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December 07, 2010


James Taylor

According to legend, Lennon turned his back on the music industry in 1975 when he became a full-time . I get the impression John was happy to be out of touch with the scene in the late-70s and be a stay-at-home dad (he even canceled his subscription to Billboard). He freely admitted that the Double Fantasy record was made specifically for his peers, people hitting 40 and ready to face the '80s.

There was an interesting piece in yesterday's Times about John and Yoko's life in the Dakota (their neighbor was Roberta Flack), which included some first-hand accounts of their behavior at dinners and John's fondness for sushi.

There are some tremendous and riveting interviews from the period on YouTube, particularly those with John Peel and the hideously condescending and naive Tom Snyder. Lennon talks about New York with a great deal of passion, as us Brits often do. He usually mentions how he can walk down the street and eat at a restaurant without being hassled, but he never really goes into much detail.

I discovered Lennon's favorite place for coffee was Café La Fortuna, located around the block from the Dakota.

The famous silver coat he wears in the Central Park footage was purchased at the boutique store Charivari on 57th Street. Says Michael Epstein, director of the recent documentary LENNONYC, "You couldn't find anything to wear there — unless you were John Lennon."

Alex in NYC

Well, there ya go! Thanks, James!

Chris Barrus

That LENNONYC documentary is worth checking out BTW. It's streaming online if it's no longer in reruns.


Yes, exactly Alex, you or anyone interested in John and his love of NYC need to go and watch LENNONNYC on PBS on line. the first 3/4 were great, and it was all really good, although I must say there were some really silly b-roll mistakes, the usual showing the world trade center to represent the NYC skyline, before the WTC was even built or finished, and even in LA they showed the marquee at the Whiskey which was supposed to be in the early 70's but had "X" and "the Gears" or "The Chiefs" on the bill, that was more like 1980... details missed didn't ruin it at all, but makes me wonder why people go so far in making a documentary and STILL fuck up stupid shit like that.


Lennon's shooting was famously announced during Monday Night Football by Howard Cosell. A lot of people, like me, found out the next morning when getting ready for work. A group of us at the office couldn't actually do any work for a couple of days, we just wandered around in a deep fog

John loved taking Sean to Tavern on the Green. Well, he knew the owner who lived in the Dakota...Mervyn LeRoy, wasn't it? Lennon was a downtown guy the first couple years, but after the L.A. binge and Sean's birth, he stuck more around his neighborhood.

I went to Cafe La Fortuna once, years after he died. Wonderfully underwhelming, unpretentious and charming.

James Taylor

Correction: John's Old Grey Whistle Test interviews were with Bob Harris, not John Peel.

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