The Beatles John Lennon: ‘People were very frightened of him’

The Beatles: Get Back documentary teased by Peter Jackson

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After The Beatles split up in 1970 John Lennon continued making music while living in New York City with his wife, Yoko Ono. The star was no stranger to hanging around in the more popular areas of the city, where he invariably made some friends along the way. During his time in NYC Lennon met Chase, a prominent comedy actor at the time who appeared on the weekly show Saturday Night Live (SNL), as well as some films including Foul Play and National Lampoon’s Vacation.

Chase recently spoke to fellow Hollywood star Rob Lowe on his podcast, Literally!, where he discussed Lennon.

He revealed: “I was living on the west side around 71st street or something, close to the Hudson River … [Lennon] and Yoko lived somewhere near there too because I’d see him quite frequently in the little park there, eating something, and that’s where I liked to go to eat.

“I think the first time I met him, I had a huge sandwich in my hands. Anyway, then I’d walk back up 72nd street from the park with the two of them.”

The Community star revealed how he and Lennon bonded over having a similar sense of humour.

Chase revealed: “He was cheeky, not snarky, just cheeky.”

Despite how lighthearted his sense of humour was, Chase added that Lennon was actually a little scary to passers-by.

He went on: “People were very frightened of him in the sense that nobody would say: ‘Oh, Mr Lennon, can I have your [autograph]?’

“You wouldn’t even ask him because he was John Lennon. That you might smell him was good enough.”

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Reminiscing further about spending time with Lennon, Chase added: “I was already famous in this country anyway somewhat. So he knew who I was and it was fun.”

Just a few years later, on December 8, 1980, Lennon was murdered outside The Dakota hotel in New York.

Chase didn’t talk about the passing of his friend on Lowe’s podcast but did reveal how he is still connected to The Beatles.

He said: “I’ve become a close friend of Paul McCartney.”

Chase continued: “You can ask Paul by the way. We see each other in the summers.

“You can always ask him to sing something and he’ll do it. He’ll go a couple of bars.”

Chase and McCartney worked together in the past on the 1985 movie Spies Like Us.

The film, which starred Chase and Dan Akyroyd, featured a song penned and performed by McCartney.

The track, which was named after the movie, also received a music video that had appearances from Chase, McCartney and Akyroyd playing instruments to the song.

In the final moments of the music video, the trio walked across the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing, mimicking The Beatles’ album cover.

At the time, the BBC would not air the music video as it had rules regarding non-musicians performing in videos.


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