Our pal Shelly Leibowitz kindly shares another wonderful Nilssonian tale. Thank you Shelly for providing us all with another glimpse into the great man’s warmth and humor …
It was beautiful spring day in New York City and Harry and I had just had a late breakfast and as we were leaving the restaurant we hailed a cab. Harry was making small talk and I said that I thought that he would make a great cabbie. Well Harry convinced the cabbie to let him drive (after we promised to give him $500 plus whatever was on the meter, after a couple of minutes Harry was driving, me in the front seat and the cabbie in the back. Harry turned on the meter smiled and said let’s go have some fun. We drove around the city picking up passengers for free. Harry even stopped at a hot dog street vendor and I bought hot dogs for us, the cabbie and a passenger. At one point Harry even started singing “Me & My Taxi” to the tune of “Me And My Arrow”, we all laughed.
After a few hours our fun was done so we dropped the cab and cabbie off in front of Radio City Music Hall, paid the cabbie and walked over to Hurley’s bar. We had a grand old time at the bar for a couple of hours, and a few drinks. Harry was in a silly mood and amused and entertained all of the patrons in the bar. Harry asked me if we could go to the Dakota and get John Lennon to come out and play with us, so I called and him and he said to come on over.
When we got there the doorman called up and we went upstairs. Yoko answered the door and was really not amused that we had been drinking and wanted John to join us but we promised not to be gone for too long. We grabbed a cab and went down to Chinatown for dinner. We had a couple of drinks during dinner then we went club hopping for the next few hours with Harry and John joining in with whatever entertainment was happening at each place. We continued drinking our way back uptown. I suggested that we go to Thano’s restaurant for a night snack – they never close and lot’s of Broadway entertainers go there after shows. From there we went over to my office since it was only 3 blocks away and I had a fully stocked bar and we could listen to some outtakes from different recordings. We listened, drank, smoked a few joints and both John and Harry sat at my piano and sang all kinds of songs.
It was around 4AM when we got a cab and dropped John off, we wouldn’t dare go upstairs at that hour and confront Yoko with John so drunk that he could hardly walk and it being that late. Then the cab dropped me off and took Harry home to his hotel.