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tkitna

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'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« on: February 05, 2012, 01:43:44 AM »

I got this from another site. If its been posted already, I apologize. Stories like this make me feel like I am to harsh on the man, but who knows.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cp-rot...b_1136589.html

My Visit With John Lennon at the Dakota, 1978

Christmas 1978
I'd been working at Manny's Music Store for a little over a year and my 22 year old punk rock *** had been elevated to the position of (the first ever) "synth-keyboard guy" at the store just as Yamaha had introduced the mighty CP-80: A "portable" (yeah, tell that to the road crew!) 88-key electric piano that had real strings but no actual sound board. It was the first time bands could get a proper piano sound on stage without having to hassle with the real instrument. Great!

Encouraging her husband to get his songwriter's cap back on, Mrs. Yoko Ono Lennon bought one of these CP-80 beasties from Manny's along with two self powered high-end speakers, and for the only time I can remember it ever happening, we did an in-the-city shipment to the Dakota.

A few days after New Year's, Manny's owner, Mr. Henry Goldrich, of whom I cannot say enough good things about, announced, "Charly, I need you to go to John Lennon's home! There's something wrong with the Yamaha we sold Yoko."

Whoa, John Lennon, right! But, I'd kinda gotten used to the rock star drill. While they definitely regularly showed up at Manny's in person, most things like this glitch were handled by minders and such. So I got on the phone to discuss the problem with a guy who worked at Yoko's office at the Dakota.

"Oh, and John wants to be there while you're fixing this."

Inwardly gasping, and trying my best to not sound like the girls on the train in "A Hard Day's Night," I made the appointment.

The next day I changed my clothes three times before deciding on the outfit that looked like I was 'tech-y,' while wearing spiky punk hair dyed henna purple.

The Dakota doorman sent me to Yoko's ground floor office. I was told to have a seat while the Ono-Lennons were finishing breakfast upstairs. I sat opposite wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling white file cabinets. Most of them said "Royalties-BMI," and a few others said "Petty Cash." Now, that's the way to run a rodeo!

The "send him up" call came and I got into a tiny private elevator and went up five or six stories to a foyer with a door on either side. I'd been instructed to remove my boots as most of the apartment was fitted with white carpeting.

One of the foyer doors opened, and there stood ... John and Yoko.

To my surprise, John was appreciably shorter than I was (I'm 6' 1"... John seemed to be 5' 9"), Yoko looked a bit big but Sean had recently been born so there was that. We exchanged pleasantries. By now, I'd dealt with lots rock stars ... the sullen, the egomaniacs, the coked, the drunk, the "shhh I'm not here" types. I was prepared for the most famous rock musician in the world that day having his own set of quirks. But John just started talking ... and never stopped!

We three sat in the kitchen for a few minutes. It was bigger than most NYC apartments, with every conceivable gadget for industrial strength cookin'! After some more small talk, John was eager to get the repair started. So off the two of us went down a long hallway. We were walking fast and he was yappin' a mile a minute.

The hallway was indeed fitted with all white carpeting, all white walls. There were doorways every eight feet or so on either side. The open doors were showing me some oddball ****. There was a room with a giant pyramid made from brushed aluminum tubing with vines growing all over it. The base of the thing was so big it had to rest one side on the wall 'cause it was too wide for the floor. Okay. I also noticed the pictures on the walls of the hallway. All were photographs of John and Yoko, except for a notable few of John and ... Brian Epstein!

But no time for that, dude, effin' John Lennon is tawkin' to me!

"We can't figure out what's wrong. You plug one speaker in, it sounds fine, you plug the other speaker in, it sounds fine. But, when you plug them both in, it sounds like the Rolling Stones rehearsing in somebody's basement!"

"I take it that's not good, John?"

He smiled, "No, not at all."

John opened the door at the end of the hall and ... Great Expectations! a large dark musty room, light blocked by ancient curtains and filthy windows. In the middle of this, sat the Yamaha piano and speakers, just insanely out of place. There was also, even more incongruously, a fully functioning Wurlitzer jukebox! Yes, the kind with the bubbling liquid running through the detailing. It only played 78s and was lit up like a Christmas tree in this gloom.

Suddenly the sound of many small feet running came towards us. It was a dozen little girls! What the...?! They ran in and surrounded John, pleading, "Sing us a song, John, sing us a song!" And he was all, "No no, sorry, I've got work to do!" But they were child-insistent. He looked over at me, shrugged and said "Sorry, I've got to do this." He turned to the jukebox, punched in a number, and started to sing along with a Rudy Vallee number while the kids happily danced. I could feel my mouth open, my head exploding! I'd been there less than 10 minutes!

The performance ended, the mystery tots dispatched (who were they?), work commenced. I so wish I had had a Walkman that could record our chatting, but alas, they were four years from being invented so I can only relate what I remember.

After verifying what John had said about the ugly sound, I started to take the piano apart. While I was doing this, John was talking about this 'n' that and then went silent. I turned to him -- he was sizing me up. Old school Brit rock stars would often take a really long frank look at you to see if you were OK or some sorta prat. So I'm tinkering away and John says, "So, do you play in a band? You look like you play in a band."

I answered, "Yeah I just joined a band, Regina and the Red Hots. But, I'm doing recording my own music at this studio where some friends of mine engineer. We go in on the graveyard shift. I play drums, bass and keys, then get guitarists and singers to finish it off. It's kinda wacky stuff. Very Zappa like."

John was intrigued, "Wait, you play most of the instruments yourself! So like, what do you do first? Do you play a pilot piano track, or a high hat tempo track?"

I explained, "Well, first we lay down a mechanical click track for tempo, and since I know the songs already, I'll do the drums, then I'll play pia- Hey! Aren't you the guy who made Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?!?"

John chuckled, "Well, you know I've been away from it for a long time. I do know things have changed."

We talked about the old techniques and the limitations that had to be dealt with when they (his old band) were making those records. I started talking about the new synth technology. I'd already done some programming stints with Ace Frehley, Ray Davies, and Harry Belafonte (!), and offered the same services to John if he wanted to get into that. He gave me a stern look and said plainly, "I don't like knobs." Knowing the other meaning for "knob" in Britain, I dropped the subject.

We got on the subject of the Mellotron. This was the instrument that you hear in "Strawberry Fields" and lots of other stuff from the late 60s/early 70s. It looked like a small organ. When a key was pressed, a playback head was mechanically run over a piece of recording tape with an 8-second note (or sound) of an instrument, or really anything that could be recorded. Wonderful sounds, but unusually fragile. Literally moving it across a room could actually bend and ruin the frame the tapes were enclosed in.

John confided in me that model #001 was currently languishing in the basement of The Record Plant. If I wanted it, I could just go and get it! Yes, of course... "Uh, my buddy, John Lennon? He said I could go down the basement and well, see, he wants me to have the Mellotr...Hey! Stop hitting me!"

Once I was inside the Yamaha piano, what I found was annoyingly beyond my abilities to fix. So, I wrote down what had to be done and who to call. Okay. Back to the kitchen we went where Yoko was waiting.

I said my goodbyes, which, of course, had to include the must-have autograph. John obliged, muttering, "I hope this is the last one of these things I have to do this year."

Me being the self promoting fool that I was/am, I had to take the shot. I got out a business card, "John, I know you've been away from this for a while, but if you ever need the best bass player in New York, please give me a call!"

While I was pitching him, I was writing down my new phone number on the back of the card, John and Yoko both start laughing! I said, "Jeez I didn't think it was that bad a pitch!"

Yoko giggled, "That's not why we're laughing"

They'd watched me as I wrote down my number ... John Lennon said, "That's just what I need, another left handed bass player!"

I stammered, "Well, I'll take that as a compliment." And with that, made my way out of the Dakota and hailed the first cloud back downtown.

Epilogue: Two weeks later, I was walking back into Manny's from lunch. One of the guitar sales guys said "Hey, Charly, your boy Lennon is in the back with Henry trying out guitars." Yes, he actually said "your boy, Lennon."

John had a beautiful Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar in his hands and was talking to Henry as I walked up. John turned, saw me, extended his hand, and enthusiastically asked, "Hey Charly, how's your tape coming?"

Oh, man!

Two years later, I was in The Record Plant's Studio C. We'd finally begun recording with Regina and the Red Hots. We didn't know it, but just down the hall in Studio D, John and Yoko were mixing "Walking on Thin Ice." It was December 8th, 1980.

Kangaroo Kev

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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2012, 09:49:25 PM »

For me John was just a normal guy from Liverpool who just happened to be a very very good songwriter and singer, when him and Paul got together it became magical.
John had his faults, he was no saint, he had a lousy deal from his crappy parents, John could in fact be pretty mean, he also had the misfortune o get his girlfriend pregnant and in those days you got married, he then had the misfortune to marry/fall in love with a woman 90% of Beatle fans hate, I felt sorry for him in that regard, even his band mates hated her.

The bad feeling and dislike for John still goes on over 30 years after his death, I cant believe the hatred and name calling he even gets on various threads on this forum A BEATLES FORUM.

To read things on a Beatle forum things like;
John and Yoko had to be about the most disgusting and offensive couple in music history

shocks me quite a bit, people are entitled to their opinions but the things I read on here re John by you Todd and others has really shown me that there isnt much love for him on this board. 
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tkitna

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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2012, 01:16:41 AM »

shocks me quite a bit, people are entitled to their opinions but the things I read on here re John by you Todd and others has really shown me that there isnt much love for him on this board.

I think your wrong, but I cant say for sure. I feel John is the universal favorite from the band among the majority of the public and even the people on this forum.

You say you felt sorry for John about Yoko and i'm not sure why that is either. The reason the public and the other Beatles disliked her was that she was constantly forced on us/them and in the way all the time. Everybody always compares how Paul put Linda in Wings, but the difference is huge. Linda never even wanted to be onstage and she never got in the way of the Beatles when they went to work. Yoko would have it no other way.

Anyways, is it really so awful to have a negative opinion of John? He didnt gain that reputation for being a saint.

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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2012, 01:52:15 AM »

I think your wrong, but I cant say for sure. I feel John is the universal favorite from the band among the majority of the public and even the people on this forum.


Ive no idea how you arrive at that comment, read through the recent threads re John/Yoko, even just read your own posts...wife beater, drunk, heroin addict, blaming him for death of friends, violent thug, wife beater etc

I never realised Beatle fans hated John so much till I joined this forum.

Quote
You say you felt sorry for John about Yoko and i'm not sure why that is either.

Purely because John found the love of his short life (Im glad for him he did) and she was berated from day 1 by his fans and even his colleagues, that mustve hurt John quite  lot, when I was young and madly in love with my wife it wouldve hurt if my friends had called her ugly and shown dislike towards her, I think that would be the same for anybody.

Quote
Linda never even wanted to be onstage and she never got in the way of the Beatles when they went to work. Yoko would have it no other way.

hearsay............ you nor I was there you dont know what Yoko wanted, you weren't privy to John & Yoko's private conversations or Paul & Linda's come to that, neither were the writers of various books on the subject that people invariably seem to believe 100%

Quote
Anyways, is it really so awful to have a negative opinion of John?

no mate.....hate all you want, Ive said what I wanted to say  :)



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tkitna

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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2012, 03:22:51 AM »

Ive no idea how you arrive at that comment, read through the recent threads re John/Yoko, even just read your own posts...wife beater, drunk, heroin addict, blaming him for death of friends, violent thug, wife beater etc

Yeah, thats my opinion, but how many others around here agree with it? 2,,,maybe 3? Theres over 1200 members.

Quote
I never realised Beatle fans hated John so much till I joined this forum.

Minority

Quote
Purely because John found the love of his short life (Im glad for him he did) and she was berated from day 1 by his fans and even his colleagues, that mustve hurt John quite  lot, when I was young and madly in love with my wife it wouldve hurt if my friends had called her ugly and shown dislike towards her, I think that would be the same for anybody.

Kevin, she never once tried to help herself out though, did she? Fans and the public (other Beatles) hated her even before the band broke up because she did everything in her power to alienate John from everybody else and it worked. I'd go into the story about how she approached Paul first for money and more and how Paul told her to go bother John, but since I wasnt there holding her hand at the time, I suppose it wouldnt be relevant.

Quote
hearsay............ you nor I was there you dont know what Yoko wanted, you weren't privy to John & Yoko's private conversations or Paul & Linda's come to that, neither were the writers of various books on the subject that people invariably seem to believe 100%

I dont know what to say. Are all those writers and various books wrong? Was there nobody on the inside that wrote what actually happened? Talk about blinders.

Quote
no mate.....hate all you want, Ive said what I wanted to say  :)

Peace

Kangaroo Kev

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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2012, 04:38:28 AM »

Thats cool Todd

Im not here to tell people how to think or anything, I just know I have loved The Beatles since I was a kid 40 years ago, I love all 4 of them and would never berate them in public or privately, I just love them too much for the absolute pleasure they have given me and also my life's soundtrack, they also were the catalyst for many other bands which I love to start out making music, Im forever in their debt.

Yoko Ono gave John what he wanted for the last years of his life and Im realy glad that he found someone he truly loved, as I am for Paul with Linda and George with Olivia, Ringo with Barbara, I would never see myself slagging John off for being with Yoko, she was his choice of wife, who the hell am I or anyone else to tell him how to run his personal life ?

Im just glad he found happiness in his final years and didnt stay on his lost weekend drinking with the boys. Whatever went on between him & Yoko was the same as in any marriage, it was THEIR business, not mine, or yours or Fred Seamans, believe all the books you want, but just remember that theyre prime objective is to make money off Johns or the Beatles backs, so they maybe have theyre own agenda (Yes I have read a few books including Freds & No, I dont believe he baked bread)

So, to top off my feelings about John, its up to you whether you see him as the rotten individual you (and others) have made him out to be on here, or just a guy with faults like maybe most of us have.
Im incredibly sad that Johns been dead for 32 years and has been robbed of all that life and I hate to read words of hate for him on a Beatles forum from fans of the band..................maybe the true rotten bastard is the bloke who ended his life.

If 'fans' really do think of John & Yoko like this;

Quote
John and Yoko had to be about the most disgusting and offensive couple in music history

then I have to wonder why theyre on a fans forum at all....
« Last Edit: February 06, 2012, 04:41:03 AM by nimrod »
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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2012, 04:54:20 AM »

Quote from: nimrod
I just love them too much for the absolute pleasure they have given me and also my life's soundtrack,

Im incredibly sad that Johns been dead for 32 years and has been robbed of all that life and I hate to read words of hate for him on a Beatles forum from fans of the band.

Well put.
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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 05:04:40 AM »

Quote from: tkitna
My Visit With John Lennon at the Dakota, 1978

Thanks for posting that Todd. I really enjoyed reading it.

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tkitna

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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 07:05:03 AM »

Im not here to tell people how to think or anything, I just know I have loved The Beatles since I was a kid 40 years ago, I love all 4 of them and would never berate them in public or privately, I just love them too much for the absolute pleasure they have given me and also my life's soundtrack, they also were the catalyst for many other bands which I love to start out making music, Im forever in their debt.

I just dont love them like that anymore. Now, I just look at them as people the same as you and me who happened to make music I like. I feel my debt to them has been paid. I've put a lot of money into their pockets over the years. I still believe they were the greatest band ever, but thats all.

Quote
I would never see myself slagging John off for being with Yoko, she was his choice of wife, who the hell am I or anyone else to tell him how to run his personal life ?

I dont think people were telling John how to run his personal life as much as they were just saying they didnt like her or how they ran their lives. When a couple like John and Yoko put themselves out there as much as they did, its hard not to comment on their behavior.

Quote
Im just glad he found happiness in his final years and didnt stay on his lost weekend drinking with the boys. Whatever went on between him & Yoko was the same as in any marriage, it was THEIR business, not mine, or yours or Fred Seamans, believe all the books you want, but just remember that theyre prime objective is to make money off Johns or the Beatles backs, so they maybe have theyre own agenda (Yes I have read a few books including Freds & No, I dont believe he baked bread)

All of that is fine and great, but let me ask you how you come to your opinions of John or any of the other Beatles? They made great music that you like so you automatically love them and they are great people? Its obvious you do care how they are perpetrated or you wouldnt have posted how upset you are over the fact that I flogged John a bit. I dont know. I guess i'm just curious how you and a few others who tell me not to believe what i read or hear comes to their conclusions.

Quote
So, to top off my feelings about John, its up to you whether you see him as the rotten individual you (and others) have made him out to be on here, or just a guy with faults like maybe most of us have.
Im incredibly sad that Johns been dead for 32 years and has been robbed of all that life and I hate to read words of hate for him on a Beatles forum from fans of the band

I dont think he was Satan or anything like that, but I just dont think he was the messiah that many portray him to be. 7 of 13 got me going when he said he was an angel. That couldnt be further from the truth.

Quote
..................maybe the true rotten bastard is the bloke who ended his life.

No maybe's about that!

Quote
If 'fans' really do think of John & Yoko like this;

then I have to wonder why theyre on a fans forum at all....

I dont know who wrote that quote (wasnt me), but there were four of them in the band. Its possible to care for some more than others.

***Again Kev, hope my brashness doesnt offend you or cause you to think differently of me. I cant help myself sometimes.***

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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 07:05:50 AM »

Thanks for posting that Todd. I really enjoyed reading it.

No problems Kelley. I enjoyed the read too.

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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2012, 11:56:29 PM »

Quote
All of that is fine and great, but let me ask you how you come to your opinions of John or any of the other Beatles? They made great music that you like so you automatically love them and they are great people? Its obvious you do care how they are perpetrated or you wouldnt have posted how upset you are over the fact that I flogged John a bit. I dont know. I guess i'm just curious how you and a few others who tell me not to believe what i read or hear comes to their conclusions.

Hell Todd common mate, if Id been The Beatles guitar tech in the late 60's and I was a money grabbing bugger I could probably persuade some publisher to give me a bucket of $$ to write some nasty little book saying I saw Paul do that or George shagged 100 women or John stick a firework up a Poodles arse etc etc thankfully the vast majority of people who worked with them didnt do that, some did though and basically Im not interested in their money making get rich quick schemes, Id take it all with a pinch of salt, the boys were boys who suddenly found they could have everything they wanted and they probably did for a while (as many of us probably would in their position).......I really dont care too much, eventually though they all got married and had kids, they didnt act there entire lifes like playboys bedding thousands of women like some famous rich people do, they werent perfect but they were all decent guys deep down, John went weird a bit but he didnt have the upbringing the others had with caring parents who nutured them, he just had his crazy Victorian Aunt making sure he 'towed the line' and showing zero love for him, no wonder he rebelled.

When you say 'they made music that you like so you automatically love them ?' no, Yes made music that I like, so did Hendrix, but I DONT love them...........I do love The Beatles though because they gave me so much as I was growing up, every time I play an early song like Day Tripper, Im back amongst my family as a 14 year old, they gave me so much, so many fond memories and I loved them and their music with a passion, it wasnt just 'liking it', so Yes, I love them all, and I choose not to read garbage by people who want to dish the dirt on people I love......to cap it off I just dont care what they have to say and I hope the $$$$$ make them very happy.
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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2012, 12:34:30 AM »

There's something not healthy about Nimrod's love for John Lennon...
He's never met him. Knows very little about him.
Sure, John and Yoko were offensive as hell, but there was a lot good about John Lennon.
For instance, he stood up for what he believed and created the greatest band of all time..
He's the greatest singer/songwriter of all time and did what he could for the peace movement.
He always gave the ruling elite a kick in the head, another great quality.
But when people like Nimrod elevate him to god-like status, there's something wrong and something very unhealthy.
Lennon also hated people who wouldn't listen to others' opinions, which is another good thing!
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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2012, 12:57:18 AM »

There's something not healthy about Nimrod's love for John Lennon...
He's never met him. Knows very little about him.

Have you met him?  Do any of us who haven't met him really know him?


He's the greatest singer/songwriter of all time

That's just your opinion.


But when people like Nimrod elevate him to god-like status, there's something wrong and something very unhealthy.
nimrod never said that.  He said the following:

For me John was just a normal guy from Liverpool who just happened to be a very very good songwriter and singer, when him and Paul got together it became magical.
John had his faults, he was no saint, he had a lousy deal from his crappy parents, John could in fact be pretty mean...
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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 01:12:16 AM »

...in this thread.
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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2012, 01:24:21 AM »

Have you met him?  Do any of us who haven't met him really know him?

I haven't met him...and I doubt the guy who wrote this article did either.


That's just your opinion.
(Of course it's my opinion...who else's would it be?)
nimrod never said that.  He said the following:
Nimrod loses his mind when someone criticizes John or Yoko...He bought the bread baking story, which he's entitled to do...Also, John and Yoko TRIED to be offensive!
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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 01:33:17 AM »

Quote
***Again Kev, hope my brashness doesnt offend you or cause you to think differently of me. I cant help myself sometimes.***

Todd, your one of the best posters on here IMO and Ive got to know you and how you express your opinions, I think your a top guy and no I have never taken any offence at anything you have said anytime, in fact I look forward to your posts, we can disagree about this and that but your one of the guys that made me want to be a part of this forum when I first joined.
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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2012, 01:36:47 AM »

You'll grow to love me too, Nimmer.
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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2012, 02:41:35 AM »

You'll grow to love me too, Nimmer.

Not if you keep calling him Nimmer.
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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2012, 05:22:17 AM »

There's something not healthy about Nimrod's love for John Lennon...

I fail to see any evidence that supports that statement. What I do see is someone whose passion for music was ignited by a particular perfomer. There's nothing unusual about that! I've also never seen any evidence of a mind being lost. Those two assertions seem an awful lot like personal attacks and there's no room for those in a lively debate. I've seen this sort of thing before though.
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Kelley

In my life I've loved them all

Nada Surf

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Re: 'My Visit With John Lennon At The Dakota In 1978'
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2012, 04:33:52 PM »

I fail to see any evidence that supports that statement. What I do see is someone whose passion for music was ignited by a particular perfomer. There's nothing unusual about that! I've also never seen any evidence of a mind being lost. Those two assertions seem an awful lot like personal attacks and there's no room for those in a lively debate. I've seen this sort of thing before though.
Lennon fans are usually overly sensitive...this is no personal attack..On the other hand, I've been personally attacked by the guy, but I can handle that or him....
I do stand by my statements that there is something unhealthy within him or anyone who won't stand for any other opinions on a band or a member because of his love for the band...We all love the Beatles or we wouldn't be here.
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