Monday, May 24, 2010

Paul Goresh










It seems like history has not been too kind to Paul Goresh. He is unfortunately linked with John Lennon's murderer, which really is unfair. Paul Goresh is the man who took the photograph of John signing a copy of "Double Fantasy" for the man who would later that night take his life. Obviously when Paul Goresh snapped that photo, he thought it was simply photographing John signing an autograph for a fan. Now it is up to you to decide if it was right or wrong of him to sell that photograph so quickly to the newspapers after John's death, but that has nothing to do with the fact that Paul Goresh was a fan of John's and had gotten to know John on a personal level during the last years of his life. I think it is unfortunate for him that history has him forever linked with the man who killed John. Anyhow...here are some photos Paul took as well as the one of him and John together (I love the door man in the background!) and what Paul had to say in the Summer of 1980 book.








My first meeting with John and Yoko was in February 1979 in their apartment at the Dakota. I have been a Beatle fan for the better part of my life, and a life-long dream was coming true. I was going to be face to face with the man I had always idolized. When I knocked on the door I didn't expect John himself to answer; but there he stood, gold-rimmed glasses, chewing gum and smiling. Evidently in my enthusiasm, I knocked harder than I should have, and John said, "I thought it was the cops," and with an extended hand invited me in. I was very nervous at this point, but I was immediately put at ease by John's well-known humor. I saw John and Yoko a few more times in 1979 and again in early 1980. When I heard the news that John and Yoko were going to start working in the studio, it gave me the impetus to photograph them as often as I could. Between August and December 1980 I think I spent more time at the Dakota than doing anything else.





I will always cherish the meetings I had with John. He was very gracious to me, and the more I saw and photographed him, the more charming he became. John always took several minutes of his precious time for me., although the word precious doesn't justly descibe what my many times with John mean to me. In the almost two years I knew John he was always a gentle, king person. I have copies of In his own Write and A Spaniard in the Works which John signed for me, a signed photo, the pens he used, and several photos of the two of us taken on November 17, 1980. These material possessions give credence to what now seems like a dream.





December 8, 1980, became a day I will always remember vividly. It was the last day I ever saw John. He said to me that evening, as he was leaving the Dakota, "I'll see you tomorrow," for we had arranged for me to show him some photos I had taken on him and Yoko on December 2, 1980. John never saw these photographs, and neither of us realized I was going to take two very important photographs that very evening --- one of John and the one of the person who was to take him from us. They were the last photographs of John alive, photos of him getting into the limousine. John never saw these photographs either. I will always have the memories of the times spent with John, but this one especially. After John got into the limousine on December 8, 1980, he waved goodbye to me as the car pulled away. That wave will always be very special to me.





For the next two weeks my world was completely devastated, and it was Yoko's kindness which helped me accept John's death a little more easily. She opened her doors and her heart to me in the following months, and they have stayed open. My contribution to his book , and Yoko's choice of one of my photographs for the record "Watching the Wheels/I'm your Angel" overjoyed me.





The last thoughts: Yoko, thank you for helping me through my own personal hard times when you certainly had more than your own share; and John, thank you for all the fine memories you've given me, and all the beautiful thoughts and music you have left with all of us. My love to you both


17 comments:

  1. i never associated paul goresh with that horrible man. i knew he was a fan and just happened to take those last photos.

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    1. IS PAUL STILL LIVING?

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    2. Well I do not know Paul Goresh personally or anything. But I have not heard that he had passed away. As far as I know he is still alive. Are you trying to start your own style of Paul is dead rumors? Haha!

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  2. I think most of us Beatles / John fans see it that way, Lizzie.

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  3. Although John became friends with Paul Goresh, I think he should have been careful with how much access he gave to his fans. I am surprised he became friends with this person because he initially came to see John under false pretences, as a VCR repairman, and personally I would have found such a guy creepy. In any case John. Your music will continue to inspire people, and the man who shot you will be forgotten. He could never take your legacy and place in history.

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  4. I think the term "friend" is being used a little loosely here. Lennon became friendly with a man who was essentially stalking him instead of being angry and hostile because that was just Lennon's personality. Goresh invaded Lennon's privacy and then hounded him constantly, but Lennon was a pretty good sport about it. The whole reason that Goresh was even there to take so many pictures of Lennon, including the Chapman picture, is because Goresh was a minor-league stalker who refused to leave Lennon alone.

    Lennon was friendly, yes. But there is a huge difference between friendly and friend. They didn't have holiday visits, dinners, normal chats at normal friend locations. John was kind enough to speak to the guy on the street or when Goresh lied and basically broke into Lennon's home.

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  5. paul goresh was a sincere fan of lennon, i just saw a documentary about johns death, and you could plainly see how upsetting it was for paul, so to associate him with the muderer is crazy.
    god bless john
    marcus uk

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  6. I say that he is associated with the awful man who took John's life because he is mostly known as the man who took that picture. It really is a shame.

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  7. What happened to Paul Goresh now? Is he alive today... from: Sonia

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  8. Yes, Paul is alive and well and living in New Jersey. One of the 30th anniversary specials on John's death had a lengthy interview with him.

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  9. Goresh is still around. and when i say around i mean Around.he's never left hanging out& about W.72nd and the Dakotas.he even sells Beatles buttons in the park. i met him randomly this past March when i went to pay my respects. we talked and drank beer for like an hour before he told me who he was.the name didn't ring my bell, but that photo 'that photo' sure did. everyone in the place knew him as a regular. so i'm convinced when he said he was paul Goresh;it was paul Goresh. he's a real nice guy, and as creepy as it might sound, upon request he went with me and took my photo at where,well we all know where. God Bless

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  10. Met Paul and talked to him at length about that night in 1980...he's a good guy......

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  11. the jerks here who are insulting john's genuine kindness to an ordinary fan/person should be ashamed. the only "creepy stalker" is mark chapman. paul goresh was a talented photographer and a friend, if not a close friend, of the lennons. so shut it if you're going to be a stuck up jerk about it. before lennon's murder there was no thing as a stalker or a creepy fan and after his murder fans and stars were never as close.

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  12. paul goresh is a great guy talking all thoses nice phoo of john lennon that i could look at they are great pics of lennon thank you paul for all the nice pics of john lennon.

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  13. Unfortunetely Paul Goresh took the last photographs of John alive, he didn't knew that the guy who killed Lennon was there but I think that the government has a real implication in this tragic death.

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  14. Sure,and Goresh was there to see to it that the deal between President Carter & Pres-elect Reagan was carried out. Jimmy told Ron that John was a "Lennonist".Ron believed him.Knowing that Reagan had successfully delayed the release of the hostages,Carter,believing that Reagan had the ties with the Iranians to end the crisis,promised to kill Lennon in exchange for Reagan's promise to prove Carter's efforts fruitful by releasing the hostages on the exact moment of the presidential transsition,precipitated by the first arms-for-hostages scheme of the Reagan Administration.Goresh did his best to keep Chapman at the scene,chatting him up,promising to give him the infamous photo,etc.He now lives quietly on a steady diet of free peanuts,peanut butter & other peanut-related products.

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  15. I'm sure that Jimmy Carter had John killed!! Where do you get off with that one? The person who had John killed was Ronald Reagan, NOT Jimmy Carter. And I doubt that Paul Goresh had any connection.

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