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TOURISTS STILL WRITING ON PRAGUE´S JOHN LENNON WALL DESPITE RECENT BAN

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The situation around the Lennon Wall in Prague has calmed down substantially since the wall reopened in November 2019 as an open-air art galley, but tourists are still writing on it. According to the new rules that began in November 2019, people should only write on the wall with a marker or chalk in reserved places.

A plastic sign in Czech and English with some history of the all has added at the left end, and says it has been declared a “memorial place.” The sign does not forbid graffiti or noise. According to the new rules that began in November 2019, people should only write on the wall with a marker or chalk in reserved places, but these have not yet been specified.

The Knights of Malta addressed the problem by renovating the wall in October 2019 to remove layers of paint and them structurally stabilizing it. Artists led by Pavel Šťastný, who made the Civic Forum right after the Velvet Revolution and also made the new logo for the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, painted the new design on the wall.

“From our point of view, the transformation of the Lennon Wall into an outdoor gallery in the autumn calmed the situation. There have been fewer conflicts, traces of the rampage of alcohol ours, and there are no more vulgarisms on the wall,” Hedvika Čepelová, spokeswoman for the Knights of Malta, told daily Mladá fronta Dnes.

“From Prague 1, we know that in the first phase, it was necessary to deal with dozens of cases when someone tried to damage the wall during the night. We are sorry that there are still people who need to destroy this beautiful place, and we will workPrague’s Lennon Wall has inspired similar ones worldwide, particularly in Hong Kong where sticky notes are used to express sentiments on the walls. The Lennon Wall in Prague has become a popular place for tourists from Asia to show support for Hong Kong. with Prague 1 [to fix the situation],” Čepelová added.

 

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“JOHN LENNON: THE FINAL YEAR”, FROM REDA FILMS DOCUMENTARY COMING

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The final year of John Lennon’s life will be the subject of a new documentary timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the music legend’s death. John Lennon: The Final Year, from Reda Films, will include never-before-seen material and interviews with those who spent time with the slain Beatle during the last year of his life. Lennon died December 8, 1980, as a result of a fatal gunshot wound, while standing with his wife, Yoko Ono, in front of his apartment building on New York’s Upper West Side.

The film’s producer is noted Beatles author, Ken Womack of Wonderwall Communications. Womack’s forthcoming book, John Lennon 1980: The Final Days in the Life of Beatle John, will be published on Lennon’s birthday, Oct. 9. His most recent book was Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles, published in 2019 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the release of Abbey Road.

The film’s production company executives, Scott Reda and Mark Reda, are executive producers.

Lilla Hurst, co-managing director of the film’s distributor, Drive, said, “This ground-breaking film gives exclusive access to people who were part of John Lennon’s life during his final year and sheds light on a part of his life that hasn’t been previously revealed. We were fascinated by this story as soon as it was brought to us and we look forward to launching the film to the content industry.”

Lennon and Ono, recorded the album, Double Fantasy, in 1980. It was released on Nov. 17. Three weeks later, Lennon was dead.

The production company, Reda Films, has over 600 hours of programming and has amassed the largest privately owned film archive – Reda Archives, LLC – in the United States. The company has received numerous awards including a People’s Choice Award, Peabody Award, and Primetime Emmy Award (including nine nominations).

Reda earned the Peabody Award for its 1990 documentary John Hammond: From Bessie Smith to Bruce Springsteen, about the legendary Columbia Records talent scout.

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JOHN LENNON’S PSYCHEDELIC ROLLS-ROYCE ON DISPLAY AT VICTORIA’S ROYAL BC MUSEUM

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Staff from the Royal BC Museum (RBCM) wore white cotton gloves as they gently manoeuvred a massive, three-tonne vehicle into their lobby.

The 1965 Phantom V Rolls-Royce belonged to none other than John Lennon, making it one of the most popular – and certainly the most expensive – items to ever come into the museum’s collection.

“The car always generates a lot of excitement, enthusiasm and inspiration,” said Paul Ferguson, collections manager for the history division of the RBCM. “For some, apart from the music, this is as close as you can get to John Lennon in British Columbia.”

Lennon ordered the car in 1964, and received it in 1965 as an all-black vehicle. To celebrate The Beatles’ release of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, he had it custom-painted bright yellow with Romany-inspired designs.

B.C. businessman Jimmy Pattison bought the car in 1985 for more than $2 million, and donated it to the province in 1987, allowing it to make regular visits to the museum ever since.

The paint, while dazzling, has been tricky for museum conservators.

“It’s one of our most challenging items in the collection,” said Kasey Lee, conservator at the RBCM. “It was painted by an artist and not a vehicle detailer using a paint that’s not necessarily going to last in the winter.”

This means staff need to be exceptionally careful with the exterior, avoiding polishing cloths or any contact with the body except on the chrome bumpers. It also means the use of minuscule paint brushes to maintain any details.

On the mechanical side, the car needed some loving.

“It was poorly maintained, it sat for a long time and with the fuel from sitting, carburetors were jammed,” said Tom Munro, a mechanic with Coachwerks Restoration. “It needed some electric work and we looked at brakes, but it purrs like a kitten in a creamery now.”

Al Carter, another mechanic with Coachwerks said it was special to be able to work on the car.

“I find it a bit of a thrill… I was in England and I remember the car being done like this, back in the day,” Carter said. When asked if he ever thought he’d work on the car he laughed. “Oh absolutely not. That’s the thrill of it, it’s such an iconic car that you feel a little bit of love for it.”

The Rolls-Royce will be on display for free at the Royal BC Museum at 675 Belleville St. until the end of February.

RINGO STARR: “I SAW HIM (JOHN LENNON) ON THE 15th NOVEMBER,1980”

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John Lennon and Ringo Starr last saw each other in November, 1980.
In an interview the following year, Ringo reflected on their final meeting, which was immortalised in a photo.

Their time together that day was enshrined forever in a polaroid picture.

In an interview with Barbara Walters the year after John’s death, Ringo recalled the final time he saw his friend.

“I saw him on the 15th November,” he said. “I was staying at The Plaza.

“Oh, man, they were happy. They were two people in one,” he added poignantly.


‘JOHN LENNON: FINAL YEAR’ DOCUMENTARY COMING

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The final year of John Lennon’s life will be the subject of a new documentary timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the music legend’s death. John Lennon: The Final Year, from Reda Films, will include never-before-seen material and interviews with those who spent time with the slain Beatle during the last year of his life. Lennon died December 8, 1980, as a result of a fatal gunshot wound, while standing with his wife, Yoko Ono, in front of his apartment building on New York’s Upper West Side.

The film’s producer is noted Beatles author, Ken Womack of Wonderwall Communications. Womack’s forthcoming book, John Lennon 1980: The Final Days in the Life of Beatle John, will be published on Lennon’s birthday, Oct. 9. His most recent book was Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles, published in 2019 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the release of Abbey Road.

The film’s production company executives, Scott Reda and Mark Reda, are executive producers.

Lilla Hurst, co-managing director of the film’s distributor, Drive, said, “This ground-breaking film gives exclusive access to people who were part of John Lennon’s life during his final year and sheds light on a part of his life that hasn’t been previously revealed. We were fascinated by this story as soon as it was brought to us and we look forward to launching the film to the content industry.”

Lennon and Ono, recorded the album, Double Fantasy, in 1980.

It was released on Nov. 17. Three weeks later, John was dead.

The production company, Reda Films, has over 600 hours of programming and has amassed the largest privately owned film archive – Reda Archives, LLC – in the United States. The company has received numerous awards including a People’s Choice Award, Peabody Award, and Primetime Emmy Award (including nine nominations).

Reda earned the Peabody Award for its 1990 documentary John Hammond: From Bessie Smith to Bruce Springsteen, about the legendary Columbia Records talent scout.

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HOW JOHN LENNON LOOKED TO HIS FUTURE WITH THE PLASTIC ONO BAND

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John Lennon Plastic Ono Band” was recorded over at both Abbey Road and Ascot Sound Studios, the studio that John Lennon and Yoko Ono had built at Tittenhurst Park
In April 1970 when The Beatles had officially ‘broken up’ John Lennon was 29 years old and was finding his own ‘voice’ – his very personal sense of musical-being.

The Beatles break-up was viewed by just about everyone around the world as a catastrophe, which no one could, or should, put asunder. Most fans could not comprehend what life was like, within the Beatles-bubble and it was impossible to understand the kind of life, and work, it was… being a Beatle.

“I don’t believe in Beatles; I just believe in me – Yoko and me.” – John’s lyrics from ‘God’

There was no hope of keeping the (Beatles) dream alive, but John was full of creative energy. In the year from November 1968, John and Yoko released three fascinating sonic experiments, along with the Live Peace LP that was recorded on stage in Toronto in September 1969 and released three months later. One of which, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band that was released on 11 December 1970 and entered the UK charts on 16 January 1971.

John felt passionately about the albums he and Yoko made – Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins, Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions and the Wedding Album. Aside from their experimental nature all three are radical, avant-garde and innovative; like audio documentaries they are, above all else, visceral, raw and honest. In this respect, they are the musical antecedents of both John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band. The controversy surrounding the cover of Two Virgins was enormous at the time.

John had also had three hit singles with ‘Give Peace A Chance’, ‘Cold Turkey’ and ‘Instant Karma!’ By July 1970 his mind was once again turning to music. John and Yoko were in Los Angeles having gone there to continue Primal Therapy sessions that had begun at the couple’s Tittenhurst Park home early in 1970 and then continued in London with Dr. Arthur Janov, an American psychotherapist.

John and Yoko returned home from California on 24 September 1970 and two days later they once again walked through the familiar front door of Abbey Road Studios, ready to record John’s songs; some of which had been started in England and then worked on in California.

At Abbey Road were John’s old friend from the Beatles’ time in Hamburg, Klaus Voormann who played bass and Ringo Starr on drums. Later, they were joined by keyboard player Billy Preston, who had worked on the sessions for Let It Be, and also Phil Spector who played some piano and co-produced the album with John and Yoko. As Yoko explained, “Phil Spector came in much later: we made most of it by ourselves. If he, Phil, had done it from the beginning I am sure it would have been a totally different album.”

The album was recorded over a four-week period at both Abbey Road and Ascot Sound Studios, the studio that John and Yoko had built at Tittenhurst Park. The songs on this album are about as far removed from the sound of the Beatles as it’s possible to get. Yes, there’s John’s distinctive voice and there is the odd sonic-nod to the sound of latter-day Fab Four, but this is music that is as personal as it gets.

Recorded at the same time as John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, an insight into how John viewed the totality of his relationship with Yoko. As he sings in ‘God’, “I just believe in me, Yoko and me,” and he also sings about his wife in ‘Hold On’, ‘Isolation’ and ‘Love’, the latter song has Yoko’s songwriting fingerprints all over it. The inseparability of their love was also reflected in the cover artwork that was virtually the same. Sonically with John, Klaus and Ringo providing the music for Yoko’s album it further shows the oneness of the two albums.

The album’s opening song, ‘Mother,’ includes the searing observation “Mother, you had me, but I never had you,” and it didn’t stop there as John wails “Mama don’t go/Daddy come home” in the closing coda. Fans buying the album upon its release were shocked by what they heard, but in a good way, and this shock has turned to awe over the decades as this album has come to be regarded as one of the boldest artistic statements by a rock artist.

There’s also the tenderness of ‘Hold On’, a song that was a rough mix done at the end of the sessions that John felt was good enough to include…and so good he did – it’s a perfect record. Phil Spector plays a beautiful piano part on ‘Love’ and it is a song that supports the notion of beauty in simplicity as well as any Lennon composition throughout his career.

‘God’ for many people is the highlight of this album, with Billy Preston’s gospel-influenced piano that adds immeasurably to the vibe of the song. But it is John’s lyrics that make this a statement of an intensely personal nature. “I don’t believe in Beatles”? This was a statement of both hurt and of intent, John Lennon was a solo artist. As he told Jann Wenner shortly after its release, “The dream’s over. I’m not just talking about The Beatles is over, I’m talking about the generation thing. The dream’s over, and I have personally got to get down to so-called reality.”

There’s not a traditional hit single among the songs on John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, but this was not written with the view to releasing singles, this is a body of work, an artistic as well as personal statement. This is why the long-playing record was invented. It is music that should be listened to in a single sitting, considered, relished and revered.

Despite this there was one single released from the album, and that was Mother, backed with Yoko’s song ‘Why’, that peaked at No.43 on the US Hot 100. The album reached No.8 in the UK and No.6 in the States, after critics had lined up to praise its sometimes painful honesty. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band has continued to fare well in all-time polls in later years. In 1987 Rolling Stone named it as the fourth best album of the previous 20 years, and their top 500 chart in 2003 placed it at No. 22.
This album work on an entirely different level from so many records, is personal, artistic, and quite simply brilliant.

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