Behind John Lennon's NYC Tee

by Annie Kilburn

“It was a beautiful, sunny day,” said May Pang, Lennon’s companion at the time. “Johnsmoked his French Gauloises and drank lots of strong coffee.” Gruen asked Lennon to put on a T-shirt he’d bought on the sidewalk for $5—white with NEW YORK CITY in bold black type, the black sleeves cut off with a buck knife for a tougher effect. It seemed right: “John had been in the city awhile,” says Gruen. “He was becoming a New Yorker.”  One of the shots capturesLennon pale and unsmiling, his arms folded across his stomach. “That was his street stance,” says Pang. “John was self-conscious about the cutoff sleeves, but I assured him it was fine.”