November 4th, 2010
LENNONYC: Beyond Broadcast
Episode 9: Earl Slick
Earl Slick

Earl Slick

Earl Slick, legendary lead guitarist, originally met Lennon during David Bowie’s Young Americans sessions. In 1980, Jack Douglas brought Slick on to play guitar for Double Fantasy.

Download the MP3 or listen below.

Each podcast will consist of slightly edited interviews conducted for the film American Masters LENNONYC introduced by Susan Lacy, series creator and executive producer of American Masters and a producer of LENNONYC and Michael Epstein, director/writer of LENNONYC. New “episodes” will post weekly every Thursday until the Thursday after broadcast on November 22. The final episode will be a question and answer session using the best questions submitted by users via email at The content will be available here on the American Masters Web site and iTunes. Users can check back in these locations or subscribe to keep up to date with the newest episodes.

  • Tony (aka Pismotality)

    An excellent interview which communicates a real sense of personal loss. I have also heard the Jack Douglas and Bob Gruen podcasts. Thank you for sharing this extra material with us – no doubt there will be lots of tribute programmes and articles as the anniversary approaches but I suspect these sensitive and intelligent interviews with those who were directly involved with John will be hard to beat.

    Tony aka Pismotality

  • Christopher M.

    So great to hear Earl Slick’s insight and memories. A real treat to listen to and a refreshing perspective about his time and experience with John especially in light of the circumstances of not wanting to give interviews or talking about that fateful day. Thanks so much for the other interviews and forthcoming documentary — a truly remarkable tribute to John Lennon.

  • mick

    I have this series downloaded into my itunes, when I downloaded the Earl Slick interview, it was in fact the Bob Gruen interview. I’m trying without success to pull up the Slick interview into my itunes. Any suggestions? Thanx MW..

  • colin fitzpatrick

    Try downloading again. When this episode first published there was an error and the wrong file was marked in the feed. The correction has been made, but still may be inaccurate on your subscription page in iTunes. Either re-download from the podcast page in the iTunes store or download the mp3 here on the site.

  • jeff

    It’s Thursday for one more minute!

  • K Kelly

    Enough time has past for me to feel that I’m not breaking a confidence.
    In 1976 I was 21 years old. I worked for what was at the time the best limousine service in NYC. So that there is no doubt I am who I say I am the name of the service was Esquire Cadillac Limousine Service at 425 E 58th St. This was the service used by the late Mr. Allen Klein of ABKCO. Mr Klein was at one time the manager of the Beatles as well as many others bands including The Rolling Stones. John Lennon used Esquire Limousine as a result of Mr. Klein’s recommendation, I suppose.
    That out of the way, I had numerous occassions between ‘76 and ‘79 to drive Mr. Lennon and his family. Keeping in mind my age at the time this was a very big deal for me as you can imagine. Sunday shopping on the Eastside, visits to The Russian Tea Room, having his interview with Rolling Stone when he talked of Elvis in the US Army confirmed in the back of the limousine. Actually driving their own Mercedes Station Wagon out to LI and using the Blaupunkt radio that “he” used, awesome! These were just some of the experiences I had.
    More personal occassions such as taking Mr Lennon and his young boy Sean to the doctor’s office as well as driving them to their house, at the time, on L.I. and no it wasn’t in the Hamptons. When he or should I say they started to record again I would take them often to the recording studio. I forget where it was exactly but I want to say the West 40’s. I could go on and on but please believe what I’m recalling is true.
    One day as Mr Lennon was getting into the limousine in the archway of the Dakota a fan approached him with a cassette tape and pleaded with him to take it from him and listen to it. Mr Lennon quipped that he “Didn’t listen to music” hearing this I rolled my eyes in the front seat but what I didn’t know was that he could see me do it through the rear view mirror of the car. He leaned over though the partition and kind of snarled,”Do we have a problem?” I was shaken I can’t deny. At the same time I thought his response to that kid with the tape was a bit unfeeling so I responded to Mr. Lennon, “I have nothing to say because I want to keep my job.” He leaned back and asked the person he was with, “Should I sack him?”. Thankfully the man he was with suggested no. I pass these memories on to try to make Mr Lennon more the man and less the legend. He was a nice guy really. I mean it .He was very easy going for the most part. Certainly nicer to a driver in NYC than his spouse. There’s absolutely no doubt about that! LOL! Anyway, I resigned that firm about six months before Mr. Lennon’s murder. I still remember being in an apartment in Astoria watching TV and seeing the report of the shooting. I called the dispatcher at Esquire knowing that it was likely Mr Lennon was getting out of a limousine. Jerry was his name and he said yes it was true. Tearing up then as I am now writing this it was just so spectacularly tragic. Sean, I remember when the cat was lost and your parents searched for a replacement. Yoko, I remember stradling the Dutch Door at the LI home because you didn’t have a key and sternly directing me to get out of the house when all I was doing was helping with the luggage. And also I can only hope that you treat drivers more considerately these days. Late one Sunday night with David Geffin just telling me,”Wait” It may be a bore to anyone reading this but after all these years I felt like letting loose.

  • Marie

    i came to this especidic website coz i was missing this episode (u know… iTunes)
    and then, i found these beautiful memories that K Kelly is sharing with us… Thanks! =)
    It’s specially greatwhen someone whos is not being for say or is not wanting for publicity shares this kind of details =)

    i’m 19, so i wasnt around when all this happened
    it’s kinda weird how opposite sides are there… (specially about yoko and his influence in him)
    All I can say is that at least for me those albums like POB, Imagine, Sometime in NYC (which I adore and find it terribly underated) would never be without Yoko next to him…

    Love Lennons!

    Can’t wait to watch it (BTW, im in Mexico, is there a way of watching this online? Or i’ll have to wait for DVD )

  • Lamont

    Great interview – but I am surprised by one comment, “Here is a guy who was half of the Beatles”. There was a lot more to the Beatles than Lennon and McCartney. There is more to creating music than just sitting down and writing it out.
    The Beatles were a band, and each brought critical contributions to a song. Ringo, who is so maligned by people who don’t know anything about music, was an amazing drummer but also contributed lyrically. Not just the title Hard Day’s Night, but the title Tomorrow Never Knows, and a line in Eleanor Rigby. George Harrison contributed not just guitar, and great songs, but vocal harmonies that were so much of what made the Beatles the Beatles.
    John Lennon used to get annoyed when McCartney would go off and record songs entirely on his own, because the Beatles were a band.

  • Wade Willis

    Well, after listening to it all … all I can say is …

    The only way to think clearly is to not think at all …

    Make love .. Not War …

  • James Motzenbecker

    is it just me, or did the wind really start to kick up when he asked “Slick” abot where he was when he heard…?

  • Sabrina Schofield

    Movie is superb and Keep doing on the same songs are pretty cool………………


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