Today would have been his 77th birthday. Happy Birthday dear John!
Today would have been his 77th birthday. Happy Birthday dear John!
The Tribeca townhouse that the couple used as the mailing address for their ”conceptual country” in 1973 is now available for rent
A piece of New York history just hit the rental market: the Tribeca townhouse that John Lennon and Yoko Ono used as the address for their “Nutopian Embassy” in 1973. For those who don’t remember, Lennon and Ono announced the birth of Nutopia, “a conceptual country” with no boundaries” and “no laws other than cosmic” when Lennon was being threatened with deportation in 1973. To prevent this, he sought diplomatic immunity and asked the United Nations for recognition as a Nutopian ambassador; in the process, he gave 1 White Street as the “embassy” address (the United Nations did not give recognition, but Lennon was also not deported).
Plot twist: The couple never actually lived in the townhouse, but for years, mail addressed to “John Lennon and Yoko Ono, c/o Nutopian Embassy” was delivered there; in 1980, after the musician’s tragic death, condolences flooded the mail. Now, after almost 50 years, the gut-renovated, 2,600-square-foot townhouse is on the rental market for $19,500 per month (Todd Lewin and Michael Rubin at CORE have the listing). With four stories of living space, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a private roof terrace, the property has a lot to offer—including some musical history.
Yoko will be paying her annual visit to Iceland this October, to signal the illumination of Imagine Peace Tower in memory of John Lennon on Monday 9th October – his birthday. The illumination will be at 9 pm.
Located on the Icelandic island of Videy, Imagine Peace Tower is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko. It was dedicated to John by Yoko at its unveiling on October 9th 2007, John Lennon’s 67th birthday. Each year since then Yoko has travelled to Iceland to illuminate the vast tower of light – and it remains lit from 9th October until the day of Lennon’s death, December 8th.
Yoko Ono says: “Iceland is such a spiritual place – I always feel such a strong energy when I return there. Love, peace, understanding and the power of nature are easy to forget in today’s fast-paced modern life. In Iceland, particularly on Viðey, it becomes easier to remember how important these things are to us all and to the planet. John would have loved it.”
Programme at the Illumination in Viðey Island:
Ferry ride and City Bus
Yoko Ono invites everyone to sail free to Viðey Island for the ceremony of the illumination of the Imagine Peace Tower with the Viðey Island Ferry.
5:45 pm – 8:10 pm: The City Bus rides from Hlemmur bus terminal to Skarfabakki pier every 20 minutes. The City Bus is free of charge from Hlemmur bus terminal to Skarfabakki pier and back again.
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm: The ferry rides from Skarfabakki pier to Viðey Island.
9:45 pm – completion of emptying the island: After the ceremony the ferry rides from Viðey Island to Skarfabakki pier until the island has been evacuated.
The City Bus will run to Hlemmur bus terminal from Skarfabakki pier until the last ferry ride has arrived.
The programme starts at Viðeyjarnaust near the Imagine Peace Tower. The ceremony‘s host is Valur Freyr Einarsson.
6:30 pm: Guidance by Reykjavík Art Museum about the works of Richard Serra.
7:00 pm: A guided tour about the history of Viðey by Reykjavík City Museum.
7:30pm: Music performance by Sóley Stefnánsdóttir.
8:40 pm: Graduale Nobili choir of performs at the Imagine Peace Tower art piece. Yoko Ono speaks at the ceremony and the Mayor of Reykjavík, Dagur B. Eggertsson.
9:00 pm: The illumination of the Imagine Peace Tower
9:30 pm: The musician Svavar Knútur performs at Viðeyjarnaust.
Refreshments can be bought in Viðeyjarnaust and Viðeyjarstofa.
The Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth has reopened the rooms where John Lennon and Yoko Ono famously staged their 1969 Bed-In for Peace. The renovation puts together all four of the rooms they rented into one large suite with two bedrooms, a dining room, two lounges, two bathrooms and a pantry.
The bed sits at the end of the room, under the window, like a little stage. That is, of course, what it was for a week in the spring of 1969, when John Lennon and Yoko Ono used the bed to rally the world to the cause of peace, with a panoramic view of the city’s west end behind them.
John and Yoko’s Bed-In for Peace is a major part of the Beatles story — the moment when Lennon began pulling out from under his group’s unified image to begin his solo career, even before the band’s breakup.
And the hotel room high over downtown Montreal was where he recorded his first solo single, “Give Peace A Chance,” on the room’s bed, which had been dragged to the windows overlooking Marie-Reine-du-Monde Cathedral and Dorchester Blvd. (now Blvd. Rene-Levesque.)
Room 1742 of Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth has been a pilgrimage site for decades now, since around the time of Lennon’s murder, but long after the original furniture had been taken away during one of the hotel’s periodical refreshes — like the $140-million renovation that recently closed the Queen Elizabeth for a year.
“During the bed-in, the hotel received many complaints from guests and local residents telling management to put an end to this circus,” says Joanne Papineau, public relations regional director for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts for Eastern Canada.
“Guests were not happy about these ‘hippies’ taking up residence, but management added security and did what they could to control fans congregating in the lobby. At the time, we did not know what an impact the bed-in would have around the world.”
Toronto photographer Steve Stober was a 15-year-old Montrealer when he talked his way into the media circus back in May of 1969.
“As a kid photographer and self-proclaimed ‘world’s biggest Beatle fan,’ I was awestruck yet steady-handed when whisked past security into the now-famous suite at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel to witness history in the making.
“I assumed a position at the bedside and shot frame after frame for about 10 minutes before being ushered out. Everything else remains a blur. Kind of a peaceful gathering, from what I do recall. John did look directly into my camera. And he looked pretty good in his PJs.”
The hotel got permission from Ono to begin renting the suite in Lennon’s name in 1991, but the current renovation puts together all four of the rooms they rented into one large suite with two bedrooms, a dining room, two lounges, two bathrooms and a pantry.
The bed is beneath the window again, and the suite is full of artwork commissioned for the room, as well as a wall of archival photos of the ’69 bed-in.
Fairmont has also invested in a lot of technology to tell the story of that week.
In one lounge a wall of “filing cabinets” opens up to reveal audio visual displays devoted to aspects of the Bed Peace story, and a pair of virtual reality goggles sit beside the bed to let guests experience it from John and Yoko’s perspective.
A vintage telephone, TV set and tape deck also provide video and audio snippets of Lennon quotes, captured during the week. And if you’re so moved, there’s a guitar in the corner for strumming.
Reservations are filling up, but the suite can be rented for the relatively low price of $1,969 a night — a bargain considering it apparently cost Lennon $1,000 a night to rent all four rooms back in 1969.
In honor of John Lennon’s birthday, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus has been dedicated to NYC for one whole month of peace, love and creativity. Lennon Bus Ambassador Bootsy Collins has been working with students to create original music, videos, poetry and art around the theme of peace after launching the bus at City Hall on September 15th. We continue visiting schools, festivals and communities throughout the city all month. Don’t miss our 2nd annual Block Party in Jackson Heights, home of the most diverse community in the entire world! Register now for your free ticket HERE.
Special thanks to NYC Council, The Mayor’s Office, Department of Cultural Affairs, NY State Assembly, Canon U.S.A., Inc., Juniper Networks, Other World Computing, Securematics, Nearpod and the Bootsy Collins Foundation for making it all possible.
48 years ago today (9/26/69), The Beatles released the Abbey Road LP. The Fab Four’s eleventh studio album is considered one of the finest of all time, with a song sequence that builds on many themes, along with their Side 2 medley. The recording sessions for the album were the last in which all four Beatles participated. Although Let It Be was the final album that the Beatles completed before the band’s dissolution in April 1970, most of the album had been recorded before the Abbey Road sessions began. Listen to John Lennon talk about Abbey Road track by track…
The Beatles’ Abbey Road album was released in the UK on 26 September 1969. It sold four million copies worldwide in its first six weeks on sale, and a further million by the end of 1969 – making it the best-selling long-player of the year. Abbey Road was the fourth best-selling album of the entire 1960s, and the eighth best-selling of 1970.