John Lennon on the Day the Beatles Broke Up - A Funny Story (from an Out-of-Print Book)
A good laugh can save your life. When I was 15 and in total despair, I stumbled across the best book ever written about John Lennon in 1983 by Pete Shotton, who passed away in 2017. The criticism most commonly directed at him is, 'how could anyone remember all of that?' which makes no sense because the real question to me is 'how could anyone forget?' The entire book made me laugh so hard that I never forgot it and all I did was read his book. Since then I have sought everything written about John Lennon (except slander jobs by people who never knew him), every anecdotal story about him I can get my hands on, just to get a good laugh. (I even read both Cynthia Lennon books about him and no, there's not one single report of him ever hitting her.) But there's only so many stories you can find about someone who only lived for forty years.
Like this entertaining account I found about a Beatles break-up incident from a book written by a "loser" fan who had nothing better to do than hang around outside their recording studio all day, every day from 1969 to 1972, and she wrote a book about it (Waiting for the Beatles - An Apple Scruffs Story, by Carol Bedford 1984), for even bigger losers like me who bought it just in case there might be some entertaining story about John Lennon that would make me laugh. And there was:
[retyped here without permission because the publisher no longer exsts, from p. 148-154:] Paul, newly married to Linda, wanted her father, a New York lawyer, to be their manager. John simply didn't want Paul's father-in-law handling the business of all four of them. " Paul, on Mr. Eastman's advice, decided to sue the other three, in court and in public. " Profits from songs written by Paul and John were divided four ways instead of two. John didn't seem to care. He felt the other two contributed as much to the feel of the songs and general Beatle sound as he and Paul had contributed to writing it. Paul disagreed, and how. He wanted the money. " So Paul took the others to court. "
I remember clearly that fateful day when the decision swung in Paul's favour: a receiver was to be appointed. We gathered at Apple early, to wait. We didn't even know if the three would come by Apple after such an ordeal in court. We just felt that we had to be close to them somehow to show our support for the Beatles.
We Saw John's white Rolls coming down the street. We prepared ourselves to be more cheerful than usual. We were not prepared, therefore, to see three laughing guys climbing out of the back seat. John looked like he was crying with laughter. George and Ringo were laughing too. We couldn't believe it. They were supposed to be depressed for God's sake. They had lost the battle. What was there to be happy about? We soon found out.
Debbie came out of Apple to tell us. After the decision was announced, the three were upset. They filed out of the courtroom sullen and dejected and issuing 'no comment' to the crowds of reporters pressing in on them. Once in the car, John decided they were not going to be depressed. He wanted to do something to make them all feel better.
'Anthony' he leaned forward to his big Italian driver. 'Do we still have those bricks in the boot? The ones for the garden.'
'Yes,' Anthony said. 'I'm sorry. I forgot to take them out last night.'
'Oh, no, Tony,' John grinned. 'don't be sorry. You've just made my day. Drive to Paul's.' John sat back and when he saw Ringo and George staring at him, he burst out laughing.
John refused to explain his good mood during the long drive to McCartney's house. On reaching the house, the girls outside made way for the Rolls to park parallel to and directly in front of the double black gates. John did not bother to ring the bell, but scaled the wall. This started the girls giggling. John came round from the inside and opened the gates. He came out and went to the boot of his car. Ringo and George got out of the car to watch, mesmerized. Anthony moved to the boot and opened it for John. John grabbed two bricks and moved through the gates. He stood a little distance away from the house. His audience of girls, George and Ringo stood silent. No one could believe it, even when they saw it. John threw the bricks, one after another, through Paul's front windows!
The sound of glass shattering filled the air. Everyone, including Paul who was inside, stood still. All of a sudden George started laughing. He threw his head back and laughed. Soon Ringo joined in. They got back in the Rolls and headed off towards Apple.
When we saw them arrive, laughing, our surprised reactions must have been the same as the girls reactions outside Paul's home. Our stony silence probably added more to John's thorough enjoyment of the whole affair.
We stood not knowing what to feel now. We had mixed feelings. The three are happy; we are sad. Our group is breaking up in more ways than one.
We only waited a few minutes in this limbo. John came out on the steps.
'Could you girls do me a favor?' We all looked at him.
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