Yes In My Back Yard, And In My Dining Room Too
At a time when many people are quick to say, “Not in my back yard” to homelessness, one celebrity surprised the world and said, “Yes in my back yard.” And not just my back yard but in my garden and in my dining room too.
How would you react when you discover a homeless man living on your property?
On one such occasion in 1971, while the police wanted to arrest the individual, a charitable-to-a-fault John Lennon invited the homeless man indoors to dine with him and Yoko.
Leading up to this face-to-face meeting, Curt Claudie, an American veteran of Vietnam, wrote Lennon regularly beginning when Claudie was an inpatient in a California hospital.
Claudie, who suffers from PTSD, could not only relate to Lennon’s songs, he believed the songs were written about him and he sought out to find the former Beatles member at his home in the UK.
In a conversation with Claudie, John Lennon said, “Don’t confuse the songs with your own life.”
“They may have relevance to your own life,” Lennon continued, “but a lot of things do.”
While speaking with Lennon, Claudie began quoting lyrics certain that they were about him. When asked by Claudie, “You weren’t thinking of anyone in particular when you were singing that song?”, a gracious, Lennon said, “I’m thinking of me, and at best Yoko if it’s a love song. I’m thinking about me and my life, and if it’s relevant about other people’s lives, then yeah, that’s alright.”
Sensing disappointment in his fan’s eyes, John Lennon asked, “Are you hungry?” at which point Claudie was invited in to enjoy a meal with John and Yoko.
The exchange was shared in the documentary ‘Imagine’.