New documentary about the Lennon – Pang love affair
Many people have various opinions about May Pang regarding her time as John Lennon’s girlfriend while he was separated from his wife, Yoko Ono. Lennon himself publicly referred to these eighteen months of his life as “the lost weekend”. He was with Pang not only when the couple lived in Los Angeles for a while, but they also moved back to New York, living together in Manhattan. Lennon would lament this period publicly but not in private.
Journalist Larry Kane wrote a comprehensive biography of Lennon which detailed the “Lost Weekend” period. In the interview with Kane, Lennon explained his feelings about his time with Pang: “You know Larry, I may have been the happiest I’ve ever been… I loved this woman (Pang), I made some beautiful music and I got so fucked up with booze and shit and whatever.” But after the couple moved to New York, John stopped drinking and concentrated on recording. During his time with Pang, Lennon was very active, producing Pussy Cats for Harry Nilsson, collaborating with David Bowie and Elton John, rekindled his friendship with Paul McCartney, recorded his “oldies ” album and “Walls and Bridges” and started to see his son Julian Lennon a lot more.
May Pang published her memoir, “Loving John”, in 1983. It was later updated and renamed John Lennon: The Lost Weekend (Amazon link). The original 500-page “Loving John” book focused mainly on Pang’s role on Lennon’s albums and sessions. It was edited down to 300 pages, concentrating mostly on the sensational aspects of their relationship. It also included postcards that Lennon had written to Pang during his travels throughout the world in the late 1970s. Pang claims that she and Lennon remained lovers until 1977, and stayed in contact until his death.
Pang’s book of photographs, “Instamatic Karma (Amazon link)“, was published in 2008. Besides the candid personal portraits, the book contains some historically important photographs, such as Lennon signing the official dissolution of the Beatles’ partnership, and one of the last known photographs of Lennon and Paul McCartney together. Cynthia Lennon also provided a back cover endorsement, acknowledging Pang’s role in reuniting Lennon with his estranged first son, Julian.
This new documentary about Lennon and Pang – The Lost Weekend: A Love Story – will be debuting June 10 as part of the Tribeca Film Festival at an online screening for which tickets are being sold. Here is the description of the film:
She was just a kid growing up in Spanish Harlem in the 1960s, the American-born daughter of Chinese immigrants who went to Catholic school, hated studying and fell in love with all things rock & roll, especially The Beatles. So when May Pang landed a gig at Apple Records, which quickly became working exclusively with John and Yoko as their full-time personal assistant, she found herself living a life beyond even her wildest dreams, all at the tender age of 19. Yet when the couples’ marriage began to disintegrate, Yoko convinced their young (i.e., easy to control) assistant that she was the safest bet to date a newly single John. Quickly the pair began what the singer would call his “Lost Weekend,” an 18-month-long whirlwind romance that took the two to the center of the madness of L.A.’s music scene, reunited a newly sober Lennon with his long-estranged son Julian, and reconnect the former Beatle to his love for rock & roll, and all as the new couple fell ever deeper in love.
With unbelievable access to rich archival footage, rarely-heard home recordings, and a collection of Lennon’s own quirky, evocative sketches, famed writer and music executive May Pang takes us on a deeply emotional journey through the 18 months that would shape her life and reinvigorate one of the greatest figures in music. Featuring interviews with famed rocker Alice Cooper, Apple Records manager Tony King, and legendary drummer Jim Keltner, and leading to a surprising and emotional ending, The Lost Weekend: A Love Story is a funny, touching and vibrant portrait of first love, produced and directed by Eve Brandstein, Richard Kaufman and Stuart Samuels. –Cedar Sherbert
Wikipedia – May Pang
Tribeca Film Festival
Larry Kane: Lennon Revealed (Amazon link)
You make some very interesting points here, Roger. The original “Loving John” book is well worth a read.
From a historical point of view it is essential.
Although I do like the “Loving John” book, as well as both May and Larry Kane, the both of them involved in this project together makes it smelly. Both of them have cashed in over and over and over through the years on their affiliation and so now they’ve joined forces to pimp out May’s stories again. This is why she lost John in the first place, lol. I guarantee you, he saw that in her back then. These books and interviews are always about how Yoko manipulated John in to, and then out of, her life. Although I have no doubt Yoko could be manipulative, May was no match for her. Yoko was/is an artist; May wasn’t/isn’t. End of mystery.
Smelly or not, the original Lennono mythology is worse, because not only is the London-crew in it for the money, they also aim create and market a hype supporting LENNON’S image in the long run.
It’s part of their life too…They were together for 18 months. That’s a very long time in the rock and roll lifestyle. The public will decide if it’s good or not.