Audio post reblogged from with 7 notes - Played 20 times
Yoko Ono - Midsummer New York
Artist: Yoko Ono
Track: Telephone Piece
The Theme Is: Experimental
Whenever I hear this, which is not often, (because I regrettably sold this Yoko double LP years ago), I get chills. It all started when I was 19 but no more than 20. I was working at a candy store, that is to say, a record distributor, supplying small indie record stores with LPs and 45s and those tapey cassettes too, it was my favorite job of all, sort of. I was working with guys and girls of all ages that were as enthusiastic about music as I was, often sharing the same love of certain artists. So one day this new employee shows up that didn’t quite fit the part, like a Soprano character walking into the set of High Fidelity. His name was Dave, heavy New York accent, can’t recall if Italian or Jewish, but he was tall (way taller than me and I’m 6 ft tall), husky, in his mid 30’s and with a heart problem. We got on really well, we both smoked heavily and often… So one day I asked him what brought him to work here. The long short of it was he had been in Music Management or Concert promoting, I honestly cannot recall which one, but one of the two. He had suffered a mild stroke and the doctor told him to get out of the business and quit smoking. Dave obviously did not hear the “and” part. So he came down to Florida to get away from NYC and the hustle that proved too much for his ticker. The dude breathed heavy and sweat easily.
So, here I was, the record distributor’s owner’s pet. I worked hard, pulled orders fast and had memorized an abnormal amount of label and selection numbers for many of the albums in this massive distributor. This came in handy since most store owners were too lazy to use the Phonolog and just jotted down the artist and title of the LPs they wanted on the order sheets. This is before computers, kids! I still remember the Jackson’s “Destiny” LP, Epic 35552. I had a good memory back then, in spite of the mountain of Ganja I’d just come down from in my early teens. Any concert that came to town, I got free tickets, any new LPs or 45s that came out, I got promos. So one day I get a copy of some promo Beatles item and Dave was all hungry over it. He wanted to pay me money, I said no. The Beatles, you know, I kinda like them. Then I remembered through conversations we’d had about his work in New York, that this guy had serious contact information. So I said to him, how about you give me a phone number and we will trade the Beatles LP for it? He looked nervous for the first time, but he agreed. The next day he showed up with this address book that was about 2 inches thick. He flipped through it and I saw Frank Sinatra in there, James Taylor, you name it. I asked him for McCartney’s number, he hesitated, said no, and steered me away by telling me that Paul was always traveling, had lots of pads around the world, was hard to get in touch with, etc. So I said, alright Lennon or NO DEAL!! He said he had Lennon’s number in NYC. He got really serious and told me that no matter what, I would never mention his name. He explained that the number may not be valid anymore, no guarantees. “These guys change their numbers all the time” he said, “People find out their numbers and they change them ALL THE TIME!” Alright I said, I will take my chances, John Lennon’s number and you get this Beatles promo LP. I think it was a promo of the Beatles “Rarities” LP.
I held on to the number for about a week before deciding to call. One early evening on a Wednesday I dial the number, rotary call and all, you know, this was before John was killed.
ring ring, ring ring, ring ring
"Hello?" Answers a woman with Asian accent.
Me: May I speak with John Lennon, please
Woman: Who is this?
Me: Is John Lennon there?
Woman: Sir, John Lennon does not have this phone number anymore, please stop calling!
I felt horrible and I never called again, out of respect.
I could be wrong, it could have been somebody else, but when I hear this track, I hear the voice that answered the phone that day.
And my apologies if this was long winded or not as well put as I know I could have made it, but it is late, I wanted to share, and the beer makes me editorially lazy.
On October 9, 1971 the Videofreex taped the exhibition opening for Yoko Ono’s retrospective “This is Not Here” at the Everson Museum. In this clip a work performed in the nude is cut short by police.
50 cent per air capsule.
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