‘Do you know who I am?’ a drunk John Lennon asked a waitress of the Troubadour nightclub in West-Hollywood forty years ago when she refused to serve him any longer. ‘Sure,’ her reaction was: ‘Some asshole with a Kotex on his head.’
Together with his girlfriend May Pang, guitarist Jesse Ed Davis and drinking buddy musician Harry Nilsson, Beatle John Lennon ended up in the popular club Troubadour in March 1974, after a booze-fuelled dinner in Santa Monica. During the dinner, Lennon returned from the bathroom with a sanitary towel on his head. ‘I pleaded with him to take it off. He just smiled.’ Pang recalls.
After the discussion with the waitress, the situation escalated. Security staff got involved. Punches were thrown. Lennon lost his glasses and sanitary towel. Finally the group was thrown out. Outside, Lennon was still enraged and kicked the valet. The next day flowers and an excuse letter arrived. Lennon: ‘I was drunk, it was the first time I drank Brandy Alexander.’
Drinking buddy Nilsson was blamed. ‘Harry was encouraging me.’ And according to him the waitress who claimed John hit her, wasn’t touched at all: ‘She just wanted money. And if I asked if she knew who I was, then it was meant as a joke. Just like the Kotex thing. It was a mistake, I’m only human.’ In the end he quoted actor Erroll Flynn: ‘Those were the days, when men were men.’ Just like his role model (Flynn died when he was 50 after a life filled with drugs and alcohol), Lennon didn’t live long. He just turned 40 when he was shot in front of his home in 1980 by ex-fan Mark David Chapman.