Loving John Lennon

I was glued to the television screen in my hotel room the night they aired the CNN documentary, Losing Lennon: Countdown to Murder. It was the thirty year anniversary of his death. Has it really been that long ago? Lennon’s death, like that of John F. Kennedy, Lady Diana and Elvis Presley, mark a day in people’s lives when they can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. The whole world mourned his loss.

I read a book not long after he died entitled Loving John written by May Pang. I still have the copy on my bookshelf at home. The binding is cracked and the pages worn as I have returned to this book many times over the years.

In the book May Pang chronicles her love affair with John Lennon when he and Yoko separated. As I delved deeper and deeper into the book I kept wondering if this was all fiction. No one ever talks about her. She wasn’t even mentioned in the documentary I watched that night.

But she is not fiction, she is real and she had a profound and healthy impact on Lennon and his life. She published a second book, Instamatic Karma in 2008. In this book she has included photographs of her time with Lennon. I want to add this book to my collection soon. 

You can hear May Pang’s hypnotic singing on this track whispering John’s name.

Reading her first book made me see Yoko Ono as a villain of sorts. I imagine she is quite manipulative and controlling, but she raised the bar during this time in her life. The detailed account of how she pushed Pang to seduce Lennon so she could continue to manage his sex life is something out of a twisted romance novel. It’s like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland proclaiming “YOU will bed my husband in order to keep him from sleeping around!” Creepy!

I don’t see where Yoko has changed much over the years, but she does a good job of staying behind the scenes nowadays. Perhaps she has mellowed a little. It’s not my intention to paint her as a witch. She has some amazing philanthropic activities. But when it comes to John Lennon, you can always hear an edge in her statements. It always feels to me as if she is still competing with him, even though he has been gone for thirty years.

Ono’s only mention of May Pang on her website is a recounting of her version of why John came back to her and I’m sure this is not  the truth. I hope Pang gets the chance to let the world know her story on the upcoming documentary by Joe Crummey. For years Yoko has been trying to obliterate Pang from Lennon’s past, but Pang is finally speaking up and letting the world know just how good she was for him.

I believe if Lennon had stayed with Pang, the Beatles would have reunited. I am not alone in the belief.

May Pang lives in New York with her two children. She was close with John Lennon until the day he died. You can find her online here.

John Lennon wrote this song for May Pang.

About Madeline Scribes

A writer with a sense of humor. If anyone can laugh at life, it's me.
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17 Responses to Loving John Lennon

  1. David says:

    Yoko is telling the truth about how and why John went home to her.
    Paul told the same story in his book years back. If it were not true, Paul would have said so. May Pang is fairly delusional in that she wants the world to believe she had some great love affair with John but in reality John did a lot of things behind May’s back, so May does not know the whole truth.


  2. madelinelaughs says:

    There is just one glaring red flag in your post…Paul McCartney has NEVER written a book. He’s never written or ghost written his biography either and you can find no quotes or sound bites said by Paul McCartney online, in print or in audio to support your claim.

    This blog, by the way, has all kinds of supporting documentation, online, in print, in photographs and in video.

    But you are right, John did do something behind May’s back. He went back to Yoko, even though he loved May madly.

    She did have a beautiful love affair with John Lennon. You can hear it by simply listening to John sing about her. No one can ever take that reality away from her, or from us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Spread Information says:

    Yoko Ono seems like a shrewd business woman and an interesting artist. She always got a bad rap, and I’ll admit I laughed at her singing too, but over time I have even come to like that. This story of another woman wasn’t one I had heard until I read this article in the New York Times, so I really don’t have anything to say one way or the other about it, other than this person has every right to tell her side. As usual it’s hard to say who is right and who is wrong, whose version of the truth is the real one. But we can all be honest about how we feel, about what we experienced, and sharing that is one of the precious things we have as an individual – our perspective.


  4. pathwaysartproject says:

    All I can say is I love John and I love this song, though I had never heard it before. Thank you for posting it!


  5. madelinelaughs says:

    I received this email in reference to this blog entry and wanted to share it.

    “Hi Katy,

    Thank you for that lovely blog. I truly appreciated the fact that you got my time with John. John once said to me that people would eventually know the truth about our relationship…I just didn’t think it would be 30 years!


    May Pang”


  6. David says:

    In my above post I mistakingly said that Paul told the same story years ago in his book. The above poster is right, Paul did not write a book. The book that this information was included in was PAUL MCCARTNEY MANY YEARS FROM NOW, by his friend and associate Barry Miles, in which the story from Paul is told.


  7. madelinelaughs says:

    Hi David. Thanks for hanging in and coming back to clarify your statement. I’ll have to add Many Years From Now to my reading list. After I read your comment, I Googled it and read some excerpts and indeed this statement is included in the book. I have to confess, I am sorely disappointed about it.

    I still stand by my convictions and still strongly believe May Pang was a great part of John Lennon’s life. I feel she should be allowed to continue being a part of his past and not suffer the editing that seems to happen to folks that don’t have the fame or the money to get their message to the masses. So I will continue to be that one small voice among so many others…for May Pang.

    David, I’d love to hear more about why you think the way you do. What do you know about that time in Lennon’s life?


  8. madelinelaughs says:

    Well, I finally read the book Many Years From Now, memoirs of Paul McCartney. It definitely does contain a few paragraphs about his visit with Yoko and the actions of McCartney to get John and Yoko back together. I was shocked, disappointed and disgusted.

    The way the scenario is setup it makes me wonder what McCartney was thinking when he went about doing this. The section right before this talks about the writing of How Can You Sleep where John and Yoko wrote the lyrics in the studio for this song that ridicules McCartney for suing the Beatles in order to get out of their contract with Klein. They were merciless. And they giggled and laughed whenever they thought they had written something clever. Here they are:
    “So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise
    You better see right through that mother’s eyes
    Those freaks was right when they said you was dead
    The one mistake you made was in your head
    Ah, how do you sleep?
    Ah, how do you sleep at night?

    You live with straights who tell you you was king
    Jump when your momma tell you anything
    The only thing you done was yesterday
    And since you’re gone you’re just another day
    Ah, how do you sleep?
    Ah, how do you sleep at night?

    Ah, how do you sleep?
    Ah, how do you sleep at night?

    A pretty face may last a year or two
    But pretty soon they’ll see what you can do
    The sound you make is muzak to my ears
    You must have learned something in all those years
    Ah, how do you sleep?
    Ah, how do you sleep at night? ”

    In reading the lyrics I don’t get the impression that they’re evil, like the book describes. However they are childish and insulting. Later Lennon claimed he had written the lyrics about himself, but people in the studio that night witnessing the goings-on beg to differ. In fact, many of them, Ringo included, told John on more than one occasion that night, to cool it.

    It seems May Pang was surrounded by vipers. I still stand behind my original conviction that she was the best love affair Lennon ever had. She stands head and shoulders above everyone involved.


  9. I love your transitions and lucidity. I have been writing for Ghost Writers for a while now, and they pay me well to write blog posts like this, or articles. I clear $100-$200 on a bad morning.
    Judging by your skill with words, you may enjoy doing the same.
    It wouldnt hurt to check them out.Here are the details


  10. Ugly Betty says:

    LISTEN UP: John Lennon and Yoko Ono were a FAMILY. they loved each other. they had a child. they created unique things that remained in the memory of the humanity. there’s no villain in a couple, they both are at fault when something wrong in a couple. John Lennon loved Yoko Ono, Yoko Ono loved John Lennon. They were separated because we all make mistakes in our lives but eventually they got back together. the story of May Pang is overrated. May Pang is the one who tries to capitalize on their affair. She was just A MISTRESS for a while. Other than that she did nothing remarkable. Yoko Ono is a smart person, a creative and interesting artist, she keeps John’s artistic heritage alive and she is also mysterious and misunderstood. so grow up guys. A LIFE PARTNER is more important than a temporary affair, regardless how hot it sounded. Grow up guys.


    • WE LISTENED UP! NOW YOU LISTEN UP! Everybody is entitled to their opinion without personal attacks. That’s why we have published your comment. We are grown and have no intention of personally attacking you for your rude comment. You have a point, a life partner is much more important than a mistress, however, May Pang would not have been in John Lennon’s life without the orchestration and manipulation of Yoko Ono. If anyone is disturbed that May Pang wishes to be remembered as part of his life then consider the source of her existence as such. Yoko reaps what she sows and I, for one, will honor May’s part of John’s life because he loved her too.


      • Keri Ford says:

        Thanks for the blog, unfortunately May’s book is out of print, I’d love to read it, i have heard some interviews with her and i find her credible. It was a very productive time he had with May, working with Elton John & David Bowie doing Walls and Bridges and Rock n Roll and I believe maybe some of Mind Games. Also she helped him reconnect with his son and ex wife. I think the relationship was much healthier than his with Yoko which I think has been very mythologised even by John himself.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for stopping by. I loved reading about their romance and agree that he seemed healthier and happier with her, and not the drug fueled atrocity that Yoko has dramatized. It wasn’t a lost summer, it was love.

        May has read this post and I added her response to the comments. She also has her own website. http://Www.maypang.com


  11. Ugly Betty says:

    I don’t see any rude comment, just straightforward maybe an unpopular opinion. I didn’t call anyone “idiot” or “whore” or any other derogatory words. yes, May Pang WAS A PART OF HIS LIFE, like John Lennon’s first wife. On the other hand, there are things more important than the women in his life: his artistic legacy and his family. Between these three women, it is obvious Yoko Ono was the most important: wife, mother of his child, partner in artistic endeavors. When I said that some of you are not grown up I meant you never know what happened between two people. you can’t judge what happened between them. you don’t know how much John loved May Pang or Yoko Ono or Cynthia Lennon because neither you nor me ARE John Lennon. Only John Lennon knew how much loved Yoko Ono, Cynthia Lennon or May Pang. You jump to conclusion on how manipulative and mean was Yoko Ono based on various gossips and tabloid-like articles in newspapers. What exactly happened between Yoko and John before John had the affair with May Pang we will never know because NEITHER YOU NOR ME are John and Yoko. You should respect John Lennon for what he did for this world not for his personal life and leave Yoko alone. No one knows how much he might suffered when John was killed when she was close to him, no one knows how painful might be in her soul when people make her “the villain.” Obviously, you are entitled to have your own opinion but it doesn’t mean your opinion is better than others. Stop judging people who don’t know CLOSELY.


    • Point taken and thank you for clarifying the “grow up” comment. I’m not judging anyone based solely on my own experience and never implied that my opinion was better than anyone else. More than just one source has made Yoko into a villain. If blame is to be placed then why not start at the source? The Beatles were the ones to originally made her into a villain. They were the first “gossips”.

      However I will concede that I do not know any of them personally and I do not know from firsthand experience what really happened.

      I still stand behind my support for May Pang though and I think her voice should be considered and her artistic contributions to John’s life at that time be remembered and not snuffed out.


  12. LJH says:

    I would love to read her book. I keep hunting for excerpts online because I’m so curious!


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