Monday, December 10, 2018
During a holiday in Italy in June of 1968 with son Julian and 'Nana' (her mother Lillian) Cynthia sent these postcards from Pesaro on Italy's Adriatic coast to John who was at home at Kenwood in Weybridge. John, meanwhile, became publicly involved with Yoko Ono and was planning to divorce Cynthia.
Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, Cynthia and John Lennon at the Grapefruit record party on January 18, 1968. By the middle of the year, both couples would be over
I am now jumping to another era instead of going chronological order- I never even meant for this blog to go in order and decided to go random instead. With this subject, I decided to just get it done and over with. Not my favorite era to cover, although I realize it's inevitable. It happened and I do need to acknowledge it. This past November 8th marked the 50th anniversary of John and Cynthia's divorce. However, now, at this time of writing, I am marking it. As John once wrote the lyric, 'Life happens to you as you are busy making other plans.’ I also admit to avoid it and didn't want to consume my attention.
There were a lot of factors in the breakup of John and Cynthia- which we will examine on a later post but we are going to to focus on the main catalyst of all: Yoko Ono.
John and Yoko met in November of 1966; for the longest time John viewed Yoko as an annoying nuisance that became an interesting friendship. We will get more into that in another day but for now, this is about 1968. From February until April, John and Cynthia were in India studying Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. During his time there, Yoko would send him letters; John became obsessed and looked forward to the next letter while his marriage to Cynthia became increasingly strained. He realized he fell in love with Yoko but I don't think at that very moment he didn't know what to do. Yoko was married with child, too. On April 12, 1968 John and Cynthia arrived back to London from India. During the long trek, John opened up to Cynthia about his extramarital affairs; although hurt by these revelations, Cynthia forgave him and hoped to move forward with their marriage. But John was torn between Cynthia and his growing feelings for Yoko. In the meantime, John must have decided to give his marriage another go but was still being pursued.
“Before Mrs Lennon went to Greece, I had seen Yoko Ono at the house twice. I had brought tea and coffee into the room and John and Yoko had always been chatting together. I had no reason to suspect any illicit associations. It appeared to me that she was rather more a friend of John; she always spoke to John and I never saw her talking to Mrs Lennon. On one occasion, I know that she stayed at the house overnight, but Mrs Lennon was there and I made breakfast for the three of them the next morning.”
Dorothy Jarlett, housekeeper
I never heard this of Yoko spending the night at Weybridge with Cynthia there but this was from the Lennon's divorce papers so the memory was still fresh. Did Cynthia forget that happened? However as Dot stated, Cynthia and Yoko never interacted. On a later page, Dot revealed that she found John and Yoko in bed together while Cynthia was away, as we will get into the momentarily (unfortunately I can't add that in as that part never made it on any articles to copy & paste).
On May 14, 1968, John Lennon and Paul McCartney announce The Beatles new business, Apple Corps, in New York City. Cynthia was in Greece at the time while John decided to end their marriage.
In May, John and Paul were scheduled to go to New York City to promote the Beatles new business venture, Apple Corps. Cynthia wanted to travel along but John said no. On the 11th, John and Paul went to New York and stayed at Nat Weiss's apartment (where John had a little fun with the housekeeper) until the 16th. Before John left for New York, he encouraged Cynthia to take a Mediterranean vacation with Jenny Boyd and Alex Madras of Greece and Italy. Cynthia obliged as she felt it may be good for them both to feel refreshed and re-energized. Julian was left in care with grandmother Lillian at her own home as John would be going away too.
“Back home the distance between us opened up again. Soon after returning from India John was going away again and Pattie's sister Jenny and some other friends of ours were planning a holiday in Greece. They asked me along. All of a sudden John was concerned for my health. ‘It'll do you the world of good,’ he said enthusiastically. ‘You go.’ He was so encouraging that I decided to do just that.”
Cynthia Lennon, 1994
While in New York City, John made a decision: to end his marriage to Cynthia. But, how? John was a coward and rarely would make these kinds of confrontations. When he came back from New York, John wanted to take his friendship with Yoko further. On May 18th, John and his best friend Pete Shotton (who was staying over) talked about John inviting Yoko over. When Yoko arrived, it was shy and awkward. Eventually Pete went to bed and John took Yoko up to his home recording studio to occupy themselves.
“When we got back from India, we were talking to each other on the phone. I called her over, it was the middle of the night and Cyn was away, and I thought, 'Well, now's the time if I'm going to get to know her anymore.' She came to the house and I didn't know what to do; so we went upstairs to my studio and I played her all the tapes that I'd made, all this far-out stuff, some comedy stuff, and some electronic music. There were very few people I could play those tapes to. She was suitably impressed, and then she said, 'Well, let's make one ourselves,' so we made Two Virgins. It was midnight when we finished, and then we made love at dawn. It was very beautiful.”
John Lennon, 1970
That morning, May 19th, John told Pete that he and Yoko were it. He wanted Pete to get Yoko new clothes and whatever items she may need. Oddly enough, Cynthia did not come up in the conversation. In the recent reveal of the divorce papers, Dot said that she caught John and Yoko in bed, serving them breakfast.
“I also understood immediately that he really wouldn't hesitate to sacrifice everything for Yoko- least of all Cynthia, whose name was never even mentioned that memorable morning- unbelievable as that may seem in light of the fact that John and Yoko had barely known one another twelve hours earlier.”
“Pete Shotton had resigned from the boutique before he sank with it and became John's personal assistant, in reality his companion. He went to stay with John after Cynthia went to Greece… The next day, John sent Pete up to town with Yoko to go shopping to get her some new outfits, whatever she wanted, and Yoko moved into Kenwood. By the time Cynthia arrived home that fateful morning from the airport, having made up her mind to forgive John for the sake of their son, Yoko had been installed for four days.”
“It wasn't like that. It was like I was ready to be independent from my marriage and I thought, 'Well, OK then, I would probably live in a loft by myself or something like that.’ John didn't like that idea. And so we came together that first time and we finally got together that May- we started living together.”
"I'd never known love like this before, and it hit me so hard that I had to halt my marriage to Cyn. And don't think that it was a reckless decision, but I felt very deeply about it and all the implications that would be involved. My marriage to Cyn was not unhappy. But it was just a normal marital state where nothing happened and which we continued to sustain. You sustain it until you meet somebody who suddenly sets you alight."
John Lennon, 1968
I honestly don't really believe John; I don't think he thought about how Cynthia felt nor cared and nevermind about Julian…
On May 22nd, Cynthia returned unexpectedly hoping to see her husband and drag him out for dinner to carry on her fantastic mood. But… not so what she was expecting.
“Well, I had a good time but for some reason we decided to come home earlier than planned. We couldn't get a direct flight to London, and had to stop off in Rome. I tried to phone John to tell him that I was on my way. The phone rang and rang but there was no reply. This wasn't particularly unusual. John led a hectic life. So disappointed but not suspicious I continued on my way. Eventually the holiday party pulled into the drive at Weybridge to find the outside lights blazing. ‘John must be home,’ I said, pleased. So I opened the front door and we all went in, calling from room to room: ‘Hello! Hello? Hello!’ There was no reply. Then I got into the breakfast room, walked in and stopped short. John and Yoko wearing nothing but matching purple dressing gowns turned to look at me. I stared at them and they stared back. There was this terrible silence. Behind me our friends had caught up and their cheerful chatter died away as they took in the scene. The silence went on and on. I felt I had to say something. ‘I tried to phone,’ I found myself prattling foolishly. ‘I wanted to say wouldn't it be lovely to have breakfast in Greece, lunch in Rome and dinner in London with you…’ tears were making my eyes blurry. ‘I thought it would have been lovely…’ I trailed off, unable to get any further. Still there was no response. Neither of them said anything at all. I couldn't bear it. Turning quickly, I walked out.”
Cynthia Lennon, 1994
“It just seemed right at the time . . . I’ve spoken to Julia, John’s sister, and she said, ‘Cyn, why didn’t you bop her one, why didn’t you smash her face in?’ and I said, ‘Julia, if you’d been there . . . you had no idea what I was feeling.’ I was riveted to the spot. It was in my own home with my own husband. I’d known him for 10 years — what am I supposed to do, go over and kiss him and say, ‘Oh, darling, how are you? Hello, Yoko, had a nice weekend?’ What am I supposed to do?”
Cynthia Lennon, 2005
“As she walked in, Cynthia had some premonition of something being not quite right. The house was too quiet and appeared to be empty. She ran in ahead of Magic Alex and Jenny Boyd and found John and Yoko in the kitchen. Yoko was sitting with her back to Cynthia, in Cynthia's kimono, a pointed insult, because she must have known that Cynthia was due back. ‘Oh, hi,’ John said casually. Cynthia was so confused, she started gabbling brightly about breakfast in Greece and lunch in Rome, and how they would all go out and have dinner in London. John destroyed her with a very disinterested, ‘No thanks.’ It was then that Yoko turned and looked at her. It was a look that blasted Cynthia straight out of the water. Horrified, she turned and ran around the house in tears, stuffing a few possessions into bags before getting into the car and driving off…”
"They looked so natural together. I felt a stranger in my own home."
Cynthia Lennon, 1980
Interestingly, Yoko has a different account on what happened on that day as if Cynthia knew the entire time and was cool with it.
“That's a dramatic story. I'm not saying it came from Cynthia. I don't know who, maybe some writer embellished it or something like that. First of all, the driver and Lil- they were reporting to Cynthia all the time. She knew. It was an open thing in a way. She said, 'I don't want to come back now.’ The first time that she came, she was with Pattie Boyd's sister and Alex and there was another person. So, Cynthia and Alex and Pattie Boyd's sister and whoever the guy was said they were going to visit, and they came in from the garden side. I immediately tried to sit a little further away from John, and John said, 'No, don't worry about that, it's OK.’ He just grabbed my hand and we were sitting together, kind of thing. He wanted it that way. I don't know why. He wasn't like, 'My wife is coming, I have to hide the situation.’ Totally not like that. They stayed a while to say hi and left from the front door- not in a huff. There was an underlying tension, but we were all civil, like the flower children we were. I was wearing a kind of Indian shirt, one of those loose, cotton pullovers, and the Indian big pants. And their visit happened in May, immediately after John and I started living together.”
“Absolute rubbish, I had no idea whatsoever. I can’t answer any more than that, because I had no idea that there was any kind of relationship going on. I thought that there might have been some kind of artistic connection, but not in any way an emotional relationship or an affair. My staff didn’t tell me anything. I had a housekeeper and all she did was tell me that Yoko would come to the house and leave things behind for John. That didn’t mean anything to me because there were lots of fans who came to the house.”
Cynthia Lennon, 2005
So, who do you believe? I believe Cynthia. Her story on how she found John and Yoko together and her devastation never changed or altered in any way. And who was this other guy Yoko referred to but couldn't remember the name? Well, anyway, Cynthia went to stay with Jenny and Alex, who were platonic roommates, to clear her head and grasp on what was going on. Julian was still under the care of Lillian… Come to think about it, did John at all have any contact with Julian when he returned from New York? I am doubting it. While at Jenny and Alex’s apartment, he and a depressed Cynthia got drunk. For a long time, it was presumed that Cynthia and Alex had sex; I know it was certainly mentioned in Peter Brown's tabloid-like book The Love You Make. But Cynthia denied it: he did put the moves on her but she refused so Alex hid in his room for the reminder of her three days stay.
“I think my mind was blocked most of the next few days because I have very little memory of them. I know that I went to stay with Jenny and she did her best to comfort me but I was in complete shock. I was desperate. I didn't know where I was going or what I should do. I didn't know how to handle the situation. I wanted it to be a mistake. I wanted to have completely misunderstood the scene, I wanted there to be an innocent explanation. But of course I knew this was ridiculous. I had to face the fact that they were having an affair. I could only be grateful that Julian was staying with Mum and hadn't witnessed the whole thing. Worst of all there was no explanation. How had this happened? Why had it happened? After three miserable days with Jenny, not knowing what else to do, I went home to see what would happen. To my amazement nothing happened. John was still there, Yoko had gone and John behaved as if the whole thing was a figment of my imagination. Perhaps I was wrong but I allowed this pretence to continue. I didn't want to lose my husband and I thought if I didn't confront the situation perhaps the affair would blow itself out and John and I could rebuild our marriage.”
Cynthia Lennon, 1994
Cynthia returned home by May 26th; Dot cleaned up the house, Julian was back home, Yoko wasn't there, and John was happy to see Cynthia, baffled by why she left but acted like nothing happened. That night of her arrival home, John and Cynthia made love.
“Oddly enough the weeks passed and on the surface it probably looked as if we were happy. John was unusually demonstrative. He kept coming up to me and putting his arms around me and saying: ‘I love you’. He'd never been a demonstrative man but suddenly he was always hugging me and whispering things that were very special. I should have been pleased but inside I felt strange. The words and actions were lovely. They gave me a little hope. But I couldn't shake off the feeling that it was all a bit unreal. John was covering up something... Mum knew nothing of the Yoko affair and our recent troubles and she'd been pressing me for some time to take Julian on a family holiday to Italy. She and my Auntie Daisy and Uncle Bill had discovered this wonderful hotel, she said, which was perfect for kiddies. Julian would love it. ‘In that case,’ I said to John, ‘Do you mind if I take Julian and Mum to Italy?’ ‘Go ahead,’ he shrugged. The day we left John didn't even come down to say goodbye. We said our farewells in the bedroom and John stayed in bed, not bothering to get up to wave us off. I had a dreadful hollow feeling inside as I led Julian to the car. Nothing had been said but we couldn't
pretend any longer. Our marriage was over.”
Cynthia Lennon, 1994
John made his relationship with Yoko public starting with them planting acorns for peace at St Michael's Cathedral in Coventry on June 15, 1968 while Cynthia was in Italy.
I don't know the exact date Cynthia and Julian went to Italy. During this time, The Beatles were starting to record The Beatles (aka the White) album and John would be busy with business. However, while Cynthia was in Italy, John made his relationship with Yoko public starting with them planting acorns for peace at St Michael's Cathedral in Coventry on June 15, 1968 and three days later, John and Yoko attended In His Own Write play at the Old Vic Theatre. Reporters and photographers were baffled by John's date and asked where Cynthia was? John replied he didn't know. The pictures of John and Yoko were splashed on the international newspapers, including in Italy where Cynthia saw it after Roberto Bassanini gave it to her. That must have crushed her heart. It was one of the ways that John sent the message that they were over. Another way was sending Magic Alex to Italy to pass the message of divorce. The following day, Cynthia came down with the flu and was bedridden. Meanwhile, her mother decided to put this in her own hands to see if there's anything to save by going back to London.
“It probably should have come as no surprise to us- yet nonetheless did- that a mob of reporters and photographers was lying in wait for John and Yoko outside the theater, armed with phrases like ‘What happened to Cynthia?’ and ‘Where's your wife, John?’ Cynthia, meanwhile, had also found John and Yoko breakfasting in the kitchen when she arrived home from her Greek holiday; as it happened, Yoko was even dressed for the occasion in one of Cyn's nightgowns. Cyn spent the next few days recuperating from the shock in Magic Alex's apartment before John packed her off with Julian and her mother on yet another Mediterranean vacation- this time to Pesaro, Italy. There, unbeknownst to John, Cyn formed a romantic attachment of her own, with an Italian named Roberto Bassanini. Never very forthright about facing up to unpleasant confrontations, John- for all his rhapsodizing about the new life he envisioned with Yoko- had heretofore given little if any thought to the ultimate disposal of his legally wedded wife. Only after Cyn had left for Italy did he reach his irrevocable decision to seek a divorce. Even then, however, he couldn't bear the prospect of delivering the bad news to her himself. Instead- as had been the case five years earlier, when he and the others forced Brian Epstein to amputate Pete Best from the Beatles- John proposed to delegate the assignment to someone else: namely, me. ‘You fuck off!’ I told him. ‘I'm not going all the way to Italy to do your dirty work when you damn well know you should do it yourself.' I said this in a jocular tone, but John nonetheless got the message. Instead, he sent Magic Alex. According to Alex, his subsequent search for Cyn was frustrated by the Pesaran's strange reluctance to divulge her whereabouts, which he attributed to an edict from Roberto's local friends. Be that as it may, Alex eventually did track down the elusive Mrs. Lennon, and summoned her back to England.”
John Lennon and Yoko Ono attended In His Own Write play at the Old Vic Theatre on June 18, 1968 where reporters and photographers asked where his wife Cynthia was.
"My mother, aunt and uncle spent a holiday in Pesaro, Italy, at a hotel run by a family called Bassanini. When they came back they said to me: 'Why don't you go? It would be good for you.' So my mother, Julian and I went. John was working. Of course everyone knew that I was John Lennon's wife and it made me some kind of celebrity. The only one of the family that spoke English was the Bassaninis' son, Roberto, so he was given the job of showing me around. Before I knew where I was there was a detective following us. John was having me tailed while he was back in Weybridge sleeping in our bed with Yoko. I was taken ill out there and had to go to bed. I sent a telegram to the house, asking if everything was all right, and my housekeeper, who was taking John and Yoko breakfast in bed, telegraphed back to say everything was fine. To be fair to her she didn't have much choice. Of course, rumours started to reach me. When I finally left for England my mother went on ahead and arrived at the Surrey house first. But they knew she was coming, and when she arrived she found a bunch of flowers from John and a message saying 'Beat you to it, Lil'."
Cynthia Lennon, 1976
“It was almost collusion between Magic Alex and John and Yoko. They thought that I was going to be so frightened by the whole thing, but I knew that it hadn’t happened and I wasn’t guilty. I was in Italy with my mother, my aunt, uncle and Julian, so there was no way that would have happened. I have a feeling that there was a private detective around. The mere fact that Magic Alex arrived in Italy in the middle of the night without any prior knowledge of where I was staying made me extremely suspicious. He was bringing a message that John was going to divorce me and take Julian away and send me back to Liverpool. The whole thing was just so surreal and bizarre. And then of course the following day in the newspapers there’s the photo of John and Yoko. At that point everything fitted together in my mind… I was being coerced into making it easy for John and Yoko to accuse me of doing something that would make them look not so bad. When your back is to the wall, the best form of defence is attack. He had come out to the world that he had left his wife and family and he was now with ‘Japanese Bottoms artist Yoko Ono’. Love is blind sometimes. You do these things and don’t realize the consequences. I honestly don’t think he felt that he would get the backlash that he did. They were bizarre times and it was hard to understand what was happening. I knew something terrible was going on but I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it was only when all these other things came about that I became aware that I was being set-up.”
Cynthia Lennon, 2005
“Towards the end of the marriage, John began to suspect that Cynthia was being unfaithful. And like many adulterers he absolutely frantic with rage at the thought of another man making love to his own wife. But because he was out all the time, and out of his mind much of the rest of the time, it was very hard for him to check up on what Cynthia was up to. That is why he used his friend Magic Alex Madras to follow her. I don't think Cynthia was unfaithful to John before he humiliatingly ended the marriage by moving Yoko into their home, but I know that John thought she was. John quizzed me on a trip to Italy taken by Cynthia earlier in 1968. I hadn't arranged it, which was unusual but not unprecedented. Occasionally, one or other of the Beatles or their wives would take off on a trip they had organised themselves. But John thought Cynthia was being deliberately secretive about this Italian trip. He wouldn't tell me why he wanted to know, but he wanted to find out every detail of every conversation I'd had with Cynthia over the recent past. And such details were not the normal subject of John's interest. He was consumed with jealousy. He might not have loved Cynthia as passionately or as exclusively as he once had, but he sure as hell was not prepared to put up with her loving someone else. He had Alex spying on her and I think it was this obsessive jealousy that sparked him into bringing Yoko in and kicking Cynthia out. John was a bit of a lost soul until he met Yoko. If you looked at her and then at sexy Cynthia, you couldn't see why any man would exchange a beautiful, warm-hearted blonde who was the mother of his son for an oddball Japanese woman with more hang-ups than a psychiatric clinic.”
“A few days later, pale and exhausted but over the worst of my tonsilitis, I brought Julian back to join her in the ground floor apartment. Mum still hadn't been able to establish what was happening at our old home and I didn't know where else to go. Within half an hour of taking my coat off, there came another knock at the door. It wasn't flowers this time. It was a legal document for me. Bleakly I scanned the close typed lines in growing disbelief. I dropped the papers in astonishment and then snatched them up to read them again. I couldn't believe it. John was divorcing me on the grounds of my adultery.”
Cynthia Lennon, 1994
Sunday, December 9, 2018
I don't know who exactly took this picture of John and Cynthia- either Paul, George, or Ringo.
Where's John's photo of Cynthia?
All three photos taken by Ringo
Taken by George.
It was shared by his estate (Olivia and Dhani Harrison) as a tribute to Cynthia after her death in 2015.
This photo (both are the same, but in different conditions in color and monochrome) was part of Ringo's collection; obviously Ringo didn't take the picture... Unless he used a timer? It's very possible that George took the photo using Ringo's camera? But there's a camera next to Ringo! Is it his? Or John and Cynthia's? I don't think we will ever know for sure.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
Cynthia boarding the plane while the Beatles say goodbye to New York
And now we go into my personal biased favorite part of the First US tour: Miami, Florida. I have lived in Miami my entire life, still here. Now, I have to admit, the only John and Cynthia/The Beatles place I have been to is the Deauville Hotel. I never stayed here but been to the lobby, the pool area, and the famous Napoleon room. I have also been to the basement where I once applied for a job there. I thought how great it would be…. Unfortunately the furthest I got was an interview and then I never heard from them again (I did find a job elsewhere). It was in 2014 during preparation of the 50th anniversary- maybe they saw how googly-eyed I looked and figured I would be too distracted to work. Oh well, I tried. Now, I am going to be sadly honest here: as much as I love my state, it does have many faults. Among them is rarely preserving their historical sites. They think nothing to tear down history and build up something modern- a real estate agent's dream, a historian nightmare. Aside from the Deauville Hotel, which is still operating to this day (it even went through a name change or two before going back to its original name), two other 'main’ sites the 5th Street Gym where The Beatles met Cassius Clay (aka Muhammad Ali) is no more and as of 2014 the house where the Beatles did the Life magazine photo session was scheduled for demolition. I don't know if it got demolished, I'll see about taking a drive to North Bay Road to find out, but chances are it's gone.
John and Cynthia on a night out on February 13, 1964, the same day they arrived
Well, let's go back to 1964. The Beatles and their entourage went from New York to Miami International Airport on February 13th. Not surprisingly, they were dressed in their winter clothes and arrived in the Sunshine State greeted by swimsuit pageant models and fans wearing summery clothing. That must have been a shock! I am guessing that the main route they took from MIA to the Deauville would be 826/Palmetto expressway to Collins Avenue. Or on a street that now occupies 836 expressway (which was built and in use by 1969) to Alton Road then to Collins Avenue. My money is on 826 because they could do a quicker getaway from the fans who were chasing after them. At the hotel, John and Cynthia had their own room (1211) while Paul and Ringo shared and George shared with Murray the K, who managed to latch on. Why Brian allowed Murray to go along is beyond me. Maybe he was grateful and Murray somehow knew all the hotspots to go for entertainment. Once after they settled in, they wanted to go out despite fans crowding around. They went to see The Coasters at the Mau Mau Lounge before going to Miami's Peppermint Lounge where Hank Ballard & The Moonlighters performed. They were also under the care of Sgt. Buddy Dresner.
George and Cynthia at Paul and Jerri Pollak's home enjoying snacks in between the Life magazine photo session on February 14, 1964
The next day, February 14th, was not only Valentine's Day (did John treat Cynthia something special?) but a busy one with rehearsals for their second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. It was also the day of the Life magazine photo session. It was originally going to be at the Deauville Hotel’s pool but with large crowds made it impossible. During the short rehearsal, they befriend comedian Myron Cohen who reached out to friends Paul and Jerri Pollak, who weren't strangers to the entertainment world. That afternoon was spent doing the cover photo spread for Life magazine with snacks in between. After the session was finished, Paul, Ringo, and George continued to swim and goof around while John hung out with Cynthia.
“Then they started splashing and goofing around, except John. He got out of the pool and sat in the back with his wife, Cynthia, just watching. Even then he wasn't much for publicity. He wore a black sweatshirt and trousers all day, and never changed except for the pool pictures.”
Linda Pollak, 1989
The Beatles and Cynthia with Sgt. Buddy and his family at home on February 14, 1964
Afterwards, sick of hotel food, Sgt. Buddy called his wife to inform her that they will have a large number of company coming over for dinner. They were served roast beef, baked potatoes, green beans, peas, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Neighborhood children were no fools to figure out what was going on at Sgt. Buddy's home and were welcomed in with conditions to remain calm and keep the visit short. Later that night, The Beatles and Cynthia returned to the hotel to enjoy it's entertainment with Myron, Don Rickles, and singer Carol Lawrence; during Don's comedian bit, John and Cynthia went back to their room for the night. The following day was a more relaxing one with rehearsals and Sgt. Buddy taught The Beatles how to fish.
February 16th was busy with rehearsals, sound check, and showtime for The Ed Sullivan Show, held in the Napoleon room at the Deauville Hotel. Afterwards, the owner of the hotel threw an after party. The remaining days spent to relax and explore Miami as much as they could.
Cynthia at the sidelines while John was in the boxing ring with Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) on February 18, 1964.
On February 18th, the Beatles, along with Cynthia, went to 5th Street Gym to meet Cassius Clay who was training for a fight against Sonny Liston. After that, they hung out in various millionaires homes on Star Island before going to a drive in movie (no longer exists) to watch Elvis Presley in Fun in Acapulco.
“We went on to Miami for a rest and somebody lent us their beachside residence complete with boat, water-skis, the lot. To this day I don't know who owned the place but we joked amongst ourselves that it must be the mafia. There was this big, sinister-looking man, the image of Al Capone, hanging about the house. He never spoke but he was obviously keeping an eye on things and us and we decided it would be a good idea not to upset him. There was much hilarity but only out of his earshot. We spent our time sun-bathing and water-skiing and larking about. It was wonderful.”
Cynthia Lennon, 1994
Paul with the water skis with Cynthia and the back of boat driver John
During the five days, The Beatles and Cynthia, as well as Brian Epstein, Mal Evans, and Neil Aspinall, spent their day's going back to Paul and Jerri Pollak's home, cruised in Bernard Castro's yacht, learned to water ski, fishing, and an attempt to be on the beach that quickly crowded with fans. George Martin flew in and met Cynthia for the first time.
One day during those five relaxing days and on a particular day at the hotel, Cynthia decided she didn't want to be hiding in her room so she went to browse through the hotel's shops for shopping pleasure and souvenirs. She overheard elderly ladies talking about her husband's band- especially over Ringo. Once Cynthia was finished her shopping spree, she attempted to go back to her room but was stopped by the security guard. Since she didn't have any identification, Cynthia had a rather hard time convincing the guard that she was indeed Mrs. Lennon. Unfortunately, the security guard already heard that excuse enough times not to believe it. Fortunately for Cynthia, fans that were nearby overheard and helped convince the guard that she was truly Mrs. Lennon- she had the accent! Someone had a picture of Cynthia in the newspaper which helped prove Cynthia's identification that the guard let her by. Of course, Cynthia promised the girls autographs from the Beatles as a Thank You. I don't know if Cynthia went through with the promise.
Cynthia's drawing of her shopping and overhearing elderly ladies talking about Ringo
"It was the first American tour and everything had just gone crazy. We were locked up in our hotel, but I wanted to wander round. So I went down to this boutique and heard all these gross women going on about Ringo. When I got back to the hotel, security wouldn't let me in, because all the fans were saying, ‘I'm Cynthia!’ ‘No, I'm Cynthia!’ to get past the door."
Cynthia Lennon, 1999
John, Brian, and Cynthia in a bus at the airport after their arrival back in London
On February 21, 1964, the Beatles and their entourage bid their farewells to Miami, Florida while boarding a plane back to New York City and then on to London. Believe it or not, out of all the cities the Beatles have been during their tours, they were in Miami the longest. It was certainly different place than they have been to before with sunshine, warm weather, water activities… things you don't see or experience in New York City or London or Liverpool.
After they returned to Heathrow Airport the following day (the flight was an overnighter), the Beatles did two interviews- one of which John imitated Cynthia's awe expression- before going home to prepare for their next project: a movie called A Hard Day's Night.
Did your wife enjoy it over there? (Interview February of 1964)
"She loved it. Oooo, Oooo, Oooo” John"Don't tell 'em he's married. It's a secret." Ringo Starr