Instamatic Karma

Photographs of John Lennon

May Pang

St. Martin's Press

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“There were times I was a bit reticent in taking out my camera, like when some ‘old friends’ stopped by to hang out. I didn’t want to intrude on these moments, but John insisted.  He felt that I captured him in ways that no one else did because of his comfort level with me…For years, only my closest friends got to see these photos—which were literally tucked away in a shoebox in my closet.  They were surprised that these images did not convey the John that was portrayed in the press during our time together.  In fact, they saw a side of John seldom seen.”—From INSTAMATIC KARMA

John Lennon is the most famously photographed Beatle—everyone from Iain MacMillian to Annie Lebowitz took iconic images of him—but there have never been pictures of him like these taken by May Pang, Lennon’s girlfriend from 1973 to 1975. In INSTAMATIC KARMA, they’re collected for the first time.  With very few exceptions, these photos are that rare thing: never-before-seen images of an icon.  The photos here show Lennon in a variety of settings: at work, at play, at home, and away. They show a playful Lennon, a casual, unguarded Lennon; they’re the kind of photos one lover takes of another. May has written rich captions to accompany her photos--taken together, they tell a simple story of the time May and Lennon spent together; a time, according to legend, when Lennon was unhappy and unproductive, estranged from his family and bandmates. Pang’s photos clearly tell another story—they show Lennon clowning around, working on his hit album “Walls and Bridges”, embracing old friends and family, hanging out in their apartment on Manhattan’s East 52nd Street, relaxing in the country in upstate New York or spending peaceful days swimming in the waters of Long Island.

The photographs in INSTAMATIC KARMA are both color and black & white, casual Polaroids and more composed shots.  Each one is an intimate glimpse into a fascinating time in John Lennon’s life.

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at homecalifornia, here we comeShortly after John and I got together, he decided we would go to Los Angeles for a white. We hopped on a flight with “Uncle” Harold Seider, John’s lawyer and trusted advisor from the Allen Klein/ABKCO days (John had hired Harold after he left ABKCO, which came in handy in John’s lawsuit against Klein). Harold graciously offered us his apartment and found somewhere else to stay. He knew better than anyone that John had no spending money! We soon met up with two of John’s old friends: Rolling Stone Bill Wyman and the Stones’ ex-manager,

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May Pang talks about John Lennon on Air America Radio

Watch this video to hear May Pang talk on the Lionel Show on Air America Radio about her relationship with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. May Pang is the author and photographer of the book Instamatic Karma.

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About the Author

May Pang

MAY PANG worked for ABKCO, the Beatles’ management company, in the early 1970’s, and from there was hired as John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s personal assistant.  After her relationship with Lennon ended, Pang worked for Island Records and United Artists. In addition to photography, she designs a line of feng shui jewelry and furniture. She lives in New York with her two children.

May Pang

May Pang

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Available Formats and Book Details

Instamatic Karma
Photographs of John Lennon
May Pang

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
March 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429993975
ISBN10: 1429993979
160 pages, Includes 110 color photos plus 35 b&w photos throughout
$7.99

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
March 2008
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312377410
ISBN10: 031237741X
7 1/2 x 9 1/8 inches, 160 pages, Includes 110 color photographs plus 35 black-and-white photographs throughout
$29.95
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