Billy Squier‘s 1981 second solo album Don’t Say No sold over three million copies because of songs “In the Dark” , “My Kinda Lover” , “Lonely Is the Night”, & the big hit ” The Stroke”. And three and a half decades later, Eminem says that the check’s in the mail, Billy. But all kidding aside, Billy told me In the Studio that the song “Nobody Knows”, written by Squier about John Lennon while the former Beatle was still alive, ironically shares the dubious distinction of having been recorded at the same place and time as one of rock history’s darkest days: the assassination of John Lennon in New York City December 8, 1980.“The inspiration for that song was the life of John Lennon, and I wrote it prior to his death,” Billy tells me.”He lived in a building here in New York City called The Dakota, and I was walking past in the (Central) Park. I was reflecting on some of the events that had happened to me in my career, whereby my first album Tale of the Tape had generated some interest and activity. And I was just having a bit of a pause for reflection on how your life is perceived from people outside the (music) industry, what the public perception is of an Artist, and the difference between that and the real private person and their innermost feelings. And looking at this building I naturally thought of Lennon, who was one of the most prolific, important Artists of our time, and I was thinking about what it must be like to be John Lennon. That’s the basis of my song “Nobody Knows”, that ‘ nobody knows what it’s like to be in my skin…”.
Billy Squier had already begun recording his second solo album at the Power Station( now Avatar Studio) on West 53rd in Manhattan when John Lennon returned to his Central Park West address only about twenty-five blocks away from the studio. “Ironically and very sadly, the night John Lennon was killed we were recording that very song,” Squier confides in this classic rock interview. -Redbeard