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THE BEATLES SONG JOHN LENNON AND PAUL MCCARTNEY RECORDED IN JUST ONE DAY

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The duo Lennon-McCartney began their career being able to write pop tunes with a flick of the wrist. Later, as they matured, Lennon-McCartney delivered texturally rich and lyrically deep songs that beguile and delight the audiences. What’s more, they were capable of writing them pretty damn quickly too.

One song that got some speedy treatment was ‘The Ballad of John & Yoko’ which saw Lennon-McCartney finish writing and recording the song in just one day. “It doesn’t mean anything. It just so happened that there were only two of us there,” said John in 1969.

“George was abroad and Ringo was on the film and he couldn’t come that night. Because of that, it was a choice of either re-mixing or doing a new song — and you always go for doing a new one instead of fiddling about with an old one. So we did and it turned out well.”

With EMI owning Abbey Road studios, it allowed the band to block out the studio for weeks at a time, leaving the opportunity for spontaneous sessions glaring for any Beatle who wanted it. It meant the duo were able to get all the tracks down for the song, with Macca taking on drum duties as well as his usual bass.

Ringo remembered in the Beatles’ Anthology, “‘The Ballad Of John And Yoko’ only had Paul — of the other Beatles — on it but that was OK. ‘Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?’ was just Paul and me, and it went out as a Beatle track too. We had no problems with that. There’s good drums on ‘The Ballad Of John And Yoko’, too.”

“It’s something I wrote, and it’s like an old-time ballad,” said John in the same 1969 interview. “It’s the story of us going along getting married, going to Paris, going to Amsterdam, all that. It’s ‘Johnny B. Paperback Writer.’”

The track goes on to provide a key insight into the life of John, “I wrote that in Paris on our honeymoon,” said Lennon speaking with David Sheff in 1980. “It’s a piece of journalism. It’s a folk song. That’s why I called it, ‘The Ballad Of…”

The chorus to sing “Christ, you know it ain’t easy, you know how hard it can be. The way things are going, they’re gonna crucify me.” It was a deliberately provocative angle, “John came to me and said, ‘I’ve got this song about our wedding and it’s called The Ballad Of John And Yoko, Christ They’re Gonna Crucify Me,” remembers Paul back in 1988. “I said ‘Jesus Christ, you’re kidding, aren’t you? Someone really is going to get upset about it.’ “He said, ‘Yeah, but let’s do it.’ I was a little worried for him because of the lyric but he was going through alot of terrible things.”

Lennon was clearly aware of the offence it could cause and sent a memo to Apple Records’ plugged, Tony Bramwell saying: “Tony – No pre-publicity on Ballad Of John & Yoko especially the ‘Christ’ bit – so don’t play it round too much or you’ll frighten people – get it pressed first.” Still, the song was duly banned by some radio stations in the US and the UK, with some just opting to bleep out the word “Christ”.

It’s clear that John was trying to spread a message about his own life, trying to express his own frustrations and the foreshadowing he saw. It’s a powerful piece and one that works within the duality of life. It also allowed one of the final times Lennon and McCartney truly collaborated on a song.


JOHN LENNON FINAL PHOTOS AND CAMERA SELL FOR OVER USD 100K AT AUCTION

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The final photos taken of John Lennon on Dec 8, 1980, by Paul Goresh sold for USD 100,000; and the camera that took them for USD 5,900; the last book signed by Lennon sold for USD 18,000; a Beatles ice cream box for USD 3,028; and Ringo’s sunglasses for USD 2,923-all in part one of the Paul Goresh Beatles Collection auction which closed last week.

Highlights of the collection include:
Rare photos from the 16 Magazine archives
Unseen behind-the-scene photos on the set of Help!
One-of-a-kind negatives taken by Astrid Kirchherr in 1961
Numerous concert tickets from 1964-65
Rare toys, bubble gum cards, ephemera
Large stash of Beatles Fan Club memorabilia
Signed books by George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney
Over 1,000 The Beatles magazines

 

Ken Farrell, president of Just Kids Nostalgia, a pop-culture collectible business established in 1978, was consigned to sell the collection upon Goresh’s death. Farrell and Goresh were mutual, long-time pop-culture enthusiast friends.

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks on eBay, said Farrell. It’s truly a unique opportunity for Beatles collectors. This sale will last all summer.

Farrell added, It was a great honor to be selected by Paul Goresh before he died to sell this amazing collection. We will offer items never before seen in the collector’s market. It’s a sale not to be missed.

Just Kids Nostalgia has been a leading seller of pop culture collectibles for more than 40 years.


ON THIS DAY : JULIA STANLEY DIES

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On 15 July 1958, when John was 17, Julia died on Menlove Avenue shortly after leaving Mimi’s house, while crossing the road to get to a bus stop. She was struck by a Standard Vanguard car driven by an off-duty policeman, 24-year-old Eric Clague.

Contrary to some reports, Clague was not drunk at the time, and he was driving under the 30mph speed limit. He was, however, a learner driver who was unaccompanied:
“Mrs Lennon just ran straight out in front of me. I just couldn’t avoid her. I was not speeding, I swear it. It was just one of those terrible things that happen.”- Eric Clague, 1998

John’s childhood friend Nigel Walley later recounted what happened:

“I went to call for John that evening but his Aunt Mimi told me he was out. Mimi was at the gate with John’s mum, who was about to leave. We stood chatting and John’s mum said ‘Well, you have the privilege of escorting me to the bus stop!’ I said ‘That will do me fine. I’ll be happy to do that.’ We walked down Menlove Avenue and I turned off to go up Vale Road, where I lived. I must have been about 15 yards up the road when I heard a car skidding. I turned round to see John’s mum going through the air. I rushed over but she had been killed instantly”.-Nigel Walley.

Julia is buried in the Allerton Cemetery in Liverpool.


AILING AND WHEELCHAIR-BOUND YOKO ONO IS “SLOWING DOWN”, INSIDERS SAY

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Three years ago, when the National Music Publishers’ Association presented Yoko Ono with their Centennial Song Award, Sean Lennon pushed his mother onto the stage at Cipriani 42nd Street in a wheelchair — shocking some who didn’t realize the avant-garde artist was incapacitated.

But in her signature shades, black leather jacket and white Panama hat, the widow of John Lennon didn’t seem to miss a beat when she began a short acceptance speech by ­addressing the elephant in the room.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she said, clutching the award in one hand and a microphone in the other as Sean whispered to her about what was going on. “I’ve learned so much from having this illness. I’m thankful I went through that.”

While it’s not clear what “illness” she was referring to, Ono, now 87, is still ailing, requires round-the-clock care and rarely leaves her sprawling apartment in The Dakota, a source close to her staff told The Post. In photos taken at rare public appearances — including a women’s march in Columbus Circle last year and at a commemoration of John in Liverpool in May 2018 — Ono is confined to a wheelchair, or walks with great difficulty using a cane, often leaning on a caregiver or Sean for support.

She has also been selling off some real-estate assets in recent years. “She has definitely slowed down, like anyone at that age,” said Elliot Mintz, a close family friend who has known Ono for nearly 50 years, and has acted as a family spokesman, representing the John Lennon estate since the former Beatle’s murder in December 1980. “But she is as sharp as she once was.”

Mintz told The Post he last saw Ono at her 87th birthday party in February. He was one of more than 30 guests, including Rolling Stone magazine co-founder Jann Wenner, singer Cyndi Lauper and Ono’s daughter, Kyoko, 56, from her pre-John marriage to film producer Anthony Cox.

Two years after their divorce in 1971, Cox fled with Kyoko and raised her in Christian fundamentalist communes. Ono fought for years for Kyoko, who began reaching out to her mother after John’s murder. According to Mintz, Ono is now very close to Kyoko as well as Sean, her 44-year-old son with Lennon.
“Sean is her best friend,” said Mintz. “They have dinner two or three times a week, and he occasionally brings his mom out as a guest star in his band.”
Sean organizes Ono’s birthday party every year, painstakingly obsessing over the decorations and flower arrangements, Mintz said. In February, he took over Bar Wayo at the South Street Seaport for the party, where guests celebrated over champagne. In previous years, Sean and Ono have taken to the stage to perform.
But this year, the celebration was more low-key. “She blew out the candles with Sean and she was among the last to leave,” Mintz told The Post. “She was in good spirits. I helped her into her wheelchair and gently helped her into her car.”
Mintz would not comment on Ono’s ­personal medical history. “She is a particularly special being,” he said. “In these 87 years, she’s lived 400.”

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 into a Tokyo banking family whose fortunes suffered during World War II. The family faced starvation and was often forced to barter household items for food while they sought refuge from Allied bombing raids.
Despite the wartime deprivations, Ono ­inherited her family’s business acumen. In addition to becoming an avant-garde artist who once opened her show at MoMA by screaming into a microphone, she is also a hard-nosed businesswoman — a prodigious investor in real estate who, after her marriage to John in 1969, began to amass a mini-empire of properties that spanned New York City, the Hudson Valley, the Hamptons, Palm Beach, Ireland and England. She has also collected a sizable art collection that includes works by her old friend Andy Warhol.

Today, Ono has reported assets of $700 million. She still owns multimillion-dollar properties in Manhattan as well as hundreds of rolling acres in upstate Delaware County, public records show. She lives in the same sprawling nine-room apartment, on the seventh floor of The Dakota, that she once shared with John. She also keeps an adjacent unit at the West 72nd Street building for visitors, and two small one-room spaces without kitchens that she uses for staff. And she has an office on the first floor that was once used by John as a recording studio.
“She would wake up early every morning, go downstairs to the studio and handle the family business, allowing John to be a househusband,” said Mintz, adding that John had no real business sense, and often needed her help to figure out the most mundane financial matters, such as how much to tip a waiter when he paid for a meal at a restaurant.
But Ono has been shedding assets. In 2017, she sold a building at 110 W. 79th St. that she had owned since 1988. She bought the property, housing two residential units, for just under $500,000 and unloaded it for $6,450,000, public records show. In 2013, she sold a 5,700-square-foot penthouse at 49-51 Downing St. in the West Village, which Sean occupied for years, for $8.3 million.

Although Ono still owns more than 600 acres near the town of Franklin, NY, locals say it’s been ages since they saw her in the area where she used to vacation with Sean and groups of friends. John and Ono bought the property and 100 Holstein cattle to set up a breeding operation before he was gunned down in front of The Dakota on Dec. 8, 1980.
“We haven’t seen her for a very long time,” said Roland Greefkes, an iron artisan who made a wrought-iron gate for Ono’s property. “I never met anyone quite like her. She is really something special.”

That sentiment is echoed by the directors of charities she has long supported. Although the charity she began with John, the Spirit Foundations, had contributions of only just under $25,000 from her in 2018, Ono does most of her charitable giving directly. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic in New York, she donated $250,000 to Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx, to support frontline health-care workers.
“Montefiore was specifically chosen because Yoko wanted to assist a hospital in a community hit hard by COVID that didn’t have the ability to turn to wealthy donors and board members the way Cornell, NYU, Mount Sinai and others in Manhattan can,” said Mintz.
She has also recently supported musicians she has worked with in the past who have fallen on hard times. She helped Stanley Bronstein, who played in her Plastic Ono Band, when he needed emergency medical care, Mintz said.
But hunger remains her pet cause. “I remember being hungry and I know it’s so difficult to just be hungry,” Ono said in a 2013 interview. “One day I didn’t bring a lunchbox. The other kids asked, don’t you want to eat? I just said, no, I’m not hungry.”
Ono recently donated $50,000 to the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, which during the pandemic has provided thousands of meals to out-of-work and needy residents in her Upper West Side neighborhood. And she has a 30-year relationship with WhyHunger, a New York-based nonprofit fighting food deprivation around the world.

“She has been a true philanthropic partner,” Noreen Springstead, the group’s executive director, told. “She is the most energetic, the most vivacious person and is very hands-on. She has been incredibly invested for more than three decades.”


JOHN LENNON´S FINAL CONCERT JOINING ELTON JOHN ON STAGE

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John Lennon would take to the main stage of a huge stadium for the very last time. The singer would join Elton John on the glittering stage of Madison Square Garden to perform three wonderful tunes, including ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’.

John had avoided the stage for a long while before joining Elton on the stage. Having decided with The Beatles to become a studio band some years ago and continued much of the same practices (bar a few special appearances) with his solo career, John wouldn’t have joined the Rocketman if it wasn’t for him losing a bet.

The story goes that after John had asked Elton to help him on his new track ‘Whatever Gets You Thru The Night’, the duo came to an agreement. Elton had been in the studio providing harmonies and piano on the tune during the summer of 1974. It was during these sessions that Elton made a wager with John about how the track would do in the charts. It provided some joyful consequences.

John opened up about the glorious moment in a BBC interview just a few short days before his untimely death, and we’ll leave it to the Beatle to pick up the story. “Elton was in town and I was doing it and needed the harmony. He did the harmony on that and a couple more, and played beautiful piano on it. And jokingly, he was telling me he was going to do this Madison Square Garden concert — he said, ‘Will you do it with me if the record’s Number One?’”

“And I did not expect it to get to Number One at all. I didn’t think it had a chance in hell. I said, ‘Sure, sure, sure I will.’”

 

‘Whatever Gets You Thru The Night’ would be John’s first solo number over the pond which meant Lennon would have to pay up, “‘OK, it’s time to pay your dues!’ It was the first Number One I had, actually. ‘Imagine’ wasn’t Number One, ‘Instant Karma’ wasn’t Number One — which I all think are better records than ‘Whatever Gets You Thru The Night.’ (The) words are pretty good. But anyway, so what could we sing, that was the point.”

The pair had not been a friend long, having only met in 1973 despite sharing the same publisher, the duo got on famously. Elton reflected on their friendship, “We got on like a house on fire and we hung out for a couple of years; I found him very kind, very funny. I don’t know why we clicked, but we did and he clicked with my band and he clicked with the people around me. And we had so much fun. I was quite intimidated by him, because I knew he was razor sharp and could be very abrasive. But that side never came out with me — only the kind side and the funny side.”

John, dutifully agreed to the show and made his way to Madison Square Gardens to perform three songs with Elton. Taking on their co-created ‘Whatever Gets You thru The Night’, then playing ‘Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds’ a song that Elton and John had re-recorded earlier that year, and Elton’s then-current single and The Beatles’ own song ‘I Saw Her Standing There’. The three songs complete a memorable evening for all those involved. It made for a very happy Thanksgiving for all those who attended.



JOHN LENNON FINAL PHOTOS AND CAMERA SELL FOR OVER $100K AT AUCTION

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The final photos taken of John Lennon on Dec 8, 1980, by Paul Goresh sold for $100,000; and the camera that took them for $5,900; the last book signed by Lennon sold for $18,000; a Beatles ice cream box for $3,028; and Ringo’s sunglasses for $2,923—all in part one of the Paul Goresh Beatles Collection auction which closed last week.

Last Book Signed By John Lennon Sold For $18,000

Rare Beatles Ice Cream Box Sells For Over $3,000

 

Highlights of the collection include:

 

Rare photos from the 16 Magazine archives
Unseen behind-the-scene photos on the set of Help!
One-of-a-kind negatives taken by Astrid Kirchherr in 1961
Numerous concert tickets from 1964-65
Rare toys, bubble gum cards, ephemera
Large stash of Beatles Fan Club memorabilia
Signed books by George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney
Over 1,000 The Beatles magazines

 

Ken Farrell, president of Just Kids Nostalgia, a pop-culture collectible business established in 1978, was consigned to sell the collection upon Goresh’s death. Farrell and Goresh were mutual, long-time pop-culture enthusiast friends.

Farrell said: “It was a great honor to be selected by Paul Goresh before he died to sell this amazing collection. We will offer items never before seen in the collector’s market. It’s a sale not to be missed.”