Instamatic Karma

Photographs of John Lennon

Images from   Instamatic Karma

Between 1973 and 1975 John Lennon enjoyed the greatest period of solo success of his post-Beatles career. Yet that time is commonly referred to as his “Lost Weekend” and he is portrayed as being an out-of-control drunk.

As the photographs in this unique book prove, however, John Lennon was remarkably happy and healthy during that time. They were taken by Yoko Ono’s former assistant, May Pang, who had been charged by her boss with keeping the ex-Beatle “happy”. Clearly, she did – much to Yoko’s eventual displeasure.


  • A unique collection of previously unseen photographs of John Lennon.
  • Sheds a revealing light on one of the least-known periods of Lennon’s life.
  • Includes previously unpublished stories about John and other musicians.


  1. Over 200 personal, previously unseen, photographs of John Lennon in Los Angeles and New York, the Nevada desert, and other US locations. Shots of Lennon playing music with friends such as Harry Nilsson, Elton John, and Ringo Starr. Intimate portraits of Lennon at home, in bed, relaxing, and playing with his son Julian.
  2. Also includes photographs of unique items of memorabilia that May has kept since that special time in her – and his – life.

Author biography

May Pang was a personal assistant to Yoko Ono in New York in 1973 when her boss ordered her to take Lennon away from their home at The Dakota for as long as Yoko demanded. May took Lennon to LA and began a passionate love affair with him that lasted almost two years. In 1975, after the ex-Beatles’ most successful musical period of his solo career, Yoko demanded his return and May was left heartbroken. She has since raised a family and enjoyed a career in the rock ‘n’ roll business. May currently designs and sells her own range of jewelry.

Captures many defining moments in Lennon's life after the Beatles ... bursts with intimate and previously unpublished images.

James Rosen
The Washington Post
[Gallery not found]
May Pang
May Pang
St. Martin's Press
Publication date
Autumn 2008
235mm × 190mm
Full colour
144 pages
10,000 words
160 images
Rights sold
United States, Japan
Project website