Sunday, January 31, 2016

Double Fantasy

This story is very sweet and knowing what we know now, it is very sad.   The part that got me the most when John Lennon says, "Well, I'm just getting started."     These autographs are currently up for auction on Heritage Auctions.  

What a great honor it was to meet a living legend. My mother Kathleen was a fan of The Beatles since they came to America in 1964. Her favorite Beatle was John Lennon. She missed her chance to attend their concert at Convention Hall in 1964, but did get to see them live at John F. Kennedy Stadium on her 22nd birthday on August 16, 1966. My uncle Johnny paid for her ticket as a birthday present. I was only 3 years old at the time and stayed home with my grandmother. My mom influenced my appreciation for The Beatles, especially John Lennon. Growing up with my mom always playing their records and talking about them was awesome and made me a true devout fan. Even though The Beatles were no longer together, they were very relevant to me. John's voice was the voice of The Beatles. He was the leader and founder of the most influential name in music history. We learned that John Lennon had been living in New York City for years and that he was friendly and approachable with his fans seeking autographs and to meet him. When his album Double Fantasy came out, my mother went to Sam Goody in the Neshaminy Mall to purchase it. My mom and I really liked "(Just like) Starting Over". I loved the song "Woman" off the album the best. My mother's greatest wish was to meet John Lennon. With full intentions of having John autograph the Double Fantasy LP, we took the simple 2 hour journey from Philadelphia to Manhattan to the Dakota Apartment Building at 1 West 72nd Street. It was December 2, 1980, just 6 days before the unbelievable happened. We waited outside along with at least one other fan and it wasn't long before John & Yoko emerged from this gothic architectural design sporting big hats. Yoko was wearing huge sunglasses and I remember John had on tinted glasses with a translucent yellow frame. This moment was surreal for the both of us. When my mother spotted them she shouted "Hi John!" in low volume, John said "Hi!" back as if he knew us as well as we knew him, very down to earth. As we walked closer toward him and Yoko my mother nervously but carefully tore the original shrink wrap at the front of the cover so John could sign. She asked would he please sign the album for her and he said "Sure" and my mom asked him "Could you put "To Kathy with a K?" and John being upbeat said "Sure I can!" and so he dedicated it "For Kathy, love, John Lennon". He added a cartoon drawing of his face as well as added the year "1980". Then I handed him a piece of paper to autograph and he did plus added "80". I said to him I love all your albums, you're a musical genius". And John said "Yeah!"? "Well, I'm just getting started!" after signing John said "Thanks". It was a brief encounter but a beautiful dream come true. My mother & I ate at a little Italian restaurant called Tony's just a few blocks away. After meeting John my mom was really excited. I remember leaning the album against the wall on the table we sat and I told our waitress that we'd just met John Lennon and she said, "Oh, cool, I see him in the neighborhood all the time, seems like a nice guy. What can I get ya?"


  1. Wonderful story and so bittersweet.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. question: I heard a song on oldie radio station today called "Lies" which sounded like John singing lead vocal - was that him?

    1. No, but the song that you are (most likely) thinking of is actually by a group called The Knickerbockers, and is widely regarded as one of the most dead-on imitations of earlier Beatles material.

  3. Looked up the knickerbockers on youtube because I was curious after reading previous comments and I could have sworn it was John Lennon too if I didn't see it for myself- very interesting

  4. Beautiful story and I'm crying my eyes out. "I'm just getting started."