Last week I told you that Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s eldest son, had posted the news on his Web site that Yoko Ono was suing a 25-year-old singer over her name.
This week comes news that Cynthia Lennon, Julian’s mom and John Lennon’s first wife, is endorsing a new book by May Pang.
Pang was Lennon’s mistress/girlfriend during 18 months in 1973 and 1974 routinely described in Beatle mythology as the Lost Weekend. In an episode that widely has been reported over the years, Pang was sent by Ono — her employer — to take care of Lennon when Ono sent him packing.
The result was an affair in which Lennon worked hard and partied hard. Several classic records also were produced, including Lennon’s "Rock and Roll" album and his hit singles "Whatever Gets You Through the Night," "Mind Games" and "#9 Dream."
Now Pang, whom Ono has systematically tried to erase from Lennon’s history in her Broadway musical, tributes and films, is publishing a collection of photographs she took during her time with Lennon.
"Instamatic Karma," published by St. Martin's Press, hits stores next month. It’s Pang’s second book about Lennon, but the first with these unpublished pictures.
More importantly, the book’s jacket carries an endorsement from Cynthia Lennon sure to rile Ono.
Cynthia writes: "My first meeting with May, in the early seventies, was fraught with tension and uncertainty. My efforts to reunite Julian with his father after four years could [have] gone one way or another. May was wonderful, even though she was young and inexperienced in having to deal with such sensitive and emotional issues.
"Before long we became close friends. May was open, caring and compassionate to me and my son, Julian.
"For all that May has done in the past and hopes to achieve in the future, Julian and I will be her greatest champions. She is a lovely, vibrant lady. She was a good friend when my son and I needed one, and a dear close friend now.
"This book of photographic memories is very special and evocative of times remembered. May, We wish you all the success in the world."
Cynthia is such a fan of "Instamatic Karma" that there’s a rumor she’ll turn up in New York for Pang’s book party in the early part of March.
Meanwhile, I’ve had a quick look at some of the pictures, and all I can tell you is they are phenomenal. There’s one picture, in particular, from that '73-'74 period, that Beatle fans are going to cherish as if it were the Holy Grail.
You can read all about May, by the way, at her Web site. She’s also an accomplished jewelry designer.