John Lennon’s Friend Was so ‘Desperate’ to Be Close to Him That He Spied on His Wife

<p id=”par-1_73″>In the early years of <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/the-beatles/?swcfpc=1″>The Beatles</a>, <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/john-lennon/?swcfpc=1″>John Lennon</a> said he typically disliked the new acquaintances who wanted to be his friend. With fame came fawning attention from everyone they met, and Lennon resented this. In his later years with the band, though, he befriended “Magic” Alex Mardas who, Pattie Boyd said, would have done a lot to be close to Lennon. This included taking a trip abroad to spy on Lennon’s wife.</p>

<h2 class=”wp-block-heading” id=”h-john-lennon-s-friend-desperately-wanted-to-be-close-to-him-said-pattie-boyd”>John Lennon’s friend desperately wanted to be close to him, said Pattie Boyd</h2>

<p id=”par-2_24″>Lennon and Mardas met in the latter half of the 1960s, and they built a solid friendship. Mardas worked hard to gain Lennon’s trust.</p>

<p id=”par-3_41″>“Alex was a very proud person,” Boyd said in the book <em><a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-you-need-is-love-peter-brown/1144209490?ean=9781250285010″ rel=”noreferrer noopener”>All You Need Is Love: The Beatles in Their Own Words</a></em> by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines, “and he gained John’s confidence and friendship, which was very important to him.”</p>

<p id=”par-4_37″>To maintain his position as a trusted confidante of Lennon’s, Mardas offered to <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/john-lennons-first-wife-revealed-hired-detective-track-divorce-god-knows.html/”>spy on his wife</a>, Cynthia, while she was on vacation. At the time, the Lennons were divorcing because of his affair with Yoko Ono.</p>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-1″><img decoding=”async” src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/John-Lennon-Alex-Mardas.webp?strip=all&quality=80″ alt=”A black and white picture of John Lennon, Alex Mardas, Paul McCartney, and Les Anthony standing outside an airport.” class=”wp-image-3679442″><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>John Lennon, Alex Mardas, Paul McCartney, and Les Anthony | Mirrorpix via Getty Images</figcaption></figure>

<p id=”par-5_38″>“I think Alex offered to go to Italy,” Boyd said. “I think he asked John, ‘Should I go check in on Cynthia?’ I think Alex wanted to be a very loyal friend to John. He wanted John’s attention.”</p>

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<p id=”par-6_29″>Boyd said this was a relatively common occurrence at the time. Many men wanted to gain Lennon’s trust and were willing to go to great lengths to get it.</p>

<p id=”par-7_39″>“There were enough men that wanted his attention at that time,” Boyd said. “It wasn’t physical, it was mental. They were almost desperate, the heterosexual ones. Alex had seen Cynthia in Italy with Roberto Bassanini, who she eventually married.”</p>

<h2 class=”wp-block-heading” id=”h-john-lennon-s-friend-ended-up-causing-problems-for-the-beatles”>John Lennon’s friend ended up causing problems for The Beatles</h2>

<p id=”par-8_44″>Throughout their friendship, Mardas made bold claims to Lennon about electronic devices he was inventing that could help The Beatles. They hired him to work on a highly advanced, seventy-two-track studio at Apple Records. What he promised them was <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/george-harrison-said-1-persons-work-beatles-biggest-disaster-time-clue.html/”>nowhere near what he delivered</a>.</p>

<p id=”par-9_89″>“Alex’s recording studio at Apple was the biggest disaster of all time,” George Harrison said in the book <em><a target=”_blank” href=”https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/paul-mccartney-barry-miles/1112584874?ean=9780805052497″ rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now</a> </em>by Barry Miles. “He was walking around with a white coat on like some sort of chemist but didn’t have a clue what he was doing. It was a sixteen-track system and he had sixteen little tiny speakers all around the walls. You only need two speakers for stereo sound. It was awful. The whole thing was a disaster and had to be ripped out.”</p>

<h2 class=”wp-block-heading” id=”h-the-apple-records-president-said-the-band-was-too-trusting”>The Apple Records president said the band was too trusting</h2>

<p id=”par-10_30″>The Beatles trusted Mardas despite his outlandish claims. Those who knew the band said they tended to fall in with people like this. As a group, they <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-beatles-terrible-terrible-judges-character-making-easy-targets-scammers.html/”>were overly trusting</a>.</p>

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<figure class=”wp-block-image size-full” id=”emb-2″><img decoding=”async” fetchpriority=”high” width=”1200″ height=”821″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/Beatles.jpg?strip=all&quality=89″ alt=”The Beatles sit in a movie theater together. John Lennon points toward the screen.” class=”wp-image-3667618″><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>The Beatles | Mark and Colleen Hayward/Getty Images</figcaption></figure>

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<p id=”par-11_28″>“They were terrible, terrible judges of character,” said Apple Records President Ron Kass. “They were boys from Liverpool who thought they couldn’t be taken, but they knew nothing.” </p>

<p id=”par-12_20″>Brian Epstein, the band’s longtime manager, worried about the group because he believed they were “very bad” judges of character.</p>

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