Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Denim John in 1976

Stories about meeting John outside of the Dakota just fill me with happiness.  I hope this one makes you happy as well.

Photo by Vinnie Zuffante

Photo by Vinnie Zuffante

John Lennon
By Barb Clark
With a Little Help from my friends issue #17 (January 1977)

November 7, 1976 --NYC

Outside of John’s apartment building early that morning, we (Tempy S., Kay P, and I) met up with George Tebbens, Sharon U., and Carol and Nancy.  We all happened to be in NYC to see John and maybe George in court, for the settlement of “My Sweet Lord” vs. “He’s so Fine.”

Too cold outside to stand, we sat in our cars.  George’s car was parked in front of John’s.  We were parked across the street, wondering if he’d come out at all, it being Sunday and the weather looking down.  I kept an eye glued to the front of his house.  People came and went.  Then, there he was! I yelled, “There’s John!”  We ripped open the car doors, and not looking at the on-coming traffic, raced across the street, which explains the look on John’s face --- a bit worried that one of us would get run over.  The Chicago gang was then out of the car – John stood and signed autographs.  He looked as good as ever – dressed in jeans and a denim jacket with fur trim.  His hair was cut a bit like “Walls & Bridges” time and he was so nice.   He asked where we were all from.  I uttered “Cincinnati” under my breath.  As someone else said “Chicago,” he said “Why are you all here?”  No one answered.  Finally Kay said, “too see you.”  Yoko stood there quietly—looking a bit scared.   They posed for pictures.  John said, “Wait here, we’ll be back, you wait here, don’t follow us.”  He and Yoko turned and walked down 72nd Street.  We watched them walk down the street.  A car had pulled out and left a parking spot almost behind George’s car, so we all spread out and stood in the space until Kay got her car.  The nanny brought Sean out for a stroll – cute as ever a getting big.  They weren’t out very long.  She took Sean back in.  We sat in our cars.  A cab pulled up alongside of us.  It was John and Yoko.  As John got out so did everyone else!  He signed autographs again.  As cameras went clicking and questions were asked, he laughed and said, “This is like a press conference!”  He wanted to know why we weren’t in school.  He was in a great mood.  A cop walked by and said, “Was that Paul McCartney?”

He came out later.  Yoko was dressed up.  They hurried and got into a cab.  We waited for them to come back.  A couple hours later they returned.  As he got out, he uttered, “You’re all crazy!”  He laughed a bit and looked up at us and repeated again, “You’re all crazy!”  As they started into the apartment he said something like, “You all go and get some rest.  We won’t be out any more tonight.”  I said “Okay John.  Goodnight.” And patted him on the shoulder.  After that we all went out and celebrated!  About 2 am we called it a night and went back to our hotel, the Holiday Inn.  About 4am this alarm went off.  I thought it was an alarm clock in the next room.  Then I woke Kay and Tempy up thinking maybe it’s a fire alarm.  I went to the door, being stopped by Tempy who wouldn’t let me open the door for anything, thinking it was a trick and someone wanted to ransack the rooms.  So we went out the patio doors.  No sign of fire.  Someone called on the phone finally and said, “get out, the place is on fire!”  A fireman came through the patio door helping us get out.  We grabbed camera first and then whatever else we could.  We went out in our pajamas and stood outside.  About 6am they sent us back to our rooms.  The fire happened to be 3 doors down from us!  We went to bed for about an hour, got up and got to the courthouse by 8a.m.  But we found out they didn’t have the trial until that afternoon.  And that George didn’t have to be there.  So we all went back to John’s.  The afternoon came.  The Chicago gang stayed at John’s while Kay, Tempy and I got a cab and went back to the courthouse only to find that George wasn’t going to show up.  The courtroom was the same one used in the promo film for “This Song.”  We got the subway back to John’s and about an hour later John arrived in a gray limo.  He signed a couple autographs and said he was tired and that he’d been at this all day.  And that was the last time we saw him.
Later we met up with Michael Stankowitz and talked a bit.  His friends and he left, and then we all went down and had pizza.  The Chicago gang then left for home.  We left the next morning.

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