Michael Gerber
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Ran across this oldie this evening in my ramblings, and flashed on something from my reading: John Lennon, lolling in some Midtown bed with May Pang in the late 70s, claiming that this was one of “their songs.”

I remember finding it very sweet that, even after the strange intense life he’d led, John Lennon OF THE BEATLES, could get hooked on some cheesy syrupy pop tune.

Am I remembering it right? Hive mind, help me out.

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  1. Avatar Anonymous wrote:

    Confession: I always like that song, too. God, I can still recite the lyrics: “Friday night it was late, I was walking you home, we got down to the gate and I was dreeaaming of the night. …” Oh my. 🙂

    And I wouldn’t be surprised by John liking it, either. You know, it always amazes me how Paul got stuck with the “cheesy, syrupy” label when John could be every bit as “cheesy” and “syrupy.” The only difference, as we all know, was John showed his angry, tough side in public and Paul kept that private. John got away with being cheesy because he was perceived as Angry Young Man. And, as in politics, perception is more important than reality in evaluating pop music.

    Sheesh, just listen to John’s songs on Double Fantasy — adult contemporary mush at its finest! Woman is every bit as corny and sugary as Paul’s sweetest ballad.

    I don’t recall Paul saying anything about liking this Little River Band song. But I do remember reading that both Paul and John — in interviews — also said one of the best songs they’d heard recently was Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are.” They both liked a syrupy love song.

    — Drew

  2. Avatar Anonymous wrote:

    Yes! I remember that nugget from the May Pang book. “Reminiscing” was their romantic song.

    I remember being disappointed when I realized that it wasn’t the Buddy Holly song:

    Buddy was such a Coasters fan that he hired King Curtis to play sax on the session. But Buddy was so embarrassed by the tiny fee his producer paid, that he gave Curtis the song writing credits. So KIng Curtis spent the rest of his short life collecting royalties on a tune Buddy wrote.

    What does this have to do with John Lennon? King Curtis plays sax on John’s Imagine album.

    – hologram sam

  3. You’re thinking of Buddy Holly’s “Reminiscing,” which they covered in the early club years. Though having grown up in the 70s with the AM radio on, whenever I saw that title on the Star-Club album, my mind always went first to this song. This dreaded song. By the dreaded Little…River…Band.

  4. Avatar Anonymous wrote:

    I haven’t read the May Pang book in years, but I’m pretty sure “their song” was by the Little River Band. It’s a song I haven’t ever been able to listen to all the way to the end. Maybe if I’d been with May, i’d feel differently.

    My wife was watching “The Middle” one evening, and the parents, for relaxation, visit their local tavern to see “The Little River Band Cover Band.” Mercifully, we were spared the song.

    Just goes to show, our heroes (like John), no matter how tough they may act, are only human after all, and can get all mushy over a cheesy piece of AOR.

    – hologram sam

  5. Loving John, p326:
    “There’s a song I heard on the radio, [John said to May], “It reminds me of us, but I don’t know who sings it.”

    “Hum a few bars.” He did. “It’s called ‘Reminiscing.’ It’s a song I love.”

    “Who does it?”

    “The Little River Band.”

    “Who are they?”

    They’re Australian.”

    “It’s about time the Australians got a good group.” [At this, all Bee Gees fans blanch.–MG]

    “I’ve got a copy of the record, John.”

    “Play it for me. Play it for me.”

    I got the record and played it for him. “Play it again,” John said.

    This time we both hummed and sang along…”

  6. [sorry had to add this bit]

    “We spent the whole afternoon in bed, getting up only to play ‘Reminiscing’ again and again. We must have listened to the song eight or nine times.”

    [I suspect Reminiscing in this excerpt is a bit like the fireworks in that Hitchcock movie–To Catch a Thief?]

  7. Avatar Nancy Carr wrote:

    Believe that in the Goldman biography, it’s the LRB “Reminiscing” that John says he likes (that’s my memory, anyway; I checked Wikipedia, FWIW, and it concurs).

    Makes sense, too, when you look at songs like “Woman” and “(Just Like) Starting Over,” as Drew suggests. Feeling tender and looking back longingly – that vibe’s all over “Double Fantasy.”

  8. Funny, Mike, when you said John called it “one of our songs,” I assumed the “our” he was referring to was the Beatles, not he and May Pang!

  9. Avatar Anonymous wrote:

    “Oh the time we’re missing spending the hours reminiscing …”

    Thanks Michael — I mean no thanks — for putting this song in my head all darn day. Now I can’t get rid of it. Make it stop!


    — Drew

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