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“BED PEACE: The Battle of Yohn and Joko” Opening March 29th at The Cockpit.. 2019 marks the 50 year anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous bed-in for peace; when the Lennons took over a hotel room, campaigned for peace and sparked a movement.
With John Lennon-esque wit, fire and honesty, Yoko Ono-esque spirituality, philosophy and mystery; ensemble storytelling, physical theatre and live music in the intimacy of the round, this new play brings to life the energy of 1969 and the Lennon’s plight to bring peace to the world.
Written by Rocky Rodriguez Jr.
Musical compositions by John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney
The use of songs is by arrangement with Sony/ATV Music.
The Cockpit
Friday 29th March – Sunday 28th April 2019



Use promocode, ‘beatmag’ for 25% off tickets until 28th April!

Please note: package codes are not case sensitive, and can be used online & over the phone.



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Hal Blaine, a legendary drummer with the Los Angeles-based studio musicians known as The Wrecking Crew, died March 11.

These recordings included huge hit singles by the Beach Boys (including “Good Vibrations” and “I Get Around”), the Mamas and the Papas (“Monday Monday”), the Monkees, the Righteous Brothers (including “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling”), Elvis Presley, Sonny and Cher, the Byrds (“Mr. Tambourine Man”), the Association, the Grass Roots, the Ronettes (“Be My Baby”) and countless others. Herb Alpert’s 1960s hit recordings featured The Wrecking Crew as the Tijuana Brass. He was also the principal drummer on the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album.

Among the 40 #1 hits on which he played were “He’s a Rebel” (The Crystals), “Surf City” (Jan and Dean), “This Diamond Ring” (Gary Lewis and the Playboys), “Eve of Destruction” (Barry McGuire), “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’” (Nancy Sinatra), “Strangers in the Night” (Frank Sinatra), “Poor Side of Town” (Johnny Rivers), “Mrs. Robinson” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (Simon and Garfunkel), “Dizzy” (Tommy Roe), “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” (the Fifth Dimension), “(They Long to Be) Close to You” (The Carpenters), “I Think I Love You” (The Partridge Family), “Indian Reservation” (Paul Revere and the Raiders), “Half Breed” (Cher), “Song Sung Blue” and “Cracklin’ Rosie” (Neil Diamond), “The Way We Were” (Barbra Streisand), “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” (John Denver). “Theme From Mahogany” (Diana Ross) and “Love Will Keep Us Together” (Captain and Tennille).

Blaine estimated that he played on 35,000 individual songs in all.

Hal Blaine was born Harold Simon Belsky on February 5, 1929, in Holyoke, Mass. He became a professional drummer in 1948 and joined the band of teen idol Tommy Sands in the late ’50s. Relocating to Los Angeles in the ’60s, he became the most in-demand session drummer in the city, playing on most of Phil Spector’s hits as well as Elvis Presley’s film soundtracks and many of the Beach Boys’ recordings.
His drums can also be heard on recordings by Steely Dan, Glen Campbell, Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Trini Lopez, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, John Lennon, Dusty Springfield, Sammy Davis Jr., Emmylou Harris, Love, Dean Martin, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash and others.
Between 1966 and ’71 Blaine played on six consecutive Grammy Record of the Year winners: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in 1966 for “A Taste of Honey”; Frank Sinatra in 1967 for “Strangers in the Night”; The Fifth Dimension in 1968 and 1970 for “Up, Up and Away” and “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”; Simon and Garfunkel in 1969 and 1971 for “Mrs. Robinson” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

Among the other prominent members of The Wrecking Crew were Plas Johnson, Earl Palmer, Leon Russell, Glen Campbell and Carol Kaye.
Blaine was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.



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A new plaque has been unveiled in commemoration of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s first public gig, which took place 50 years ago at Cambridge University.
Ono held a jazz performance at Lady Mitchell Hall on March 2 1969 – John joined her as “her band”.

Now, a plaque that reads “Yoko Ono John Lennon Cambridge 1969” has been unveiled to mark the event. It precedes a six-month exhibition of Ono’s work which will be displayed in various cities.
The couple’s experimental jazz concert was covered in brief in student publication The Cambridge News at the time. The report explained that Lennon sat with his back to the audience for a large portion of the 26-minute set.
Part of the article described how Ono opened with a “fearsome siren note” and wrapped up the gig with “a long series of screams”.John, meanwhile, was sat by her feet with his back to the crowd, “holding, shaking, swinging electronic guitars right up against a large speaker”.

In 1980, Lennon spoke to the BBC about the Cambridge concert. “The audience were very weird, because they were all these sort of intellectual artsy-fartsies from Cambridge,” he said, but added that they “were totally solid.”
Gabriella Daris, an art historian and curator of the forthcoming Ono exhibition said: “There’s very little to commemorate this other than a press report, word of mouth and the actual recording.”
A recording of Lennon and Ono’s set, called Cambridge 1969, was played out in the Lady Mitchell Hall foyer as the plaque, gifted to the university by Daris, was unveiled  (March 2) on the 50th anniversary of the concert.
‘Yoko Ono: Looking For….’ exhibition, which opens in June and runs until the end 2019, will feature more than 90 works by Ono.



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John Lennon’s fascination with aliens and UFOs has been well documented throughout his life. As a member of one of the most famous bands of all time, The Beatles, Lennon often talked about his belief in alien life and even wrote about it. From his earlier years with wife Cynthia to his sighting in New York over the East River in 1974, the Beatles member continued to be mesmerized with life in space, even as much as to site visitations from aliens when he was married to Yoko Ono. On March 30, 2019, Kruse GWS Auctions will offer an extraordinary collection of John Lennon’s personal drawings and Sci-Fi magazines, long collected by an old friend who shared his passion.

On July 6, 1957, a fellow Liverpoolian befriended Lennon when he was performing as part of the Quarrymen, the group that eventually evolved into The Beatles. The band appeared at St. Peters Church in Woolten Village in Liverpool.

The young man shared a fascination with space and would strike up a conversation with John who was looking through a UFO magazine. From there on, the friendship would continue on for decades and John and the gentleman exchanged letters, drawings, opinions, and magazines about UFOs, space and all things extraterrestrial. During this time, John Lennon would send his new friend drawings and some of his personal science fiction books and magazines, all of which was kept throughout the gentlemen’s life and even after Lennon moved to the U.S. The drawings and magazines to be auctioned for the very first time, are now being offered by the man’s stepson who has also chronicled the story of the unlikely friendship.

There are four drawings done in crayon and pencil and date to the 1950s and early 1960s. The drawings along with the collection of personal sci-fi books and magazines represent a passion of a member of the world’s most famous band – The Beatles.

Two of the pieces being offered are in red crayon, early examples of his characteristic line drawings. One appears to be someone smoking a marijuana joint, while the back side features a character possessing an excessively large nose and sad face. The other captures two inversed smiling faces, a kind of yin and yang, staring at each other. The other two drawings are done in pencil and apparently drew inspiration from his first wife, Cynthia. In one drawing a UFO is seen flying above her head and the the word “Cyn” on it and John’s initials ‘JL’ incorporated into the illustration.

The second pencil drawing again captures Cynthia, and this time, displays John’s full initials of ‘JWL’ (John Winston Lennon). Lennon’s personal Sci-Fi magazine collection includes Science Fiction Analog and New Worlds Science Fiction. Each drawing will be accompanied by a copy of the letter received from the stepson describing the two’s lifelong friendship. One of the lots will include the original document. As the flying saucer drawing and science fiction collection attest, Lennon had long been obsessed with aliens and outer space fantasies. His fixation on ET visits and claims of alien abduction culminated in his most infamous sighting, when he saw a UFO from his balcony fly over the East River on August 23, 1974. In 1974, John and his lover May Pang (during his separation from Yoko) were living in an apartment overlooking New York’s East River, when John saw what he described as a UFO. Lennon went on to describe it along with its path and May Pang has been noted as saying John screamed out the window “wait – take me with you.”

The drawings will be offered in museum quality glass and frames and sold individually, and the sci-fi collection will be sold in one lot. The crayon drawings measure 4.5″ x 3″ and 4″ x 3.25″ and the pencil pieces are 8.5″ x 6″ and 5.5″ x 3.5.”



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A&E will premiere the two-hour special John and Yoko: Above Us Only Sky next month as part of the network’s “Biography” strand.

The film follows the making of John Lennon’s 1971 solo album Imagine, exploring the politically divided time in which he recorded it.

John and Yoko also puts emphasis on the creative collaboration between Lennon and Ono, using the couple’s belief in radical engagement to draw parallels between past and present.

The special features interviews with Yoko Ono, Julian Lennon, photographer David Bailey, gallerist John Dunbar (who introduced the couple), Lennon’s former personal assistant Dan Richter and studio designer Eddie Veale.

John and Yoko: Above Us Only Sky is produced by Eagle Rock Films in association with A&E Network. Peter Worsley serves as producer, with Geoff Kempin and Terry Shand serving as executive producers.

The doc premieres March 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.

Watch a preview clip below:



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On this day: 1970 , US single release: ‘Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)’/’Who Has Seen The Wind’.

Released as a single on Apple Records in February 1970. The lyric focuses on a concept in which the causality of one’s actions is immediate rather than borne out over a lifetime. The single was credited to “Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band”, apart from in the US, where the credit was “John Ono Lennon”. The song reached the top five in the British and American singles charts, competing with the Beatles’ “Let It Be” in the US, where it became the first solo single by a member of the band to sell a million copies.

“Instant Karma!” was conceived, written, recorded and released within a period of ten days, making it one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history. The recording was produced by Phil Spector, marking a comeback for the American producer after his self-imposed retirement in 1966, and leading to him being offered the producer’s role on the Beatles’ Let It Be album. Recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studios, “Instant Karma!” employs Spector’s signature Wall of Sound technique and features contributions from George Harrison, Klaus Voormann, Alan White and Billy Preston. The B-side was “Who Has Seen the Wind?”, a song composed and performed by Yoko Ono. When released in the US, the single was given a minor remix by Spector.

Recently shorn of the long hair synonymous with their 1969 campaign for world peace, Lennon and Ono promoted the single with an appearance on Britain’s Top of the Pops five days after its release. The song received positive reviews and is considered by some music critics to be among the finest recordings from Lennon’s solo career. A live performance recorded at his and Ono’s “One to One” concerts in August 1972 was included on the posthumously released Live in New York City (1986). Paul Weller, Duran Duran and U2 are among the acts who have covered “Instant Karma!” Its chorus also inspired the title to Stephen King’s 1977 novel The Shining.

Although still officially a member of the Beatles, Lennon had privately announced his departure from the band in September 1969. He was keen to issue “Instant Karma!” immediately as a single, the third under his and Ono’s Plastic Ono Band moniker. The recording session took place at Abbey Road Studios in north-west London, on the evening of 27 January. Lennon’s fellow musicians at the session were Harrison, Klaus Voormann, Alan White and Billy Preston– all of whom had performed at the December 1969 Peace for Christmas Concert, as part of the Plastic Ono Supergroup. The recording engineer for “Instant Karma!” was EMI mainstay Phil McDonald.[38] Spector produced the session, arriving late after Harrison had found him at Apple’s office and persuaded him to attend.

According to author Bruce Spizer, the line-up for the basic track, before overdubs, was Lennon (vocals, acoustic guitar), Harrison (electric guitar), Preston (organ), Voormann (bass) and White (drums). Lennon later recalled of the recording: “Phil (Spector) came in and said, ‘How do you want it?’ And I said, ‘1950s’ and he said ‘Right’ and BOOM! … he played it back and there it was.” The song uses a similar amount of echo to 1950s Sun Records recordings.

[T]here was this little guy walking around with “PS” on his shirt, and I was thinking, “Who is this guy?” … When he turned on the playback [after recording], it was just incredible. First, it was ridiculously loud, but also there was the ring of all these instruments and the way the song had such motion. As a first experience of the difference from the way you played it to the sound in the control room, it was overwhelming. And I knew immediately who he was – Phil Spector.

– Klaus Voormann, describing his first experience of working with Spector and his Wall of Sound technique

The musicians recorded ten takes, the last of which was selected for overdubbing. To create what Spector biographer Mark Ribowsky terms a “four-man Wall of Sound” production, Lennon added grand piano onto the basic track, while Harrison and White shared another piano and Voormann played electric piano. In addition, Beatles aide Mal Evans overdubbed chimes (or tubular bells) and White added a second, muffled drum part.[51] Rather than an instrumental solo over the third verse, Lennon vocalised a series of what Urish and Bielen term “grunts and moan” Lennon felt that the chorus was missing something, and so Preston and Evans were sent to a nearby nightclub to bring in a group of people to provide backing vocals. These newcomers and all the musicians, along with Allen Klein, then added chorus vocals, with Harrison directing the singing.

Although Lennon and Spector disagreed over the bass sound, Lennon was delighted with the producer’s work on “Instant Karma”. White’s drums assumed the role of a lead instrument, positioned prominently in the mix. Spector biographer Richard Williams wrote in 1972: “No Beatles record had ever possessed such a unique sound; Spector had used echo to make the drums reverberate like someone slapping a wet fish on a marble slab, and the voices sounded hollow and decayed.” Spector wanted to add a string section to the track in Los Angeles, but Lennon insisted that the recording was complete.

Having only recently returned to producing, after the commercial failure of Ike & Tina Turner’s 1966 single “River Deep – Mountain High” in America, Spector had “passed the audition”, according to Beatles Forever author Nicholas Schaffner. “Instant Karma!” was the first of many Beatles-related recordings that Spector worked on during the early 1970s. Lennon and Harrison were sufficiently impressed with his production on the song that they asked Spector to work on the tapes for the Beatles’ final album release, Let It Be, and then to produce their respective 1970 solo albums, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and All Things Must Pass.