A Review: John Green: Dakota Days- The True Story Of John Lennon’s Final Years

February 15, 2010

 

A Review:

Dakota Days

The True Story Of John Lennon’s Final Years

by

John Green

Review by R.E. Prindle

Green, John: Dakota Days- The True Story Of John Lennon’s Final Years, St. Martin’s Press, 1983

John and Yoko looking pretty palmy.

  The book should perhaps be subtitled: A True Story.  John Green has crafted very nice portraits here of Yoko Ono and John Lennon, especially that of  Yoko.  She was very superstitious being dedicated to the occult from witchcraft to Japanese numerology to Tarot readings.  It was the last that brought Green within her ken.  She not only wanted a reading of the Tarot cards but she kept Green hopping day and night giving her readings on whatever little problem that pressed her mind.  So for six years Green made a very good living reading for John and Yoko while developing a profound familiarity with their characters; in other words, he knows whereof he speaks.

      Neither he nor the Japanese numerologist who he mever met were the only occultists Yoko was consulting but Green seems to have been unaware of the others.  He is very careful and doesn’t overstep the bounds of what he knows first hand.  There was a great deal that Green wasn’t privy to making this A rather than The true story.

     While I know that many people know what the Tarot is I will give an explanation for those who don’t.  While I don’t participate in Tarot myself I do have a deck of cards on hand to study for historical reasons.

     The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards of some psychological subtlety.  It arose as a means to preserve the Egyptian religion when after the various invasions of the first millennium BC the matrix of the religion was shattered.  The Tarot was devised as a means of perpetuating the religion.  The various spreads of cards provide means of interpreting responses to a problem.

     Over the centuries many different decks have evolved representing various time periods.  I have the Egyptian deck.  It would be

Tarot Card From Deck

interesting to know which deck Green used.  He fails to tell us.

     To be able to read well one must have an implicit understanding of each of the cards as well as being a subtle enough psychologist to apply the meanings to he or she for whom you read.  Green apparently had both qualifications.  Thus over thousands of readings over the six years he became very familiar with the characters and personalities of his subjects John and Yoko.  Still, they seem to have been very successful in letting him know only what they wanted him to know.

     As he apparently didn’t take notes, limiting in itself,  he relies on his memory and familiarity with the Ono’s mental processes to reconstruct a continuum of the six years.  While one may question the veracity of his method he seems to capture the mental and vocal traits of both John and Yoko.  I have no trouble accepting the portraits while as the details can be corroborated elsewhere I see no reason to question Green’s general accuracy.  Otherwise there is no one who doesn’t make mistakes in fact or interpretation.

     His two portraits while revealing conflict with other accounts such as that of May Pang or Fred Seaman the obvious reason is that

May Pang

 the Onos are only letting him see what they want him to see.  For instance, in their 1980 interview the Onos state that Yoko had brought the estate up to 150 million dollars yet Green has Yoko spending so fast that they are always on the brink of insolvency.  At times expenditures seem to exceed cash on hand.

     Green believes himself to be their only investment advisor but that isn’t the case.  Just as Yoko had her Japanese numerologist who Green didn’t come into contact with and other occult advisors she must have had other financial advisors.

     The picture Green paints of Yoko is far from pretty while he never openly denigrates her yet as he creates his layers of detail she not only becomes but goes beyond eccentric.  Her dependence on the occult is such that when someone advised her of a ‘genuine’ witch in Colombia she dragged Green along on the trip to South America to visit the woman.  Always lavish in her expenditures, she gave one medium a blank check for her to fill out, she gave this woman 60,000 dollars for her ministrations.  When Green protested that the woman had meant pesetas rather than dollars Yoko was unfazed.

     Thus while Yoko denied any dependence on John she only was able to realize her vision of herself through the former Beatle’s wealth and influence.

Yoko in one of her many guises.

     This was no more evident than in Yoko’s competition with her mother.  For two successive summers John and Yoko visited Japan.  According to Yoko the intent was to establish some rapport so that her son Sean wouldn’t be cut out of the family fortune that was considerable.   The trips were conducted on such an extravagant scale that according to Green the Onos were cash poor as a result.  Nevertheless Yoko went on spending so either they had funds of which Green knew nothing or they got money from somewhere.

     The fact that they always seemed to have enough cash to do anything from spending a few millions on dairy farms and cows to Japanese vacations that it seems strange that when they received an extortion attempt for 200,000 dollars Yoko said they had no money.  The extortion attempt seems to have been a protection racket- pay and live or go the police and die.  As the extortioners told Yoko that if she went to the cops they would only protect her for a while.  When they left whether a year or two later the extortioners would strike.

     The Onos refused to comply calling in the FBI.  The FBI advised them to substitute newspaper for money and they would arrest the pickup man.  Strangely the pick up man was able to elude the FBI.  And then two years or so later Lennon was hit by exploding bullets and killed on his doorstep.  While one cannot say the two events are connected yet the assassination followed the extortionists plans.  Chapman did make a stop to speak to an unidentified party before he pulled the trigger.  But nothing is clear.

     Yoko first contacted Green during Lennon’s ‘Lost Weekend.’  While Lennon believed, and it seems clear, that Yoko had informants watching John while he was in LA, Green has her denying this saying that it was his card readings that kept her informed of John’s doings.   In all likelihood she checked her spies’ information against his readings. 

    From ’75 to ’80 Lennon was in a severe depression being unable or unwilling to function in a normal way.  Of course there was no reason for him to act ‘normal’ as he was able to deal with his funk in his own way.  Who is there to say that ‘normal’ was better?  As he told Green his muse had left him leaving him unable to write.  As he said, call it writer’s block or whatever, he couldn’t work.  Enough reason for depression in an artist.

      Then in 1980 when he came out of it being again able to write, Yoko in her desperate attempt  to be his equal insisted on being part of the new record she called Double Fantasy.  John adamantly refused to let her perform on his own tracks while she didn’t want her tracks all on one side for fear that no one would listen to side B, so they alternated tracks.

     Thus, even though Yoko insisted that she was the most talented artistically and musically of the two she was forced to hitch her wagon to John’s star.

Yoko in one of her variety of men's hats and double fantasy glasses.

2.

     I found Green’s treatment of Lennon to be more sympathetic than his treatment of Yoko.  The inevitable conclusion one comes to about Yoko is that at best she was a pathetic human being while at worst an obsessive-compulsive and a dangerous one at that.

     The portrait he depicted of John is that of a man with a completely disintegrated personality entering the mid-life crisis.  During this five year period he begins a process of reintegration.  Actually his course is that of the mythological hero who experiences his ‘madness’ at this period of the mid-life crisis.

     During this period Lennon is essentially egoless.  Part of Timothy Leary’s LSD mantra was that one should abandon the ego.  Of course to abandon the ego leaves one defenseless and a prey to sharpers who use their ego only too well, nevertheless Lennon bought in and abandoned his ego, or so he says.  As he abdicated his identity to the use of Yoko Ono this was obviously the case.

     So, he allowed himself to be manipulated by Yoko spending long periods of months over years ruminating naked in his bed, totally exposed as it were protected only by the good will of Yoko.  Then, for whatever ulterior motive, Yoko sent John on a solo trip around the world.  This was her mistake.

     While in Macau, China Lennon had an epiphany in his hotel room.  This is a fairly common one but self-revelatory.  One might name it the peeling of the onion.  In Lennon’s case he obviously felt that he had multiple personalities acquired through various traumatic events in his life.

     As he described it to Green he was in his hotel room when he succeeded in peeling a layer of the onion, a personality, off which appeared as real and visible to him as shirt or a suit of clothes.  He draped the personality over a chair then began to peel off layer after layer hanging them about the room or draping them over the furniture.  When he awoke the next morning he could see them just where he put them.  He then conceived the notion of leaving them there as he ran away from their influence.

     This is a beautiful little fantasy.  But then he turned the corner and there was oneof his selves waiting for him.  Visualize the Rock And Roll cover and I think you begin to have it.  He then realized he couldn’t escape in that fashion so he went back to his hotel and said ‘C’mon’ to his personalities and continued on his journey.  However having identified his ‘problems’  by name, as it were, the seeds for resolving those problems had been sown.

     He then returned to the Dakota and while he confined himself to his room rather than merely sinking into depression he began working through those layers of fixations or depression gradually recovering his muse and removing his writer’s block enabling him to compose again.

     It would seem that Yoko preferred John psychologically incapacitated so that she could either control him or make herself believe that she was the more talented.  Green notes that as John improved Yoko seemed to deteriorate.  He quotes her as saying that she had heard some of John’s new songs and they were not very good while hers were.

     Dissociated from reality as she was then she couldn’t let John record an LP of songs that might be a hit while anything she recorded on her own would be relegated to the garbage.   She even refused to record one side all John and one side all her for fear that no one would listen to her side so she demanded they alternate tracks.  I presume that is one reason the LP is entitled Double Fantasy.

     While Yoko actually believed in the Tarot and her Japanese numerology, witchcraft and whatever John intelligently disregarded the occult aspects while he might have seen the utility of the Egyptian religous aspects to reveal character and motivation.  In fact the innumerable readings of the Tarot might have led up to the revelatory epiphany in China and hence the lifting of his depression.

     If that were the case then there would have been little difference between the Egyptian system of Tarot and psychoanalysis.  But, as I say, I have no idea of which deck Green was using although the principle remains the same.

3.

     After having been on 24/7 call for six years as the Onos moved into what seems to have been a new phase Green lost his usefulness to Yoko sitting by a phone that never rang.

     Green had succeeded too well.  As he has John explain to him when Yoko first employed him she set him seven tasks.  He had successfully completed all seven being now redundant.  While John promised to look out for him, of course events eliminated any such possibility.

     Regardless of whether the Ono Lennons were the subject of Green’s book I found the whole concept interesting.  I like the way Green told his story, his tone and his outlook.  His telling made me take an interest in himself.  Unfortunately his name being so common makes it too difficult to search out anything of his subsequent career other than he moved to Washington DC.

     Perhaps he could write a sequel to Dakota Days from another angle and with more detail.  Pressing issues might not be so pressing now.  I’d be interested.

 

Happy Trails To You.

40 Responses to “A Review: John Green: Dakota Days- The True Story Of John Lennon’s Final Years”

  1. Helena Rowe Says:

    Excellent article. I saw John Green for a tarot reading in his home in Studio City, CA where he was living and giving tarot readings. That was in
    1991. I would like to locate him as well. He is a
    very nice person, and very psychic. The book sounds just like the way he is in person. Very professional.

  2. reprindle Says:

    Yes, his book left a very good impression of him. One had the feeling that there were many things he couldn’t tell, or wouldn’t anyway. One can pick it up inferrentially from extensive reading but there are some points I would like clarified.

    How old was he in ’91?

  3. Pam Green Says:

    John used the Oswald Wirth deck, now out of print. John did not approve of all the Arthur Waite-inspired decks, because Waite altered the order of the cards, particularly swapping the Strength and Justice cards, placing Justice at the center of the Tarot. John believed that Waite, an elitist, had done this to intentionally misguide people, to prevent them from fully realizing the power of the Tarot not only to read the future but to create it.

    By the way, John would not have agreed with R. E. Prindle that the Tarot originated in Egypt. Prindle is also wrong that John was unaware of other advisors used by the Lennons.

    In evaluating Dakota Days, most reviewers do not realize that St. Martin’s Press gutted the book, omitting whole chapters. John was very displeased with the published version, as well as the title, which was not his choice.

  4. reprindle Says:

    Pam: Waite had his agenda. I have read a few things but I hold no brief for him. Not a mystic myself. I know of the Wirth deck but am not familiar with it. Of course I am not a Reader but I use a variation of the Egyptian Deck c. 1980 US Games. I find it psychologically sound while reflecting ancient Egyptian understanding.

    As I understand the historical basis of the Tarot, when the Assyrians smashed the ancient Egyptian religious base in the ninth century BC followed by the Persian, Hellenic and Roman occupations the priests had to scramble to preserve the knowledge and religion. One was to encode the information in the Tarot.

    While the Tarot may have made its first appearance in Europe in Medieval times Egyptian missionaries had long been active in Rome imposing aspects of Isis on the Virgin Mary while Jesus himself studied in Egypt and acquired his knowledge there which means Judaism itself must be heavily indebted to Egypt.

    The conversion of the Church to Mariolatry after the year 1000 may have been effected by Egyptian Christian influence.

    Egyptian missionaries continued actively into the Middle Ages always being found around figures like Paracelsus and movements like the Rosicrucians. The later semi-priest Cagliostro himself has his Egyptian antecedents.

    So, while I certainly cannot claim to be as expert as John Green on the Tarot, I think there is strong evidence for Egyptian provenance.

    As to the Lennons’ other advisers I know he was aware of Yoko’s Japanese numerologist but John’s text didn’t make it clear what others he actually knew. I hope I was properly ambiguous in expressing that.

    His text does have a truncated feel so I am not surprised to find that heavy and heavy handed editing was involved but the text as it exists is all we have.

    If the omitted chapters and material is still extant I would be obliged to obtain copies. I would have no need to quote them directly as that might be problem, but there are plenty of workarounds. I already have evolved several ideas from existing texts but would rather have corroboration if possible, before advancing them, so the source of the material can be easily protected.

    And thank you much for your valuable information.

  5. Pam Green Says:

    Are you an Egyptologist? Who are your sources for the above ‘history’ of the Tarot?

  6. reprindle Says:

    Am I an Egyptologist? You mean dedicated? No. I’m a historian. As to Egyptian missionaries, have you read The Golden Ass? Who are my sources? Well, wide reading which has provided a logical framework. I’m sure you know Jesus was in Egypt. You’ve heard of Serapis? The various myths that talk about these things. Once you’ve established a framework certain things have to be.

    Where did the pictures of the Arcana come from? Who invented them and why? In one account there are subterranean passages leading to under the Sphinx. This is true. The passages have been blocked up. This is true also. According to many sources the area was an initiation temple. It makes sense. According to speculation of informed scholars the Arcana was painted on the walls and explained to the initiates as they progressed along. Not improbable.

    Thus to salvage the pictures when the Assyrians burst into the sacred precincts the passages were blocked, the pictures copied and the Great Pyramid sealed in such a way that no one was able to discover the key, having to do violence to the structure to break in. When they did they found everything movable moved out. Nothing was there but heavy empty sarcophoguses and rubble. The access to the inner sanctum was filled with rubble so that it was impossible to reach until in our time the entrance was cleaned out, excated as it were, and entered.

    This is amazing stuff strewn throughout dozens of books. There is no one book that contains it all. The priests really had to scramble to keep their mummies and whatever from being destroyed by the Assyrians. At Luxor shafts were filled with the mummies of dead pharaohs of long before dynasties and then had rubble dumped on them to conceal them. It was the most readily available method.

    Just picture the consternation and panic as the whole society collapsed and disappeared but lived on in an increasingly evolved synthetic religion. As the saying goes, you can’t destroy ideas.

    You just have to get some musty old books and read them that’s all. A lot of them aren’t even so old and musty. The research going on is incredible.

  7. Pam Green Says:

    I’m sorry to be argumentative, but it seems that you have too easily accepted an unsubstantiated theory about the origin of the tarot and, if so, you may be equally tolerant of baseless speculation about the Lennons.

    If the tarot was devised in Egypt, then at what point was the iconography changed to reflect the structure of European society? According to John, there is no reliable documentation of either an evolution or a radical alteration of the pictorial imagery of tarot from Egyptian roots. And the number of cards in the major arcana – 22 – did not achieve its mystical reputation in ancient Egypt.

    This is not to say that Egypt did not have profound influence on Western civilization, beginning with the Greeks. An early classical scholar, Frank Byrons Jevons (now utterly ignored or dismissed by academics) wrote convincingly about the belief in the transmigration of souls having been ‘lifted’ in its entirety, at an advanced stage of its development, by the Orphics and Pythagoreans. Nevertheless, John saw no reason to credit the Egyptians for the tarot. He argued that the reason Egypt was given this honor was the same ‘Egyptomania’ that led the travelers of Eastern Europe to be dubbed ‘gypsies’.

  8. reprindle Says:

    Pam: You can be as argumentative as you like but if you’re going to be unfriendly then you’re going to have to deal in facts.
    Tarot cards entered Europe from Egypt in the 14th century. Regardless of Green’s talent as a card reader for which the Lennons paid him handsomely I have seen no evidence that he ever read a history book let alone operated anywhere but in dreamland.

    Now, you speak of the man in the past tense. Does that mean he’s communing with you from the beyond? I have read that John Green was a pseudonym. Perhaps you can tell me what his real name was? What was your relationship to or with him?
    Let’s see some bonafides.

    If Egypt ‘was given the honor’ of developing the tarot it is because that is where the honor belongs. Perhaps your confusing Gypsies with a discussion of tarot is because your mind is confused.

    I have given you full and complete answers which you are incapable of understanding.

    I need defend my learning no further.

    Thank you.

    • Pam Green Says:

      You’re the one who is unfriendly, resorting to character assassination when you cannot defend your pseudo-intellectual assertions. You’ve provided no facts at all to back up your declaration that tarot came from Egypt in the 14th century. You’ve “seen no evidence” that John Green “ever read a history book let alone operated anywhere but in dreamland”? Should we be surprised? Your ‘research’ is appalling!

      Speaking of “bonafides”, where are yours? I’m sure if you had any, you would have presented them.

      It’s not me who is confused. My reference to gypsies is relevant, as they were given this label due to a popular but false belief that they had migrated to Europe from Egypt, with fortune-telling cards, palmistry and other tools of magic (hence, the further derivation, ‘gypped’). Instead of insulting me, you could easily have checked the etymology of the term at http://www.etymonline.com, wikipedia or elsewhere.

  9. Steve Says:

    You seem to be very eager to buy the allegations of someone who seemed hell-bent on portraying Yoko Ono in the worst possible light. ‘Dakota Days’ comes off as a hatchet job by a disgruntled ex-employee, nothing more.

    • Janet Masiello Says:

      there are so many friends ,family ,employees that speak ill ono. to my recollection I’ve never heard anything positive from anyone ! this is not just some mythical bias against her ; so many people who are close to them Julian Cynthia May Pang – it just goes on and on even George Harrison ! people have this belief about John and Yoko that it was peace and love and all that it wasn’t …she was awful

  10. reprindle Says:

    Thanks for your comment, Steve. It’s not like there isn’t a wealth of material about Yoko around, much of which she has contributed herself.

    I think I know a malicious account when I see one and Green’s isn’t one of them. If there is anything untrue in his story point it out to me. I’ve read that the book was severely edited deleting much information. I presume that the deletions were offensive to Yoko. So, hatchet job? Everybody can’t be lieing, can they?

  11. Steve Says:

    I’ve read many accounts describing Yoko Ono over the years. Some have described her as imperious, exasperating, irritating, and controlling; nearly every one of these accounts have come from people who were formerly employed by The Beatles and were quite unhappy to see the gravy train derailed.

    Green’s portrayal is the only one that I’ve read to date that paints the picture of an unbalanced harpy. Yoko never ‘speaks’ in his account; she “huffs”, “screeches” and “cries”. At no point is she shown to be anything but childish and self-absorbed.

    One wonders how much of his vitriol was created by being evicted from his free apartment after his employment ended. Even worse is his total disregard for the confidentiality that is normally accorded clients by readers and mediums, but I guess the lure of cashing in while the Lennon story was still hot was too much of an enticement.

  12. reprindle Says:

    Steve: As I believe that the Lennons had employees sign confidentiallity agreements it would be true that Green and Seaman violated those agreements which is indeed an ethical matter. However they did it and I do not resent them for it as I feel the information is of great historical importance.

    One must remember that Yoko harbors deep resentments against the US for the defeat of Japan and the fire bombing of Tokyo which she witnessed although from a distance. The lure of the US was apparently too much for her so she stayed in NY when her parents returned to Japan. She was very ambitious determining on an art career with minimal talent so she turned to her ridiculous displays of performance art, themselves displaying a high degree of hysteria.

    Subsequently, after seducing John, she became a heroin addict. Certainly in between fixes when her need arose she would huff, screech and cry. Green’s description seems consistent with other reports and her own mental tension as displayed in her writing which she edits in a most self serving manner. To say she is sensitive to criticism would be a mild evaluation.

    Agreed, Green had a good thing going but as John explained to him just before he died Yoko’s use for him had ended, he had achieved the tasks she set for him. I don’t see any immature whining from either Green or Seaman, nor are their descriptions of Yoko inconsistent with other evidence.

    All I can say is that Yoko brilliantly but immorally achieved the goals she set for herself. I look askance at that.

  13. Helena Rowe Says:

    Being an astrologer, I asked John Green his birth sign. He said “Sagittarius”. I believe he was about 44 in 1991. He also did my Chinese birth chart with a typewritten analysis by him which I still have. It was very detailed, even delving into some Viet Namese astrology for its interpretations. Also, his interpretation was highly accurate. He was the one who proposed to do my Chinese chart as he said that he wanted to do it. I did pay for his work and it was well worth the price. Also, John Green has a wonderful voice….an impressive voice. Perhaps he did voiceovers on the side, but I am not sure of that.
    He encouraged me to learn the art of tarot reading. He even gave me a Marseille deck which he used for my first Tarot reading with him. I happened to mention that I had had a deck like his but I no longer had it. He just gave me his deck of cards like that, very spontaneously. What a generous soul.

  14. Helena Rowe Says:

    One never knows, perhaps John Green keeps tabs on this web site. If he does, I would love to renew my professional relationship with as a psychic to consult. My contact info can be found via the attached web site dedicated to my late spiritual teacher, Dr Frederick Lenz aka “Rama”. John gave me excellent information in regards to my teacher which allowed me to accept some necessary changes at the time of my first Tarot reading with him when he gave me a Marseille Tarot deck of his.

  15. Helena Rowe Says:

    This site does not seem to record one’s web site. I will give it here: http://www.americanbuddhisttemple.com .

  16. reprindle Says:

    Helena: Thanks for the info. If John has viewed the site I have no indication of it athough he might possibly have commented under an assumed name. I hope he contacts you.

    I presume from your age estimation of 1991 that John would have been in his late twenties and early thirties when he worked for Yoko. He sounds in his forties in the book so it is not improbabe that he is still alive. It sounds like he is impressively learned in Astrology.

    If he should contact you put in a good word for me. He must have a wonderful understanding of the NY scene of the time let alone John and Yoko. Invaluable history. He should write up the period in a new book. He must have known Bohemia inside and out.

    Cheers.

  17. beachcomber Says:

    Of all the people who have written about John and Yoko over the years, I’m only aware of one person who sings her praises: Elliot Mintz. (There may be one more, but I don’t know who that would be).

    Let’s dismiss the “disgruntled” employees for a moment (I don’t think they are, but let’s pretend). What accounts for Jack Douglas’ views/experience? He had to sue Yoko to get renumerated for Double Fantasy after John’s death. Is he a disgruntled employee too?

  18. reprindle Says:

    BC: What accounts for Yoko’s reluctance to compensate Jack Douglas? Consider the below scenario, we have to do twenty years of Yoko.

    Yoko moved into the Bohemian scene in the late fifties. She envisioned herself an artistic genius but had no art.

    In 1956 she married an avant garde musician Toshi Ichiyanagi. Through him she met the avant garde composers La Monte Young and John Cage. Young is known for his dynamo hum while Cage is known for his 4’33” of audience noise. This training apparently convinced Yoko that she was a musician.

    In 1964 she went to London to capture a Beatle probably thinking that with that kind of fame she couldn’t fail. Either she intended to indoctrinate her Beatle in avant garde music or to catch a star to carry her to recognition. She did succeed in catching John Lennon although failing to indoctrinate him into avant garde composition. Who needs 4’33” of silence when you’ve got three usable chords?

    She did persuade John to record and release hours of her Cagian and Youngian drivel. We all laughed. Heaped scorn on her.

    Nevertheless married to success she merged her unsuccessful persona with John’s successful persona to become in her imagination a successful copy of John Lennon. No, not a copy- the John Lennon. She emasculated John turning him into a dependent house husband. Things went well for five years as John worked his way through his creative illness. She was secure during this period.

    But then in 1980 John came alive, revived his creative impulse. This was a serious threat to Yoko’s dominance. John might want his manhood back. Thus she insisted that she get half of Double Fantasy to display her caterwaulings.

    I suspect that there was much laughing and joking behind her back in the studio. On a documentary I just watched, after recording her Douglas mockingly jokes: ‘You’ve got your first number one, Yoko.’

    She was relegated to the background as John got all the attention. Yoko, of course, believed she was the most important musician in the studio.

    I don’t know what Yoko’s reason for not paying Douglas was but I’m betting on something like the above scenario.

  19. Kym Chaffin Says:

    Very nice. However Chapman was acting alone. Otherwise he certainly wouldn’t have plead guilty; instead he would have ratted out his cohorts for less time. He also made no attempt to elude the police, just waited for them so he could get his name in the papers. It may seem like there might have been a conspiracy looking back from a distance but believe me there was none. No one would spend their life rotting in jail for someone else even under threat. You’d definitely rat on them and take your chances out in the sunlight. nice job.

  20. reprindle Says:

    Kym: Thanks for the general approval, appreciate it.

    Well, in the strict sense of the word Chapman did act alone. He knelt in the stance with the gun and pulled the trigger not once, not twice, but several times. It was like he had practiced a lot.

    If the murder were for glory however his subsequent behavior doesn’t bear that out. It was like he was programmed, did his job and that was it. He was no publicity hound.

    It seems to me that a publicity hound would flee the scene, go back to Hawaii, fight extradition and try to stay on page one, the evening news for as long as possible. Multi-million dollar trial, the whole works.

    Ratting on accomplices wouldn’t achieve anything because Chapman did pull the trigger and the target was John Lennon. His only excuse could be that he wasn’t responsible for his behavior because he had been programmed. But if he were programmed he would have been programmed to keep his mouth shut.

    I think it not impossible that he thought that by killing his rival John he could take that John’s place with Yoko and be the real John Lennon. He may have been that insane.

    Yoko did spend her nights making all those long distance phone calls. It would be interesting to know if any were to Chapman or those associated with him. He was in the mental hospital there and did work there.

    He may just have gotten a wild hair but I’m not so sure. Remember he signed off his job as John Lennon.

  21. Patricia Says:

    I knew john green in the debauched days of the 70’s and 80’s…
    He hypnotized me to stop smoking, and I haven’t had a cigarette since…. He read tarot for me and from what I remember (which isn’t much) was fairly accurate. I remember when Yoko put him up in the Gramercy park hotel and would call him at all hours and ask him questions like what color dress should she wear at the inaugural Ball… It was an interesting time then… I haven’t heard from him in years… He did have a talent… I also has a neighbor who took care of John & Yoko’s plants… A job gotten for him by John… It was quite the time…

  22. reprindle Says:

    Yes, it was a time to make you sit up and ask what’s going on here.

    Tarot is like post-hypnotic suggestion. I had my tarot read a couple times, didn’t like the readings, and never spoke to the bastards again.

    Oh wow, we’re now waiting the plant care taker’s memoirs. Ought to be interesting.

    So, Patricia, some say John Green isn’t his real name and Lennon certainly never knew him by that name. Do you happen to know if it is and if not what his real name might be.

    Obviously he doesn’t want to be talked to but I’d like to try.

    Thanks for the comment.

  23. Mike Tree Says:

    I just came across these posts and would like to add my two sense. I worked for John and YO from 1976 – 1982.

    John Green (his real name) recommended me for the job as the Lennon’s apartment gardener. I decorated their apartment with indoor tree and also cared for them. I was older than Lennon and we eventually became friends.

    John actually referred to Green as Charlie. Since Lennon’s murder, I’ve read many of the books published about him. Most are speculation and trash. Oddly enough, in many book interviews, the widow has contributed to the trash. You have to wonder what this is about?

    Some books, like Seaman’s, are tacit attacks on the widow. His book distorts many of the facts, making a momentary passing event sound like a daily occurrence. Also about 20% of the book are my experiences that I related to him in the years after John’s death. Later Seaman wrote about them as his own.

    From my personal experience, Green’s book is balanced and honest. The man I knew was respectful of others and would not say/write anything solely for its titillating effect. In the end, I think Green became disenchanted with the widow. He had a real gift that he felt was squandered on trivia.

  24. reprindle Says:

    Thanks very much for your information Mike. If I may ask, do you know if Green is still alive? Did you have any contact with him after you left the Lennon’s? Do you know anything of his subsequent career? More especially do you think it is fact that Yoko had Seaman threatened as he says in his opening chapter?


  25. Hi Mike, Thanks for your kind comments about John Green. You’re right that the Lennons called him Charlie. Yoko thought it would be too confusing to have two Johns around.

    John Green became disenchanted with Yoko long before Lennon’s murder. He had to sue her for back pay and won triple damages. Possibly, she was upset because he kept flushing her heroin down the toilet.

  26. reprindle Says:

    Pam Kellman Green: Are you related to John Green?

  27. reprindle Says:

    Ah. I don’t wish to seem importunate, but John is central to these critical five years in the life of Lennon. By any chance, could you share a photo? Perhaps a brief description of his career after John and Yoko? Any kind of information that would give us an idea of the man? Perhaps his relationship to Bohemia? Santeria? Any thing?

  28. Pam Kellman Green Says:

    John was a very private person, which is why I have hesitated to say anything about him publicly. As you may know, he never responded publicly to the criticism and slanderous attacks he received after he published Dakota Days. He turned down interviews with mainstream networks, and from the author of “100 Top Psychics…” He rarely spoke about John and Yoko, although there were moments when he was tempted to write a second book. Sadly, he left no notes. So, anything I might say about the Lennons would be hearsay, and that could be dangerous from a legal standpoint, I imagine.

    Nevertheless, I will try to give you some background, but not right now. I’m very busy at the moment but will try to respond as soon as possible.

    • reprindle Says:

      Thanks for your kind response. I sympathize with your respect for John’s wishes while living however having taken the job with the Lennon’s he became a historical figure about whom something should be known. I’m not interested in anything about the Lennons. For myself, except for the odd detail, everything is known that needs to be known. So forget the Lennons. Yoko isn’t going to do anything at this date anyway. So, really this is about John. My sympathies about his being savaged for writing his book. I can’t see what offended his detractors. I thought it was a great book, extremely useful for myself as a historian. Hope to hear from you soon.

  29. Pam Kellman Green Says:

    I tried to send you a period photo of John but for some reason, it bounced.

  30. reprindle Says:

    Pam: OK, I got it. Thanks. I pictured John as somewhat older but similar. Pretty astute for a young guy. Did he have a library of the occult or use the library? Do you have a date for the Star series?

    • Pam Kellman Green Says:

      I don’t have a date for the Star series handy unfortunately. I think it might have been part of a promotional campaign for his book, which I believe came out in 1983. He also did some Playboy and other interviews around that time.

      Yes, he was very young when he worked for them. A few years out of college. He inherited his psychic abilities from his mother’s family; tarot card reading was practiced by his ancestors dating back to the 1600s.

      There was also a family connection to Santeria. John’s great-grandfather knew Santeros in New York; John’s mother’s godparents were members of the Bacardi family who practiced Santeria.

      John moved to NYC after college, and studied magic for awhile with a famous healer, Joey Lukach, who also introduced John to a Santero community in uptown Manhattan. After John stopped reading tarot for the Lennons, Yoko turned to Joey. Her limo became a familiar sight in his working-class Yonkers neighborhood. John had long before severed his ties to Joey, who had lost his other students as well. Joey was still very talented but he had developed a very dark reputation.

      After John Lennon’s death, John left NY for the social whirlwind of Washington D.C.; he read for various government employees and was a popular guest at cocktail parties. He then moved to L.A., where he did a lot of ghost-writing and radio, and eventually began to write astrology, having developed his own system based on his study of the ancient Near East. He left an unpublished manuscript, Report from the Magician, about Sumerian astrology.

      • reprindle Says:

        Sumerian astrology! He was a serious man. He did consider himself a magician? Did he publish any astrology books? I should imagine he was taken quite seriously by the occult crowd. Was John studying with Lukach around ’76-’77 and the Son Of Sam activity? This stuff gets very interesting, never know what can of worms come open. And, did John have anything to do with the Warhol crowd?

        • Pam Kellman Green Says:

          The title of his book, Report from the Magician, is actually a ‘hat-tip’ to a book by R. Campbell Thompson, an early Assyriologist.

          I don’t remember which years John studied with Joey, or whether or not Joey was involved in that investigation as a psychic. John worked on the Son of Sam case for the NYPD and a few other murder cases, but he didn’t like that kind of work.

          As for the ‘Warhol crowd’, I don’t think so. I never heard him talk about them.

  31. Suzanne Adams Says:

    I knew John Green after his book, his Lennon Ono days at the Dakota. He moved to Studio City here in Los Angeles. He came to my house many times for dinner, my boyfriend and l also spent dinners at his home. John read our cards many times. From what l recall him saying The Lennon Ono family owed his thousands of dollars in TAROT fees. I know we paid $150 per reading in the 80s.

    • reprindle Says:

      Thanks for the info Suzanne. I read somewhere that John moved to DC for a time. He must have moved West from there. Yes, 150 ea. would be a living wage in those days, with a good clientele even a fine income. Any comments on his manner, which deck he was using?

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