The Boston Globe (9/16/76) had a 1 paragraph bit about a “Beatle in Boston”. It stated that John Lennon had come to town for 3 days to visit some friends in Brookline (a nearby suburb) and was staying at the Coply Plaza Hotel. I called the Coply immediately, though I knew it wouldn’t do any good, and sure enough, they denied it and said that the Globe had received a false report. They said a “Mr. Lennon never even checked in at the hotel.” Sure, sure!
I called up a friend of mine and over we went. (I live in East Boston so the Coply Plaza in downtown Boston is only about 5 minutes away). Of course the people at the front desk denied it again, however they underestimated my deviousness. When the desk clerk turned his back, I flipped his check-in book to the day before and borrowed the check-in slips. Out the door I went to examine them and lo and behold, a Lennen (with an e), John, had checked into a suite and adjoining rooms went to Miss Nishizaka (the nanny) and Mr. Nishe (assistant).
Now e had to find which suite it was (The Coply has 6 floors with 5 suites on each). Through process of elimination we found his suite on the 6th floor (according to a chambermaid who saw “A Chinese lady” go into it). And so we waited. We waited about 20 minutes and since it was mid-day, we figured he was out and decided to come back. We walked to the elevator and (I know this sound unbelievable) but out came John and Yoko, the nanny and baby Sean.
I said hello and John responded. We walked together back to the suite and John seemed very concerned about how we had found out they were there. When I mentioned that it was in the Boston Globe, boy did you ever see a Beatle get mad! “Oh bullshit, Jesus Christ!” And other such gems came from him.
At this point we got to the room and John was so angry he didn’t even say goodbye, just opened the door and went in still cursing. Yoko turned to us before going in and said, “Please don’t tell anyone you saw us love.” I promised we wouldn’t (until they had left Boston of course.)
All I could think of after leaving was that we didn’t have any pictures or autographs, so I decided to go back the next day.
On the next day I came prepared with camera, a “Save Lennon” button and the cover of The Write Thing with John’s picture and “We Won.”
We waited about 30 minutes this time (it was around noon) and while we waited my friend and I were drinking beer and eating lunch right outside their room! I was annoyed at how nobody was there beside us, either upstairs or downstairs in the main lobby. Everybody probably believed the Copley’s denials. (And then I found out later that it came over the radio that a “false rumor had started that John Lennon was in Boston.” Sure!)
Anyway John and Yoko came out with John carrying Sean and was surprised to see us. I said, “I told you we wouldn’t tell anybody, didn’t I?” And John said, “Yeah, thanks. Nobody has really bothered us.” Then he added, “I do have a life you know.” Before I could feel bad about that last remark, John noticed my pen and cover of the newsletter and said, “Do you want me to sign that?” I said yes and he did without even noticing the “We won” until I showed it to him. “Hey, great thanks a lot,” he said when I gave him the “Save Lennon” button. My friend asked if we could take some pictures and John said, “Sure, let’s be doing it instead of talking about it.” (Yoko was busing chasing down a chambermaid to open the door again because she had left the bathroom window open.) While snapping pictures I asked John if we should expect a new album soon and he said sort of tongue in cheek, “No, not soon. I’m putting some ‘heavy thought into this one.’” My friend grabbed a not-finished beer and took a few gulps and noticed John was watching us. He asked if John would like one and before he could answer, Yoko said, “No he doesn’t. Really thank you.” John said, “No thanks a lot.” John was really friendly and asked if we were form Boston and said to my friend, “You look Irish.” (which de does)..”but you don’t” (which I guess I don’t!)
We walked to the elevator together and went downstairs where a young man (about 21) was waiting with a large portrait of John from the Sgt. Pepper days. He gave it to him and he said thanks. A beat-up old green station wagon pulled up and John hopped in the front with the portrait and Yoko; the nanny and Sean got in the back. Before leaving, John rolled down the window and said to me and my friend, “Take it easy, man and thanks for the hush.” Smiled and waved. Goodbye John and thanks for just being.
You know throughout the whole time I was chatting with him, I did get the feeling that perhaps I was invading his privacy. John was a bit abrupt at first, but I will say, when he realized just how much it meant to me to be in his presence he became much more friendly and accommodating. It’s weird, you feel a bit guilty about bothering him because you know how much fan-following he has, but for true Beatle nuts like myself, a Beatle in your hometown means you’ve got to get him into your life!