It wasn't uncommon in the late 1970's-1980, for Beatle fans who were would-be photographers to hang around the Dakota building in attempts to snap photos of John and Yoko. Most of the photos taken were unthought of until John's death. Then suddenly any photograph of John snapped in 1980 seemed like a piece of John that we all needed to see. That is why a wonderful photo book called Summer of 1980 was published. Now...the title is a little misleading because the photographs in the book are really from the summer and fall of 1980. But it is a nice book with stories from the photographers in the back of the book. I decided to copy some of that for you all to read along with the photographs included by that photographer.
By Michael Senecal
I went to take photographs of John Lennon because I am a fan. Mostly I am a free-lance photographer in Montreal, and I had always wanted to take photographs of John. I had heard and read that people stood around in front of the Dakota and waited for John and Yoko to come out. So I went to New York many weekends in the summer of 1980 because I heard that John and Yoko were recording a new album and I knew I could get good photos of them. I managed to see them almost every day I was there, and sometimes more than once a day. Some of the Beatles fans hanging around said that John didn't like the fact that they were there, but they were wrong -- at least in my case. I had my motor drive on my camera and I quickly took lots of pictures of John and Yoko and Sean each time I saw them. One weekend I went back with prints and handed them to John as he came out of the Dakota. John really liked pictures of himself. I think he was a collector, just like everyone else who loved the Beatles. But he really like my pictures, maybe because they are special pictures. They're candid, not taken in a studio setting; natural, not posed. I wrote to John and Yoko from Montreal and sent them some more prints. One day I got a telephone call from Yoko. She said she liked my work and she asked me to come back to New York and see her. I went down and met Yoko early in October. Yoko wanted my photos because they captured something special about John and Sean and her, and John agreed they did. I felt very, very good about meeting Yoko, and I realized that in that meeting were the seeds of a relationship, a friendship the sad events of December 1980 never allowed to grow.