HottyToddy.com contributor Steve Vassallo said, “May Pang is the former mistress and confidant of Beatle legend John Lennon. She has been described by rock pundits as one of the most exciting and interesting females of the 20th century. May recently took a few minutes of her time to describe life amidst Beatlemania. Her insights describe a side of the complex relationships between the Fab Four that we never knew. This is a “must read” for Beatle fans worldwide!
HottyToddy.com — May, it is truly an honor to interview you! Tell us about your life today and in recent years.
May Pang — Life is good. I have two wonderful children, Sebastian and Lara, and I remain busy as ever. I’m busy with my photo exhibitions in various place, I recently wrote a book for the German market and I design jewelry and host a radio blog show online. I’m involved with animal rights and rescue and environmental issues. Everyday is an adventure; I never know what’s around the corner.
HottyToddy.com — You became one of the most famous women worldwide because of your relationship with John Lennon. How did you handle this fame?
May Pang — I actually didn’t want any notoriety in my relationship with John. It was he who planted ‘that kiss” in front of the press and said, “Well I guess the secret’s out now.” It was picked up by newspapers internationally. I love sharing my memories of John though.
HottyToddy.com — Few people may know how you became so close with John and Yoko. Can you describe how the three of you became introduced?
May Pang — After my first year of college, I realized it wasn’t for me and went out to make my mark on the world. I got an interview as a receptionist for a bicycle company, but didn’t get the job. In the same office building was ABKCO Industries, Allen Klein’s management company which was basically Apple Records in New York. I had another resume and plenty of determination as opposed to experience, went in and asked for a job. And I got it!
HottyToddy.com — Can you briefly tell us about your childhood and where you were raised?
May Pang — My parents were immigrants from China. Rather than settle in Chinatown, they went to Harlem where I was born. We later moved to Spanish Harlem, one of maybe three Chinese families in the neighborhood. For as long as I could remember, I loved rock ‘n’ roll. Music was everywhere when I was a kid, doo-wop groups on every corner. Music basically kept me sane and it saved my life growing up.
HottyToddy.com — Many of us devout Beatle fans cannot absorb enough information about the Fab Four. What was John truly like?
May Pang — John was a very complex man and descriptions of him vary from anyone who knew him. The John I knew was kind-hearted, intelligent, funny, and genuinely concerned about the betterment of the world. He was also insecure, which was a good trait because he didn’t let his “legend” go to his head.
HottyToddy.com — You are credited with restoring a number of relationships involving the group and family members. Is this a fair assessment?
May Pang — Yeah, the most important of these was with his first son, Julian. After not seeing each other for three years, they got along splendidly and did all the fun father and son stuff. Disneyland, Disneyworld, Hollywood, boating in the Long Island Sound and, when your dad is a musician, hanging out in the studio and recording. As far as the other Beatles, during my time with John, he saw Paul very regularly and even played with him. We lived with Ringo for a while out in L.A. and he spoke and wrote to George all the time. When Paul first started to visit, John would say, “Err, Paul and Linda want to stop by, is it O.K.?” I said it was great, why do you even have to ask. Then I figured out that previously it probably wasn’t always O.K.
HottyToddy.com — When John departed for the California sabbatical, you accompanied him during what was one of the more turbulent times (apparently) in his life. What can you tell us about this experience and what was going through his mind at that time?
May Pang — First of all, Yoko didn’t send us to Los Angeles. John and I were already together for a couple of months and at the spur of the moment, he decided we should go to L.A. with his lawyer to promote his new Mind Games album and, more importantly, because winter was approaching in New York and he loved the sun and the water.
HottyToddy.com — The song John wrote following the breakup, “How Do You Sleep?” was believed to be directed at Paul. How did John feel about Paul during the years prior to his death?
May Pang — John loved Paul like a brother. When they got together, it was like nothing ever happened and no time had passed. John was even planning to join Paul for a recording session in New Orleans — and write with him again. This was February 1975, during Paul and Linda’s “Venus and Mars” recordings.
HottyToddy.com — In the 1970’s you were viewed as one of the “sexiest women” in the world. All too often, beautiful ladies become stereotyped for their looks versus their intelligence. A penny for your thoughts?
May Pang — Thanks for the compliment, I never knew that. I didn’t feel I was ever stereotyped in that way because I was also the coordinator on John’s recordings. I know some men had a problem with the fact that I was in charge, but that was another stereotype (laughs).
HottyToddy.com — What was your relationship with Paul, George and Ringo?
May Pang — It was wonderful. As I said, John and I lived with Ringo, and we also did some recording with him. When I first met Paul, it was in L.A. and he came to visit John at Yoko’s behest because she wanted John to come back to her. So, at first he was trying to figure me out. But when he realized he could now see John whenever he wanted and there was no tension, he knew I was harmless (laughs). George told me, “I’m glad John is with you now.” He even said that to John right after.
HottyToddy.com — It was widely believed that Yoko blessed your accompaniment with John to the west coast. Is this an accurate assumption?
May Pang — John and Yoko were having problems and she figured he was going to see other people. He also talked in his sleep, so she figured out that he was thinking about me. So Yoko “arranged” for John and I to get together because he wanted to. She has no idea we were going to the west coast. Neither did I. John was having a meeting with his lawyer Harold Seider who told him he was heading home to Los Angeles that evening. Just like that, John said, “We’re going with you!” as I was walking into the room. I barely had time to pack. And off we went with no money, no idea for how long or where we’d even stay. Harold gave us his apartment.
HottyToddy.com — What are some of your favorite songs by John and the Beatles and why?
May Pang — I really love early Beatles. Those “two minutes of magic tracks” like There’s A Place and I’ll Get You. My favorite John solo songs are Mind Games, #9 Dream and the song he wrote for me, Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox).
HottyToddy.com — Did John write any songs while you were together in California?
May Pang — He wrote Nobody Loves You after we went to Vegas. He saw it as a song Frank Sinatra could do on the strip. Move Ms L was another one.
HottyToddy.com — Speculate with us if John had lived beyond 1980. What would his life been like beyond this year? Would he have continued to live in NYC?
May Pang — He would always live in New York, at least part-time. But he would’ve loved the digital age. He missed CDs by a year. Never saw MTV. And he would be wreaking havoc on the internet! He would also be very proud of Julian and Sean, not only for their music, but for their activism on behalf of the earth.
HottyToddy.com — Were you and John truly “in love”?
May Pang — Yes. Our relationship never really ended. I loved him and he told me — and many other people — that he loved me. Despite the myth that his been portrayed of his unhappiness, we really did have a lot of fun together. And he made some great music while we were together. That 18 months were the most prolific time of his solo career.
HottyToddy.com — How do you want the world to perceive you now? You remain to a great extent as being one of the most mysterious and exciting women of all time. What can you share with us in informing everyone what makes May Pang tick?
May Pang — I don’t know how mysterious I am. I think people enjoy my memories and photographs of John. What makes me tick? Good friends and family. Positiveness. I try to see the humorous side of things because, as the old saying goes, if you don’t laugh, you cry.
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford. Steve’s lifelong dream has been to live in Oxford full-time. “I am now living my dream daily as is my wife Rosie, who works with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce,” Steve said. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.