Excerpt: 'The Last Days of Dead Celebrities'

When the music was over, Mintz and Lennon talked into the night. Yoko fell asleep. "She usually went to sleep when John and I spoke," said Mintz. "Yoko does not sleep the way most people sleep. She takes a series of catnaps during every twenty-four-hour period. She'll go down for two or three hours, come up, do what she has to do, and when she gets tired she goes to sleep again. She can sleep at the drop of a dime. She had heard thousands of hours of the John and Elliot dialogue. And with my kind of late-night FM voice, and John mostly talking about things Yoko already knew about, I would expect her to fall asleep. And that night she did.

"John was enthusiastic about everything that night, not only about the record coming out, but also about what the record symbolized, and where he was with his family," said Mintz. "A few weeks prior to this he had prepared his first loaf of bread that he baked in his oven. He sent me a Polaroid picture of the loaf of bread, which to him was a symbol of pride that he could do such a thing as create a loaf of bread. I still have the Polaroid of the loaf of bread. I know there's the impression that his life was very frenetic, very busy, but in fact it was Yoko who was generating a lot of the business stuff and taking the phone calls. John just seemed content with where he was, and completely at peace in terms of his relationship with Sean. Each night before he slept, he would put Sean to sleep by cradling him in his arms and whispering into his ears the various things that the two of them did that day.

"I asked him about going out on the road and performing live, assuming the record was a success, and he was affirmative about all of it," said Mintz. "He basically said, 'Whatever Mother thinks we should do.' In fact, Yoko had already laid the groundwork for a mini-tour, not something that would take them around the world on a jet plane, like Mick Jagger does with the Rolling Stones. It was just going to be some key locations in key cities."

There came a point in the middle of the night when Lennon was finally through talking. He wasn't bashful about kicking Mintz out. He just simply said, "Okay, I think I'm going to close my eyes now." "He said, 'Let me walk you to the door.'

"And I said, 'John, I know my way to the door.' But he was insistent," said Mintz. "So he got up, in his pajamas, and he led me to the door. There was a chain of bells hanging on the doorknob, on the inside of their front door. They were Tibetan or Buddhist bells, on a small chain not much thicker than a woman's large necklace. They rang with a high-pitched tone, not loud, not like gongs. And as we got to the door, he turned the knob and opened it, and the bells started ringing. And for no particular reason that I could discern, he smiled at me, and said, 'It's our alarm system.'"

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