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Old May 05, 2014, 07:53 PM   #141
Maia 66
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Default Winter, 1974 — In the offices of Record World

This great anecdote was taken from a blogpost on HuffPo. I really love this one:

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On the day in question, assistant editor David McGee was given a reprieve so that he could do an exclusive interview with Jackson Browne from the office, via telephone -- his first interview with a major artist.

McGee, who had only recently been promoted from the RW mail room, recalls, "To study up, I brought to the office not only Jackson's new album, Late for the Sky, which would be the focus of the interview, but his two previous albums, Jackson Browne and For Everyman. A pair of headphones was on the desk, and although I plugged them in while I played the albums, that didn't stop the music from pouring out of the speakers. I had my back turned to the door and was hunched over the cover of the Jackson Browne album, listening to the haunting 'Song for Adam,' a requiem for Browne's departed friend Adam Saylor, who apparently committed suicide in Bombay.

"It's one of Browne's greatest songs, as beautiful as it is mournful, and apart from its Biblical allusions it's a touching testimony to the power of friendship. As I played the song for probably a third time, I became aware of a presence in the room; I knew I wasn't alone anymore. Thinking it was probably someone from the office, I kept focused on the music, until finally I had to see why this presence wasn't leaving.

"When I turned around I was face to face with John Lennon, who was standing alone in the doorway, listening to 'Song for Adam,' apparently as intently as I was. When it finished I took off the headphones, and John, who wasn't introduced and obviously didn't need to be, said, 'That's a great song. A really great song. The whole album's like that, isn't it?' The latter wasn't really a question; it was a rhetorical statement. And then, like that, I was in a spirited conversation with John about Jackson Browne, finally getting around to Late for the Sky, of which he had heard only the title track. 'That one got under my skin,' he said, and then John Lennon -- John Lennon, mind you -- added: 'I wish I could write songs like that.'

"Talking to him was as easy as catching up with an old friend. No pretense, no attitude, no sense of entitlement on his part but exuding a real warmth engendered by a connection through our mutual awe at what a song can mean in a person's life, and how it comes out of a person's life.

"It's now 2014, 40 years later, and during the ensuing years I have met any number of big-time musical artists, including some of the most important ones of our time. But there was something about John's presence that was utterly different from any other artist's -- or even any other human being's -- that I've ever met. He simply seemed to be operating intellectually and spiritually on another plane, and yet at the same time was as regular a guy as you could imagine -- through Jackson Browne's song, he had no trouble connecting with a kid who was then only two years off the plains of Oklahoma and only a few months removed from running the mail room at Record World.

"All told, I had about 10 minutes alone with him in that room discussing Jackson's work before May Pang (John's significant other and a great friend to us RWers) emerged and escorted him away. I don't know why he was in our office that day, and really don't care. To date that is my only personal meeting with a Beatle. And if that's the way it is from here on out, I'll take it, because that moment was so electric for me."
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Old May 06, 2014, 05:31 PM   #142
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I listened to Song for Adam for the first time in a looooooong time earlier. Probably haven't heard that song since the '70s!

Anyway, it made me wonder if John was thinking about Stu as he listened to that song that day. "That one got under my skin," he said... Wow, what a moment that guy got to share with John!
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Old May 06, 2014, 06:00 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia 66 View Post
This great anecdote was taken from a blogpost on HuffPo. I really love this one:
this was a really amazing encounter! John was such a fascinating man, so larger-than-life but yet so approachable and down-to-earth and kind to people. Darn it I wish he was still here.
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Old May 06, 2014, 06:02 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by Maia 66 View Post
I listened to Song for Adam for the first time in a looooooong time earlier. Probably haven't heard that song since the '70s!

Anyway, it made me wonder if John was thinking about Stu as he listened to that song that day. "That one got under my skin," he said... Wow, what a moment that guy got to share with John!
You know it's really a great possibility, Maia, and that song is haunting. I adore Jackson Browne, like, WOW. His songwriting touches my heart.
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Old Nov 24, 2014, 10:06 AM   #145
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I heard Tommy Chong on a podcast share this story about meeting John in L.A. in the '70s.

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We were at a party at Lou Adler’s house and I walked into the bedroom to find a place to get high and John was sitting on the floor, like huddled on the floor like an early caveman… and I lit up the stinkiest joint I’ve ever had in my life, you know real poor quality that just smelled like manure. So I handed it to John and he turned it down. He said no, he was on probation, he was getting deported or something.
Makes me wonder if he turned down the joint 'cuz it stunk (Cheech and Chong tell a story about getting high with George and his high quality "Beatle weed") or because he actually wan't smoking in those days. And if it's really because he wasn't smoking, then all I've got to say is that's too bad. He would have avoided so much trouble if he just lit up instead of drinking so much. Also, the John/Paul impromptu studio session wouldn't have been such a "Toot and a Snore" – it may actually have been more inspired. We know he did coke, so I don't know why he would have avoided weed...

It probably had to do with the reason why he was all huddled up on the floor. In another version, May was there and so was Rod Stewart.
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Old Aug 29, 2016, 06:30 PM   #146
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Part of a story by Ron Aprea, who played alto sax on Walls and Bridges:

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John had tremendous respect for good musicians and was an absolute pleasure to work with. Since he had no formal training in arranging, he sat in the control room and let us make up our own parts. If he liked what we played, he would let us know, and then ask us for our opinion. He would also ask if there were any "secrets", his word for mistakes. If we thought we could play something better, he'd tell us to go for it. At times he was like a one-man cheering section. He basically turned us loose, and then picked what he liked most from the smorgasbord of sound that we gave him. He always asked for our opinions before choosing. He called us his "Little Bighorns."

During a break, I went into a small room at Record Plant to copy some lead sheets. Lennon entered and walked over to the copy machine that I was using. Without a pause, Lennon bent over and, still wearing his eyeglasses, put his face on the glass plate on the copier, and hit the "Copy" button. Two blinding lights later, two copies of John's smiling face, with a slightly flattened nose, came sliding out. My first thought was, this guy's gonna go blind. John then straightens up, smiles, and says, "Hang on to this (photostat) cause some day it'll be worth a lot of money." I rolled it up and stuck it in my instrument case. Given the pressure of the recording itself, the photostat seemed pretty insignificant at the time. I could not know then that it would become one of my most cherished possessions. It's been framed and hanging on my wall since 1974. I also saved copies of the lead sheets that I was duplicating when John pulled his stunt. They're pretty funny, all covered with scribbling. The music looks like a road map, complete with arrows navigating me through a maze of penciled-in notes. And it all worked! ...

Most of the Walls and Bridges sessions ended in the middle of the night. Since John walked to his apartment, which was in the same direction as my walk to the subway, we strolled together and engaged in light conversation.

I learned a lot about this man during those early a.m. strolls. He was nothing like the image I had in my mind before meeting him. He was pretty shy, sensitive, and friendly to everyone. His addictions were to a good salad, and a fresh fruit drink. John would wave hello to truck drivers, and say hello to pedestrians and homeless people. On many occasions, he would stand there or actually kneel down and chat with total strangers in a most casual way. I couldn't help thinking how compassionate...but how reckless that was. He seemed oblivious to the dangers of this unprotected style.
Here's the Xerox copy of John's smiling face:

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Old Sep 03, 2016, 07:09 AM   #147
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Wow, nice story, thanks !

... and quite a contrast with how Paul has often been said to be, regarding how he handles his session men...
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