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Lennon was nearly beaten up by magician Tommy Cooper

Published: Friday, May 22, 2009, 15:10 [IST]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]London, (ANI): A new book has revealed that late Beatles member John Lennon was nearly beaten up by 6ft 4in magician Tommy Cooper, after he made an insulting remark about the latter's wife Gwen. The incident is reported to have happened at a showbiz soiree hosted by Beatles manager Brian Epstein in August 1964, and in front of guests Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Judy Garland, Dusty Springfield, Jane Asher, Cilla Black, Alma Cogan, Tommy Steele and Lionel Bart. Frank Allen, frontman with Sixties band The Searchers, recalled the incident in his new memoirs.

"There was almost a fracas when Tommy Cooper perceived that John Lennon, always the caustic wit and never one to consider someone's feelings before throwing a sarcastic line their way, had been offensive to his wife," the Daily Express quoted Allen as stating. "The comedian rose and confronted the rock star. Cooper was an awesome size, a tall, bulky man with the face of a boxer and the looks that suggested that in a fight he was unlikely to emerge the loser.

"Luckily for Lennon, who was known to have played the hard man, usually when he knew he was dealing with a weaker opponent, an aide quickly intervened," he said. Allen, who still performs with his band, added in his book, titled 'The Searchers And Me', that Lennon was glad for the intervention.

"The Beatle was relieved to have someone save face on his behalf," he said. "John was the guy who put mild-mannered Cavern Club DJ Bob Wooller in hospital for daring to suggest that he, Lennon, might have indulged in a sexual liaison with Brian Epstein, but would ever have dared to front up to a real Liverpool hard case," he added.

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