About a Rock 'n' Roll Name-Dropper
Laurie Kaye is a writer and producer, and 'Confessions of a Rock ’n’ Roll Name-Dropper: My Life Leading Up to John Lennon’s Last Interview' is her long-awaited memoir. In it, we read about Kaye's music-related early life wrapped around that day in December 1980 which Kaye spent with John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the legendary Dakota apartment building on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
On December 8, 1980, while working for RKO Radio, twenty-something rock journalist Laurie Kaye co-conducted an interview with her longtime idol, John Lennon. It was to become Lennon's final interview on what tragically turned out to be his last day on the planet.
That evening, John Lennon was gunned down by a man Laurie Kaye had encountered just hours before. Lennon's 25-year-old assassin (whom Kaye refuses to refer to by name) had blocked Kaye's path outside the Dakota, harassing her with questions right after the interview such as, “Did you talk to him?” and “Did you get his autograph?", and in the following years, Laurie Kaye has continued to beat herself up over her failure to recognize that this creep had posed a danger and should have been reported.
As we approach the 45th anniversary of John Lennon's death, Laurie Kaye reflects on how she rose from teen runaway from a dysfunctional family to an expatriate studying Balinese dancing in Indonesia to journalist, writer and producer. Along the way, she interviewed titans of the music industry including John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Grace Slick, Talking Heads, The Ramones, David Bowie, Mick Jagger (whom she put on hold so that he could listen to her newscast before getting down to business) and many more.
But it was that December day she shared a loveseat with John Lennon and watched him push his iconic granny glasses down the length of his nose and smile at her in agreement that remains most indelibly etched in her mind, making it, as she says, both the best and worst day of her life.
Laurie Kaye began her career in radio at KFRC-AM San Francisco, for years one of the nation’s greatest top 40 stations, where she started as an intern and worked her way up to on-air reporter and anchor. She wrote and coproduced numerous radio rock specials for RKO, including RKO Presents the Beatles (released in 1977, and later expanded and retitled as The Beatles from Liverpool to Legend), and The Top 100 of the 70’s before moving on to write Dick Clark’s weekly radio countdown show and syndicated newspaper column. Kaye then moved on to television and film as a writer, producer, and casting director, where she still works today, handling both creative content and line producing for docuseries pilots.
Created by Grammy-winning rock album designer/music video director Mick Haggerty from the photo taken of Laurie with John and Yoko at the tail end of their December 8, 1980 interview.
The memoir was released on December 8, 2023 - Available now from the following and most other bookstore sites.
ISBN-10 : 194902458X
ISBN-13 : 978-1949024586
The audiobook memoir was released January 12, 2024 - Available now from Amazon and here's the direct Audible link.