John and May's First Night in Hollywood

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Norbert K

Jul 12, 2020, 9:59:52 AM7/12/20
In her book Loving John, May Pang mentions that shortly after she and Lennon had begun their affair, Lennon had talked about spending some time in Los Angeles. Late in 1973, Lennon had a meeting with his attorney Harold Seider. As the meeting ended, Seider mentioned that he was about to drive to the airport; he was catching a plane to LA. Lennon instantly decided to join Seider, and told May to come along.

On the flight, Seider advised Lennon to make a $10,000 loan from Capitol Records last -- and to keep his relationship with May quiet. Seider also invited Lennon and Pang to stay at his Hollwood apartment; Seider would stay with friends.

May says: "Harold lived on West Harper Avenue, a pretty block in West Hollywood, lined with mansions and small apartment complexes, all of which looked like old Spanish castles. His apartment was in one of the complexes just below Sunset Boulevard. Tiled steps led from the street into a beautiful landscaped courtyard. The complex consisted of twelve duplex apartments, each with its own separate entrance opening onto the courtyard. There were palm trees and lush foliage in front of each entrance. The atmosphere was pretty and soothing."

Harold gave the couple information about nearby markets and restaurants, and promised to arrange some form of transportation for them later, since neither John or May drove.

Once Harold left, John and May realized they were hungry. May says that John "remembered an all-night coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard and we walked to it. The place was filled with oddball characters: hookers, pimps, some hippy weirdos, a transvestite or two. He told me that a lot of music people had breakfast there at four in the morning after their session work was finished. 'It's very L.A.,' John said as we looked over the menu. 'In this city everybody;s up all night with no place to go. This is the city of a million nuts.'"

"We ate our dinner," May continues, "delighted to find that our check came to less than ten dollars. John laughed when he saw it. 'So this is what it's like to have a Saturday night date with a Beatle,' he said. 'I think I can afford to pick this one up.'"

I am going to bet that this place was Googie's Coffee Shop at 8585 West Sunset Boulevard. It was a few minutes' walk from Sunset and West Harper. It had opened in 1949 and the building was designed by John Lautner. Former habitues included Lenny Bruce and James Dean. Today there's a Mel's Drive-In at the site.

Megan Meadows

Nov 17, 2021, 4:48:18 AM11/17/21
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