A Long Lost Weekend

Circa 1974, John Lennon went on a year-long bender with Harry Nilsson that Lennon later called his “Lost Weekend,” a reference to the 1945 movie. Most famously the two were thrown out of The Troubadour nightclub, but there was also an altercation outside of Ciro’s, as seen in these photos. Is that David Geffen with them?

[Note: The photo was mislabeled in the source material I used as having been taken outside of Ciro’s. Nicola Brown clarifies: Just wanted to clarify that in the photo of John Lennon and Harry Nilsson outside the Troubadour, the third person in it isn’t David Geffin, it is my ex-husband Louis Maiello aka James Oliver. He just happened to be there and he actually convinced John to go back to his house that night to chill out. Harry had been kicked out of the Troubadour for heckling the Smothers Brothers who where on stage that night.]

Harry Nilsson and John Lennon

Harry Nilsson and John Lennon

Harry wasn’t a nice guy when he was drunk, and he was often drunk. But he had his good side. Here’s an example, taken from an aged and well-worn piece of vinyl.

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Thanks to the blog called AM, Then FM that I just found tonight, I know there’s a documentary called Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? that hasn’t yet made it to DVD. Despite the difficulty of being a friend of Harry’s, Harry had a lot of friends, and seeing their famous faces in this trailer for the documentary has me looking forward to seeing it.

It’s interesting seeing the Smothers Brothers among the people interviewed about Harry, because Lennon and Harry were thrown out of the Troubadour for heckling the brothers.

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Blog of Douglas E. Pratt

11 thoughts on “A Long Lost Weekend”

  1. The magazine is called, “John Lennon: A Man Who Cared.” Some of the photos in it are credited, but not the ones taken outside of the Troubadour.

  2. Don’t know who took those pics. I’ll check the magazine that I scanned. It was a rush job publication that came out shortly after Lennon was murdered.

  3. The Nilsson documentary has never appeared on DVD and has only been screened a few times (although one of these screenings was at Sundance). Probably due to permissions issues surrounding all the songs, the film may never see the light of day on a wide basis.

  4. This post was already done over a year ago?? Yow! I remember scanning the pictures and downloading the video before posting it.

    I remember one Smothers Brothers joke that put me on the floor laughing. Dick complains to Tommy that he’s hanging around with somebody who’s a bad influence, and he asks, “If he told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?” Tommy gives one of those puzzled expressions of his, and after a suitably long pause replies, “not again!”

  5. My dad and I loved watching the Smothers Brothers back in the day and they were just on with Craig Ferguson, along with Betty White and Seth Green a couple nights ago. I’m glad the boys, (well, Tommy still looks like a mischevious schoolboy), are still performing. I thank them for being part of making me a proud-to-be-liberal and progressive Democrat! 😀 They were talking about the issues when their show was on, and the issues now, and about when CBS kicked them off the air for material that is so tame for today’s programming. Betty White was a riot and she said John McCain hired her “…as a scriptwriter because he wants to reach the younger voters!”. She said that too with a straight face and the crowd loved it. She surprised me by being a little raunchy and saying, “Because he doesn’t use computers I send him speeches by carrier pigeon, but that’s not working too well because Governor Palin has been shooting at them…she is one crazy b***h, you know!”. She is 83, I think now, but she was on a roll.

  6. What a TEASE! Now I guess I gotta order the DVD! Cripes, that was Mickey Dolenz at the beginning! And I agree, he DID have a beautiful voice.

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