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Miami couple recalls their unforgettable time together with John Lennon

8:01 AM, Aug 8, 2011   |    comments
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NBC - Armando Ontivero says, "Me and my wife were caretakers of house, we caretake them, and feed them, and watch for them every day."

By "them," Armando means John Lennon and Ringo Starr.

Maria Ontivero says, "When my husband said, 'Lupe, this is The Beatles,' I say, ''Oh my God', I don't believe it.'"

Maria and Armando Ontiveiro are Cuban and Mexican immigrants who just so happened to live upstairs in the Santa Monica Beach house where for four months in 1974, John Lennon lived with then-girlfriend May Pang, Ringo Star and other famous friends.

The Ontiveiros were hired as caretakers and witnessed wild parties and rare jam sessions with Paul McCartney, four years after The Beatles broke up.

Armando says, "Every day play, they sing in there in the living room, Paul played the piano, John played the guitar."

The Ontiveiros say the house played host to stars like Elton John, Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin, and they saw it all.

You'd never know retired couple living in this house in southwest Miami-Dade used to party with the Beatles until you get to this corner in the living room. A shirt, John Lennon's favorite that he gave to Armando. More valuable than memorabilia, are the memories they'll never forget.

Maria says, "I say to my husband, 'I'm sorry. But tonight I no take a shower.' He say why? Because Ringo give me a lot of kisses!'"

Armando still has a t-shirt given to him by Lennon, but he'd rather tell you about cooking for him.

Armando says, "He loved my food, I mean, shredded beef, ropa vieja. Black bean. He liked Cuban food? Yeah, Cuban food!"

Their stories are so outrageous, even their own children didn't believe them at first.

Armando says, "When I told them what I do, you're kidding me. Come on, give me a break. No one believe me."

If these photos aren't enough proof, Lennon's girlfriend, May Pang, has mentioned the Ontiveiros in two books and they recently reunited in Miami. Naturally, they went out for Cuban food.

NBC

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