1974 – The Promotion Man – New York City

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 1974 THE PROMOTION MAN NEW YORK CITY –THE MORRELL ARCHIVES VOLUME 2 –IS OUT NOW!

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Dave Morrell (left) escorting Ron Wood (right) on 1974 NYC radio station visits

A 21-Year-Old Record Company Promo Man Chases Radio Spins For

Music Legends In The Big Apple, Circa 1974

1974 – The Promotion Man – New York City, the second volume in the memoirs of longtime record company executive and Beatles collector Dave Morrell, is available now on Amazon.com in paperback and for Kindle. The book picks up where Volume 1 – the high energy Horse-Doggin’ – left off and is an ideal stocking stuffer or e-gift for any music fan this holiday season.

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When Morrell was just barely 21, he was plucked from a low-level job at Warner-Elektra-Asylum’s New Jersey warehouse, relocated to Manhattan and given a plum assignment as Warner Bros. Records’ East Coast promotion man. Dave takes readers along on this wild ride – getting high with Ron Wood in the back of a limo between stops at radio stations, crossing English rock act Jethro Tull over to a mainstream pop radio audience with the smash hit “Bungle in the Jungle,” breaking new artist Maria Muldaur despite resistance from radio stations that deemed “Midnight At The Oasis” too steamy, witnessing David Geffen’s meltdown at the Planet Waves listening party when he finds out the label’s Bob Dylan ad ran too soon in Billboard, introducing KISS to audiences with a Times Square kiss-a-thon judged by Kenny Rogers, getting Alice Cooper to speak at a PTA meeting and being whisked away to the Bahamas by Deep Purple, who had rented the Starship (a former United Airlines Boeing 720 jet), for an impromptu meet-and-greet with radio programmers.

Although employed by a major record label, Morrell resisted becoming one of the “suits” and remained a fan at heart, with a pure love of music – something that’s abundantly clear in Chapter 14, details how Dave and his friend Ron Furmanek were invited to John Lennon’s apartment to screen some rare Beatles footage that Ron had acquired – and how Lennon reciprocated by playing them an unreleased Beatles recording. Published in 2014, Morrell’s Horse-Doggin’ detailed how DJ/Village Voice columnist Howard Smith originally introduced him to Lennon in 1971. Festivities are being held worldwide on Friday, October 9, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Lennon’s birth.

Dave Morrell is a co-host with Howie Edelson and Stephen Bard on The Classics presents “FABCAST” – a new Beatles podcast from United Stations Radio Networks premiering soon.

Other highlights from 1974 The Promotion Man New York City include Morrell’s eyewitness account of the final recording sessions for Lennon’s Rock N Roll album at the Record Plant East and a private listening session at Electric Lady Studios, where Dave got a preview of new Jimi Hendrix tracks that the label later declined to release. You can hear hits from all of these artists and more on Morrell’s “1974” playlist, streaming HERE on Spotify.

Like a time machine crossed with a backstage pass, 1974 The Promotion Man New York City offers an insider’s view of the ’70s – an era that is currently providing fresh inspiration across all areas of popular culture, including fashion, film, television (HBO’s upcoming Martin Scorsese-Mick Jagger-Terence Winter rock drama series, Baz Luhrmann’s forthcoming series “The Get Down” for Netflix, “Aquarius,” “Mad Men,” “Fargo”), music (Tame Impala, White Denim, Hookworms) and even home furnishings.

Maccazine hailed Horse-Doggin’ – the first volume in Morrell’s series – as “a must read” while Music Connection observed, “Morrell takes you along on his madcap, music-fueled true-life adventures—including brushes with John Lennon, Terry Reid, Joe Franklin and many others.” MeetTheBeatlesForReal.com said, “[Horse-Doggin’ is] a time machine of sorts and really took me back in time to New York City in the early 1970’s and what it was like to be a Beatles fan then. There is a lot of great humor.” Hailed as “a Beatle-phile beyond reproach,” DISC & Digital Audio Technology, Morrell was a featured speaker at 2014’s Beatlefest in Los Angeles and has spoken at two recent GRAMMY Museum events as part of the museum’s celebration of the Beatles’ 50th Anniversary in America.

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1974 – The Promotion Man – New York City

CHAPTER 14

HIGH ON JOHN’S BED

 

Derek Taylor called and said he was coming back to town and he needed help in setting up some radio interviews with an artist he was bringing over. I told him I’d walk over hot coals for him. He said the artist wasn’t important but his trip was.

Derek was staying at the Algonquin Hotel on 44th. He had a huge suite with a sitting parlor and a great view. I met up with him and told him all the places we’d be going and what to expect. He was pleased with the plan and happy to be in New York.

Derek was running the UK office for WB. At this point he was looking forward to meeting some old friends like Scott Muni over at WNEW-FM. He even told me if he saw John Lennon on this trip he was going to ask him to sign with Warner Brothers Records!

During our journey I mentioned to Derek about some rare Beatles film footage my friends Ron and John Overall were able to lay their hands on. Ron had recently found some 1963 color footage by Pathe’ News called “Here Come The Beatles.” I told Derek that back in ’71, after being on Howard Smith’s radio show, I received a letter from a guy in Connecticut who wanted to sell a master tape of the Beatles at Washington Coliseum, the Beatles first concert in America, for $10,000. When I called him, I told him we were kids who lived with our parents and that we didn’t have any money. He said he had one print of the negative and we could have that for 800 bucks. Somehow Ron and Overall came up with the dough. I told Derek he must see this footage.

Derek said, “Call your friend with the films and arrange a showing in my room at the Algonquin. We’ll do it later this evening.”

I used the hotel phone to contact Ron and asked him to come in from Clifton, NJ. I told him what was happening. He would need to lug the 16mm projector and the films and hurry! Ron was in no mood for this push and shove since we’d done this many times before and it’s a big hassle. It takes two people just to carry everything. The big sticking point was who was going to pay for the parking. I told him I would pay for parking and any food he wanted.

I headed down to the bar to let Derek know this was a go!  I could also see how tired everyone was getting from a long day of the dog and pony show. Derek was with some friends telling them we’d all be heading upstairs soon. He finally approached me and said he was going out for a walk to get some air and he would return soon.

In the suite overlooking 44th street there were now about ten people in the room and the phone was ringing. I wasn’t sure if I should pick it up but I did and it was Ron. He was here and on his way up. When he walked in the suite he was in a sour mood. Derek wasn’t there. Ron was dejected.

The phone rang again and this time I let it ring a few times before picking it up. It was May Pang calling. I knew her voice right away and said ‘Hi May, it’s me, Dave Morrell’. After saying hello, she said, “How many people are in the room?” I looked around and counted ten. “That’s too many, hang on.”  To my surprise, Derek came on the phone and said, “I’m over here on 52nd Street at John’s place. Can you come over here?” I said “Give me the address, we’re on our way.” I told him I had to bring Ron since he’s got the projector and the films. “Okay” he said. “The address is 434 East 52nd Street. The Penthouse, Tower B.”

Our man Keith from the record store was with us and was helping with all the gear. I had to tell him that only Ron and I could go in. Since nothing had yet been set up in the room, it was easy to leave and not create any chaos. We hopped in Ron’s car and headed east over towards First Avenue. We found a parking spot and Keith said he’d stay with the car. Ron and I headed in.

We told the doorman where we were going and he helped us into the elevator. When we got off we found the door and rang the bell. When the door opened we were looking at stairs that were headed up to a loft. Years later when May wrote her book, she shows pictures of Paul & Linda, David Bowie and many others taken from the top of the stairs.

We greeted May and made a quick right into the main room where we saw Derek and John sitting on the bed talking. John got up and welcomed us to his home. He pointed to the bed and said “Hop on, it’s alright.”

John sat down and rolled a joint on his new album “Walls And Bridges.” He said he just got copies of the final record and wanted to show us how it opens up to reveal him wearing different pairs of glasses. He showed us all the drawings he used for the cover. Art he created when he was 11 years old. It was very moving to hear John talk about his early years. The memories were flowing. He said his mother had shown him how to draw a horse and then showed us her work on his cover.

He lit a joint and began to hand it to me. As he was passing it, he was looking directly into my eyes. As I looked into his, I was thinking, “Give Peace A Chance,” “All You Need Is Love” and “Imagine.” When the joint was passed to Ron he said no thanks. John looked at him and said, “Good lad, you don’t wanna mess with this stuff!”

Derek had already told John what to expect, so Ron got into action and set up the projector. A giant 27” Sony TV was on at the foot of his bed so Ron asked him if he wanted it off and John said just turn the sound down. Ron asked John where he wanted to show it and John got up and pulled down a huge shade across the room at the far end. It was showtime.

First we showed him a beautiful pristine color copy of a Pathe’ News short showing the Beatles in concert at the ABC Cinema in Manchester, England in late ’63. The volume was turned up and the walls in John’s apartment were shaking.

It was rounding midnight and we were all giggles. Ron set up the Beatles at Washington Coliseum film and we were ready.

As the film began to play John began to get more animated if that was possible. We were showing him the very first Beatles concert in the United States that was professionally filmed with incredible sound quality. He was yelling and screaming at the screen, egging the Beatles on. We were all falling on the floor laughing. The volume was at concert level.

By the time the Beatles got to “This Boy” John was going bonkers. He leaped off the bed and sprang over to sit directly in front of the screen looking straight up at himself. During the song, Paul and George are huddled around him and then break away to let John wail. When John was watching, he was standing and whistling and screaming! John Lennon was turned on.

When it was over, John said, “Look around – you don’t see any gold records on the walls – you don’t see any guitars, do ya? – Let me go get something.”

John came back with a square yellow envelope that was beat up. Inside of it was another yellow envelope in much better condition, and he slowly pulled out acetate of an unmarked record.

He said, “Wait ‘till you hear this!”

As he headed to the record player he told us only one speaker was working. He apologized, but before he could finish Ron said, “I can fix it!” and he did!

John told us to go sit in the middle on his bed. We all jumped on like good little boys. He told us the Beatles did “Love Me Do” and it peaked at number 17. He told us George Martin had the next song picked out for the boys to record. It was a song called “How Do You Do It” written by Mitch Murray that Martin thought could be a hit. John said he didn’t want to do it, that it wasn’t what the Beatles would do or even sing at the Cavern. He felt the Beatles fans wouldn’t like it. George Martin got his way and the Beatles did record “How Do You Do It.” John said he deliberately sang it without the excitement you would expect.

After the recording was complete John said he went home to finish off “Please Please Me” with Paul. When they sang a re-worked version to George Martin, he told them it would be their first number one record.

“How Do You Do It” by the Beatles was shelved and never heard of again until Hunter Davies mentioned it in his authorized biography of the Beatles. When I read about it, I never imagine I would hear it one day.

When John was finished telling us the story he threw up the volume, dropped the needle and screamed, “Stand back!” A guitar intro began and then John started to sing the first verse of a song we never heard. All our jaws dropped. John was lit up.

It was John Lennon with the Beatles singing “How Do You Do It” produced by George Martin, being played full blast with John at the controls. It was fucking out of this world. A REAL Beatles song fully produced that no one ever heard. John was turning us on.

The rest of the evening was full of laughter and friendship. John asked Ron what other films he collected and when he heard the names Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Elvis, he wanted us to come over for another screening. Ron told him the Elvis film was from the Dorsey show and was the first television performance ever.

John said, “You know where to reach me!”

We never asked for an autograph or a photograph. We had great admiration and respect. How many fans get to sit on their idols bed smoking pot and listening to rare recordings and films?

Thanks to Derek and May, John now knew me as Dave the promotion man.

It was a dream I couldn’t dream.

A week later, my phone rang at the office. I picked it up and it was John.

“HAVING A WILD WEEKEND” – CHAPTER 17 – from HORSE-DOGGIN’ the morrell archives volume one.

CHAPTER 17

HAVING A WILD WEEKEND

I was now working on the weekends and enjoying every minute of it. In February it was raining free tickets to all who wanted to attend. Alice Tully Hall presented John Prine, Carnegie Hall had Mary Travers, and America was playing the Felt Forum.

John Prine was the artist to watch. He was deep, dark and shattered. When you heard him sing “Sam Stone,” you got the blues instantly.

America had just scored with “Ventura Highway” and were at the pinnacle of their career. FM stations loved them and played them in heavy rotation.

In March it was the Bee Gees at Lincoln Center. I loved these guys since I first heard the “New York City Mining Disaster- 1941.” One time I took off school and stood in line to get the best tickets. I sat close and even got a handshake from Robin Gibb. Now Atlantic was giving us free tickets for both nights.

The shows kept coming. Bette Midler at the Capitol Theater in Passaic. Roberta Flack and Quincy Jones at the Felt Forum, Focus at Lincoln Center and finally the Kinks over at St. John’s University in Long Island.

I loved the Kinks and remember getting their first album on my eleventh birthday, along with an electric guitar. I stood with that guitar and pretended to play that debut album over and over. On this evening, Ray did a version of “Celluloid Heroes” with a screen behind him playing old B&W Hollywood movie clips.

“Grand Hotel” was the name of the new Procol Harum album. WB went over the top to promote the record. They held a black-tie party at the Plaza Hotel. Both Joe Smith and Mo Ostin from WB greeted everyone at the door. At one point a Russian Dance Company came out and cleared the floor to perform the Saber Dance. The guest list included Alice Cooper who wore a three piece plaid suit, Todd Rundgren who wore a gold lame’ suit, Bette Midler and Carly Simon.

When it was time to go, I was walking with a few of the WB folks to get my car and we walked by the Copacabana Club. Don Rickles was performing but it was sold out. Don had done an album for WB called “Hello Dummy” so within minutes, after a few front door meetings, we were led inside. The Copa crew was adding a new table right up front for us. Don Rickles started calling all the spouses hookers and it was pissing off the guys. I could see these guys wanted to laugh, but their wives were squeezing their hands. I never laughed so hard in my life.

The WB promotion team was the most creative when it came to breaking new artists. They put together a series of live shows for Long Island’s WLIR-FM Tuesday Night Concert Series. They were broadcast from Ultrasonic Recording Studios and the shows included Little Feat, Graham Central Station, The Good Rats, James Montgomery Band, Grinderswitch, Marshall Tucker Band and Tower of Power. WLIR-FM was playing the greatest music and treating their listeners to some of the finest recordings ever captured. Great looking T-shirts were made up and given away.

Terry Reid came to play a club in the Village in support of his new album. Someone at Atlantic called and asked me if I’d go down to say hello to him and check out the show. Terry was working a new laid-back disc called “River” which was the opposite of what his first two albums sounded like. They called Terry ‘superlungs’, but the week I saw him play he kept it mellow. The record didn’t do well at radio, but the critics liked it. The entire week I saw him play, I think he only did one song from those two early albums.

Lillian Roxon, the rock writer called and asked me if I wanted to go see T.Rex open for Three Dog Night and I said yes. On my way to her place, I stopped at Manny’s Guitar Store and ran into Marc Bolan who you couldn’t miss. It was a very hot afternoon and he was wearing a gold lame’ sports coat. I was wearing my home made Beatle Butcher T-shirt and asked if we could take a photograph together. He said it was cool. I loved his records and told him I worked in the warehouse where all his records were. He said, “I hope by touring America, my albums sell out!”

One of the strangest pairing for a show was Atlantic’s Black Oak Arkansas opening for Slade. Slade put on a great show that was full on power chord anthems. “Mama Weer All Crazee Now” is a classic in my book. Black Oak Arkansas tried but couldn’t crack the New York market. I went backstage to say hello to both bands and we got along great. The guys from Black Oak Arkansas invited me down to Bull Shoals Lake, Arkansas for the weekend. I went down and had a great time swimming and fishing off their houseboat.

There was so much activity, I began to write a ‘”Weekend Promotion Roundup” and send it to my boss, the branch manager. Here are a few of them.

Weekend Promotion Roundup-March 4, 1973:

Friday evening I enjoyed watching “The Midnight Special,” a late night rock show featuring many of today’s top artists. Badfinger, one of Warner Bros. new acts, appeared playing new material from their upcoming album.

WCBS-FM (the station has the largest audience of any FM station in America) has adopted a ‘solid gold’ musical format, featuring million-seller hits from 1955 to the top hits of today. In January they went on a play list of 14 records. I am happy to report we hold the Top 3 slots with:

#1 “Killing Me Softly With His Song”/Roberta Flack

#2 “Dueling Banjos”/Deliverance Soundtrack

#3 “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love”/ The Spinners

Saturday afternoon I worked with our salesman on his successful Judy Collins promotion at S. Klein’s in Union Square. To coincide with “Cook With Honey” from her new Elektra release, “True Stories and Other Dreams,” we hired a model in a chef’s outfit to stand behind a stove with jars of honey and give away free cookbooks to all who buy a copy between 10am and 2pm.

On Saturday evening, I attended a concert by the Spinners. With hit singles on Atlantic and nine years experience behind them, the future for the Spinners certainly looks good.

On Sunday evening the Bee Gees gave one of their rare appearances at Philharmonic Hall in New York. Featured on the bill was Jimmy Stevens, a newly signed RSO artist. Jimmy is a cross between Cat Stevens, Ray Charles, and Randy Newman, if you can imagine that!

The Bee Gees along with a 30-piece orchestra, showed what true professionals they are. With a long line of hits behind them, the Bee Gee’s performed them well, including a 10-minute medley of their new album. I look forward to seeing the Bee Gee’s again this evening.

My report wouldn’t be complete without mentioning that the Best Record of the Year at the Grammy awards was presented to Roberta Flack for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” Atlantic 13054. I predict that Miss Flack will be the first artist to win the honor two years in a row. Also worth mentioning is that America won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1972.

 

Weekend Promotion Roundup- March 12, 1973:

After seeing the incredible Alice Cooper so many times in the past, I wondered why I was so eager to drive all the way to Philadelphia to see them again. After all, they are coming to New York in June. After a long delay we were ready. When the show was finally over we were still ready, to throw up! WHEW!! What a show. The highlight of the new show is to have Alice decapitated and have the killer hold his bloody head up for all to see! Stay away from this tour if you have a weak stomach.

Saturday I went back to the S. Klein’s on Fourteenth Street in New York for the finale of the Judy Collins promotion. This week with the album on sale and an ad in the paper, we had a much bigger turnout than the previous week.

Saturday evening I attended the Bette Midler concert at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ. Yes, Passaic, NJ. As the Divine Miss M said, “On this tour we’re only playing the tackiest towns in the United States.” This show, unlike her New Year’s Eve show, featured many tracks from her next LP. New tunes included “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” “Da Do Ron Ron,” “Do You Love Me” and “Auld Lang Syne.” If you have never seen the Divine Miss M please do, don’t hesitate.

Quick Flashes. Biggest thing on the FM radio all weekend was the new Procol Harum LP. The new Chris Rush LP looks like a winner for late night programming. Mickey Newbury was heard almost everywhere else this weekend and from across the ocean in England, The Faces “Cindy Incidentally” went from 21 to 3!

 

Weekend Promotion Roundup- March 19, 1973;

Friday evening I had the great pleasure of meeting the Spinners. I had seen them a few weeks ago, but after receiving a couple of backstage passes Friday morning, I was in great anticipation of meeting them. They enjoyed talking about the old days and some of the clubs they played in the early part of their career. Their first album on Atlantic Records should put them in the superstar category.

Miss Roberta Flack headlined the gala event with Quincy Jones at the Felt Forum Saturday evening. At my last count there were over 30 musicians gathered on stage. The first half of the show reached a high point when the group, with Quincy Jones, performed the TV theme of “Ironsides.” When Miss Flack joined the entourage midway through the second half of the show, the crowd was ecstatic. The climax naturally was “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” however, her take on “Suzanne” proved to be strong and may follow her last #1 right up the charts.

  1. Manassas on “In Concert” Friday evening more than made up for their absence from the public the last few months. Randy Newman also made a rare appearance on the same show. See you all at the Grateful Dead concert tonight.

I was taking my job seriously and wanted to succeed. I started coming up with suggestions that could improve the department and now I was working more closely with the sales and promotion staffs.

For the King Karol stores in Manhattan, we came up with a plan for the new WB release of Captain Beefheart’s “Clear Spot.” On Tuesday, March 6th, all personnel of the King Karol stores and warehouse will be wearing Captain Beefheart turtleneck shirts. (They were bright red). This, along with the Captain Beefheart posters already on display, will make for a worthwhile effort to push this fine album.

Meanwhile, awaiting me at the post office was a large envelope from Godzilla. The new catalog arrived and it had 100 albums that were legit on the front and the ‘Trademark of Quality” bootleg releases on the back. The new releases for the month were the Beatles “Hollywood Bowl 1964,” the Beatles “The Get Back Sessions, Volume 2,” David Bowie “In America,” Crosby & Nash “A Very Stoney Evening,” Deep Purple “Purple for a Day,” Bob Dylan “BBC Broadcast,” The Grateful Dead “Hollywood Palladium,” Led Zeppelin “BBC Broadcast,” the Rolling Stones “Winter Tour 73,” the Who “Fillmore East” and Neil Young “Boulder, Colorado.” What a list. I wanted all of them.

At work nobody ever spoke of bootlegs. Occasionally, if I was with a DJ, I’d ask him about playing bootlegs and he said it was taboo.

I remember when I went to see the Who’s two shows at Flushing Meadows in Forest Hills, NY back in ‘71. I taped one show with a cassette player, then I transferred it an 8-track so I could listen in my car. I took a review of the show from the New York Times, cut it out and pasted it on the 8-track. I played that tape thousands of time, not caring at all about the quality. It brought me instantly back to the experience I had with the Who.

I enjoyed listening to tapes of shows that I had attended. I taped a 10 Years After show, a Kinks show, a Faces show and I’d trade them with other fans. Once I had a good quality tape of the Who’s afternoon show at the Metropolitan Opera House doing their rock opera “Tommy” for what was supposed to be one of their final performances. I was a fan.

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“CLASS OF ’71” – the morrell archives volume 1

The last day of high school arrived. I was floating on air. All those years of getting up and going to school were finally over. Now I could stay up late and never get out of bed.

The radio was tuned to the FM dial and it was playing static free music in stereo where the DJs would whisper instead of shout at us, where they didn’t talk over the records and they played the kind of music we liked, the Beatles, The Rollin’ Stones and Bob Dylan.

I went from playing 45’s on the record player in my room to playing double albums while lying on the bed with headphones. I was out-of-touch with the real world. The only appetite I had was for more music, concerts and magazines that wrote about the rock & roll scene.

June of 1971 was a great time to be eighteen years old. “I’m Eighteen” by Alice Cooper was my anthem. It was new and fresh and against everything that was proper. Parents hated it. Alice was a boy with a girl’s name. Their sound was brash. I used to play “I’m Eighteen” over and over and louder and louder till my fist got tighter and tighter.

The Fillmore East was the place to see concerts and now Bill Graham announced it was closing, but lucky for me, one of those last shows was Alice Cooper. I stood in line and had great seats. When they hit the stage, it looked like the guys were wearing silver lame’ costumes and I started to laugh until those power chords were blasting me out of my chair. I was rubbing my eyes when Alice came out dressed in black with mascara on his eyes and torn up clothing.

This combination of a madman leading a group of really long hair creatures and performing songs from my favorite album was way beyond compare. It was a joyous rapture in my ears. When the show was almost over, the band grabbed fire extinguishers and let loose. We all stood and cheered. This was my first Alice Cooper show, but not my last.

You felt like the king of the hill going to shows in New York City with your friends, especially the Fillmore East. Half the people I knew in Kearny, NJ wouldn’t set foot in New York, to them it was like going to California. My biggest challenge was getting people to go with me.

The following week, the Fillmore was going to present the great guitar player Johnny Winter, billed as Johnny Winter And, with his brother’s band, Edgar Winter’s White Trash opening, but when we arrived they said Johnny wasn’t going to be performing. People were pissed and some of them wanted refunds. We were already in the city, at the venue, and it was close to midnight, so we went anyway. To the surprise of our lives, we got to see Albert King and B.B. King.

We were young white kids from the suburbs who had dipped our toe in the blues, and had seen B.B. open for the Rolling Stones back on Thanksgiving ’69, but tonight we were getting a lesson from the true masters.

At 5 o’clock in the morning, after a long set, a sweating B.B. came back out on stage, but this time his guitar ‘Lucille’ was in her case, and his jacket was on his arm. He told us it was time to go and then he bowed and thanked us and wished us a good day.

After a long standing ovation, B.B. left the stage and security opened the side doors. It was dawn and we were drained too. We marched our crooked little bodies back up Second Avenue, along St. Marks Place, crossing over Broadway to Eighth Street, past where Buddy Holly lived back in late ‘58 and then down the stairs to take the train home.

I made it to my room and put on the FM radio. It was 7:00am and the DJ was taking calls so I dialed him up and got on the air. I let everyone know what happened at the Fillmore. I said it was a shame people wanted to leave when they heard Johnny wasn’t going to be performing. I told them how B.B. blew us away and gave us 100% of his time and effort. I hung up the phone got under the covers and slept the day away.

It was summertime, and the living was easy.

The radio was my best friend when I was alone in my room and late one Sunday evening in June, I put it on and instead of the usual show, it sounded like John & Yoko were at the station and had taken over. I stopped what I was doing and began to listen to what was going on. It was John & Yoko screaming, crying, whispering, shouting, asking questions, getting into different characters.

For an hour, I’d never heard anything like this on a radio station. There were no commercials, no DJ in charge, it was pure wonderful chaos. Then John started answering the telephone and people were saying the wildest things to him. John was playing along and digging it. The crazier the caller, the further he took it.

At that moment, I knew I had to try to get through. All the while, my head was spinning trying to figure out what to say if John Lennon answered the telephone. I had to come with a gimmick. After much thought I came up with a doozy. I needed to get my name in there, and I wanted to say something about bootlegs to see if he’d bite and comment, and I thought it would be a good idea to throw in a reference to the Bob Dylan bootleg, “The Great White Wonder.”

After a few tries, I could hear the phone ringing on the other end. Out of the blue, (the radio show was on tape delay), in my ear, on the phone in my room, in real time, I heard John Lennon whisper to me, “Could you say that again?”

He was so close to me, I opened my eyes to see if he was standing there. I came out with the nuttiest, strangest thing. I said, “DAVE MORRELL KISSED THE GREAT WHITE WONDER.”

John: “Could you say it again, a bit deeper?”

Dave: “Dave Morrell kissed the great white wonder.”

John: “A little deeper please?”

Dave: “Dave Morrell kissed the great white wonder.”

John: “Could you possibly, just a little deeper?”

Dave: “Dave Morrell kissed the great white wonder.”

John: “If you could just go possibly just go one more, a little deeper I think we’re really getting there.”

Dave: “Dave Morrell kissed the great white wonder.”

John: “One more and we’ve really got it.”

Yoko: “John, I don’t think he’s deep enough.”

Dave: “Dave Morrell kissed the great white wonder.”

John: “You’ve won Mayor Lindsey’s legs, thank you, good night.”

When I heard the phone hang up in my ear, I turned to the radio and cranked it up to hear the tail end of John speaking with me. It was the beginning of my relationship with him. Months later when I met him, he remembered that call.