On December 8, 1980, twenty-something rock journalist Laurie Kaye entered the legendary Dakota apartments on Manhattan’s Upper West Side to co-conduct an interview with her longtime idol, John Lennon. It was the last interview Lennon would ever give—just hours later, outside that same building, Lennon was shot dead by a twenty-five-year-old man (whom Kaye refuses to refer to by name) whom Kaye herself had encountered after finishing the interview and stepping outside onto the street. Kaye has beaten herself up ever since over her failure to recognize that the assassin—who blocked her path and harassed her with questions like “Did you talk to him?” “Did you get his autograph?”—posed a danger and should have been reported. Now, as we approach the forty-fifth anniversary of Lennon's death, Kaye reflects how she rose from teen runaway from a dysfunctional family to expatriate studying Balinese dancing in Indonesia to journalist, writer, and producer with credits including RKO Presents The Beatles/The Beatles from Liverpool to Legend (at the tender age of twenty-one) and the Lord of the Rings DVD release, plus interviews with such titans of the music industry as Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Talking Heads, The Ramones, David Bowie, and Mick Jagger, whom she put on hold so that he could listen to her newscast before getting down to business. But it was the day she shared a loveseat with John Lennon and watched him push his iconic granny glasses down the length of his nose and smile at her in agreement that remains indelibly etched in her mind—both the best and worst day of her life.
Laurie Kaye began her career in radio at KFRC-AM San Francisco, for years one of the nation’s greatest top 40 stations, where she started as an intern and worked her way up to on-air reporter and anchor. She wrote and coproduced numerous radio rock specials for RKO, including RKO Presents the Beatles (later expanded and retitled as The Beatles from Liverpool to Legend), and The Top 100 of the 70’s before moving on to write Dick Clark’s weekly radio countdown show and syndicated newspaper column. Kaye then moved on to television and film as a writer, producer, and casting director, where she still works today, handling both creative content and line producing for docuseries pilots.
Front cover by Grammy-winning artist and director Mick Haggerty.
This book will be shipped in December 2023.
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