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DICK GREGORY, PIONEERING US COMEDIAN AND ACTIVIST, DIES AGED 84

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Dick Gregory, pioneering US comedian and activist, dies aged 84. Gregory’s son, Christian, said his father died late on Saturday in Washington, DC after having been hospitalised for about a week. He had suffered a severe bacterial infection. He is survived by his wife, Lillian, and 10 children.

In a varied career,Gregory briefly sought political office for mayor of Chicago in 1966 and US president in 1968, when he got 200,000 votes as the Peace and Freedom party candidate.

In the late 60s, he befriended JohnLennon and was among the voices heard on Lennon’s anti-war anthem Give Peace a Chance, recorded in the Montreal hotel room where Lennon and Yoko Ono were staging a “bed-in” for peace.

An admirer of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, Gregory embraced nonviolence and became a vegetarian and marathon runner.

 

NEW BOOK: “IMAGINE” BY JOHN LENNON & YOKO ONO

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Featuring the lyrics of John Lennon’s immortal song, Imagine, and created in collaboration with Amnesty International, this poignant book inspires a new generation to imagine a world at peace.  Join one little pigeon as she sets out on a global journey to spread a message of peace and friendship among birds from around the world, of all shapes and sizes.

Yoko Ono Lennon has kindly allowed John Lennon’s wonderful words to be used in this beautiful book.  The artist Jean Jullien has created the beautiful pictures in the book. The book will support Amnesty International’s work to help protect human rights all over the world. A royalty from every book sold will be donated to Amnesty International.

 

A message from
Yoko Ono Lennon

This book is very special to me. The words were written by my husband John and it makes me so happy to see them illustrated in this beautiful book. He wrote Imagine as a song calling for peace around the world. Today, we need peace more than ever, so I think his words are still very important.

Everybody wants to feel happy and to feel safe. And we can all help make the world a better place in our own way. We should always keep love in our hearts, and look after one another. We should always share what we have, and we should stand up for people who are not being treated fairly.

And it’s important that we treat everyone like that, not just our family and our friends. We should treat everybody the same, no matter where they are from or if they speak a different language. After all, the pigeon in this book welcomes all the other birds, whatever colour of feathers or shape of beak they have.

By doing this, we can all help to make a difference every day. Every small good thing that we do can help change the world for the better. You can do it, I can do it, we all can do it.

Imagine. Together we can make peace happen.

Then the world truly will live as one.

Foreword to Imagine, 2017

 

ORDER “IMAGINE” BOOK …    H E R E .

 


TWO JOHN´S LETTERS FOR SALE AT AUCTION

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Currently up for auction, the letter, written by Lennon in 1976, is addressed to his former wife and printed on Lennono Music letter-headed paper. A response to excerpts from Powell’s memoir A Twist of Lennon being published in the News of the World, Lennon requests in the letter that she stop running to newspapers with details of his affair, claiming that “As you and I well know, our marriage was over long before the advent of LSD or Yoko Ono…and that’s reality!”
The second letter currently up for auction is a handwritten note to the News of the World, in which Lennon requested they print his letter to Powell without any editing, claiming “it’s only fair to me and your readers to present my side of the story.”
The letters are expected to fetch over $9,000 in the auction, which ends today. Any Beatles fans with presumably deep pockets can make their bids at RRAuction.com.


JOHN OPEN LETTER TO CYNTHIA AFTER MARRIAGE BREAKDOWN UNEARTHED

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An open letter John wrote to his ex-wife Cynthia slamming her for making details of their marriage breakdown public has been unearthed after 41 years.

In the original letter, which is titled ‘an open letter to Cynthia Twist’ and is dated November 15, 1976, the former Beatle said Cynthia had an ‘impaired’ memory of their marriage. John sent the letter to a US weekly magazine for them to publish with the request that it is ‘printed without any edits.I think it only fair to me and your readers to present my side of the story’. He wrote it in response to an article Cynthia had published in an English women’s magazine earlier that year.

He refuted her claim that he hired a private detective to spy on her and her future husband Roberto Bassanini who she was married to from 1970 to 1973. The letter measures 8.5in by 11in and has been signed ‘John’ with Lennon adding a small sketch of his face. It is being consigned by a private collector in the US who wishes to remain anonymous and the letter is tipped to sell for £20,000 ($25,000).

It reads in full: “As you and I well know, our marriage was over long before the advent of L.S.D. or Yoko Ono … and that’s reality!“Your memory is impaired to say the least. “Your version of our first L.S.D. trip is rather vague, and you seem to have forgotten subsequent trips altogether!  “You also seem to have forgotten that only two years ago, while I was separated from Yoko, you suddenly brought Julian to see me in Los Angeles after three years of silence. “During this visit, you hardly allowed me to be alone with him for one moment. “You even asked me to remarry you and/or give you another child, ‘for Julian’s sake’! “I politely told you no, and that, anyway, I was still in love with Yoko, (which I thought was very ‘down to earth’).“There were no detectives sent to Italy. Our mutual friend Alex Mardas went to Bassanini’s Hotel to see how you were, as you said you were too ill to come home.. “Finally, I don’t blame you for wanting to get away from your ‘Beatle’ past. “But if you are serious about it, you should try to avoid talking to and posing for magazines and newspapers! “We did have some good years, so dwell on them for a change, and, as Dylan says, it was ‘A Simple Twist of Fate!’
“Love & good luck to the three of you, from the three of us.”

John’s pun on Cynthia’s surname at the close of the first letter ‘A Simple Twist of Fate’ possibly inspired Cynthia’s decision to call her forthcoming memoirs A Twist of Lennon which were published in 1978.

A spokesman for US based RR Auctions, who are selling the letter, said: “As Lennon’s official side of the story, a public he-said, she-said self-defence, these letters represent the unique final chapter in the life of the former Beatle. “They are of the utmost rarity and importance.” Cynthia met John in a calligraphy class at the Liverpool College of Art and they began dating in 1958. They married in 1962 and were together for six years but divorced in November 1968. In 1976, Cynthia married John Twist, an engineer from Lancashire, but divorced him in 1983. She was married to night club owner Noel Charles from 2002 until his death in 2013. Two years later, in 2015, she died aged 76.

The auction ends on August 9.


LENNON BUS READY TO LAUNCH 20TH ANNIVERSARY FALL TOUR

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This year the Lennon Bus celebrates 20 years of peace, love and creativity! As summer winds down and back to school season begins the Lennon Bus make a Fall Tour in Southern California. Here’s to another 20 years of serving communities, schools and students of all ages with free hands on opportunities to create on the best mobile recording studio in the world.


YOKO ONO´S 16mm FILMS WILL HEADLINE THE MEDIA CITY FILM FESTIVAL

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The Media City Film Festival is embarking on their 23rd year of film screenings, live performances, exhibitions, and artist discussions this year from Wednesday, August 2 to Saturday, August 5 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Yoko Ono, and legendary composer Malcolm Goldstein will be headlining the opening night of the festival starting at 8 p.m.

Media City Film Festival since starting in Detroit and Windsor in 1994 has gained recognition as a leading platform for artistic film and video, attracting artists and their work from around the world. In this year’s festival, there will be more than 60 films to showcase coming from Iran, Brazil, Austria, Sri Lanka, Spain, England, and many other places.
This year the festival will feature six of Yoko. Ono’s 16mm film pieces that were all created between 1966 and 1971.

 

 

 

 

The films that will be featured are from the Fluxfilm catalog and include two of Ono’s first take-off films, Fly and Freedom  (1971), Apotheosis (made with John Lennon in 1970), and three other shorts that showcase Ono’s talent to blend heavy emotions with soft imagery to create an intense experience for viewers. And, along with the fact that these films are rare, this will be the first time any Ono film is screened in Detroit.
The full catalog and schedule of events for the festival can be seen here.