Lennon lover May Pang hosts ‘Lost Weekend’ in Lambertville, New Hope; talks Yoko, Bowie
In 1973, at the request of her boss Yoko Ono, May Pang reluctantly began an affair with John Lennon that turned into an 18-month "lost weekend."
During that time, they would grow to love each other. Lennon produced 3 incredible albums, one of which, "Walls and Bridges," produced his number one single "Whatever Gets You Through the Night."
He reconnected with his son, Julian, as well as his rock 'n roll friends. He worked and hung out with David Bowie, Elton John, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, and Mick Jagger.
Paul and Linda McCartney would drop by so much, that John contemplated writing with him again. They actually jammed together.
John and May's relationship has been made into a movie called, "The Lost Weekend: A Love Story", which will be shown at the Acme Screening Room in Lambertville on Saturday, May 20, with May hosting a Q&A afterward.
May will also be showcasing her candid photos of Lennon at a special three-day, free exhibition at Arete Gallery in New Hope, May 19-21. All works will be available for purchase. May was a guest on my New Jersey 101.5 show:
Why was your 18-month relationship with John Lennon called "The Lost Weekend"?
It was John's way of condensing things. He's the one guy that can convey a message in less than five words, and get his message across.
People would always ask him, 'Oh, what was it like back when you were always drunk and funny." So that, you know, it was a lost weekend. And of course at the time, it was a thing that he said also because of going back to Dakota. It didn't sound fun if he said, 'Oh, I had a great time.' Oh, this lost weekend, it was also referencing the movie, 'The Lost Weekend'; the original one with Ray Milland.
Do you think Yoko had an ulterior motive for getting John out of the house?
Looking back on it I mean, I had no idea what was going on. They were already having problems. They were in disagreement constantly, and it was not a place where you wanted to work in comfort, because I'll be talking to him; he walks out of the room, then she comes in and it's different from what he wanted. And you're just standing there going, 'I'm in the middle of all of this. I got to figure out what to say to each one, to get them to agree on something.'
Was Yoko trying to get him out of the house so that she could have her own affair?
Looking back, possibly. But whatever it was, she was dying to do something. And when you look back, it makes sense, Right? She's been with people since John died. I mean she's been with other people. And I know that she was with one that was 20 years, which was longer than the one that was with John. There was one that she was with, for more than 20 years.
You got John to reconnect with his son Julian who appears in the movie.
There comes a time when you're talking to this person; his son that he hadn't seen in three years, he was coming out to LA because that's where we were hanging out at the time, And Cynthia was accompanying him.
And I knew he was nervous. He hadn't seen Cynthia for God knows how long. So I said, 'You know what, it'll be fine.'
And you know, he was a bit nervous. He didn't want, he wished he didn't have to face Cynthia and I said, 'You know what, you can't say that. You haven't seen your son in three years. So she's the mother of this child. And she has the right to bring him over and be sure everything is okay.' And
I said to him, 'I will be there to make sure everything will go smooth, you're not alone.'
He felt better. and it was also, for me, to think it was time for them to have the closure that they didn't have. So they talked it out at the end, like the last day of Julian and Cynthia being in LA, and everything worked out. And after that, there was no more anxiety and it was fine. And he could talk to Cynthia without feeling a lot of angst.
How did you and John come to meet David Bowie?
Oh, that was quite funny, actually, because we met him in LA; and the person that introduced us to him was Elizabeth Taylor. I must admit, I've been in the presence of royalty here in the entertainment world. She was lovely, She said to us, it was me, and John, and Elton standing there; and so as he was walking over, I leaned over to John and I said, 'The man walking down the hall, David Bowie.'
And he went up. Because you know, sometimes when you know stars don't see other stars as they're coming down. And, she introduces them she says, 'David, I want you to meet.' We all met him and we said to David, 'If you are ever in New York, you can look us up.' And he has the number, which he did.
At one point, he wanted us to come down to the studio as he was recording, 'Across The Universe', and I was sitting there with Carlos Alomar, the guitarist at the time. And we were all sitting around, and John's explaining to me, 'I have this riff in my head from the song, 'Shame, Shame, Shame', and says, 'And I'd like to, figure out how to make a new song." And that's how it began.
That's how "Fame" came to be?
Yeah, David said, 'Do you have any words?' 'No.' 'Can I write something?' 25 minutes later, he comes back with words, you know. And that's, that's how the song began.
To read about what really happened when Phil Spector fired a gun in the studio during the making of the "Rock N Roll" album and how close John and Paul actually got to writing together and the time they played together, click here.
LOOK: 50 songs you won't believe are turning 50 this year
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
You can now listen to Steve Trevelise — On Demand! Discover more about New Jersey’s personalities and what makes the Garden State interesting. Download the Steve Trevelise show wherever you get podcasts, on our free app, or listen right now.
Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.