Famed Lennon Photographer Honored with Real Love Award

BY Ian Mohr / December 5, 2014

Bob Gruen — who took the iconic 1974 photo of John Lennon on a Manhattan rooftop wearing a T-shirt with “New York City” on it — was honored with the first Real Love Award at the 34th Annual John Lennon Tribute Friday at Symphony Space.

Scheduled performers included Debbie Harry, the B-52s’ Kate Pierson, Joan Osborne, New York Dolls singer David Johansen and Marshall Crenshaw.

Gruen recalled he bought the touristy T-shirt for Lennon for $5 from a street vendor, cut off the sleeves and gave it to the Beatles great to wear.

“John had been in the city for a while. He was becoming a New Yorker,” Gruen remembered.

The annual tribute is organized by Theatre Within, which runs the John Lennon Real Love Project.