Showing posts with label John Lennon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John Lennon. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Trailer for "The Lennon Report"

Seems both unnecessary and depressing ...
The unheard true story of the moments after John Lennon was shot as seen through the eyes of those who lived it. Alan Weiss, an ambitious young news producer, finds himself in a position to break the biggest story of the year following a violent motorcycle accident. The emergency department at Roosevelt Hospital discovers a John Doe shooting victim is the worlds biggest rock star and struggles to keep the news quiet while working to save his life.




Friday, August 12, 2016

Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

Fifty years after John Lennon's "bigger than Jesus" remarks flared into controversy in the United States, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reprints an article from that time in which a pastor threatens to revoke the church membership of anyone who agreed with John's statement. The article also notes that the band canceled a news conference in the city, possibly related to the Jesus controversy.
"I will revoke the membership of any members of my church who agree with John Lennon's remark about Jesus or who go to see the Beatles at the Stadium Sunday night," the Rev. Thurman H. Babbs, pastor of the New Heaven Baptist Church, said yesterday.

... It's high time Christians speak out on this atheistic remark," the Rev. Mr. Babbs said. "I know I'm leaving myself open to charges that I'm a dictator, but it's high time somebody shocked Christianity's conscience."
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The same foundry that created statues of the Beatles now on display at Liverpool's Albert Docks is creating one honoring singer Cilla Black, who died last year.
Black's family approached Castle Fine Arts Foundry after being impressed with statues it produced of The Beatles.
It has also created artworks of The Queen and boxer Muhammad Ali.
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Patsy Leigh, a retired airline stewardess who flew out of Liverpool during the Beatles' early days shared her memories with the Liverpool Echo this week.
“We carried The Beatles on many flights, before and after they were famous. I really just knew them as four boys with pudding haircuts!
“And what was lovely about those boys was that when they became famous they were still the same boys we had known before.
“Paul was very outgoing and friendly – a born comedian. John was a little bit withdrawn and quiet, Ringo was a bit quiet, too, and George was lovely. Paul was terrified of flying and always sat with a hostess at the back of the plane. And when they had become famous he would read out fan letters to us.
“He asked me once ‘Do you like our music?’ I said I hadn’t heard much of it because I was a bit older than them. He howled with laughter, and I felt a bit embarrassed. I still feel a bit ashamed about that, but we never had the time to go out to places like the Cavern.”
Patsy, who never even asked them for autographs, adds: “Even now, all these years on, I can only remember them as delightful boys. They were always polite, respectful, great fun and very, very happy to be on their way home to Liverpool.”
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A Beatles fan who grew up near John Lennon's Kenwood estate, which is now up for sale, recalls visiting the star as a teen.
A huge Lennon fan, Mrs Millea and friends would cycle through the woods and golf course on long summer days in a bid to meet the superstar songwriter.
At the time, the large wooden double gates to Kenwood were generally left open, meaning easy access for this particular eager young fan group.
“John was just a really nice guy and very laid back about us being there,” said Mrs Millea, now 64, a grandmother living in Emsworth in Hampshire.
“They were lovely times, John was my favourite person in the world - he had a depth to him, a real man of the people.”
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The New York Times this week featured a not terribly enlightening interview with Paul McCartney, in which Macca discusses some his philosophies regarding live performances and stage patter.
Having spent decades on the road with the Beatles, Wings and as a solo artist, Mr. McCartney acknowledges that concertgoers may have heard one of his well-worn stories before. “If you think of it like a Broadway show, they don’t alter their lines or their jokes every night,” he said. “Once you have some idea of what goes down well with an audience, you kind of stick to it. So if I’m telling a story about Jimi Hendrix that I’ve said before, then I’ll use little phrases, like ‘As I say’ or ‘I often tell the story’ to not sound like, oh my God, he’s on auto-repeat.”
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Paul McCartney is among a group of more than 40 artists and performers calling on Brazilian and European leaders to recognize the rights of an Amazonian community whose territory is threatened by a planned complex of dams.
In a letter to the Guardian, the group says Brazil’s plan to build four large and many smaller dams on the Tapajós river and its tributaries could destroy thousands of square miles of forest and imperil the Munduruku indigenous people.
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Ron Howard held a special screening of "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years" in London earlier this week, although no specific details of the film were revealed in this story.

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The BBC will to air a series of programs by DJ and Beatles pal Kenny Everett, which haven't been heard in more than 40 years.
“Because he was great mates with the Beatles he would create jingles with Beatles tracks.

“He did one with the backing track to Yellow Submarine and he even previewed John Lennon’s Imagine album. He did shows that sounded better than national radio and was generally very entertaining.”

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Video: Full John and Yoko performance from 1972 Jerry Lewis telethon

This turned up on YouTube the other day is has been previously unavailable - John Lennon and Yoko Ono's full performance from the 1972 Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon:


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

John Lennon vs. Allen Klein legal papers up for sale

The legal papers John Lennon signed to end his management agreement with Allen Klein are now up for sale, with an asking price of $95,000.

Details:
In early 1973, the former Beatles decided that they would not be renewing their savvy business manager Allen Klein’s contract when it expired in March. Upon his release, Klein promptly sued The Beatles and Apple in Both New York and London for $19,000,000 (roughly $106,000,000 adjusted for 2016).
The lawsuit was settled on January 8, 1977, with Apple having to pay Allen Klein/ABKCO $5,009,200  ($20,400,000 in 1977 dollars). In turn, Klein had to pay out a total of $800,000 ($3,250,000 in 1977).
On the day that the suit was settled, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Allen Klein, and a group of the attorneys from both parties assembled in a suite at The Plaza Hotel – and documents were signed by John Lennon and Allen Klein that settled the lawsuit. The mood was actually upbeat and Lennon and Klein were both happy to put this mess behind them. Photographer Bob Gruen was on hand that day and took several photographs, including some shots of John, Yoko and Klein sharing a limo and also posing with the newly signed document resting on a large loaf of bread, signifying that they were ‘breaking bread’ and making peace.
This document was signed on the day that John Lennon and Allen Klein were in The Plaza Hotel to end their feud, thus signifying the resolution of one final bit of business with regard to the dissolution of The Beatles, ironically taking place in the very same building where The Beatles stayed on their first historic visit to New York in February of 1964.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

The so-called "Holy Grail" Beatles record - a 78-r.p.m. acetate Brian Epstein had made of some of the band's Decca recordings - sold for £77,500 at auction this week.

Brian Epstein's visit to the HMV record store in London to have this disk made was pivotal to the Beatles' history.

The engineer there who transferred the Decca recordings to disk, Jim Foy, liked what he heard and was impressed that the songs were Lennon-McCartney originals. That led to Epstein meeting representatives from EMI's music publishing arm and, ultimately, George Martin - who gave the band a recording contract after they'd been rejected by nearly every label in Britain.

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In a considerably better bargain, a Colorado man bought a "butcher cover" version of the Yesterday ... And Today album for $5. This was one of the copies where the offending picture was pasted over with the photo of the Beatles posing amidst luggage.

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Beatles recording engineer Geoff Emerick discusses his role as adviser for "The Sessions," a live touring show that allows audiences to witness recreated recording sessions by the Fab Four, with songs performed by a tribute band.
Although the music is fully licensed, The Beatles do not endorse any tributes. Having Emerick on board as adviser brings an imprimatur of legitimacy to this production. “For all that has been written about it, there was really only a handful of people in the room,” Emerick points out. “George Martin always kept control. There was a sense of calm on his sessions, and a lot of humour. When it’s not fun, that’s when problems start. George was a great enabler and facilitator. But when it comes to genius, if you want to use that word, it came from the band themselves. The Beatles were the originators.”
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French animation studio Superpod is working on a TV adaptation of Ringo Starr's song "Octopus' Garden."
SUPERPROD secured the rights in a deal with Simon & Schuster, Universal Music Publishing and Startling Music. The book Octopus’s Garden features Starr’s lyrics illustrated by Ben Cort, the artist behind Aliens Love Underpants. Superights will represent the international rights for the animated program.
Clément Calvet, the president of SUPERPROD, and Jeremie Fajner, the managing director at SUPERPROD, commented: “We are particularly proud and happy to work on this great book and music. The evergreen song by Ringo Starr and the superb drawings by Ben Cort are a wonderful setting for telling our animated stories. We are thrilled to team up with such great talents and major partners in the music and book publishing industries.”
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Martin Guitars has released a John Lennon model D-28. It'll set you back $5K+.

The new D-28 John Lennon makes its debut at Musikmesse 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany April 7-10 and features John Lennon’s famous self-portrait illustration on the rosewood headplate, along with a beautiful mother-of-pearl, John Lennon themed design inlaid on the ebony fingerboard.


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A provision in U.S. copyright law may help Paul McCartney finally regain some rights over his Beatles songs.
When Michael Jackson passed away, his estate retained the rights to the catalog, but recently the estate sold those rights to Sony/ATV for $750 million. The US Copyright Act of 1976, however, allows songwriters to reclaim the rights to their songs 56 years after they were written. This gives McCartney the chance to recapture his share. 
As Billboard reports, McCartney has already made moves to claim his portion of the Lennon-McCartney collection, filing a termination notice for 32 songs written between 1962 and 1964 with the U.S. Copyright Office on December 15, 2015.

"Only the McCartney half of the Lennon/McCartney songs are eligible for termination, and only for the US," a source told Billboard. "Sony/ATV still owns [those] Beatles songs in the rest of the world."

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Video: Joe Garagiola interviews John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Major league baseball star and broadcaster Joe Garagiola passed away today. Here he is in 1968, subbing for Johnny Carson on "The Tonight Show" and interviewing guests John Lennon and Paul McCartney.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

Pop star Demi Lovato recounts the time she almost ran over Paul McCartney.
“I almost hit him with my car,” Lovato told Jonas of her encounter with McCartney during Demi and Nick’s live stream session on March 16, where Lovato confessed that she didn’t even know at the time that her altercation involved one of the most famous musicians in the world.
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Paul McCartney is doing a comedy sketch cameo on British TV as part of a benefit for the Sports Relief charity.
Sir Paul McCartney is to make a cameo appearance in the new Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em sketch for Sport Relief.

The Beatles star will be seen in the revival of the hit sitcom as an everyday pop legend taking a stroll in the park and talking on his phone.


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Luxury Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil has created a limited edition Beatles model that will set you back $2,400.
One of the quirkiest features on the watch are the 13 album titles that are marked on the dial.
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Simon Cowell is set to produce a biopic of Beatles manager Brian Epstein. This is a separate project from the graphic novel-based TV series in production: "The Fifth Beatle."
"A Life in the Day" will detail the story of Brian Epstein, who discovered the Fab Four during an appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England in 1961, and helped to turn them into global superstars before he died from a drug overdose in 1967, aged 32.
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Sony Corp. has purchased the rights to the Beatles song catalog formerly owned by Michael Jackson for $750 million.
In the deal announced late Monday, the Japanese electronics and entertainment giant agreed to buy out the Michael Jackson estate's half of their joint venture Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The company owns 3 million copyrights and represents artists such as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Taylor Swift and the Beatles.
A New York Times story recounts how Jackson attained the rights in the first place.
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Negatives to more than 100 stolen photos taken around the time of John Lennon's wedding to Yoko Ono in 1969 have been recovered.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Beatles Bits: Weekly news roundup

This week's saddest news for Beatles fans was the death of Sir George Martin at age 90. 

Without him, who knows what might have become of the Beatles. Not only did he sign them to a record deal after they'd been rejected by every label head in Britain, he allowed them to record their own tunes and, later, encouraged and aided them in their groundbreaking studio experimentation, helping to create and pioneer new approaches to recording and making music.

Tributes to Martin have been numerous this week.

Ringo Starr tweeted: "God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family love Ringo and Barbara. George will be missed." and "Thank you for all your love and kindness George peace and love."

While Martin's son, Giles, said:  "RIP dad. I love you. I'm so proud to have been your son. I'll miss you more than words can say. Thank you for the all times we had together."

And Sean Ono Lennon posted: "R.I.P. George Martin. I'm so gutted I don't have many words. Thinking of Judy and Giles and family. Love Always, Sean."

Remembering Martin's score to "Live and Let Die," former James Bond star Roger Moore wrote: "How very sad to wake to the news Sir George Martin has left us. He made my first Bond film sound brilliant!"

And Paul McCartney wrote an extensive tribute on his website:
I'm so sad to hear the news of the passing of dear George Martin. I have so many wonderful memories of this great man that will be with me forever. He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I've ever had the pleasure to know.

It's hard to choose favourite memories of my time with George, there are so many but one that comes to mind was the time I brought the song 'Yesterday' to a recording session and the guys in the band suggested that I sang it solo and accompany myself on guitar. After I had done this George Martin said to me, "Paul I have an idea of putting a string quartet on the record." I said, "Oh no George, we are a rock and roll band and I don't think it's a good idea." With the gentle bedside manner of a great producer he said to me, "Let us try it and if it doesn't work we won't use it and we'll go with your solo version." I agreed to this and went round to his house the next day to work on the arrangement.

He took my chords that I showed him and spread the notes out across the piano, putting the cello in the low octave and the first violin in a high octave and gave me my first lesson in how strings were voiced for a quartet. When we recorded the string quartet at Abbey Road, it was so thrilling to know his idea was so correct that I went round telling people about it for weeks. His idea obviously worked because the song subsequently became one of the most recorded songs ever with versions by Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and thousands more.

This is just one of the many memories I have of George who went on to help me with arrangements on 'Eleanor Rigby', 'Live and Let Die' and many other songs of mine.

I am proud to have known such a fine gentleman with such a keen sense of humour, who had the ability to poke fun at himself. Even when he was Knighted by the Queen there was never the slightest trace of snobbery about him.

My family and I, to whom he was a dear friend, will miss him greatly and send our love to his wife Judy and their kids Giles and Lucy, and the grandkids.

The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music.

God bless you George and all who sail in you!

Paul
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One odd but touching tribute to George Martin came from his near namesake, "Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin. After assuring fans that he was still alive, the fantasy author wrote on his blog:
"He will be missed. I never met Sir George (I did meet Paul McCartney once, for about a minute, while waiting for the valet to bring my rental car up at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills), but like many millions of others, I loved the Beatles, and Martin's contribution to their music is worthy of recognition and honor."
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A Christmas thank you letter that 11-year-old John Lennon sent to his Aunt Harriett in 1951 is going up for auction. In the letter, John writes:
“Dear Harrie Thankyou for the book that you sent to me for Christmas and for the towel with my name on it, And I think it is the best towel I’ve ever seen.

“The book that you sent to me is a very interesting one. I am at the bottom of page 18 at the moment. The story is famous Ships its all about a man called Captain kidd the pirate.

“I am on the second chapter, the first chapter is called the Victory and the second is called the Mary Celeste.

“Thankyou for the red jumper that you sent to me.

“I hope you have a happy new year. Love from John x”


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A study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing says the lyrics of the Beatles' "When I'm Sixty-Four" could cause health-damaging self-esteem issues for older people.
The song lyrics “when I get older, losing my hair, many years from now, will you still be sending me a Valentine, birthday greeting, bottle of wine”, associate old age with being “unlovable.”

Friday, March 4, 2016

History: How does a Beatle live? John Lennon lives like this

Fifty years ago today - March 4, 1966 - The London Evening Standard published the first in a series of feature articles about the Beatles by reporter Maureen Cleave.

And it's this first entry, on John Lennon, that generated the most notoriety - but only later that summer, on the eve of the Beatles' final American tour, when a quote from it was republished in the edgy U.S. teen magazine Datebook.

The infamous quote, of course, was John's speculation that:
"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."
Neither Cleave nor the Standard sensationalized the quote. As you can see from the clipping below, it's not in the lede or headline, nor in the pull-out quote. Datebook put the quote on its cover (we'll do a post on the Datebook piece on its 50th anniversary).

In its original context, the quote is not an attack on Christianity or organized religion, or a comparison of Christ to the Beatles. It's John musing about the state of the world to a journalist he trusts.

Cleave was one of the first London journalists to write about the Beatles, and one who took them seriously. Her profile of John, and subsequent ones on Paul, George, Ringo and Brian Epstein, are all worth reading in their entirety. Let's start with this one.


It was this time three years ago that The Beatles first grew famous. Ever since then, observers have anxiously tried to gauge whether their fame was on the wax or on the wane; they foretold the fall of the old Beatles, they searched diligently for the new Beatles (which was as pointless as looking for the new Big Ben).

At last they have given up; The Beatles' fame is beyond question. It has nothing to do with whether they are rude or polite, married or unmarried, 25 or 45; whether they appear on Top Of The Pops or do not appear on Top of the Pops. They are well above any position even a Rolling Stone might jostle for. They are famous in the way the Queen is famous. When John Lennon's Rolls-Royce, with its black wheels and its black windows, goes past, people say: 'It's the Queen,' or 'It's The Beatles.' With her they share the security of a stable life at the top. They all tick over in the public esteem - she in Buckingham Palace, they in the Weybridge-Esher area. Only Paul remains in London. 
The Weybridge community consists of the three married Beatles; they live there among the wooded hills and the stockbrokers. They have not worked since Christmas and their existence is secluded and curiously timeless. 'What day is it?' John Lennon asks with interest when you ring up with news from outside. The fans are still at the gates but The Beatles see only each other. They are better friends than ever before. 
Ringo and his wife, Maureen, may drop in on John and Cyn; John may drop in on Ringo; George and Pattie may drop in on John and Cyn and they might all go round to Ringo's, by car of course. Outdoors is for holidays. 
They watch films, they play rowdy games of Buccaneer; they watch television till it goes off, often playing records at the same time. They while away the small hours of the morning making mad tapes. Bedtimes and mealtimes have no meaning as such. 'We've never had time before to do anything but just be Beatles,' John Lennon said. 
He is much the same as he was before. He still peers down his nose, arrogant as an eagle, although contact lenses have righted the short sight that originally caused the expression. He looks more like Henry VIII than ever now that his face has filled out - he is just as imperious, just as unpredictable, indolent, disorganised, childish, vague, charming and quick-witted. He is still easy-going, still tough as hell. 'You never asked after Fred Lennon,' he said, disappointed. (Fred is his father; he emerged after they got famous.) 'He was here a few weeks ago. It was only the second time in my life I'd seen him - I showed him the door.' He went on cheerfully: 'I wasn't having him in the house.' 
His enthusiasm is undiminished and he insists on its being shared. George has put him on to this Indian music. 'You're not listening, are you?' he shouts after 20 minutes of the record. 'It's amazing this - so cool' Don't the Indians appear cool to you? Are you listening? This music is thousands of years old; it makes me laugh, the British going over there and telling them what to do. Quite amazing.' And he switched on the television set. 
Experience has sown few seeds of doubt in him: not that his mind is closed, but it's closed round whatever he believes at the time. 'Christianity will go,' he said. 'It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.' He is reading extensively about religion. 
He shops in lightning swoops on Asprey's these days and there is some fine wine in his cellar, but he is still quite unselfconscious. He is far too lazy to keep up appearances, even if he had worked out what the appearances should be - which he has not. 
He is now 25. He lives in a large, heavily panelled, heavily carpeted, mock Tudor house set on a hill with his wife Cynthia and his son Julian. There is a cat called after his aunt Mimi, and a purple dining room. Julian is three; he may be sent to the Lycde in London. 'Seems the only place for him in his position,' said his father, surveying him dispassionately. 'I feel sorry for him, though. I couldn't stand ugly people even when I was five. Lots of the ugly ones are foreign, aren't they?' 
We did a speedy tour of the house, Julian panting along behind, clutching a large porcelain Siamese cat. John swept past the objects in which he had lost interest: 'That's Sidney' (a suit of armour); 'That's a hobby I had for a week' (a room full of model racing cars); 'Cyn won't let me get rid of that'(a fruit machine). In the sitting room are eight little green boxes with winking red lights; he bought them as Christmas presents but never got round to giving them away. They wink for a year; one imagines him sitting there till next Christmas, surrounded by the little winking boxes. 
He paused over objects he still fancies; a huge altar crucifix of a Roman Catholic nature with IHS on it; a pair of crutches, a present from George; an enormous Bible he bought in Chester; his gorilla suit. 
'I thought I might need a gorilla suit,' he said; he seemed sad about it. 'I've only worn it twice. I thought I might pop it on in the summer and drive round in the Ferrari. We were all going to get them and drive round in them but I was the only one who did. I've been thinking about it and if I didn't wear the head it would make an amazing fur coat - with legs, you see. I would like a fur coat but I've never run into any.' 
One feels that his possessions - to which he adds daily - have got the upper hand; all the tape recorders, the five television sets, the cars, the telephones of which he knows not a single number. The moment he approaches a switch it fuses; six of the winking boxes, guaranteed to last till next Christmas, have gone funny already. His cars - the Rolls, the Mini-Cooper (black wheels, black windows), the Ferrari (being painted black) - puzzle him. Then there's the swimming pool, the trees sloping away beneath it. 'Nothing like what I ordered,' he said resignedly. He wanted the bottom to be a mirror. 'It's an amazing household,' he said. 'None of my gadgets really work except the gorilla suit - that's the only suit that fits me.' 
He is very keen on books, will always ask what is good to read. He buys quantities of books and these are kept tidily in a special room. He has Swift, Tennyson, Huxley, Orwell, costly leather-bound editions of Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde. Then there's Little Women, all the William books from his childhood; and some unexpected volumes such as Forty-One Years In India, by Field Marshal Lord Roberts, and Curiosities of Natural History, by Francis T Buckland. This last - with its chapter headings 'Ear-less Cats', 'Wooden-Legged People,' 'The Immortal Harvey's Mother' - is right up his street.

He approaches reading with a lively interest untempered by too much formal education. 'I've read millions of books,' he said, 'that's why I seem to know things.' He is obsessed by Celts. 'I have decided I am a Celt,' he said. 'I am on Boadicea's side - all those bloody blue-eyed blondes chopping people up. I have an awful feeling wishing I was there - not there with scabs and sores but there through reading about it. The books don't give you more than a paragraph about how they lived; I have to imagine that.' 
He can sleep almost indefinitely, is probably the laziest person in England. 'Physically lazy,' he said. 'I don't mind writing or reading or watching or speaking, but sex is the only physical thing I can be bothered with any more.' Occasionally he is driven to London in the Rolls by an ex-Welsh guardsman called Anthony; Anthony has a moustache that intrigues him. 
The day I visited him he had been invited to lunch in London, about which he was rather excited. 'Do you know how long lunch lasts?' he asked. 'I've never been to lunch before. I went to a Lyons the other day and had egg and chips and a cup of tea. The waiters kept looking and saying: "No, it isn't him, it can't be him".' 
He settled himself into the car and demonstrated the television, the folding bed, the refrigerator, the writing desk, the telephone. He has spent many fruitless hours on that telephone. 'I only once got through to a person,' he said, 'and they were out.' 
Anthony had spent the weekend in Wales. John asked if they'd kept a welcome for him in the hillside and Anthony said they had. They discussed the possibility of an extension for the telephone. We had to call at the doctor's because John had a bit of sea urchin in his toe. 'Don't want to be like Dorothy Dandridge,' he said, 'dying of a splinter 50 years later.' He added reassuringly that he had washed the foot in question. 
We bowled along in a costly fashion through the countryside. 'Famous and loaded' is how he describes himself now. 'They keep telling me I'm all right for money but then I think I may have spent it all by the time I'm 40 so I keep going. That's why I started selling my cars; then I changed my mind and got them all back and a new one too.
'I want the money just to be rich. The only other way of getting it is to be born rich. If you have money, that's power without having to be powerful. I often think that it's all a big conspiracy, that the winners are the Government and people like us who've got the money. That joke about keeping the workers ignorant is still true; that's what they said about the Tories and the landowners and that; then Labour were meant to educate the workers but they don't seem to be doing that any more.' 
He has a morbid horror of stupid people: 'Famous and loaded as I am, I still have to meet soft people. It often comes into my mind that I'm not really rich. There are really rich people but I don't know where they are.' 
He finds being famous quite easy, confirming one's suspicion that The Beatles had been leading up to this all their lives. 'Everybody thinks they would have been famous if only they'd had the Latin and that. So when it happens it comes naturally. You remember your old granny saying soft things like: "You'll make it with that voice."' Not, he added, that he had any old grannies. 
He got to the doctor 2 3/4 hours early and to lunch on time but in the wrong place. He bought a giant compendium of games from Asprey's but having opened it he could not, of course, shut it again. He wondered what else he should buy. He went to Brian Epstein's office. 'Any presents?' he asked eagerly; he observed that there was nothing like getting things free. He tried on the attractive Miss Hanson's spectacles. 
The rumour came through that a Beatle had been sighted walking down Oxford Street! He brightened. 'One of the others must be out,' he said, as though speaking of an escaped bear. 'We only let them out one at a time,' said the attractive Miss Hanson firmly.
He said that to live and have a laugh were the things to do; but was that enough for the restless spirit? 
'Weybridge,' he said, 'won't do at all. I'm just stopping at it, like a bus stop. Bankers and stockbrokers live there; they can add figures and Weybridge is what they live in and they think it's the end, they really do. I think of it every day - me in my Hansel and Gretel house. I'll take my time; I'll get my real house when I know what I want. 
'You see, there's something else I'm going to do, something I must do - only I don't know what it is. That's why I go round painting and taping and drawing and writing and that, because it may be one of them. All I know is, this isn't it for me.' 
Anthony got him and the compendium into the car and drove him home with the television flickering in the soothing darkness while the Londoners outside rushed home from work.

Beatles Bits: Weekly news update

This article, about Sgt. Pepper cover artist Peter Blake designing a new print for the Liverpool Biennial art festival, contains an interesting anecdote about original Beatle Stu Sutcliffe.
Dartford-born Blake's connection with Liverpool dates back to 1961 when he won the John Moores junior art award, beating John Lennon's friend and former Beatles bass player Stuart Sutcliffe.
Sir Peter said: "On my first meeting with John [Lennon] the subject of art came up and he muttered, 'Stuart should have got that prize, not you'. They were the first words he ever said to me."

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Such a rebel: John Lennon's childhood stamp collection is going on display this spring in New York.
According to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum — which first housed Lennon’s stamps in 2005 — the budding musician began collecting stamps after his older cousin, Stanley Parkes, gifted him a partially filled in album. Over the years, Lennon filled the book with stamps taken from letters sent from the United States and New Zealand.

When the National Postal Museum first purchased Lennon’s “lost album,” late curator Wilson Hulme did note to Smithsonian Magazine that the collection did not boast any notable stamps. “Typically, young boys aren’t interested in rarity,” he said. “They tend to concentrate on geography and colors. If they come back to collecting when they have more time and money, that’s when collections become exceptional.”

Still, the album does offer a unique insight into Lennon’s childhood, and perhaps his budding wanderlust and creativity: The book’s title page features a reprinted stamp emblazoned with Queen Victoria and King George VI — on their likenesses, Lennon doodled a mustache and beard, respectively.


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After opening to tourists a few months ago, the ashram in Rishikesh, India, where the Beatles studied Transcendental Meditation has been closed to visitors again. Concern over disrupting the area's tiger habitat lad to authorities turning tourists away.
Forest authorities said the ashram, situated in the core Gohri range of Rajaji tiger reserve, has around eight tigers and a healthy population of leopards, black bear, cobras, etc, and too many visitors would disturb the wildlife here. Earlier, the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Supreme Court, too, had endorsed holding zero tourist or commercial activity in core tiger habitats.
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A small village in the Ukraine has named a street for John Lennon.
Surprisingly, it's not the first time John Lennon's name has been used in Ukraine's decommunization drive. Last month, local government chiefs decided to use ‘John Lennon Square' instead of ‘Soviet Square' in the town of Izyum, Kharkiv region.
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Friend-of-Macca Dave Grohl performed a cover of the Beatles' "Blackbird" as backdrop to the "in memorium" portion of this year's Academy Awards ceremony.

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After Paul McCartney was reportedly barred from entering his Grammy Awards after-party, Tyga is making nice - appearing recently sporting a Macca t-shirt. Tyga said he had no idea Paul had been turned away by security men, who evidently didn't recognize the former Beatle.
“I wish I knew that he was outside. I would’ve went out there with the mic, brought him in, perform ‘Rack City’ with me.”
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Dhani Harrison chats to NPR about Georgefest and growing up as the son of a Beatle.
How great to grow up in an ecosystem where music is naturally part of your everyday life. You come down for tea, and maybe Jeff Lynne or Eric Clapton is in the kitchen.
 
And also, it offers you a different perspective on life to have these people around the house. It made going to school easier, because you wouldn't take yourself so seriously. You'd come home and Bob Dylan would be there or something.
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Yoko Ono caused some alarm when she was suddenly hospitalized last weekend. Early reports speculated she'd had a stroke, yet it was later announced she'd had a fever and severe dehydration. She was soon released to recover at home.

On his Twitter account, Sean Ono Lennon clarified that the only stroke his mom had "was a stroke of genius."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hear a BBC radio documentary about John Lennon's Liverpool home

Listen at BBC Radio 4:
Every year, around 8,000 people from 50 countries pay homage to John Lennon at his childhood home, Mendips. But who are these visitors and what do they seek from an ordinary suburban semi in Liverpool? Comedian, Alexei Sayle, took the National Trust tour in 2009 and was so taken with its 1950s charm and with the spirit of it, that he's gone back; this time meeting custodian, Colin Hall and finding out what it's like to live in one of the most famous houses in Liverpool. He also talks to some of those who visited the house when John Lennon lived there - John's cousin Mike; Colin Hanton, the drummer in John Lennon's band, the Quarrymen; and Freda Kelly, the Beatles' Club Secretary. And of course just a few of those 8000 visitors.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Artifact: John Lennon handwritten letter on Apple stationary, 1971


Via Heritage Auctions:

Incredible letter hand-scrawled in Lennon's quirky script, on Apple Memorandum letterhead (with hand-drawn doodles of John & Yoko in the upper right corner!), addressed to couple Patricia & Thomas. In 1971, after gaining inspiration from the book Primal Scream by Arthur Janov, the young couple wrote to Janov inquiring on the cost of the new form of therapy. They were dismayed at the astronomical amount given by Janov, and decided to write John Lennon, asking for his assistance, as they were also influenced by the Primal Scream therapy-inspired Plastic Ono Band album. Weeks later, they were pleasantly surprised to receive the rebellious former Beatle's response. The letter reads: "To: Patricia & Thomas, From: Us, Date: Yes, Subject: This & That. Art and Vivian always told us they helped the poor (he practices Marxism!) They also told us they never threw anyone out for not being able to pay. We suggest you get in there first - then let them try and throw you out. If and when they try - show them this letter. Best of luck, don't expect miracles. Love, John & Yoko. '71." With very few known pieces of memorabilia relating to Lennon's Primal Scream therapy, this is a must have rarity, a cherry on the sundae of of any Beatlemaniac/Lennon fan's collection! Measuring 8.5" x 11", it shows some toning from age, and spots of foxing on the right edge. With original envelope.