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You are viewing JOHN LENNON


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In the fall of 1966, Look magazine’s European editor Leonard Gross and photographer Douglas Kirkland visited John Lennon on-location during the filming of ‘How I Won The War.’ The article, entitled ‘John Lennon: A Shorn Beatle Tries It On His Own’, would be published in Look ,1966

Whoever would have dreamed that beneath that mop lurked a Renaissance man? Yet there, shorn, sits John Lennon, champion minstrel, literary Beatle, coarse truthsayer, who turned Christendom on with one wildly misunderstood gibe at cant. Now, face white, tunic red, playing wounded in a field of weeds, this pop-rock De Vinci is proposing to act for real. Relaxed to all appearances, he is all knots inside. “I was just a bundle of nerves the first day. I couldn’t hardly speak I was so nervous. My first speech was in a forest, on patrol. I was suppose to say, ‘My heart’s not in it any more’ and it wasn’t. I went home and said to myself, ‘Either you’re not going to be like that, or you’re going to give up.’”
As he casts his weak brown eyes at the camera, the entire movie company jockeys for a glimpse. “I don’t mind talking to the camera — it’s people that throw me.”
Sure enough, he blows his lines. He waggles his head in shame. “Sorry about that.” But under the low-key coaxing of Director Dick Lester, Beatle John becomes Private Gripweed, a complex British orderly, in a film, How I Won The War.

Lennon at 26, said: “I feel I want to be them all– painter, writer, actor, singer, player, musician. I want to try them all, and I’m lucky enough to be able to. I want to see which one turns me on. This is for me, this film, because apart from wanting to do it because of what it stands for, I want to see what I’ll be like when I’ve done it.” “I don’t want people taking things from me that aren’t really me. They make you something that they want to make you, that isn’t really you. They come and talk to find answers, but they’re their answers, not us. We’re not Beatles to each other, you know. It’s a joke to us. If we’re going out the door of the hotel, we say, ‘Right! Beatle John! Beatle George now! Come on, let’s go!’ We don’t put on a false front or anything. But we just know that leaving the door, we turn into Beatles because everybody looking at us sees the Beatles. We’re not the Beatles at all. We’re just us.” “But we made it, and we asked for it to an extent, and that’s how it’s going to be. That’s why George is in India (studying the sitar,) and I’m here. Because we’re a bit tired of going out the door, and the only way to soften the blow is just to spread it a bit.”

In that kind of mood, a Dick Lester set was just the therapy for Lennon. Each man is the kind who makes the New Theologians jump. To them, the individual is more thrill than threat — a unique being who should be taken for what he is. Lester, who directed both Beatle films, gratefully recalls his first meeting with the group, when the movies were just an idea. “They allowed me to be what I damn well pleased. I didn’t have to put on an act for them, and they didn’t put one on for me.” This is what a Lester set is like: Once more, they are in a deserted German square, now, with all the paraphernalia of movie-making, with British ‘soldiers,’ Lennon among them, ready to comb the streets, with German ‘soldiers’ lying in wait. “Quiet please!” an assistant shouts — just as a little boy walks into the scene. Apoplectic, the assistant rushes forward and shoves the child aside. Lester, whose normal weapon is humor, flushes. “Don’t push!” he commands.

Lennon’s lack of pretense astonished the actors. “He’s someone who just tries anything,” one of them marveled. “No stand-in, no special treatment, no chair for him.” During a break for tea one raw morning, Lennon queued with the rest. When his turn arrived, his heart’s desire was gone. “You don’t have to be a star to get a cheese sandwich,” he mused. “You just have to be first.” They like his humor too. That same morning, a German mother pushed her three-year-old son up to the Beatle, clutching his autograph book in his hand. “Sign it!” she demanded. Lennon did as bidden, telling the boy, “Yes, sir, you put us where we are today.” On location in Spain one afternoon, the script required Lennon to drive a troop carrier along the beach. Accelerating too fast, he spun the wheels; the rear of the carrier sank. As his crestfallen director approached the cab, Lennon peered sheepishly over his glasses and gave him a limp salute.

“The class thing is just as snobby as it ever was. People like us can break through a little — but only a little. Once, we went into this restaurant and nearly got thrown out for looking like we looked until they saw who it was. ‘What do you want? What do you want?’ the headwaiter said, ‘We’ve come to bloody eat, that’s what we want,’ we said. The owner spotted us and said, ‘Ah, a table sir, over here, sir.’ It just took me back to when I was 19, and I couldn’t get anywhere without being stared at or remarked about. It’s only since I’ve been a Beatle that people have said, ‘Oh, wonderful, come in, come in,’ and I’ve forgotten a bit about what they’re really thinking. They see the shining star, but when there’s no glow about you, they only see the clothes and the haircut again.”

“I’m not a cynic. They’re getting my character out of some of things I write or say. They can’t do that. I hate tags. I’m slightly cynical, but I’m not a cynic. One can be wry one day and cynical the next and ironic the next. I’m a cynic about most things that are taken for granted. I’m cynical about society, politics, newspapers, government. But I’m not cynical about life, love, goodness, death. That’s why I really don’t want to be labeled a cynic.”
It is in the context of the young man who recoils at distortion that his now-famous remark should be viewed.


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John and Yoko Ono, join James Hanratty Sr. to protest the controversial execution of Hanratty’s son, in 1969.

On Dec. 11, 1969, Beatle John Lennon and Yoko Ono arrived at the Odeon theater in Kensington to attend the premiere of Ringo Starr’s movie, “The Magic Christian.”
They stepped out of their Rolls-Royce and unfurled a banner that read, “BRITAIN MURDERED HANRATTY.”
The banner referred to James Hanratty who had been tried, convicted, and executed for murder seven years earlier. John and Yoko were just two of thousands of people who believed he did not commit the crime.
Lennon became interested in the case after a chance meeting with Hanratty’s parents, who convinced him that their son had been railroaded. John and Yoko took on the challenge of clearing his name.
Lennon has been dead for nearly 38 years and many of his causes have been forgotten. But controversy still swirls over the Hanratty case, and the question of whether Britain hanged an innocent man. The murder that landed Hanratty, 25, on the gallows happened on Aug. 22, 1961.


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*A frail-looking Yoko Ono visited Liverpool to open a exhibition dedicated to her relationship with John Lennon
*While in the city, she visited Mendips and 9 Newcastle Road, the homes where the Beatles legend grew up
*It is believed to be the first time she has visited the Newcastle Road home, having reportedly bought it in 2013
*She also  posted of a photo of herself in Lennon’s old bedroom online, writing: ‘I love you John. Yoko’

A frail-looking Yoko Ono was spotted visiting two of John Lennon’s childhood homes on Friday after traveling from her New York home to Liverpool.She was in the city to open a museum show dedicated to their relationship, filled with exhibits from her own private collection.
While in Liverpool she visited Mendips, the home where Lennon spent most of his childhood, and took a photo of herself in his bedroom.

Uploading the photo to Instagram, she wrote: ‘This is John’s room in Menlove Avenue. I feel John here with me…I love you John. Yoko.’
She previously owned the property, having bought it at auction in 2002 before donating it to the National Trust, which now preserves it. Yoko was also seen leaving John’s earliest home, at 9 Newcastle Road, which she bought at auction in 2013 for more than three times the asking price. The same decorating team that renovated the Mendips home were spotted at the Newcastle Road property after it was purchased. John lived at Newcastle Road from his birth until age five, when the breakdown of his parents’ marriage saw him move to Mendips to live with his Aunt Mimi.
Newcastle Road is just a few yards from Penny Lane, which inspired one of The Beatles most famous songs, while Mendips is where the band had some of their earliest rehearsals.

The exhibition to Yoko and Lennon, entitled Double Fantasy – John and Yoko, is being displayed at the Museum of Liverpool until April next year.
Included in the items on display are Lennon’s iconic wire-framed glasses, a rare Sardonyx guitar used by Lennon on the album Double Fantasy, and artwork made by the pair.

Yoko Lennon said: ‘I am so happy and grateful that we are having our Double Fantasy -John & Yoko show in Liverpool.
‘This is where John was born and I know John would be very happy too.
‘We were a very simple couple just loving each other every day and I just wanted to show the simple truth of us.
‘In our personal life we were pretty simple people, and we made all sorts of things with love for each other. Everything was made out of love.
‘We found that we were both very strongly interested in world peace. I feel John and I are still working together. I always feel his warmth next to me.’

Yoko visited Liverpool museum in order to open the exhibition, which is filled with items from their life.



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U.S. Postal Service Announces Updates to the 2018 Stamp Program

The John Lennon commemorative “Forever Stamp” will be issued on September 7th by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The stamps will be issued in a pane of 16, with a design aping a vinyl picture sleeve. The stamps themselves use a famed 1974 photo by legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen, with the photo on the rear using the iconic 1971 Lennon shot of him at his English Tittenhurst Park estate recording “Imagine,” captured by Peter Fordham.

This black-and-white photograph of John seated at his white piano appears on the reverse side of the stamp pane, along with Lennon’s signature and the Music Icons series logo.

Among its stamp subjects for 2018 is former Beatle, John Lennon, as part of the Music Icon series. He joins other stars in the series including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, and Lydia Mendoza.
For the first time, the Postal Service is revealing the full pane for these stamps, featuring a photograph of John Lennon taken by noted rock-and-roll photographer Bob Gruen in August 1974. Taken on the rooftop of Lennon’s Manhattan apartment, the photograph is part of a series of images taken by Gruen during the photo session for Lennon’s 1974 album Walls and Bridges.

The original black-and-white photograph has been treated in gradations of color: from yellow orange to red in the top row, from red to light purple in the second row, from light purple to dark purple in the third row and from dark purple to blue in the bottom row. Lennon’s signature appears at the top of the stamps. “USA,” the peace symbol, and the Forever denomination appear along the bottom.

The stamp pane is designed to resemble a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. One side of the pane includes the stamps and brief text about Lennon’s legacy, with the image of a sliver of a record seeming to peek out the top of the sleeve.


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The exhibition, opening on May 18, explores the personal and creative chemistry of this iconic couple and their ongoing Imagine Peace campaign.

It celebrates the meeting of two of the world’s most creative artists who expressed their deep and powerful love for one another through their art, music and film ..
They were two dreamers who used their fame and influence to campaign for peace and human rights across the world, transforming not only their own lives, but art, music and activism forever.
Featuring personal objects the exhibition is drawn from Yoko’s own private collection, some of which has never been displayed before.

Proud Yoko says: “I am so happy and grateful that we are having our Double Fantasy – John & Yoko show in Liverpool ..
“This is where John was born and I know John would be very happy too.
“We were a very simple couple just loving each other every day and I just wanted to show the simple truth of us.
“In our personal life we were pretty simple people, and we made all sorts of things with love for each other.
“Everything was made out of love.
“We found that we were both very strongly interested in world peace.
“I feel John and I are still working together.
“I always feel his warmth next to me.”

Taking a chronological journey, the exhibition starts with two unique individuals – a leading figure in the avant-garde art world and a global rock ‘n’ roll star.
From a tender first meeting at Indica Gallery in London, it was 18 months later that the album Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins was issued.What followed was breathtaking in its rapidity and productivity until John’s tragic and untimely death on December 8, 1980.

Through interviews, quotes and lyrics, the story of their personal and creative relationship along with their political activism and peace campaigning, will be told in their own words for the very first time. From the intimate to the iconic, the exhibition brings together unmissable objects and artworks, including ten fab reasons to see John and Yoko’s homecoming exhibition:

Hand-written lyrics by John Lennon, including In My Life, Give Peace a Chance, Happy Christmas (War is Over) and Woman.
Grapefruit – Yoko’s artist book, which she gave to John as a gift in 1966. Published in 1964, the book represents a seminal piece of conceptual art and was a direct influence on the lyrics and ideas behind Imagine.
• Original artwork by both, including Yoko’s Ceiling Painting/Yes Painting, Painting to Hammer a Nail and Apple as well as The Daily Howl, a hand-made book by John from his childhood and numerous examples of his distinctive line drawings.
The exhibition also features conceptual work the couple produced together, such as War is Over, Plastic Ono Band and elements of their first collaboration Acorn Peace.
Many personal items, such as John’s wire-rimmed glasses, Yoko’s large Porsche sunglasses, iconic items of clothing, such as John’s New York City t-shirt, and items from their wedding outfits.
An extremely rare Sardonyx guitar used by John on the album ‘Double Fantasy’, and the acoustic Gibson guitar, illustrated on by John, from their 1969 bed-in.
John’s hard-won Green Card.
Items from the the couple’s famous 1969 Bed-Ins in Amsterdam and Montreal.
A rolling programme of the films that John and Yoko created, and music videos made under Yoko’s supervision. A music room, overlooking the Mersey with the couple’s albums played for visitors will feature album cover art.
A recreation of the Imagine mosaic circle in Strawberry Fields, Central Park, New York. An intimate and contemplative space, it will also reflect on the global impact of John’s death.


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The John Lennon forever stamp in the Music Icons commemorative series will be issued Sept. 7 in New York City, according to the United States Postal Service.

The stamp will be issued in a pane of 16, with the stamp pane design resembling the sleeve of a 45rpm record. But an unexpected twist has been revealed: There will be four different stamps in this issue.
The stamps all feature the same photograph of Lennon taken by Bob Gruen in August 1974, but the stamps in each horizontal row will be treated in different gradient colors, creating four different major varieties.

The colors on the stamps in the first row change from yellow orange to red, the second row changes from red to light purple, the third is light purple to dark purple, and the fourth is dark purple to blue.
The image on the reverse of the pane is a familiar black-and-white photograph by Peter Fordham of Lennon at his white piano, with Lennon’s signature in white above the scene. The photograph originally was used to promote Lennon’s 1971 solo album Imagine. The John Lennon stamp was designed by Neal Ashby; Antonio Alcala was the art director.