a grocery store. I VIVIDLY recall it. A customer was in line, I was bagging her groceries and she just sort of softly said, "Marvin Gaye is dead." She said it with such little emotion, it caught me and the cashier off guard. I said "What?" and again, with little-to-no emotion, she just said "Marvin Gaye is dead."

    I thought it was an awful April Fool joke and I sort of chuckled uneasily. I remember thinking that if I did give this weak little laugh, that would mean it truly was a bad joke and that Marvin Gaye was alive. I honestly remember that though about the laugh and dreading the idea that this wasn't a joke. She then told us the few details that had come out, being that it had just broke on the news. She paid for her groceries,
    and then said "it's such a tragedy," as she walk out with her cart (she also said "thank you" almost robotic-like.)
    I don't recall much else about that day at work because I was kinda numb. I just went into auto-pilot. I remember trying to listen to every customer's conversation hoping someone would say, no it was just a joke, but that didn't happen.

    Once the longest day ever at work ended, I got in the car and turned on the radio and it was confirmed. I didn't even really cry when I heard my grandfather had passed away but here I was crying all the way home, running into the house and telling my mother with that same lifeless, robotic voice that customer used in telling us at work about Marvin's having been shot. She already knew and was upset as well. I went into my room, turned on the radio. A station was playing nothing but Marvin Gaye. When they got to "What's The Matter With You Baby" with Mary Wells, there was something about that song. Of all the songs I heard that night, that song is the one that really made me cry even harder. Maybe because it wasn't really a sad song, but the ending just kinda flipped a switch. This song was supposed to be lighthearted but Marvin wasn't around any longer, so how could I take this song in a light way?

    That was a rough day.
    Last edited by WaitingWatchingLookingForAChance; 04-01-2019 at 02:14 AM.

  3. #3
    I was in Aurora, Colorado. I had just got off work on a Sunday afternoon. I went home to have dinner, turned on the television and they were reporting that Marvin Gaye had been shot by his father and had died on CBS news.

  4. #4
    I remember the sad day that we lost Marvin Gaye back in 1984 all too well. I was visiting my parents that afternoon when my Mom told me about it. Went back home that evening, played some of my favorites by Marvin and had a good cry. Rest In Peace (and Power) Marvin Gaye.

  5. #5
    I was probably at home watching the news coverage on CNN.

  6. #6
    I was a 13-year-old up in my bedroom listening to my family's favorite radio show, an oldies revue called "The Wax Museum." After the DJ had spun "Stubborn Kinda Fella," he started waxing rhapsodic about Marvin in the past tense ("Marvin was marvelous" et al.). I ran downstairs to the kitchen and shared with my mom and sister how puzzling it was that the DJ was talking about Marvin as if he were gone. My sister looked at me with sadness and said, "Yes, he's dead." I was stunned. I'll never forget that...or him.

  7. #7
    I think that i heard it on the news at home.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    I was in church and 17 years old when I heard the news. All of these years later I'm still devastated by this unnecessary tragedy.

  9. #9
    I was very small but vividly recall it being talked about on TV and my mother crying. She was/is crazy about some Marvin. He threw a sweaty towel at her during a show as a teen in the 70s and she always talks about it. Lol

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    I was very small but vividly recall it being talked about on TV and my mother crying. She was/is crazy about some Marvin. He threw a sweaty towel at her during a show as a teen in the 70s and she always talks about it. Lol
    Wow!!! Did she keep it?

  11. #11
    I was in my car driving to work when the news came on. I thought at first it was somebody's cruel April Fool's joke. I turned on the news and they confirmed that Marvin had passed away. I don't usually cry when celebrities die, but I did cry about Marvin since I knew him. I was his paperboy and lived down the block from him on Monica street in Detroit. He was very kind and generous. Very shy, and talked very softly, although he could holler when I caught a football pass from him. He was at home a lot, now I know it was probably because of Tammi's illness and subsequent death and I don't think he was touring at that time. I have read and seen articles and books written about him being stone crazy and etc., but I saw none of it, and I was there every day delivering papers. I just wonder about it, and that wasn't the Marvin I knew and saw. But I was a young boy, and so I did not see or hear everything. I wonder what Stubass thought about Marvin, as he was older than me and in the neighborhood too and perhaps was at his house on occasion. I also sometimes wonder why I didn't get a picture or an autograph from him, but he was just everyday people and at that age, I thought he would be there in that house a long, long time.

  12. #12
    Nice recollection stingbeelee. I was driving at the time, too. As I recall it was late in the afternoon when I heard it on the news. I was just stunned. I think I was pulling over to buy gas and I just sat in my car trying to take the news in. I remember saying out loud, "Marvin Gaye. Oh my God." It was so hard to believe and I think from the beginning it was known that his father had shot him. So there was not only the shock of his death but hearing how it happened was equally shocking.

  13. #13
    Like Midnightman, I was also not around for this dark day in music! ( Which might be a good thing). I can however, recall being on my way to school in the third grade and one of the older kids on the bus telling me it was the anniversary of Marvin’s death. At that time I didn’t know much about the circumstances of what happened other than his father had shot him. Only some time later, when I was at my Uncle’s house and read the details in his copy of “To Be Loved”, that he really did die on April Fools Day!

    Marvin’s death was not just tragic, but also really bizarre. The same thing can be said about Redd Foxx’s demise as well.

  14. #14
    I was not alive when it happened, but I remember being shocked and confused when my dad and nan first told me about how Marvin died. Tragic all round.

  15. #15
    3 days before my youngest son was born!

    It was unbelievable and almost embarrassing to me that his dad had shot him; it still is unbelievable


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