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The Weekly Blague

The Lost Weekend: A Testament to May Pang's Tenacity

May Pang's relationship with John Lennon began in 1973 after he separated from Yoko Ono. Eighteen months later, in early 1975, Lennon returned to Ono. Pang's 2023 documentary, The Lost Weekend: A Love Story, covers the same ground as her book Loving John, published in 1983. It's not surprising that it took Pang almost 50 years to get the movie version of her story into theatres and onto streaming services. As I've discussed in my book Nowhere Man, in The Village Voice, and elsewhere on this blog, Ono, now 91, uses the threat of legal action to try to control what other people say about Lennon. And she's often successful at repressing stories that go against the official narrative of Lennon as a happy househusband and secular saint. (Michael "Mike Tree" Medeiros's unpublished book, In Lennon's Garden, is an especially egregious example.) What Pang went through to make and release The Lost Weekend must be quite a story in itself. That the film exists is a tribute to her tenacity.


If you know the story of Pang and Lennon, The Lost Weekend, set in LA and New York, will seem familiar. It's a diary-like collection of still photos of the two of them, some iconic, some taken by Pang; video of Lennon and Ono; video of Pang on various talk shows; recent video of Pang with Lennon's son Julian; and a bit of animation to fill in the gaps. Pang provides the narration and does a nice job of it. The entire film is well done and has garnered a wide array of mostly positive reviews, like the one in Variety.


What I found most interesting about The Lost Weekend is that Pang confirms virtually everything I wrote about her relationship with Lennon in Nowhere Man, a book that grew out of my access to diaries the former Beatle kept during the final six years of his life. Lennon's diaries begin in 1975, when he's living with Pang in her apartment on the east side of Manhattan and enjoying himself very much. The diaries confirm that he had deep feelings for Pang and carried a torch for her the rest of his life. They were in love, she says in the film.


"John was torn between May and Yoko," I write in Nowhere Man. "He wanted both of them but that was out of the question. May was fun, and pure sexual passion." But Yoko "was survival." May, with some hesitation, talks about their active sex life and mentions that the last time she spoke to John was when he called her from Cape Town, South Africa, a "directional" journey he took in April 1980. This is all detailed in Nowhere Man.


One thing May didn't know was that Lennon had learned to program dreams and many of the dreams he programmed were about making love to May. It was often the only way he could be with her after he returned to Yoko.


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