San Francisco's Zetta Hotel on Fifth Street held what turned out to be a very popular event July 14 when May Pang made a personal appearance to talk about her photos of John Lennon and the book, “Instamatic Karma,” they came from. The room, in the front of the hotel, was packed with about 200 people.
Photographer Robert Altman made an appearance at the event. A band, RubberSideDown, played Beatles (mostly) and Lennon songs all night. Pang also was happy to sign copies of her book for anyone who asked.
She told the crowd why she put the book together. “The photographs that are up here (on the wall) were in my personal collection. And someone told me, 'Why don't you put these pictures out in a book?' She said she had kept them previously stored in a shoebox.
She told the story of one of the photos she took of John Lennon. It showed him standing with some dogs. “This was actually one of John's favorite photographs. This was near Woodstock, if you're familiar with the New York area,” she said.
“And we were spending some time taking a walk with our friend's dog. We were just walking. So as he was walking, I decided to drop back. And I just yelled out to him and he turned around and I snapped the shot. And he liked it so much he asked me, 'Can I use it?'” She said the photo was later used for a 45 RPM single for “Imagine” released in Europe.
The hotel is featuring a wall of her Lennon photos and one she took of Paul McCartney. The mini-display of Pang's photos will be on display through the end of August, the hotel said.