Steve Tilston’s John Lennon Letter Inspires New Film

Steve Tilston with Al Pacino

Photo: Jonathan Short/Invision

Proper distributed artist and label owner Steve Tilston is the inspiration for a new Al Pacino film entitled ‘Danny Collins’.

Back in 2005, the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winner received a letter via a US collector which had been sent 34 years previously from John Lennon. The ex-Beatle had written the message to Tilston after reading an interview with him in ZigZag music magazine in which he said that getting rich could compromise his artistic integrity.

The story is now the basis of the new film Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino as a former pop lothario who wants to change his life after belatedly receiving the letter.

In the letter, Lennon wrote that “being rich doesn’t change your experience in the way you think” and “emotions – relationships – are the same as anybody’s. I know, I’ve been rich and poor, so has Yoko (rich-poor-rich) so whadya think of that.”

Speaking to the Radio Times magazine, Tilston said: “What’s painful is that it’s a road not taken. All of us in our lives are faced with choices of ways to go. What I resented, but don’t any more, is that with this one, I didn’t get the choice.”