May Pang Said George Harrison’s Anger ‘Paralyzed’ John Lennon

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In 1973, as Yoko Ono and John Lennon paused their relationship, Lennon found solace in the arms of May Pang, their prior assistant.

This period exposed Pang to the intricacies of Lennon’s connections with his fellow Beatles, notably a tempestuous moment with George Harrison.

While Ono remained a significant figure in Lennon’s life, his bond with Pang took a front seat for a while.

As Lennon distanced himself from Ono in 1973, their shared residence felt his absence. Ono, in a candid conversation with The Telegraph in 2012, voiced that she bore no grudge against Pang. “It wasn’t a betrayal to me,” she mentioned. “All I craved was a breather.”

Lennon often painted this time away from Ono as his “Lost Weekend,” though it spanned over a year. This chapter was a melange of Lennon’s artistic bloom, but it was also tainted with bouts of heavy drinking and substance experimentation. Pang was his companion throughout.

Discussing their relationship with Variety, Pang emphasized, “I yearned to see the man behind the legend. I wasn’t stepping into maternal shoes, but I did become his anchor. Our relationship meant I had to step back from my professional duties to him. I wanted our world to revolve around us.”

Being Lennon’s confidante gave Pang a chance to mingle with the iconic Beatles. One evening at New York’s Plaza Hotel became unforgettable when she, Lennon, and Harrison came together.

Although their greetings were polite, Pang sensed tension in Harrison. The atmosphere took a sharp turn when Lennon casually mentioned performing with Harrison.

In her memoir, Loving John, Pang delved into this evening, noting, “George’s demeanor shifted. His response, ‘Where have you been when I truly needed you?’ was a hint of the emotional roller-coaster to follow.”

As Pang depicted, the climax occurred when Harrison, in a bid for genuine connection, insisted Lennon look him directly in the eye. Lennon’s attempt to comply by switching to clear glasses didn’t pacify Harrison.

“All of a sudden, Harrison’s emotions spilled over. He grabbed and shattered John’s glasses,” Pang shared. “Such raw intensity was new to me. It left even John, usually so composed, shaken.”

Yet, as volatile as that night was, the dawn saw a mending of fences.

“The following day was a stark contrast. The two legends hugged,” Pang reflected. “In a hushed voice, George whispered his apologies, attributing his outburst to being unwell. It was as if the stormy night was a mere dream.”

Lennon and Harrison’s dynamic was intricate—filled with highs and lows—but at its core, it remained steadfast, akin to familial ties.

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