Friday, March 25, 2016

Great Lost Band Members # 19 Jim Tucker

Rhythm guitarist of The Turtles. Supposedly left the band after being publicly humiliated by John Lennon in a night club in London an episode which, if true, speaks clearly about Lennon's deeply ugly streak. Howard Kaylan of the band recalls it thus:

'An apparently drunk or high Lennon mean-spiritedly mocked The Turtles’ then-rhythm guitarist Jim Tucker, making fun of his unfashionable clothes and his unruly hairdo, then launching into a dirty rendition of Shirley Ellis’ “The Name Game” rhyming “Tucker” with a certain expletive. Howard says Lennon continued his verbal attack until tears began welling up in Tucker’s eyes. Kaylan’s band mate eventually fired back at Lennon, “I thought you were the coolest guy on the planet. I can’t believe I met you [and] you turned out to be this ass,” to which John responded, “You never met me, son. You never met me.”

Howard says Tucker, who had worshipped Lennon, was so upset by the incident that “he ran out of the club, he got into a taxi, he flew back to California [shortly thereafter], he never played music again [and] I never saw him after that.”'

Such is the nature of Rock and Roll myth. Tucker, in any case, denies the story. Nevertheless, he did leave the band shortly thereafter.

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