BY MATT BEARDMORE
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 Theatre 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.