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The Weekly Blague

Medeiros Remembers

In December 2021, I wrote an article for The Village Voice about Michael Barbosa Medeiros, John Lennon's gardener, personal assistant, archivist, and friend. John couldn't remember Michael's last name and called him "Mike Tree."


The Voice article, "Mike Tree in John Lennon's Nutopia," was in part about a memoir Michael had written about working with John and Yoko Ono beginning in 1977 and continuing until 1982, 18 months after John was murdered.


Michael sold John Lennon: Barefoot in Nutopia to Diversion Books. They changed the title to In Lennon's Garden and were supposed to publish it in 2020. But Ono's attorneys threatened legal action and now, four years later, Diversion has still not published the book and they refuse to return the rights. The book remains in Limbono.


Michael wanted to wait until Barefoot in Nutopia was available before he spoke publicly about his relationship with John and Yoko.


In 2022, I went on Robert Rodriguez's podcast, Something About the Beatles, to discuss Michael and how Yoko is able to suppress books that refute her narrative of John as the happy househusband. The episode is called "Catch and Kill."


This month Michael, now 84, agreed to talk with Robert about the book and life with John and Yoko. It's an amazing episode of Something About the Beatles: intimate, detailed, surprising, and honest. Among Michael's many revelations is that John wanted him to become romantically involved with Yoko.


Please do give it a listen.


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The Cross-Examination

Robert Rodriguez and I covered a lot of ground when we spoke recently on his podcast, Something About the Beatles. We talked in detail about the new edition of Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon, which has 45 pages of supplementary material, a new introduction, and innumerable corrections, revisions, and additions. And we talked about the reading I'm doing tonight, October 4, at 6 p.m., at Subterranean Books in St. Louis, my first public event in almost four years, since the beginning of the pandemic. And we talked about the book I'm working on, tentatively titled No Future, which is set at a radical student newspaper at the City College of New York in the 1970s, as the student left is giving way to the forces of punk.


In the course of discussing the many dramas surrounding the publication of Nowhere Man, the subject of Yoko Ono's 2002 copyright infringement lawsuit against Fred Seaman came up. I was subpoenaed to testify at that trial as a witness for Ono, and I told Rodriguez about the bizarre cross-examination Seaman's lawyer subjected me to. Fresh out of law school, the attorney was up against Ono's high-priced, well-prepared legal team that had both the facts and the law on their side, in a high-profile trial that dominated the front page of the tabloids. For the young lawyer, it was a baptism of fire.


Ono's lawyer questioned me first, and I told a story that was, essentially, the same story I tell in the Nowhere Man chapter titled "John Lennon's Diaries." Except this time I told it under oath.


Then Seaman's attorney had at me. The first rule of cross-examination is: Never ask a question you don't know the answer to. This cross-examination was a series of shots in the dark, the attorney hoping to hit on something, anything, that would discredit me. His first question was (and I'm paraphrasing throughout): "Did you burglarize Fred Seaman's apartment?"


I looked at him like he was crazy. "No," I said, realizing that Seaman must have believed that Ono was somehow able to force me to do this.


"Is this the first time anybody asked you that question?"




I don't recall exactly where the cross-examination went from there, only that the attorney asked me a lot of questions that did his client no good whatsoever. But I do recall his last three questions:


"Did you believe John Lennon wanted you to have his diaries?"




"Do you still believe that?"


I thought about it for a few seconds, and I'm told it was a very dramatic moment. "Yes," I finally said.


"Did you pay taxes on the money Yoko Ono paid you?"


This was his last desperate attempt to discredit me, and it pissed me off. "I sure did," I said.


The lawyer turned and walked back to his seat.


Ono won her case.


Please join me for a discussion of Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon tonight, October 4, 6 p.m., at Subterranean Books in St. Louis.


All my books are available on Amazon, all other online bookstores, and at your local brick-and-mortar bookstore.


I invite you to join me on Facebook or follow me on X (the site formerly known as Twitter) or my eternally embryonic Instagram.

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Long Time Coming


It's been a long time coming but now it's here. For the first time in 20 years, an updated and expanded paperback edition of Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon is available—for the moment exclusively from Amazon, but soon in all the usual online places as well as your local brick-and-mortar bookstore.


The 2022 Nowhere Man contains six new chapters, including Mersey Beat founding editor Bill Harry's interview with me; a discussion of conspiracy theories surrounding Lennon's murder; and a new introduction, "In My Own Write," that grapples with the question: Did I have the right to tell this story?


You can also check out Robert Rodriguez's interview with me on his podcast, Something About the Beatles. In this episode we talk about Yoko Ono's efforts to suppress unauthorized narratives about her and John, especially those that discuss the information in Lennon's diaries... like Nowhere Man.


My latest book, A Brooklyn Memoir, is available on Amazon, Bookshop, all other online booksellers, and at your local brick-and-mortar bookstore.


I invite you to join me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter or my eternally embryonic Instagram.

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