Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm never going to see him again.

This is a great story of some fans who met John outside of the Hit Factory Studio on August 30, 1980. What an exciting time for John fans, especially those who met him in New York while he was recording Double Fantasy. This story appears in the November/December 1981 issue of The Write Thing and was written by Margie Paturso. The photos were by Ann Bruno and they are new ones to me!

It was the summer of '80, August to be exact. My penpal, Tommy, from Liverpool, was visiting his aunt in Westport, Conn. and came to spend a week with my family. The previous week, he had gone to New York and had seen John and Yoko at the Hit Factory. He had told me all about it, calling me that night, as he was so excited.

John had been exceptionally nice to him. He had especially gotten a kick out of the fact that Tommy was from Liverpool. He laid on a thick Liverpudlian accent, exclaiming to Yoko, "He's from Liverpool, my hometown!" He gave Tommy his autograph and even posed for picture with Tommy and Yoko. John looked great kin the picture. He was so cute, so vulnerable. His arm was around Tommy and he had the cutest look on his face.

Needless to say when Tommy arrived at my house, we knew we would be going to New York at least once to try and see John. We went on Tuesday, August 26th. No luck. We took Tommy to see the Dakota and did the usual tourist sightseeing trip with him. Then we returned to my house, deciding we would definitely try again.

And so we did. On Saturday, August 30 we found ourselves New York bound again. We were confident that we were going to see John, as it was the 8th anniversary of the One to One concerts.

We arrived in New York quite early and split up. Tommy wanted to go buy his girlfriend something. Mary Ellen, Ann and I went window shopping. We decided to all meet at the Hit Factory at 1 o'clock.

The three of us got to the Hit Factory at 12:30. We couldn't bear killing time anymore. No one was there, not even Tommy. So we waited. Around 1:15 Tommy showed up. And so the four waited.

Finally, a guy came out of the Hit Factory. We asked him if John was there. He said, no" and looked at us like we were from another planet. Another guy came out and said "no" also. then another who told us John usually didn't show up until 3 o'clock if he was coming. We thanked him and glorified over this slight glimmer of hope.

When 2:30 rolled around, we were extremely nervous. We were watching every car that turned the corner into the street we were on. We alternated sitting on the stoop and pacing back and forth (some from sheer nervousness, others for want of a bathroom!)

all of a sudden, about 2:40, a silver limo pulled around the corner. Tommy jumped up, saying, "It's him!" We all scrambled to our feet just as the limo pulled to a stop in front of us.

The chauffeur got out to open the back door and out came Yoko, smoking a cigarette and looking very bored, all in black with black sunglasses. Her hair was tautly pulled back. Next in line was a women with platinum blond hair and camera. (We later learned that she was a photographer for the Star).

Last but not least, John came out. He was so funny 'cos he was pulling one of his pants legs down as he was getting out (No wonder, Lennon, those pants were a bit tight!) He came out fully, looked at us, then walked over near Yoko. He seemed a bit agitated (I think by the photographer) He then asked the photographer if she'd rather have their sunglasses on or off, as she was getting ready to snap a picture. They decided to leave them on as John put his arm around Yoko. The photographer snapped, as did Ann and Tommy.

Some small conversation followed between John and the photographer. We just stayed glued to one spot. Mary Ellen and I had books for him to sign, but neither one of us made a move.

After a few minutes, I blurted out, "Hi John." He turned, looked at all of us and said, "Hi, how are you?" Ann later told us that we all mumbled "fine" or something like that. I honestly don't remember!

Before we knew it, the photographer was getting back in the limo with John saying something about the chauffeur taking her back to the Dakota. He shut the door and walked towards the door of the Hit Factory. As he was going in, he looked at us and we all said, "bye John". Then we pressed our noses against the door and watched him and Yoko get on the elevator. The whole "meeting" took only five minutes!

Before I go on, let me say that John looked great, but oh so skinny. He was dressed in a black suit with black boots. He had on a white shirt with a gold and black stripped tie. Tommy informed us that the tie was John's Quarry Bank School tie. He was carrying a brown shoulder bag and wearing his yellow-rimmed sunglasses. He was wearing a turquoise ring a s well as his wedding ring. That really got to me.

Anyway, Ann, Mary Ellen and I went crazy, jumping around and hugging each other. Tommy just smiled and looked at us like we were mad. The tears came and Mary Ellen said a mouthful when she said, "I'm never going to see him again." Little did we know...

So, there were were standing there, high on John, our books unsigned, planning to stay until he came out when all of a sudden we were approached by tow young men carrying a baseball bat. With all the excitement of seeing John, we had forgotten that we were in Hell's Kitchen. We were threatened and nearly beaten, and after that, we left. Sorry John. I wish we could have stayed.


  1. hi sara I'm luis from mexico,thanks a lot for posting my picture of ringo leaving mexico and the one I sent you of ringo in argentina with 2 young fans.but specail thanks for these 2 pictures(new ones to me too) and the story.

  2. Hell's Kitchen is a much safer place to be today, for the record. Thanks to Alicia Keys being born there.

  3. Hi this is Tommy Enright as mentioned the above. I'd like to reconnect with Margie from Connecticut. Can anyone help with that? Thanks.