MY OLD FRIEND
May 29th, 2012
In 1981, just after John Lennon died, Paul and Linda invited Carl Perkins to stay with them in Montserrat. Paul wanted Carl’s help recording a song called ‘Get It’ for his new album, Tug Of War. Carl spent eight days with them, and George and Ringo had been there to help out as well. It was a great time between old friends who had shared such a legendary musical past.
The night before he left, a song came to Carl that summed up his warm feelings about the visit, and he couldn’t get it out of his mind. It was so strong that Carl didn’t even write it down, which was strange for him. He usually always wrote his songs down immediately.
In the morning, Carl Perkins sang the song, which he named My Old Friend, for Linda and Paul, saying it was his gift for having him as a guest. Half way through the song, after singing “if we never meet again this side of life, in a little while, over yonder, where there’s peace and quiet, my old friend, won’t you think about me every now and then?” tears streamed down Paul’s face and he stood up and stepped outside.
“Paul was crying, tears were rolling down his pretty cheeks, and Linda said, “Carl, thank you so much.” I said, “Linda, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you cry.” She said, “But he’s crying, and he needed to. He hasn’t been able to really break down since that happened to John.” And she put her arm around me and said, “But how did you know?” I said, “Know what?” She said, “There’s two people in the world that know what John Lennon said to Paul, the last thing he said to him. But now there’s three, and one of them’s you, you know it.” I said, “Girl, you’re freaking me out! I don’t know what you’re talking about!” She said that the last words that John Lennon said to Paul in the hallway of the Dakota building were, he patted him on the shoulder and said, ‘Think about me every now and then, old friend.’”
Carl had no doubt that the song was from John Lennon, as a gift to Paul.