It was 1979 it was in my second year at High School of Art And Design in NYC. Like a lot of kids in my circle Beatles and their influence loomed large over our life’s. Yes they were a band no more for almost 10 years and I was not there to see them play live or buy their records when they were originally released. Nevertheless they remained a huge influence always in the background. John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono were living in New York City and like many others I along with my friends made countless trips to his then residence on the West side of Manhattan to his castle like residence The Dakota Building. We left drawings of him and the Beatles with the doorman hoping that John would sign them. He never did, but our paths would cross in the most unexpected place. It was an ordinary day my friend Mike and I were coming out of a subway stop at 59 Street talking about something unimportant and suddenly as we just about to reach the top of the stairs a very recognizable figure appeared like a vision about 5 feet away from us … it was John and Yoko. They were casually walking into a subway directly toward us. Mike and I were literally frozen and speechless. And then as if in a movie Hard Day’s Night we turned into two screaming lunatic Beatles fans. I think for the next 45 seconds our world turned into a 1964 black and white film. John and Yoko quickly turned around and literally started to run away from us. We completely lost our minds running after them and screaming at each other ” Its John Lennon…” it’s fucking John Lennon” My memory is a bit clouded by decades but I vividly remember this insane surge of energy as we ran after this poor man for two city block yelling to passers by and making total idiots out our selves. John suddenly turned around stopped and quietly told us ” please now calm down now” We both were now frozen embraced but still in total disbelief that he was actually talking to us.
John and Yoko turned around and walked away in a hurry leaving us on the corner our with our black art portfolios dangling in our now shaking hands. We ran to our school located only two blocks away yelling at everyone ” We just saw John Lennon”. I remember my friend John saying ” get the fuck outta here you are full of shit” off course no one believed us. To this day overtime I’m walking on that corner with my now 18 year old daughter who knows every Beatles song I think of that day, and how lucky we were to see this man in a city he loved. Just one year later he was tragically killed outside his home. Mike I don’t care no one believed us . I know the truth…lol