Searching for a Lost Soul
On a summer morning in May 1971 a homeless man arrived at the gates of John Lennon’s Ascot home while the Beatle was recording his 2nd solo album Imagine.
This is the story about one man’s quest for meaning, what brought him to that moment and where it would lead him.
This is his story…
I still miss Curt. He was extremely smart, and a beautiful person inside and out.
I had this called Claudio who told "I'm coming and I just need to look into your eyes and I'll know"...so last week he turned up at the house
Please note: This project is still in production. No full length documentary has been produced yet.
Where did he come from? Where did he go?
Searching for a Lost Soul
This ordinary man had travelled 5,000 miles to look into the eyes of his idol and find some meaning.
Lennon was advised to call the police but he didn’t, he wanted to meet the guy.
During the conversation on the steps of Lennon’s Tittenhurst Park mansion the man seemed confused as Lennon explained that the songs he wrote weren’t penned specifically for him. The conversation ended and Lennon invited the man in for breakfast.
What brought this man this point and how did this chance encounter affect the rest of his life?
Little is known about the man but much is said.
Some people say his name was Curt or Claudio others say Cesare. Some say he was a battle scarred Vietnam vet, others that he was straight A student that dropped out of society.
Did he also stay with Paul and Linda McCartney during the same trip?
Some say he had another encounter with Lennon years later on an American chat show, some say he died in a plane crash almost one year to the day Lennon was killed, others say he's alive and well.
What is the truth behind the myths?
It's time to set the record straight.
As his younger brother, I knew I could rely on
him in tough times. He was a good soul with a big heart.
He was clearly vulnerable around the time we met, I really hope he got himself together
I hope that Curt's story will remind people of the dangers of Psychedelics
MARTHA CURTIS CLAUDIO, MOTHER
What's the story?
INTERVIEW WITH THE FILMMAKER
Gavin Munro is a portrait painter from Manchester, England with a desire to start producing short films on his passion projects.
He is currently researching Finding Claudio with the hope to making a short documentary about his findings...
What inspired you to make it?
I remember watching the original Imagine movie when I was 16 and being touched by the meeting between John and 'Claudio'. With no internet back then I could only imagine what happened to him.
The recent Above Us Only Sky documentary included the full meeting and it once again sparked my curiosity and I became a consumed with finding out Claudio's story.
As I looked online I could see that I wasn't alone in my interest of this story although there wasn't any solid evidence of this guy's story. There were also conflicting stories online about whether he was a Vietnam veteran or not and his early life and indeed if he is still alive.
I could see this story slipping into Beatles mythology and I wanted to make sure Claudio was represented as accurately as possible.
To me he must be more than the 'homeless guy in the Lennon documentary'.
I felt compelled to figure out his story by researching the facts, speaking to people who knew him so I could piece together an accurate story of his life.
This is work in progress at the moment but I've made some great contacts and I'm looking forward to piecing together this jigsaw and presenting it to those who are curious.
What is your plan for the production?
My idea is to produce a mini-documentary and podcast about him.
I want to contact friends & family as well as people who were present at the original meeting at Lennon's home.
There's so little known at the point so I'm keeping my mind open as to the way it will go.
I may find out something tomorrow that will drive the story in a different direction.
What are the biggest challenges?
Time and memory I suppose! People have said that Claudio sadly died in 1981 so it may be 40 years since people have seen him. I'm hoping to evoke the memories when I talk to them but there's always the chance that perceptions may have change through time.
The other thing is people who knew him will now be much older and there is a limited amount of time to get their memories.
I also want to use this opportunity to raise awareness on mental health issues, much has changed regarding the perception of psychological disorders since 1971 but we still have much to learn.
I'd like to look at how people were treated back then and compare it to contemporary methods.
Who's on your wishlist of people to talk to?
There's two sides to this story, the family and friends who knew Claudio and the people at Tittenhurst Park that May morning.
A friend of his has said 'He was extremely smart, and a beautiful person inside and out.'
I believe that person is his last girlfriend Linda and I'it would be fantastic to speak to her.
I want to know this side of the man.
I'm in contact with some of Lennon's team that were at Tittenhurst Park that day, they've given me a message to relay to his family. I'm also in touch with his brothers and his mum and they've been incredibly cooperative in this project.
Curt's family have been amazing in giving their reflections of him but of course I'd love to speak to people like Klaus Voorman, Kieron Murphy (Imagine photographer) and even Yoko, although I think that unlikely!
Dan Richter (centre) at the meeting with Lennon and Claudio
This story is about Claudio so his family & friends are going to be key in making this project work I'm really happy they've been so forthcoming with their recollections on the man.
I think it's important to have something out there that tells the truth about 'Claudio'.
Would you like to be involved in this project?
If you knew Claudio, were at the Tittenhurst Park meeting or are interesting in collaborating with the production of this project please contact me at