For years I’ve been trying to tie down a timeline of John in 1980, it’s proving much harder than i ever expected. Some days were documented beyond belief, and other days absolutely no information at all has surfaced, i find this kind of amazing as on some days (the 8th of December for instance) John was photographed by no less than three different people, but other days like the 1st of December there is nothing at all documented.
With the photo’s below, and some information, i have attempted to piece together John’s movements and activities during December 1980. I’m calling for any help and discussion and information any of my blog readers may have, there are a couple of grey area’s and if anyone can help sort these out then please speak up.
At the studio, probably whist recording the guitar plus keyboards for ‘Walking on thin ice’.
Above pic: John probably on his way to the studio, he’s wearing his black Adidas shoes, blue jeans and his new Oriental jacket.
Above and below pics: The sequence of photo’s highlights why it’s so hard, and confusing, to date some of these photo’s. John really was a chameleon and in the space of just a day would change his looks and confuse everything, just by removing a jacket, or changing his glasses which he done several times a day. The above pic shows John in his kitchen photographed by Annie Leibovitz, under the table you can see John’s Adidas shoes and red socks, and he’s wearing blue jean’s and a blue denim shirt
Above pic: John at the Record Plant studio later in the day photographed by Bob Gruen, here we can see john has put a red patterned jumper on, as well as his new GAP leather jacket, and changed his glasses from his blue frames to his orange sun glasses.
Above pic: You can see apart from John’s jacket both John and Yoko look almost identical to the pic taken on the 2nd
Above pic: Inside the studio John has taken off the leather jacket and placed it over the back of the chair, leaving him wearing just the red jumper, Yoko has also removed her coat leaving us with another look altogether. The confusion comes on this day as Bob Gruen states that he took the above photo’s of John and Yoko at the studio on the 5th, but i’m going to make a call here and sugest that he is mistaken, on both days (the 4th and the 5th) John is noted to be wearing different clothes, if you look at John’s hair in the photo where he is playing guitar on the bed, and then later when he is standing in front of the giant guitar at the Record Plant, you can clearly see it just has to be the same day, his hair is identical and even has the same strand falling over his forehead with the same blue denim clothes, but with added jumper and leather jacket, and a change of glasses.
John and Yoko were interviewed for the Soho weekly news at the Record Plant studio’s, Yoko was doing her vocal overdubs for ‘Walking on thin ice’. The interviewer noted John was wearing his oriental jacket.
It’s possible that on this day John had the first of two haircut’s, he definately had a haircut on the morning of the 8th but the photo’s of the 5th and 6th seem to indicate he had a haircut on the 4th as well.
Above pics: The Soho weekly news interview continues at 2.00am, the interviewer noted that he left at 5.30am, and that John and Yoko were leaving at 7.30am. John and Yoko’s limo was waiting out the front when John walked the interviewer out. I’m going to go out on a limb here, Bob Gruen say’s these photo’s were taken on the morning (dawn) of the 6th, but after reading the interviewer describe John wearing the oriental Jacket the previous evening (the 4th) and the fact that John and Yoko did leave the studio at dawn on the 5th i’m assuming Bob got his dates mixed up, the only thing that still throws me is the fact that Bob says he sat around all night talking to John, but as is now known John was talking to the interviewer from the Soho weekly news all night and into the morning, who know’s maybe Bob just hung out with them as they talked, at least this puts Bob in a time frame where he was with John until dawn as well.
Some time during the day Yoko has a preliminary meeting with Andy Peebles at Studio one.
Later in the evening John is interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine in Studio one at the Dakota, the interviewer describes John as wearing blue plastic framed glasses, needle chord pants, Calvin Klein sweater and a torn Mick Jagger t-shirt (probably the black ‘Reception’ t-shirt he is also wearing on the ‘Double Fantasy’ cover as well as on the cover of ‘Walls And Bridges’. The interviewer travels with John and Yoko to the studio as they mix some of Yoko’s songs for the ‘Walking on thin ice’ extended single (‘Kiss Kiss Kiss’ and ‘Every Man Has A Woman who loves him’).
John continues talking until 4.00am with Jonathan Cott of Rolling Stone magazine as Yoko naps on a studio couch. John speaks of his plans for touring with Yoko and the band that plays on Double Fantasy.
Later in the evening at 6.00pm John and Yoko meet Andy Peebles at the Hit Factory Studio’s (see above pics), John is wearing black jean’s, a black wool jumper and his silver jacket (which can be seen in some photo’s laying on the floor of the Hit Factory) the interview lasted three hours and twenty minutes.
Above pic: At approximately 10.00pm John, Yoko and the BBC team went to ‘Mr Chow’s’ restaurant 324 E. 57th St. for dinner which lasted approximately three hours.
Nothing documented for this day, it has been reported that John and Yoko stayed in and read the Playboy interview which had just hit the stands.
Above pics: Photographed by Annie Leibovitz sometime around noon, what is known is that sometime during the morning of the 8th John had a hair cut, so are we to assume that John had either none or very little sleep after leaving the studio at dawn?, John then had a very busy day, a haircut in the morning, photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz in the early afternoon, and then the interview in Studio One with RKO radio in the late afternoon. It’s believed John and Yoko left the Dakota at approximately 5.00pm to go to the Record Plant Studio’s. On the raw tapes of the RKO interview you can hear Yoko comment that the car was ready to take them, tho apparently they got a lift with the RKO team in their limo as John and Yoko’s wasn’t available.
Above pic: John and Yoko in Studio One with Dave Sholin from RKO radio
Above pic: The Stage Deli where John and Yoko were to eat on the way home from the studio on Monday December the 8th.
The rest of the time frame is pretty well known and we don’t need to really go into it here.
Any thoughts, corrections or information will be greatly appreciated.