Let me tell you a story. Back in the summer of ’69 I was on a business trip to New York, meeting with some of my sausage suppliers and Froman Inc associates. Practically everyone was talking about this place that was serving great schnitzel. Now I love good schnitzel as much as anyone, so Mrs Froman and I decided to check it out. It was called Luchow’s, I believe.
So it’s a nice old German joint, very traditional, and we’d enjoyed our appetizers, but we’re waiting a LONG time for our entrees to arrive.
While we’re waiting, this big group of arty characters come in amid a great hullabaloo and take up 2 or 3 tables. The waiting staff were really fawning over these guys, and my legendary patience was starting to wear a little thin. Then, what do I see? Only their tables getting schnitzel before we get our schnitzel. We’d been schnitzel gazumped!
So I call the waiter over and give him a piece of my mind. He’s all very flustered, so I ask him who these bigshots are, that they should get to eat schnitzel ahead of me? Before he can answer, my wife leans over and says “Dear, I think some of those people are beetles!”
“Are you telling me that these guys are beetles?” I ask, looking from my wife to the waiter, thinking everyone has lost their goddamn minds. And the waiter just nods. And shrugs. Now, if there’s one thing I hate, it’s being shrugged off. So I finally snap.
“I don’t believe in beetles, I just believe in me!”
I must have said this pretty loudly, because the restaurant suddenly goes quiet and I see the people at the schnitzel-stealing tables turn to look at me. Including this long haired fellow with these little round eye-glasses.
This guy just gives me a little wink and gets back to his meal.
My wife leans over and whispers in my ear. “Abe, that’s John Lennon. From the English rock and roll group, the BEATLES…”
I take this in, and I realize who she’s talking about – those guys that thought they were bigger than Jesus! Now Jesus is about the only guy that I’d happily allow to schnitzel-jump me, so I’m still mad, but just then some more schnitzel arrives, so I decide to say no more about it.
Anyhow, imagine my surprise when I hear that not only did Mr Lennon use my line in his 1970 recording “God”, but that it also gets quoted in the 1986 Hollywood movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off!
Now, I’m a wealthy guy, so I don’t need the money, but I’d like to point out that I’ve never had one royalty check from the producers of these artistic endeavors. Never seen a single cent.