A Review: Pt. 3, The Last Days Of John Lennon by Frederic Seaman
July 22, 2010
The Last Days Of John Lennon
Review by R.E. Prindle
Green, John: Dakota Days: The True Story Of John Lennon’s Final Years, 1983, St. Martin’s
Haden-Guest, Anthony: The Last Party, Studio 54, Disco, And The Culture Of The Night,1997, William Morrow
Seaman, Frederic: The Last Days Of John Lennon: A Personal Memoir. 1991, Birch Lane
You know, someone once said
That the world’s a stage
And each must play a part.
Fate had me playin’ in love,
You as my sweetheart.
Act one was when we met,
I loved you at first glance,
You read your lines so cleverly
And never missed a cue.
Then came act two.
You seemed to change and acted strange,
And why, I’ll never know.
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me,
Now the stage is bare
And I’m standing here
With emptiness all around.
And if you don’t come back to me
Then make them bring the curtain down.
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
As Recited By Elvis Presley
The question here is what was Yoko’s attitude toward her conquest at the beginning of Act Two. Did she really fall in love with a relatively unsophisticated rube like John Lennon or were her motives more calculated. Yoko was a Japanese aristocrat which she never let John forget who could trace her ancestry back to the emperors of Japan. She came from major financial families on both sides. Her father had an illustrious diplomatic career while having artistic pretensions. She considered herself as one of the leading lights of the NYC avant garde. Although I haven’t seen it mentioned she acknowledged the authority of the reigning avant garde doyen, Marcel Du Champ who actually founded the NYC avant garde at the 1913 Armory Show. His greatest artistic feat was the display of an actual pissoir as an original work of art. Yoko followed his example of outre suggestions in her small volume Grapefruit. Andy Warhol to whom she was attracted can be considered a disciple of Du Champ. So, in one sense, she was in with the ultimate artistic in group. She then, had delusions of grandeur while probably looking down on and humouring, John Lennon.
She used this background to baffle the mind of Lennon. At the least Lennon was a very unsophisticated young man from what in America would be considered the boondocks. Bad enough that he grew up in a cultural but vital backwater but barely out of high school he and his band were immersed in the criminal underworld of Hamburg. They were at one point under the protection of the master criminal of Europe. This in some of your most impressionable years.
So, in comparison with Yoko Lennon felt insignificant. As he said Yoko had all these attributes while what did he have- nothing. Lennon had actually achieved the impossible but he had very low self-esteem. Like many musicians he longed for recognition but was terrified of actual success. Unlike some bands who can’t get beyond the rehearsal stage Lennon had the drive and ability to realize his stated goal, to be ‘the toppermost of the poppemost.’ He probably didn’t believe he’d ever make it but when that goal had been reached, in spades, he began to falter not believing his success was deserved. The first step in rejecting his role was the abandonment of touring. He then sank into a fairly severe depression not unlike that between 1975 and 1980. Whether he might then have scotched his role, his intent was aborted by the drive and ambition of partner Paul McCartney who having reached the toppermost of the poppermost intended to stay there, make a career of being no. 1 if possible. Any conflicts are secondary to Lennon’s feeling of unworthiness. That was the rock on which the Beatles broke.
It would have taken Yoko two seconds to analyze Lennon’s psychological state. That she exploited it is clear from Lennon’s abject servility that she cultivated and most likely induced.
In point of fact Lennon was everything while Yoko was nothing. Quite against his will he had made himself more of a spokesman for his generation than his cross-ocean rival, Bob Dylan. His social capital was enormous while his fortune, even being grossly mismanaged, was gigantic. He and the Beatles had created intellectual properties that extended 0ut over fifty years were worth billions. Yoko managed to finesse this enormous legacy of money and prestige.
How did she do it?
Quite simply she hypnotized Lennon. As Lennon complained to the Tarot reader, John Green, Yoko wanted to play the Count To Ten Game. Lennon lay his head in her lap while she stroked his hair and counted slowly back from ten to one. Classic hypnotism. The essence of hypnotism is the suggestion, more especially the post-hypnotic suggestion. This means that, while hypnotized it is suggested to the subject that he will perform certain acts at a later date after he has been awakened. Once the suggestion is in the subject’s mind he will act on the suggestion. Hypnotism would then explain the seemingly irrational acts of Lennon at the very least from 1973 to 1980 and probably before. May Pang describes how Yoko hypnotized her to take up with John while in all probability she hypnotized John to run off with May. Thus John’s reputation was compromised to some extent.
While Lennon was in LA Yoko was on the phone to him many times a day. Anyone who has seen the movie, The Manchurian Candidate, realizes the importance of post-hynotic trigger words. Thus Lennon’s peculiarly destructive and bizarre behavior in LA was probably programmed by Yoko to make him appear weird in comparison to her ‘stability.’
Thus when he and May Pang returned to New York Yoko made a phone call, John put down the phone, walked out of his and May’s apartment and returned to Yoko. According to May John said he was essentially made captive while being put through some horrible hypnotic indoctrination for a couple of days by ‘them.’ We don’t know who ‘they’ were except for Yoko but I’m guessing probably she and John Green or perhaps some other occult accomplices of which she had several.
This brings up another important side of Yoko. She was a devotee of black magic, or, perhaps, magick. She even recorded a song titled: Yes, I’m A Witch. Yoko had an extensive library of magical texts that she apparantly studied plus she was into all the great conspiracy theories as is evidenced on one of the multitude of Ono and Lennon sites on the web today. Imagine Peace for instance is a remarkable site.
At the basis of her magic was a return to the most primitive form of magical shamanism. She combined this magical shamanism with her Feminism to found an organization named One On One which is designed to aid female shamans of the Pacific Islands. Certainly a specialized foundation, one would think.
In 1974 just prior to John’s return Yoko hired John Green as her Tarot reader cum curioso. Green was an accomplished magician affiliated with the Santeria religion of the African Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. He was also familiar with the Caribbean magicians known as curanderas if female and curiosos if male.
When Yoko and John Green traveled to Colombia SA to barter with Satan for her soul it was necessary for Green to offer his curioso credentials to the curandera which he successfully did. Thus, to obtain her heart’s desire in 1977 Yoko sold her soul to the Devil, or believed she did which is the same thing.
The point is that Yoko was thoroughly immersed in hypnotism and magical practices. Put into practice we have the remarkable incident in John’s immigration hearings. To ensure success Yoko contacted a Black witch to provide assisstance. This witch was apparently well versed in the techniques of aromatherapy. She gave John a package folded in a recondite way that he was to unfold in court in a specified way. John concealing the folded paper in his lap did so. He said the courtroom filled with an unpleasant aroma. the judge asked what that smell was and ordered the windows opened. John repeated the act the next day after which, he says, the judge’s attitude softened toward him.
Thus, we have a pattern of Yoko resorting to magical means to gain her ends.
Now, let’s consider Lennon’s attachment to this rather eccentric woman. Contrary to Yoko’s assertion that she was just so darn cute John had to fall head over heels in love with her, the evidence is that he required a great deal of active persuasion. Yoko showed up unannounced at his door completely violating the sanctity of Cynthia’s home. At one point as John and Cynthia were leaving an event Yoko appeared and got into the car with John and Cynthia. At the time it was reported that Yoko sat between them but in her memoir, John, Cynthia says that Yoko entered first sitting on her left side. Yoko sat silently, mysteriously, exiting the car without a word. A hypnotic technique.
Yoko bombarded Lennon with cards and letters through the mails including one with the suggestion: Look at the sky, see a cloud, that cloud is me. In other words- Je suis partout. I surround you.
Thus when Cynthia was gone on vacation Yoko spent the night with John in Cynthia’s house once again violating the sanctity of her private space, displacing her as it were. Drugs were involved which would have made John more susceptible to hypnotic suggestion. The fact that the duo recorded ‘Two Virgins’ at this session and John wasn’t revolted at her so-called singing proves he must have been hypnotized to me.
The fact that he was depressed, overwhelmed by his success, and unhappy in his marriage to Cynthia merely means that he was very susceptible. Perhaps the turning point in their relationship came with the death of the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein just the Beatles were leaving for a Transcendental Meditation retreat in India.
Up to Epstein’s death the Beatles had had no responsibilities; Epstein had managed all business and monetary matters for them. Now, bereft of their management the Beatles were cast adrift on their own with disastrous or near disastrous consequences. In his personal desperation Lennon undoubtedly clung to Yoko Ono as his security blanket and surrogate mother. Yoko had obtained her goal, she had captured a Beatle and the Beatle’s reputation was nearly that of a secular saint; he was held in religious awe by the Beatles’ fans.
Yoko exploited her opportunity with brilliance. As I think, through hypnosis she had John make the attempt to insinuate her into the group as the Fifth Beatle. Not content with Two Virgins she intended to screech her way through a few Beatles’ side thus attributing their success to herself. Because of her friendship with the experimental composer, John Cage, she considered herself a better musician than the combined Beatles. She failed in her attempt to join the boys breaking up the band instead.
Nothing daunted she decided to exploit John with her astouonding avant garde performance art. Thus she organized the Bed-In events which were actually successes of sorts. From there she persuaded John to form the Plastic Ono Band to gain some musical credentials. Despite sensational packaging the record flopped.
At this point Yoko decided to return to New York City and reestablish her art connections. By this time, in my estimation, the avant garde was dead, killed by Andy Warhol and perhaps by diffusion into the general culture by groups like the Beatles.
At this point, I believe, John became a liability. Still Yoko was nothing without him. She wanted to connect up with Andy Warhol but her intro to Warhol was Lennon. Nevertheless John, Andy and Yoko did become fairly intimate.
Two years after her return she sent John away with May Pang. Act Two was well under way. Then eighteen months later she called him back again. I have to believe that from ’66 to ’75 John was under hypnotic influence. That’s about the only thing that explains his bizarre behavior then and certainly is the only thing that can explain his even more bizarre behavior in the five years leading up to his death.
It seems certain that at least upon Lennon’s return he was being regularly hypnotized by Yoko. As I mention with my ‘Look at the sky’ reference it is clear to me that Yoko was using hypnotic techniques and suggestion from ’66. Even the story of John climbing the ladder at the Indica Gallery to look through a magnifying glass to decipher the word ‘Yes’ can be construed as a technique of hypnosis or suggestion. Climbing the ladder is well know sexual symbolism.
Unless hypnotized it is difficult for me to understand how a man could emasculate himself so far as to turn his identity over to a woman of whom John Green, himself, advised Lennon to be suspicious. And Green who read Yoko’s Tarot hundreds of times over those five years would have been able to figure out what Yoko was thinking. She was unguarded.
Yoko’s first step in emasculating Lennon was to tell the media that he was withdrawing from the world to become a house husband. There were few men in the world who didn’t understand that to mean that Lennon had been deballed. This was also a Feminist revolutionary move to turn the Patriarchy back to the Matriarchy.
Having made Lennon ex-communicado the story of his withdrawal from life during this period into clinical depression was also released. From a careful reading of John Green and Fred Seaman this notion can be disrgarded. He may have been entering a period of what Dynamic Psychologists call a ‘creative illness’ but he wasn’t just brooding. He had to have a period to sort out the crowded years from 1958 to 1974 and deal with what must have been some very painful memories. Keeping the channel button on his remote depressed to let the channels flip thorugh continuously could be construe as an attempt to deal with multitudinous memories flashing through his mind.
While supposedly in this inert state, Warhol records in his diaries that Lennon while eating lunch at another table in a fashionable eatery came over to Warhol’s table surprising him by laying on the floor by his chair on his back with arms and legs simulating a puppy and panting with his tongue lolling out. Now, that is lack of self-esteem.
So his so-called depression was more an attempt to understand the past more than just depressive brooding. In fact he did get his life organized. While he claimed he was incapable of writing during this period as his muse had left him, which is to say he had writer’s block, by 1980 he had resolved his problems and was ready to go back to work. Personally I have to admire the guy for achieving this regeneration. He had a lot of fortune and misfortune to sort through while coming to terms with being a success he had never hoped to be.
Now, what was Yoko doing during these five years?
First, let’s keep track of the various revolutions subsumed under the Warhol umbrella. Andy was shot by Valerie Solonas in 1969 which effectively shut down Factory #1 although #2 was already in existence. The seventies were a dull period for Warhol as he recovered his lustre after actually having been declared dead. The homosexual nightlife was burgeoning however, while reaching a dfinitive point in 1977 when the nightclub Studio 54 was created by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. It was the serendipitous moment for the Homo Revos and Rubell and Schrager hit the groove as sharp as a knife. The criminal/revolutionary elements working out of Andy’s old Factory had found a new home. Andy had found a new home; he apparently haunted the place nearly every night of its existence. A real fixture.
There’s a very interesting book that was issued in 1997 by Anthony Haden-Guest titled: The Last Party, Studio 54, Disco And the Culture Of The Night. The book sank but left traces. A remainder copy, first edition, can be picked up new for a couple dollars on the internet. If you’re interested in this topic you should do it.
As an example of how vile these revolutionaries were conducting, say the sexual revolution, Haden-Guest tells an alarming story. Now, Studio 54 was in existence only eighteen months before the Feds loaded them into the vans. I’m sure Rubell and Schrader were not involved directly in this escapade but while Warhol at the Factory was using the Undermen as his foils in ’77 and ’78 some unnamed revolutionaries, perhaps Warhol among them, set out to corrupt the WASP students at prep schools. This must have been on the drawing boards for some time waiting for the opportunity because there wasn’t much time to act. The students were fourteen, fifteen and sixteen year olds. Lists of students were compiled and approached. Haden-Guest says likely subjects were pointed out by ‘moles’ in the schools. We all know what moles are from spy novels so already having moles in the schools shows some advanced planning. What they were doing while waiting for opportunity is a question worth pursuing.
Now, these decidedly underage kids were enticed to the come to Studio 54, bussed to it, where they were given free admittance as bait to entice other underage children. At Studio 54 they were systematically debauched with free drinks and free drugs. The perves then were delivered young boys and girls drunk or on drugs to seduce which was done.
Many if not most of these kids beca,e drunks and debased drug addicts, heroin and what all. Haden-Guest draws an astonishing picture. While Haden-Guest doesn’t say Warhol was one behind this plan to debauch the most priviliged of Young America he leaves room for conjecture. So, things were getting rough in this toughest of American cities.
Yoko had set her cap for Warhol. She cultivated his acquaintance with Lennon as celebrity bait. She befriended his associate Sam Green who was an art dealer and procurer of desirable legal or illegal items for those with the money. In 1977, for instance, he was able to procure tickets to the Carter inauguration for himself, John and Yoko. Sam Green’s associate Bart Gorin also delivered Yoko’s heroin to her. This is interesting.
Anthony Haden-Guest in his The Last Party says in his coded way that a major heroin dealer lived in a gothic apartment house on Central Park West, that would be the Dakota. He calls the dealer The Elfin Queen, that’s a small eccentric woman. I don’t know how many small eccentric women lived at the Dakota but the specifics do describe Yoko Ono. The Elfin Queen was also a denizen of Nightworld which would seem to narrow things further.
Yoko in the late seventies was a heroin addict which is an additional point. She had her paper delivered daily by Sam Green’s assistant Bart Gorin. That means that Sam Green was holding. It is also clear that Yoko only held her daily dose so she was smart enough to have no evidence around. If this is true there had to be contact with an underworld wholesaler. Whether that was Sam Green or another buffer to distance themselves or not isn’t known. It is beyond dispute however that Sam Green was the supplier for Yoko.
I find little evidence that Yoko was a financial genius who went from John’s current income to 25 million in three years with the usual figure of 150 million being mentioned. There might have been some sub-rosa dealing.
It is also true that Sam Green was active as an agent obtaining items for Yoko’s various art collection. He was undoubtedly her gigilo, there being hope for him to replace Lennon after he was shot in 1980.
Sam Green and John Green were both known to each other while there is some speculation that the Greens collaborated to overcharge Yoko for items. It may be true but whatever she overpaid was insignficant as in the seventies the prices of all collectibles just sky rocketed. The 70s was the decade of the collector.
In ’77 Yoko met Sam Havadtoy while on one of her shopping expeditions who became a fast friend while actually replacing Lennon on the day of his death.
Now, during John’s absence in ’74 Yoko had tested the waters for her solo screeching and found the temperature tepid. She still needed John for his reputation as well as his money. John had her on the short leash of 300 K during his absence which Yoko found irksome. She now set out to gain control of John’s entire fortune and income. She secured a Power of Attorney and the legal assumption of his entire identity so that she acted not only in his name but as himself. I can’t believe Lennon would agree to this, which isn’t to say he didn’t, but I find it more likely he was following a post-hypnotic suggestion. Now in control of his money and having assumed his identity as well as her own Yoko had little use for him. As Seaman records during ’79 and ’80 she sent him out to Long Island for long stretches of time and then on a dangerous sea voyage to the Bahamas that almost claimed his life which would have been very fortuitous for Yoko. John stayed in the Bahamas several months.
It was there his writer’s block unblocked or, as he might express it, his muse returned and he was able to begin writing again. Thus, perhaps to Yoko’s surprise, he returned to NYC with a packet of new songs ready to go back into the studio. Here the plot thickens.
Yoko had John out of the Dakota for much of 1980. During that time her relations with both Sam Green and Sam Havadtoy intensified, so there was a reason John was sent away. That he was so complaisant to her wishes is truly amazing unless he was controlled through post-hypnotic suggestion. When John came back from the Bahamas he went into the studio. At this point Yoko and he were inseparable. She insisted on alternating songs on the LP- one of his, one of hers. There was a giveaway there. One of John’s songs was I’m Losing You followed by Yoko’s I’m Moving On.
A reading of Seaman’s memoir shows a Yoko who was inconsiderately entertaining both Sams in a closed room at the studio not only in front of John but the whole band. It seems clear that that the two song titles were more than relevant.
Now, by this time Yoko had all the money in her control and possibly in her name and this was legally irrevocable although John could revoke future use of his identity and cancel the POA and possibly regain control of his royalties unless Yoko had also assigned those to herself. So the day she ‘moved on’ John would be effectively penniless. If you thought Colonel Parker was the manager from hell Yoko was the topper. She literally was from hell as she had sold her soul to Satan.
There remained the matter of popularity. It seems clear that Yoko thought she had created a mega chart buster, not John. She sincerely thought that the success of the record would depend on her contributions, but the record sold well on the basis of Lennon’s reputation alone. This was a setback for Yoko necessitating a change in procedures.
In any event Lennon was assassinated by a ‘lone nut’ on December 8, 1980. John lost Yoko and she moved on.
The case against Mark Chapman, the man who shot Lennon, would seem to have been open and shut. Several witnesses saw him shoot Lennon while he quietly laid the gun down and quietly assumed responsibility, never denying it. Attorney’s wanted to plead insanity but Chapman refused. As often happens in ‘lone nut’ assassinations many found the fact inconclusive. And, indeed, there are reasons to believe that Mark Chapman was just a tool, a pawn in someone’s game. The question has been, who? Many people believe Chapman was a Manchurian Candidate hypnotized to commit the murder. The Manchurian Candidate is a book and movie in which a former American soldier ws given a post-hypnotic code word that activated certain instructions. The question once again was, who? Some suggested the government. There is no clear solution so one can’t rule a Fed hit out but the Ono-Lennon’s quarrel was with the Nixon White House. The Carter administration was then in office while John and Yoko had wrangled tickets to Carter’s inauguration. I don’t think the Carter administration probable.
There is also a sizeable group who believe Yoko herself was involved. The idea involves more of a how than the government accusation. What seems clear to doubters is that Chapman seemed to act programmed rather then autonomous. Before I tackle a probable how let’s review Yoko’s situation before and after the assassination. There seems to be an incongruous continuity.
Lennon had been away from the Dakota for much of 1980 returning from the Bahamas mid-year to go into the recording studio. We know that a close associate of Yoko, Sam Green, was at the very least a conduit for Yoko’s heroin. Heroin may account for his presence in the Studio and Yoko’s need for a private room.
She also became close to Sam Havadtoy, another art dealer, who has the appearance of an enforcer. Indeed, he moved into the Dakota the day John died where he remained for twenty years. Shortly after John’s death Havadtoy sent for two Hungarian ‘cooks’ from then Soviet ruled Hungary. Why Yoko would need two cooks isn’t clear so let us assume that the two were bodyguards or assistant enforcers.
The peaceable Yoko turned violent after John’s death. As Fred Seaman records she had a couple of thugs beat him in the attempt to force him to give up John’s diaries. I would think that peaceable attempts to recover the diaries would have worked just as well on Seaman.
Yoko had wanted to connect up with Andy Warhol since about 1965. On her return to NYC in 1971 she cultivated Warhol assiduously but John was in the way and for various reasons she couldn’t just divorce him. I am convinced her only iinterest in him had been for monetary and publicity reasons.
Three months after John’s death she offered herself to Andy Warhol. Warhol’s diary entry for Friday, March 20, 1981, three months after the murder reads:
We had to do our Rex Smith interview, Bob (Colacello) and I, so I decided it was easier to stay uptown because it was going to be at Quo Vadis. We fell in love with him. He had the curly Vitas Gerulaitis look but better looking.
And then we heard a voice say, “Andy!” It was Yoko Ono. We were so stunned. She looked so elegant, like the Duchess of Windsor with her hair back and dark wraparound glasses, and beautiful makeup and Fendi furs and jewelry- an emerald ring with a big ruby in it and Elso Peritte diamond earrings. So I said that I wanted to call her for lunch and so she gave me her phone number. It was really strange, a whole new Yoko.
And all Andy had to do to unify the whole avant garde was to climb that ladder, take the magnifying glass and read out loud one little word- YES. Some little time later when he thought he might need a woman who could accompany him to parties he did think of Yoko but then nixed the idea. He’d already been shot once.
So, not only was there no period of mourning for Yoko but three months after she in effect proposed to the man who she thought of as her dream husband.
So that is Yoko’s situation in the period on both sides of John’s death. His was a convenient murder releasing Yoko to attempt to gratify her secret ambitions.
Let us assume that Yoko programmed or had Chapman programmed. Yoko was connected to a number of magical networks that could have located Chapman as a perpetrator. John Green was a Santeria priest and curioso. Santeria was functioning all up and down the East Coast and especially in Atlanta where Chapman was from and which he visited before the shooting. Plus the religion is dispersed around.
‘Magic’ had been employed to help John’s immigration problem, apparently provided by a Black witch from Chicago. Chapman stopped over in Chicago on one of his trips to NYC to dispose of a painting. Yoko was Japanese, her numerologist was Japanese and Gloria Abe, Chapman’s new wife was Japanese. Yoko’s One On One Foundation was involved with female Shamanistic magicians from the Pacific Islands that might have included Hawaii so, shall we say, he was mentally unstable which is an aid in hypnotism?
Thus there are ways Chapman could have been recruited and having been recruited and brought under mind control so that a telephone call from anywhere in the world could have been used to utter the trigger word. And then there is the question of where the money came from for Chapman’s frequent air flights especially his flight around the world with several layovers. He had in excess of two thousand dollars on him at the time of his arrest.
None of this is conclusive, of course, there is always the chance that Chapman was a ‘lone nut.’ These things do happen. On the other hand someone who had provided for herself so well and was so prepared to weather the shock must be equally rare. Those things happen too.
As Seaman notes, he was more grief stricken than Yoko. And at the same time Yoko had sold her soul to Satan to obtain desires that were never revealed. The astonishing coincidence is the Satanic stuff took place not only in the Dakota of Rosemary’s Baby but on the same floor and in some of the same rooms. An early candidate for the mother of Satan’s baby threw herself from the seventh floor window landing on nearly the spot where Lennon was shot. Very eerie, almost Rosemary’s Baby II.