Henry Smith recollects about the John Lennon tour he was supposed to lead.
Henry Smith was in Auckland, New Zealand on December 8, 1980, serving as road manager for Roberta Flack on her latest European tour and, of equal importance, mentally preparing himself for what was coming when the Flack tour ended. His preparations for that night’s show were interrupted by a phone call.
“It was Roberta,” recalls Smith during a recent conversation with Rock Cellar Magazine. “She told me that John Lennon had just been killed.”
Smith, who has worked for the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Yardbirds and Aerosmith over the years as both a roadie and road manager, relates that the immediate response to the call was both sadness and concern.
“The people at The Dakota (where Lennon was living at the time) had called Roberta. They didn’t know if John’s murder had been a part of a conspiracy or what and, since she had lived at The Dakota, they wanted to make sure that Roberta was going to be alright.”
Smith’s reaction to the news was two-fold. Like everyone else, there was unparalleled sadness. But, unlike others, there was also an element of self interest at the news.
“I stood a chance of making some good money with John on that tour,” he admits of Lennon’s long anticipated One World, One People tour set for May 1981 in which he would serve as both road manager and de facto booking agent. “I could have become a very wealthy man.”
Smith was introduced to John Lennon late in 1980 by producer Jack Douglas, who produced the album Double Fantasy. It was shortly after the completion of the album and Lennon, for the first time in a long time, was getting ready to tour.
Yoko Ono Lennon, John Lennon & Producer Jack Douglas – Double Fantasy Sessions
The official announcement that Lennon would undertake a U.S. and Europe tour was made on October 8, 1980. The musicians who had worked with...
READ MORE... HERE.