Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Old Fred's John encouters of the late 1970's

Thank you to Old Fred at the 910 Forum for posting his stories of when he met John Lennon. Also, thanks to him for allowing me to post his stories on this blog. It is such a shame that John wasn't signing autographs that day, but at least Old Fred has the memory of speaking with John. I added some photos because I hate posts without photos, but they are not Fred's photos (just in case someone thought they might be)

In 1978 I was with friends around Central Park West when I realized that I was very near the Dakota. I went over on the off-chance that I might see John. When I arrived there was already a group of fans gathered at the entrance of the Dakota. The Lennon's nanny came out of the entrance with baby Sean in the stroller and headed off to Central Park.

A few minutes later, John and Yoko strolled out. They said hello to the fans and asked that they not be followed as they were going shopping and would be back soon later. I waited till they were down the block a bit then I started to follow, but at a distance. Another fan also followed and he went up to say hello to John. I saw John say something to him, and the fan walked off in my direction. I asked him what John said he dejectedly answered that John pretty much said "piss off!". He was pretty down about it, and I tried to soften the blow for him by saying that John probably just wanted a little privacy.

I went back to the Dakota, and after a while, John and Yoko returned in a cab with parcels, which they handed to the doorman. Some fans handed John and Yoko baby gifts for Sean, which they accepted, and then they headed back inside the Dakota.

A year later, in 1979, I decided to head back to the Dakota with the hope of getting an autograph from John on my copy of 'In His Own Write.' I waited across the street from the Dakota at Central Park West and waited.

About an hour or so later, I noticed a horse-drawn hansome cab across the street from the Dakota and that there was a man and woman in it, and the woman looked familiar. I then realized that the woman was Yoko, and the man next to her was John. I raced across the street to the entrance of the Dakota and waited for the cab to pull up. John got out, and I nervously asked if he would sign my book. He looked at me and, in a pleasant voice, said, "I'm sorry, but I don't give autographs". I said "OK" and watched as John & Yoko entered the Dakota. I knew enough not to press for the autograph request because if John said "No" nice the first time, he wouldn't be nice about it the second time. I felt there would always be another chance.

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