I told Foxon that as the first edition of Nowhere Man was going to press, in 2000, Ono had returned my diaries--except for two small notebooks covering the summer of 1979. Foxon's inevitable follow-up question: What happened to the two volumes?
“Well,” I said, “I’m not really sure, but I don’t think their disappearance had anything to do with Ono.”
I explained that after I’d given my diaries to Ono, she turned them over to the police (and other legal and media entities), who combed though the half-million words I’d written, looking for evidence they could use to charge me with a crime, any crime, and use that as leverage to prevent me from ever writing about John Lennon’s diaries. (You can read about that fiasco here.)
But what the police found in the two volumes that had vanished were detailed notes about the gig I had in the summer of 1979, ghostwriting a novel for a former New York City cop. Those notes contained the names of cops I was taking drugs with, the dates we took the drugs, and the places we took them. In one notable passage, I described smoking a joint with a uniformed, on-duty cop in his patrol car.
“So,” I said to Foxon, “I figured the cops freaked out when they read that, and they wanted that information to disappear. I guess the two missing volumes ended up in a shredder.”
And unless I get arrested today, that’s the last police story I’m going to tell for a while.