johnny won’t ya come out to play: My late and dear friend Nancy Cataldi’s true story run-in with John Lennon
johnny won’t ya come out to play
“It seems odd, was it really that many years ago? 1980…….how the world has changed. What would John Lennon have thought, and what would he have had to say about the state of life in the world today? Always the outspoken one, his song portfolio certainly would have grown and we would have been blessed with insightful sincere music. So, we all did not like Yoko, but he seemed to have found peace with her and his new life. And his album before his life was taken from him was incredible and resounding and full of his revealed wounds and joys. The Elton John song “Empty Garden” had a double meaning to me. My brother, Johnny, ended his life at age 30 not much after Lennon’s ended..and my mom would play that Empty Garden song over and over again. And cry and cry..funny, she was a great Lennon fan as well.
I had two encounters face to face with Lennon. I was doing papparazzi work on the streets of NYC in 1978…Rod Stewart was having a party at Elaine’s. Bebe Buell was his girl of the moment. I was there to catch that. Oh Boy…down the street comes trancing John Lennon all alone. I grabbed one shot, with my mouth agape, since he had been in seclusion for so long and i was facing a Beatle. Unfortunately, the only words he said to me was “Get the fuck away from me with that camera!”
The shot was used all around the world, but i always felt bad. Geez…Lennon cursed me out!
The earlier time i was wee child at the Warwick Hotel….the Beatles were in town to do Shea….I snuck into the hotel and climbed a million flights to the floor they were on and the door was open…..I walked in (what the hell was i thinking?) and there i was with my polaroid snapshot and in front of me was paul and john…..i squealed and squeeked and pointed the camera…..and was carried out by some HUGE bodyguard and thrown in the elevator. On the way down..the polaroid developed and john and paul are posing………..and i cut john off………..but i got a pic!
and my papparazzi career was put on hold till i grew up!”
~ Nancy Cataldi, written on October 9, 2008. Her final myspace blog posting.
before she died suddenly on October 30th, 2008.
If you choose to use this photo that Nancy took, please be sure to ALWAYS give her credit, for you are only seeing it because of her. <3 Thank you. <3
How I miss Nancy. She was such a sweetheart gem and her favourite holiday was Halloween. She passed away the day before on October 30, 2008 which is also my mother’s birthday. She was a woman who contributed greatly to her community and was a huge supporter of music which is how I met her. She was also a published author and received a Proclamation to the city from Mayor Bloomberg. In Richmond Hill, Queens, a street is now named after Nancy entitled, “Nancy Cataldi Way”. She was the President of the Richmond Hill Historical Society and had a great passion to preserve and restore her neighbourhood’s architecture. I had the pleasure to spend a Christmas in NYC one year with friends there and she was one of them. Such a doll! In a short time she became like a big sister to me and we shared many laughs over the telephone. She was preparing a coffee table book before she died from her collection of NYC 70s night life and music culture including Max’s Kansas City photos and who knows…. I hope the book will still get done somehow. If she touched my life in the short time I knew her, surely she would touch others through her lens.
Now I have one request, If you choose to use this photo that Nancy took, be sure to ALWAYS give her credit for it wouldn’t be here if not for her. <3 Thank you. <3
A self-portrait of the lovely late, Nancy Cataldi.
- christineleakey likes this
- marie-halan reblogged this from christineleakey and added:
- christineleakey posted this