Tuesday, July 19, 2016

John Lennon Stories

Record Producer Jack Douglas worked with Lennon on several of his solo albums, and he talked to Gothamist about the experience.

I never heard any of these stories. Great stuff. Here's my favorite one...

I remember after the Rock and Roll album, he came back to New York and we were sitting there and he wanted to play me all the stuff. So he played and he then said he was going up to Morris Levy's house.

Levy was a gangster. [He ran] music companies, record companies and labels including Roulette Records. He’d been invited to Levy's house because Morris had published all those great old songs. He even had his name down as a writer, although this was a guy who was a bouncer. He was a mobster, a famous one. To John, Morris Levy was like a god, not a gangster. Because his name was on so many of these great records from the early 50's and 60's. I said to him, "John, whatever you do, don’t leave him a tape. If you’re going to play him the songs, be sure to take the tape with you."

So I see him a few days later and I ask, how’d it go at Morris’s? And he says, “You know, we went up there, up to the farm, and he didn’t have time to listen so I had to leave it for him.” And I said, “7 ½? The whole album?” And a week later that thing was for sale, on television, Adam VIII, Morris’s son’s label.

They sold a million units on television before they got a judge, before they got them to cease and desist.