May Pang was John Lennon’s Chinese American assistant turned lover (on Yoko Ono’s insistence and which she came to regret). With May’s help, Lennon had his most artistically and commercially productive period post-Beatles—with the albums “Mind Games,” “Walls and Bridges,” which included his only #1 Hit Single “Whatever Gets You Through the Night,” “Rock and Roll” and collaboration with Rock legends Elton John, David Bowie, Harry Nilsson, Mick Jagger, and Ringo among others. Also, on that album, Pang can be heard in the song “#9 Dream,” where she whispers John’s name in the song. Another song on the album “Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox)” was written about Pang.
Pang has published three books on her time with Lennon, including Loving John, John Lennon – The Lost Weekend, and Instamatic Karma, featuring photos from her private archives.
Pang also encouraged Lennon to reconnect with his family and friends, ultimately leading to a reunion with Paul McCartney and a memorable jam session between the two Beatles. Pang also arranged for Julian Lennon to visit his father for the first time in almost three years. One of Pang’s photographs of Julian Lennon graces the cover of Julian’s latest album, “Jude.”
Lennon also went into the studio with friend Harry Nilsson and produced his album “Pussy Cats.” During this time, Pang rented a house in Santa Monica and moved in with Lennon and fellow partiers Ringo Starr, Keith Moon (The Who), and Harry Nilsson. Several photos from this time also appear in the exhibition. Another exhibition highlight is the only photograph of John Lennon signing the contract to dissolve the Beatles. This 50-year-old photo has never been available to the public for purchase until now.