Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Excerpt from "A Dose of Rock 'n' Roll"

John Lennon excerpt from A Dose of Rock 'n' Roll

By Nancy Lee Andrews

Ringo Starr wasn't the first Beatle in my life – that place is held by John Lennon. John and May Pang, his and Yoko’s secretary, moved from New York to Los Angeles in the fall of 1973 and were looking for a place to stay. Lou Adler, my boss at the time, offered his palatial Beverly Hills home for a few months. Having a Beatle in residence was a notch on his belt and provided him a lifetime of bragging rights.

Scribes and historians described this period as John's “Lost Weekend,” but I saw nothing to bolster that claim. During this time when John was with May, he was on a creative and productive streak. That eighteen-month period saw the creation of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Walls and Bridges and Pussycats as well as collaborations with Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson, Elton John and David Bowie. The man was busy and anything but lost.

The three of us spent a lot of time hanging out in the studio (John was recording Rock 'n' Roll with Phil Spector), listening to music at the Troubador where Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles were regulars. He also enjoyed the eclectic offerings of Los Angeles. One night we went to a Bruce Lee movie at midnight with Bob Dylan. John loved eating at funky Chinese restaurants downtown because the food was great or getting hot dogs at Pinks or waiting in line for a delicious burrito from a Mexican stand. There was an unspoken understanding that a camera was not part of the comfort zone when he was among friends. It was about sharing time creatively that John loved.

On the other hand, John understood more than any other artist I knew how to convey his message through the media. John possessed one of the quickest minds, had a great wit and a big heart. He was on a higher metaphysical plane than anyone I had ever met. If you wanted to be around John, you checked your “bullshit” at the door or be prepared to get caustically busted. It’s no wonder that he and Harry Nilsson connected on so many levels, musically, politically and the heart. The Pussycats album was the ferment of these two great artists at that time… a classic.

John introduced me to one of the great loves of my life and for that I will be forever grateful. He saw a union between Ringo and me that could have been something to stand the test of time. Time is relative, time is what it is and for however long it lasts you drink it up, drain the cup and smile. I think that’s what John would say if he were here.

John Lennon came, he saw and he conquered, leaving a mark on our souls, some deeper on others. I love my personal mark he gave me. It’s extraordinary, but the night I got the phone call that John had died I was on my way out the door for some of that tasty Chinese food he so loved.
To order A Dose of Rock 'n' Roll, go to www.daltonwatson.com. To see more pictures, go to www.adoseofrocknroll.com.

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