After roughly sixty years, it is widely assumed that almost all “important” photographs of John Lennon’s life have already surfaced. Mine are the exception. I have been told by Lennon historians that the collection is as unique as any thus far known. In addition, the time period of the photographs, spring of 1973, has proved to be of significant historical value for the still growing number of insatiable Lennon fans worldwide.
I took the photographs at the storied Record Plant Studios on West 44th Street in New York as John and Yoko were rehearsing for an upcoming appearance on a syndicated TV series. Both the rehearsal and taping were to take four hours beginning at six o’clock in the evening. It took John until 7 AM to get what he wanted.
John and I became acquainted in the elevator at the Record Plant where I was editing the series called Flipside. At first, with that famous Lennon sarcasm, all he said to me was, “You again.” We built on that. What started off in the elevator then spilled out onto the floors of the studio over time. The familiarity was enough for him to let me get so very close with my camera which I decided to bring to the taping thinking I would snap off just a few shots. None of us knew it that night, but John and Yoko’s marriage had already fallen apart and he was in an affair with their secretary, May Pang, who soon would join him on his infamous year-long “Lost Weekend” – a drunken binge in LA led by infamous binge guide Harry Nilsson.
Finally, while taking the pictures I ran a small audio cassette recorder tied to my belt. What I captured will rock the Lennon world! Keep tuned to @unseenlennon on Twitter. And while you’re at unseenlennon.com aka richiesgallery.com take a look around. Hope you like what you see. Thanks.