One to One concert
By Barbara and Marie
5 Bites of the Apple
Now here is a story about a very beautiful day in the life of John Lennon and some beautiful people. As you all know, John held a concert for the retarded children of Willowbrook, which was an extremely generous act on his part. (Remember I suggested to Geraldo Rivera in April that he ask John to give a concert for those kids, and he said that he would? Weird—something I had an idea about actually happened!)
Anyway here is our story. On Wednesday morning, August 30 (1972) around 10am Marie, Ann R. and I arrived in NYC, ready and willing to see John’s concert. We met Char M. and Casey O. at Penn Station and then went to John’s house in hopes that we would catch a glimpse of him before the concert. We didn’t. From there we went back to the Garden to begin our long day’s journey into night. There was already a big crowd. Souvenirs were being sold (t-shirts with ‘One to One’ and J&Y imprinted in it). We found our seats, waited through a very, very long delay and when the lights went out and Geraldo came on, jumping, laughing, obviously very happy with himself. Everyone moved down from their original seats (we ended up with $15 seats for our $5 ticket. They were fantastic!). Sha na na came on first, doing their “50’s” bit, and it was really great. They were an excellent act. After literally hours, (simply changing the stage) Stevie Wonder came on (we were thrilled, let me tell you!). It was long and dragged out. After another long delay, Geraldo came on and announced Elephant’s Memory (they weren’t very good) and we finally saw John behind the stage. At last, around 5pm in the darkness a loud, exhilarated “Power to the People” came on and everyone stood up cheering and clapping, a drum roll, and suddenly the lights were on and there was John singing, “New York City”—the great feeling within was too much to describe. Some screamed, some cried and everyone was excited. It was really an emotional experience. There was John, in cowboy boots, green army jacket, and blue sunglasses, looking very sexy. I can’t explain the feeling of ecstasy in our hearts just watching that man move his body. It went on for 1 ½ hours. Someone was shouting “Ringo” and John said, “Someone shouting Ringo that was last year, or four years ago.” (Whichever way you want to take it.) During one of Yoko’s numbers, “Open your box” (yes, exactly—it’s rather obscene) John spread his legs in a very sexual manner and proceeded to pull his zipper down!!! So we proceeded to throw our underwear down on him. Haha!
He dropped his guitar and said “Welcome to the rehearsal.” He said he would probably remember the words to “Come Together” better than he did and once he said “Come together --- over me” and waved his hands in a queer way. (It was a joke, but made us sick because of something we saw happening backstage before he went on). He was very good.
John ended the concert with “You ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound dog.” He left the stage and he left us in a daze. To think, this was only the beginning! We had another one to go through. We met Linda at Apple, ate a hamburger, got sick, went hysterical, and then made our way back to the Garden. The wait was even longer this time. And this time, we had to sit through a very poor performance by Roberta Flack. God, it was really awful, and all our nerves were on edge. We kept taking walks out in the hall, just to get out of there. At midnight, on the nose, John made his second appearance. Our seats were fantastic (thanks to Barbara who waited in line all night for them) and by that time we were literally out of our minds. I have this 300mm telephoto lens and could examine everything on his body, which didn’t bother me too much. One he said “this is form one of those albums that I made since I left the Rolling Stones.” That killed me! During “Mother” John seemed to be getting upset – emotionally. We were dying. All this was being filmed and so was the audience. John was drinking a lot of Miller beer and was kinda tipsy from it, so he was joking around and all. Just like the old John. Added treat at the end was when they sang “Give Peace a chance” and all the lights went on and everyone stood, danced and joined in (John had put on an army helmet for it). It was great. We noticed John looked at us and staring. We thought we were just imagining it, and that he just happened to look our way, but then he smiled and we knew he was looking at us. He danced off the stage and so ended the concert.
It was now after 1:30am and I went to the party afterwards at the Tavern on the Green. Bob Dylan was there, along with other celebrities and John’s friends. John went into a separate room. At 4:30 I saw him out. Lynn G. had a tambourine (they were throwing them in the audience) and Yoko remarked that she wished she had one. Which John repeated. Lynn offered hers, but they said, “No” because she’d want one for herself. She told him she had two anyway, so he took it and was very grateful. He looked rather stoned, but fantastic as always. It was a hard day’s night!