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Pam Grier Said It Was Obvious John Lennon Was ‘Lonely’

By Emma McKee,


In 1974, actor Pam Grier was with John Lennon for one of the most notorious nights of his “lost weekend” period . While attending a comedy show in Los Angeles, Lennon began heckling the Smothers Brothers, leading to him attempting to punch their manager and getting thrown out of the club. Lennon was not at his best, but Grier was surprised by the vulnerability he displayed. She said it was clear that he missed Yoko Ono.
John Lennon | Harry Benson/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Pam Grier went out with John Lennon in the 1970s

Grier was at Sammy Davis Jr.’s house when Jackie Haley Jr. and Liza Minnelli picked her up to see the Smothers Brothers at the Troubadour. She didn’t initially want to go but eventually agreed.

“Jack wanted me to go see the Smothers Brothers at the Troubadour with [Harry] Nilsson Schmilson and John [Lennon],” she told Rolling Stone in 2022. “I’m asking, ‘Who’s going? Is Victoria Principal going? Wait, it’s all men? I can’t go.’ But I get in the car and they’re not drunk. They’re quiet around me, because I’m real quiet.”

Lennon initially excited the crowd at the Troubadour by singing along to the club’s music, but he quickly lost their favor. As he got drunker, he began to heckle the Smothers Brothers .

“He was with Harry Nilsson,” Dick Smothers told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2000. “They were just sort of out of control.”

When the comedians’ manager asked Lennon to quiet down, the musician attempted to punch him and threw a glass. Security and fans threw Lennon out of the venue. Outside, he and his group gave statements to the LAPD.

“We’re sitting on the curb with the LAPD taking our statement so we can go back to rehearsals for the Oscars,” Grier said. “I broke my nails, hair pulled out, scratches all over me. I was like, oh Lord, hanging out with these white people. You better be rich or be prepared.”

Pam Grier said John Lennon was a lonely person

The chaos Lennon caused left Grier with minor injuries , but she was more surprised by his vulnerability.

“He was revealing to me,” she told The New York Times Magazine in 2019. “That’s what was so surprising. You could see he was lonely. He missed Yoko.”

Lennon and Ono separated in 1973, setting off his roughly 18-month “lost weekend.” During this time, he frequently drank and used drugs, which often sparked fits of aggression.

He ultimately reunited with Yoko Ono

In 1975, Lennon and Ono got back together . In his words, their separation “didn’t work out.”

“Well, it’s not a matter of who broke it up. It broke up,” Lennon told Rolling Stone that year. “And why did we end up back together? (pompous voice) We ended up together again because it was diplomatically viable … come on. We got back together because we love each other.”


John Lennon and Paul McCartney Were ‘Idiots’ Who Didn’t ‘Know Music From Their Backsides,’ According to a Collaborator

Lennon explained that all his behavior during the “lost weekend” was in reaction to the separation.

“The reaction to the breakup was all that madness,” he said. “I was like a chicken without a head.”

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