My One And Only Unforgettable Encounter With John Lennon – Imagine That!

October 20, 2006

After the “English Invasion” of the U.S. in 1964, at the urging of my friends, Paul Simon and Jackie DeShannon, I decided to go to London to promote my songs and productions. Bess Coleman, one of the Beatles press officers, with whom I was writing songs , brought me into the groups inner circle and I traveled with them on several stops of their, “Beatles For Sale” promotional tour.

Backstage at a venue in White City, George and Paul were playing guitar and singing to relax in with a handful of their old mates and confidantes. Bess introduced me to them, and just as Paul smiled and handed me the guitar for me to take a turn…John majestically strode into the room. Bess introduced me to him as the American who wrote the recent top ten UK hit by Helen Shapiro, “Queen For Tonight” (Raleigh/ Wayne) John, with a wide grin, shook my hand and in a deep voice sang a parody of my song, ” I am a Queen For Tonight…but will I be a King tomorrow?”…which had the room in hysterics! Unfortunately, I didn’t know they were laughing at John, who was poking fun at the husky voiced 16 year old Shapiro’s sexuality, which had recently been questioned by the press…I thought they were laughing at me! I was embarrassed, but managed a smile as I passed on playing one of my songs and handed the guitar over to John, who sat down and sang, ” I’m A Loser”.

Although that was my only personal encounter with John Lennon, it wasn’t the only connection I had. The first was in 1968, when I found a song, “John You Went Too Far This Time”, a reaction to the John and Yoko naked “Two Virgins” album cover, recorded by Sissy Spacek, whom I discovered and renamed “Rainbo”.
The second was concerning the original artwork of “Clouds” used on the “Imagine” album cover, which I was given as security from a friend who needed a fast $100.00 loan! I never asked my friend how he got it, but I knew I had to enjoy the painting in “secrecy” for as long as it was in my possession! Then one day, about three years after John’s assasination, my now well-heeled friend who gave me this treasure in trust, offered to buy it back. Although I knew it must be worth upwards of a $100,000 dollars, I just asked him to return the hundred dollar loan I made him originally. To this day I wonder was that the right choice?

Anyway, here’s a glimpse of this beautiful piece of art that hung for years in my office at Warner Brothers music. You can see it in the upper right half of the photo.

Artie Wayne with Singer and Songwriter Patti Dahlstrom

Copyright 2011 by Artie Wayne






5 Responses to “My One And Only Unforgettable Encounter With John Lennon – Imagine That!”

  1. […] When my album and Sissy’s single was finished, Morris Levy decided to send both of us out to promote our records at the same time…but not before one little thing. I convinced her to change her name to something more suitable for the times. She bit her lip and agreed to let herself be called Rainbo. If you’d like to hear about my unforgettable encounter with John Lennon clic on to If you’d like to hear, “John, You Went Too Far This Time”, just click onto For more on “The Ballad of Shadow and Rainbo” click onto Posted by Artie Wayne Filed in Uncategorized, John Lennon, yoko ono, Artie Wayne, morris levy, ron haffkine, shadow mann, sissy spacek, rainbo, dr.hook, brooks arthur, two virgins, john you went too far this time […]

  2. Sam E. Scalici Says:

    It’s kind of ironic, that when an artist (or two) are in an artistic mode, and trying to say something in picture, word, song, or feeling, that all the critics come out of the woodwork either trying to emulate, or discriminate in their own way. I never owned the two virgins album. I wish I had a copy. I thought it was truly better than Picasso. It showed a man in love with his wife, and knowing they didn’t have the support of their own bandmates, and the world at large, and certainly not the government, went ahead anyway, and showed the world their support for each other by appearing naked on the front cover. Two Virgins, re-inventing themselves as an ordinary couple in love; warts and all. Like children! I heard Jerry Lewis say one time, and he was quoting another,”For those who understand, no explanation is necessary, to those who don’t; none would suffice. Ono and Lennon took the heat for all of us “closet radicals” who either didn’t have the insight, or the courage to speak their minds had the camera been on THEM! God Bless ’em! I met Yoko in Kansas City, and was able to shake her hand ( I had been told not to try ) She was absolutely gratious, quite beautiful, and clearly missed her hubby. I miss him too. I can hardly wait to meet him in Heaven someday, after I’ve paid my respects to Jesus, my relatives and the saints. In closing, I’d like to think that Sissy was young, hung up on the hero worship thing of John, perhaps thought she was his kindred spirit, whatever. I would like to remind her of her nudity in the movie, PRIME CUT. It was a gratuitous nudie shot, Sis! Nothing thought provoking, nothing world changing, simply gratuitous to sell more tickets, and it worked. I saw it at least ten times. Glass houses, Sissy! Glass Houses!

  3. Just wanted to let you know about, a site devoted to original music that sounds like or is influenced by the Beatles. There’s a 24/7 radio stream devoted to this music, and there are audio profiles, including a brand new one with Drake Bell which will post this next week, who recently released his Beatles-inspired disc, It Takes Time.

  4. I want to make a small correction to the previous comment – Drake Bell’s CD is called It’s Only Time

  5. Artie,
    No one has supported artists more than you, especially songwriter/singers. You have done so much for so many. This is a very open statement today about how mistaken we all can be in a moment. You are as naked in this comment as John and Yoko were on the cover.
    Living in London, they have flooded the Freeview airways with specials on John, dramas, documentaries. Can it really be 30 years? I think how much Paul must miss him. As my grandfather, Slimdaddy, once said, “Life is all in the wink of an eye.”
    May we treasure everyday and everyone on this Eden.

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