Wednesday, January 4, 2012

John goes to John's (repost)

It is funny how things change. I first posted this fan story on this blog in August 2009. At that time I only had a very bad photocopy of a black and white photo of John and I wasn't sure if it was really him. Plus the story itself just seemed too good to be real. However, after I posted the story I got a copy of the photograph in color in a lot off ebay and was sure that it was indeed John. Now a few days ago, I located a 2nd photo taken that same day. That made me want to re-visit this story and post it again for you all. Both color photos are included this time. Enjoy!

John Goes to John’s

First published in the April/May 1976 Issue of “TheWrite Thing”
By Jim Marazzo from St. Paul , Minnesota

One afternoon in my beach house in Ventura, Calif. (in ’72) as I was writing a song, my
roommate ran up the stairs shouting John Lennon and Yoko were at John’s, a seaside restaurant. We, like made (sic), dashed over there and found him and Yoko playing pool. He was in good spirits at the time, cracking jokes.

Then people started asking him to play some songs, he said he hadn’t any guitar. So somebody said he had one close by and he’d run and get it. John said, “OK, lad, off with you.” He returned with is guitar moments later, John took it and said, “I see a piano here someone play with me.” I had a camera with me so I took a picture. About three people, including my friend Charlie (the one at the piano in the picture), dashed forward for the piano, and Charlie got there first. Little did John know that there happened to be two people there who knew EVERY chord to every
Beatles and post-Beatle song (me & Charlie). Well here we were in Calif. Two struggling musicians influenced greatly by the masters: Lennon and McCartney (Beethoven & Chopin, etc)…

Standing and playing piano with John Lennon. Lennon shouted out “Revolution, key of A.” With acoustic guitar he did the first guitar lick and where Paul screams on the record Charlie took Paul’s part. Lennon and Yoko did an about face in amazement and looked stunned. During the song he’d yell to Charlie, “really rockin’ Lad.” It made me feel really good to hear that. Charlie knew all the chords. They played songs like, “Give peace a chance,” “Roll over Beethoven,” “In my life,” “Woman is the Nigger of the World,” “Luck of the Irish,” “New York City,” and “Imagine.”

When it was all over he went out, us along with him. He said I wish we could have had some electric guitars, it would have been a gas. We said ya. As we just stood there looking at each other in silence for awhile, he said, “well, bye Lads, bye.” We felt like saying, take us with you. But the dream was over. Fast……..


  1. What a great story. This must have been the greatest night of these guys' lives. And how especially brilliant that the piano player knew all the music.

    I'm willing to bet John would have preferred the freedom of an off-the-cuff performance like this over a huge concert tour any day of the week.

    As always, thanks for posting.

  2. fantastic story, very lucky guys! i often wondered where that photo had been taken, i've had it for a long time.

  3. Every time I read this story, I am amazed!!

  4. I have linked this story to my blog that is under construction

  5. Hey folks! I grew up on Weymouth lane about 1/2 mile from Johns at the Beach at the end of Seaward Ave! I was tipped of by a friend of my sisters saying Lennon was there! This was my senior year in high school 17 yrs old! Went there and witnessed the whole event of my life time! John and Yoko were shooting balls around a pool table-surreal!!! Someone asked John if he wanted to play some tunes in the ajacent little bar! I'll never forget that English accent! He said "Sure! I don't normI'm YOU for Halloween. Haha!ally do this- but I feel pretty good:) so a handful of people including myself watched him and Yoko sitting on a couple stools serenade us! I beg to differ on the songs he played! It was maybe 4 or five total and did not include imagine ! I approached him as he stepped down and shook his hand and said "that was great" and asked him for his autograph! He said sure-I gave him a pen and piece of paper which he took and wrote on the glass top of the jukebox- To Tony from John Lennon!!! I still have it today!

    Does any one know that he reappeared there a week later??? I meet him twice and talked with him the second time with my terrified girlfriend Debbie we were sitting right behind them and he look over and said "haven't I seen you before" I said yes! He said I reminded him of his friend David Peel from New York! I asked if my girlfriend Debbie could get an autograph hand took a cocktail napkin and wrote To Debbie from John Lennon!

    Wow! Met the Man himself twice in one week!!

  6. Hey..yeah. I worked at John's at the Beach as a dishwasher/busboy/backup and was there on both nights. The second night was pretty quick, and I remember being disappointed that it was not as big a deal as the first night.

    Anyway...that might be me in the photo with the blond hair.. Maybe not. I was busy as shit...that's for sure. clearing the tables and making his salad. John Blonder himself left explicit instructions for me on the was a shrimp cocktail in a halved Avacado,. With a cocktail sauce made with catsup, horseradish, whorchestire sauce, and lemon ((plus a secret ingredient that I will not divulge because I still make the dish and call it John Lennon Avacado)). Squeezed a lime over the finished product to blend it and John loved it. Do not remember Yoko being there. Maybe I was high. We often stepped out of the kitchen to take a break..I don't know. Anyway. A great night.

  7. steve smith is credited w the photo, i have seen it.he da man

  8. how my guitar gently weeps...gently weeps,,,gently weeps already weeps... so shut the fuck up.

  9. I love your blog- every couple of years I need to let you know this!! :) And this post in particular- search your name and "ventura" to find it :) Bookmarked now. Just something wonderful about this story. Best wishes, J.

  10. I liked the unusual hotdogs you could get at Johns At The Beach. I painted a large black and red painting for Johns and gave it to them I wonder what happened to it.