John Lennon Thanked Pam Grier for Not Beating Him Up After He Dragged Her Into a Drunken Brawl
By Emma McKee,2023-01-26
In 1974, actor Pam Grier hesitantly joined John Lennon and a number of other celebrities at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. At the time, Lennon was separated from Yoko Ono and in his “lost weekend” phase . This period included many drunken, chaotic nights , and their visit to the Troubadour was no different. Security kicked Lennon out for heckling, but before that, he started a brawl. The next day, he sent Grier flowers and thanked her for not hurting him.
Pam Grier went out with John Lennon and other musicians in the 1970s
Grier was at Sammy Davis Jr.’s house when Jackie Haley Jr. and Liza Minnelli picked her up, effectively saving her from his advances.
“They snuck me out of Sammy Davis Jr’s house, one night when he was trying hunt me down,” Grier told Rolling Stone in 2022. “I had to dive in the back of their Rolls Royce. I had to get away from Sammy because he wouldn’t stop and I didn’t want to kill him. ‘News at 11: Pam Grier knocks out Sammy’s other eye.’”
Haley invited Grier to the Troubadour to see the Smothers Brothers’ comedy act with Lennon and other friends, but she was hesitant. She didn’t want to be the only woman in a group of men.
“Jack wanted me to go see the Smothers Brothers at the Troubadour with [Harry] Nilsson Schmilson and John [Lennon],” she said. “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.”
John Lennon sent Pam Grier flowers after a hectic night out
When they arrived at the venue, everyone began drinking, and Lennon started singing. Given his level of fame, other patrons immediately took note of his presence.
“We go in and they’re playing gospel in the background, a bar of ‘Old Time Religion,’” Grier said. “It reminds John of ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain,’ the Ann Peebles song that Missy Elliott did later. I start playing that beat on the table, and he starts singing. ‘I can’t stand the rain, against my window / Brings back those memories.’ People turn around to see who’s singing — they see John Lennon and go the f*** out of their skulls.”
After treating the audience to an impromptu concert, Lennon started to heckle the Smothers Brothers . When their manager asked him to keep quiet, Lennon threw a punch at him, and chaos erupted.
“Then it’s a big drunk mess, throwing tables,” Grier said.
Afterward, outside the club, the LAPD talked to Lennon’s group.
“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.”
The next day, a chagrined Lennon sent Grier flowers and a note. Somewhat surprisingly, he thanked her.
“John sent me flowers the next day with a note,” she said. “He said, ‘Thank you for not beating me up.’”
She said he seemed lonely
Despite the chaos Lennon caused, Grier said that Lennon seemed lonely and vulnerable.Related
Paul Simon Once Said John Lennon Rarely Made Anything ‘Interesting or Innovative’
“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.”
In 1975, Lennon’s “lost weekend” ended after roughly 18 months when he and Ono reunited .
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