Dan Richter wore many hats during his association with John Lennon and Yoko Ono between 1969-1973. At various times he was their assistant, live-in roommate, photographer, and “dope buddy” as he puts it, but one thing that never varied: he was always their friend. Dan has written his memoirs in his book, “The Dream Is Over: London in the 60s, heroin, and John & Yoko” (Quartet, 2011.) We have done an extensive telephone interview with Dan about his book and his fascinating time with the Lennons that we are publishing here in three parts.
The book is now available at both Amazon UK and Amazon US as well as Quartet Books.
Dan Richter was a professional mime, and his success lead to work with Stanley Kubrick on “2001: A Space Odyssey” as the man-ape named “Moonwatcher.” After becoming friends with Yoko Ono in 1964, he and his wife Jill shared an apartment with Yoko and her husband Tony Cox in London. When Yoko’s marriage began to crumble as she began bringing John around in 1968, Dan and John hit it off immediately.
Dan would soon find himself becoming an indispensable part of their daily lives. What our talk with Dan revealed is that behind the public scenes of all that was going on—such as the break-up of the Beatles, John & Yoko’s peace movement, the legendary Imagine sessions, and their eventual move to New York, many incredible and frightening things were happening to the Lennons on a personal level. Dan saw it all. This 3-part interview that we are about to share is still only a fraction of his memories.
The acrimonious custody issues with Kyoko, Yoko’s daughter with Tony, demanded much of Dan’s expertise and time. He also was a photographer and did photo shoots and designed album covers. And they all helped each other with heroin addiction.
He assisted John with his visas to get into the U.S.. He got caught in the middle of one of John and Yoko’s biggest arguments, one in which he helped resolve. He was with them in New York when the FBI began tracking and wire-tapping the Lennons– a very scary time that unfortunately lead to an explosive end to Richter’s association with John and Yoko.
Here are the links to all three parts. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the “life with the Lennons,” which was never apparently easy, and never exactly a simple “walk through Tittenhurst Park.”
Life with the Lennons (Pt 1): John & Yoko’s love affair, heroin and the Beatles: The years 1964-1970 are highlighted.
Life with the Lennons (Pt 2): The ‘abduction’ of Kyoko and the Bangladesh battle: Dan relives some private dramatic events of 1971 including the ongoing custody battle over Kyoko and the fight over the Bangladesh concert.
Life with the Lennons (Pt 3): Nixon deportation threats, tensions and goodbyes : After Dan got them into the U.S., John and Yoko began falling apart. It would lead to the end to Dan’s association with the Lennons.
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Copyright notice: This article ©Shelley Germeaux 2012 John Lennon Examiner and may not be reprinted without permission of the author, except for excerpts that link to the article. Thank you.