Wednesday, March 25, 2020

John signed for Karla

This story is from the April/May 1976 issue of the Write Thing and was written by Karla Wambold

That Monday morning when I first turned on the radio, I thought Iw as hearing things.  WFIL radio in Philly said that their Helping Hands Marathon has been scheduled for that weekend May 16-18 and their special guest was John Lennon!!

I got to WFIL that Friday at about 1pm to a crowd of about nine other people.  We were all nervous about meeting John.  this would be the first time any of us had met any of the ex-Beatles.  2pm arrived and so did John!  The television part of WFIL was taping his arrival for the news.

During the taping, John embarrassed the hell out of me.  See I was wearing a Beatles t-shirt and I asked John to sign it.  He said to me, "Where am I?  Oh, there I am!"  Then he pokes me in the chest.  After John autographed my shirt he said, "I'm signing her boobs!"  I nearly died!  (and it was even more embarrassing when they showed the entire thing on TV).

After a few minutes, John went inside the studio, stayed there for about half an hour, came out again and left to go back to the hotel he was staying at.  But before he left he stopped to sign a few more autographs.  He came back about 4pm and he came out periodically to sign autographs and the usual before he went back to his hotel about 9 (the crowd had grown to a few hundred by the way).

The 2nd day when John came out he surprised me.  He remembered me -- which I didn't expect  More people were there then and poor John got writers' cramp within five minutes.  Everyone must have brought about one-fourth of their collection for him to sign.

About noon -- when John came out for a third time that day, the days of Beatlemania returned.  This one girl got overly excited and her excitement spread quickly through the rest of the crowd and john had to hurry back inside.  That was the first time the entire weekend the studio's guards and the Philadelphia cops actually worked.

about 11:45 Sunday night, the deejays dedicated the song "When Will I See You Again" to John and I almost cried.  John was so very nice and well, I can't really describe how nice he really was.  As for the marathon, WFIL raised between $114,000 and $115000.  Most of which were donated by Beatle fans on John's behalf.  After that weekend all  I could say is that I have a special place in my heart for John.  And I'm glad I had those few moments to spend with a great man like him.  Thank you, John, for everything!


  1. John has commented on this weekend that he met more people on this occasion than anywhere else in his life. (MarkZapp)

    1. I believe it! There seems to be more John autographs from this event than anything else as well. For the most part it looks like it was a pretty positive experience for John and for the fans. I don't see where things got completely out of control and no one was hurt. It appears that most everyone left happily with a photo and/or an autograph.

  2. I love these stories!