The Sporadic Beaver

Police Story

March 27, 2013

Tags: writing, police, Nowhere Man, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, diaries, Paniko, Javier Foxon

There's one more story about the police that's worth telling, and I've told it only once before--to the Chilean Website Paniko, when Nowhere Man was published in that country, in 2004. The writer, Javier Foxon, had asked me if Yoko Ono had returned my personal diaries--the ones I'd naively given to her, in 1982, when she asked to read them. Since Chile was 5,000 miles away, the interview was running in Spanish, and Paniko was not widely read by members of the NYPD, I figured I'd tell the truth.

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.

Letter from Chile: The Earthquake Was Tender with Us

February 28, 2010

Tags: Chile, Earthquake, Javier Foxon


Javier Foxon and Bob Rosen, Valparaiso, Chile, October 12, 2005. Photo by Mary Lyn Maiscott.

By Javier Foxon

Bob,

thank god me and family are alright.. now, while im sending you this email.. there are still some little movements of the earth (replicas) from that earthquake..man.. it was like apocalypse now.. but here in Viña and Valparaiso the earthquake was tender.. well of course some people died, but it is nothing compared to the shit going on in the south of the counrty.. (more…)