Face to face with John Lennon

I still remember where I was the first time I heard a Beatles song on the radio.  It changed my life.  It made me want to switch from playing the drums to playing guitar and learning how to write songs.  The band he started brought so many of us a decade of wonder, and still brings me immeasurable joy.  I was fortunate to see them perform both times at Shea Stadium in ’65 and ’66. They influenced not just music, but style and attitudes.

In his solo years, John’s messages of peace and love were profound and heartfelt… so many great songs…so much compassion.  Back in 1971, I was signed briefly with The Robert Stigwood Organisation, managers at the time of Eric Clapton, The Bee Gees, John Mayall, and a few others. Their offices were one floor below The Beatles’ USA offices of Apple Records at 1700 Broadway in New York City.  One day as I left the building, I saw a Silver Cloud Rolls Royce waiting at the curb. I had heard that John and Yoko were in town and I knew that John owned a Silver Cloud Rolls.  I turned back toward the building and out came John and Yoko.  They walked right past me as they got in the car.  So many thoughts raced through my mind but I said nothing.  Mostly, I would like to have said “Thank you.”  John closed the door of the car and then looked out at me through the silver-tinted window.  In the reflection, I could see my own face next to his as rain drops began to fall and run down the glass.  He’s been gone now for more years than he lived…hard to believe.

In 1999, I was fortunate to win a Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for a song I wrote titled, “We’re All a Part of It All”…a song that expressed sentiments that were close to his heart.  Some have said he would have liked my song “Greed”. I like to think so, but mostly I’m just thankful that he was born and that I was able to get to know him through his music.

If you’d like to see a music video of the song “Greed”, you’ll find it on my “Videos” page.

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