When John Lennon found homeless fan at his door and invited him in: “Are you hungry?”

20 October 2020, 17:04 | Updated: 23 November 2020, 16:39

Footage from 1971 shows John Lennon having a conversation with a homeless man who had been living in the singer's garden, as he tries to convince the troubled fan that his famous songs aren't about him.
Footage from 1971 shows John Lennon having a conversation with a homeless man who had been living in the singer's garden, as he tries to convince the troubled fan that his famous songs aren't about him. Picture: Imagine/Joko

By Giorgina Ramazzotti

A video of John Lennon inviting a troubled homeless man into his home shows the incredible compassion the late Beatles star had for his fans.

Footage from 1971 shows John Lennon having a conversation with a homeless man who had been living in the singer's garden, as he tries to convince the troubled fan that his famous songs aren't about him.

The incredible clip shows the Beatles legend speaking at length to the fan, Curt Claudie, before inviting him in for food, and sitting with him as he eats.

See more: David Bowie's moving 'Imagine' cover, in tribute to John Lennon three years after his death

Curt was a shell-shocked Vietnam war veteran who had regularly written long letters to John when he was an inpatient at a hospital in San Francisco, and upon his release had made his way to England to find the musician.

The police had wanted to arrest the troubled fan but Lennon wouldn't allow it, instead opting to gently talk to him face-to-face.

See more: John Lennon's tragic death remembered 40 years later: How the world reacted

The police had wanted to arrest the troubled American fan but Lennon wouldn't allow it, instead opting to gently talk to him face-to-face.
The police had wanted to arrest the troubled American fan but Lennon wouldn't allow it, instead opting to gently talk to him face-to-face. Picture: Imagine/Joko
The incredible clip shows the Beatle fan speaking at length to the fan, Curt Claudie, before inviting him in for food, and sitting with him as he eats.
The incredible clip shows the Beatle fan speaking at length to the fan, Curt Claudie, before inviting him in for food, and sitting with him as he eats. Picture: Imagine/Joko

The video, taken from the documentary Imagine, shows John and Yoko Ono standing outside the front door of their house in Tittenhurst Park, near Ascot.

See more: Yoko Ono covers 'Imagine' for John Lennon's 78th birthday - listen now

Standing at a few feet away is Curt who had been living on their property for weeks and was convinced that John Lennon's songs had been written personally for him.

Voice over from Yoko Ono explains the situation, saying John had compassion for delusional fans and he "always felt responsible for these people...because they were a result of his songs."

See more: The 10 greatest John Lennon songs, ranked

In the footage the fan and John face each other as the Beatle begins by saying: "Don't confuse the songs with your own life."

In the footage the fan and John face each other as the Beatle begins by saying: "Don&squot;t confuse the songs with your own life."
In the footage the fan and John face each other as the Beatle begins by saying: "Don't confuse the songs with your own life.". Picture: Imagine/Joko

"I mean, they might have relevance to your own life, but a lot of things do. So we met, you know, I'm just a guy. I write songs."

See more: QUIZ: How much of a John Lennon fan are you?

As the fan starts to quote the star's lyrics, determined that the words were about him, John gently counters: "I was just having fun with words. It was literally a nonsense song."

"I mean Dylan does that... you just take words and you stick them together and you see if they have any meaning. Some of them do, some of them don't," the singer explains, humbly.

See more: The heartbreaking moment Stevie Wonder announces John Lennon’s death to fans at concert

In a last ditch attempt, the fan replies: "You weren't thinking of anyone in particular when you were singing that song?"

Curt is seen eating soup at the dining room table with John and Yoko at the and of the video
Curt is seen eating soup at the dining room table with John and Yoko at the and of the video. Picture: Imagine/Joko
The footage then cuts to the incredible moment the fan is invited into the house and is filmed sitting at the dining room table with John and Yoko, while they all eat a meal together.
The footage then cuts to the incredible moment the fan is invited into the house and is filmed sitting at the dining room table with John and Yoko, while they all eat a meal together. Picture: Imagine/Joko

"How could I be? How could I be thinking of you, man?" John says, "I'm thinking of me, and at best Yoko if it's a love song. I'm singing about me and my life, and if it's relevant about other people's lives, then yeah, that's alright."

The fan's eyes then drop to the ground and he looks devastated and a clearly moved John then says: "Are you hungry?" gesturing to his friends he adds: "Let's give him something to eat."

See more: Lennon and McCartney's sons come together for selfie - and they look just like their dads

The footage then cuts to the incredible moment the fan is invited into the house and is filmed sitting at the dining room table with John and Yoko, while they all eat a meal together.

The video comes after the world celebrated what would have been John Lennon's 80th birthday on October 9, 2020, forty years after the star's untimely death on December 8, 1980.

Read next: The inside story of why The Beatles really broke up