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A painting of the Beatles by artist Jonathan Hague is unveiled at the Beatles Museum in Liverpool by Julia Baird, the half sister of John Lennon, and Roag Best, the half brother of former Beatles drummer Pete Best.

A Beatles portrait created by a Welsh artist, and one of John Lennon’s best friends in art college, has gone on display.

The figurative painting of the Fab Four in their Sgt Pepper uniforms was created by Jonathan Hague in 1984 and is similar to another of his works which was bought by Lennon in 1967, but has never been seen since.

The painting was unveiled by Lennon’s sister Julia Baird at the Liverpool Beatles Museum on the city’s Mathew Street on Thursday.

Ms Baird said her brother and Hague, who were known as “the two Johns” at the Liverpool College of Art, had maintained their friendship after the Beatles found success.
Lennon even bought a house for his college friend, who went on to become an art lecturer.

She said: “Some of Jonathan Hague’s paintings were Beatles-inspired and John did sponsor him.

“John and Paul (McCartney) together sponsored his exhibition in 1967 at the Royal Academy of Arts and John bought the original, if you like, the sister painting to this, and nobody knows where that is.
“It might turn up now.”
She said Lennon was a fan of the figurative art style and was believed to have paid £50,000 for the original work.

Hague, born in Llandudno, North Wales, painted the second piece for himself after John Lennon was fatally shot in New York in 1980.
Museum owner Roag Best, brother of the original Beatles drummer Pete Best, said the work had been donated by the family of Hague, who died in 2015.

He said: “Jonathan Hague was a country boy so when he came to Liverpool, John Lennon took a soft spot to him and showed him how to become streetwise, showed him how to dress, showed him how he should do his hair.

“It became a bond that continued right through their lives.”

The painting joins hundreds of exhibits of Beatles memorabilia in the five-storey museum, which opened in 2018.



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The second of John Lennon’s post-Beatles solo endeavours, Imagine has been a firm fan favourite since its release on September 9th 1971. It acted as the follow up to 1970’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and, in many ways, marked a continuation of the style Lennon had developed with the group in the immediate period following The Beatles’ split.

Both albums feature Phil Spector’s “wall of sound” production style, and many of the songs from Imagine feel as though they could have been plucked from that previous record. However, with Imagine, John Lennon had his sights set firmly on the number one spot.

Unlike John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, which was very well received by the critics but failed to capture the hearts of fans, Imagine was a huge hit in both the US and the UK. The production and arrangements on tracks like ‘Imagine’, ‘Jealous Guy’, and ‘Oh My Love’ represented from an angular and experimental sound to something polished, even, and sonically accessible.

‘How Do You Sleep?” was written in response to the lawsuit McCartney filed against The Beatles as well as to Paul’s own potent ‘Too Many People’, which he admitted had been targetted at Lennon.

The title track is, of course, the most recognisable song on the album. Written in the key of C Major and comprising of just 26 lines, it is a masterpiece of accessible songwriting. After the release of Imagine, the track became an anthem of peace and solidarity, with the public coming to regard it as one of the most defining songs of the liberal humanist cause. In that way, it has come to be seen as a song that captures the very essence of the human struggle against adversity.

As a whole, the album, typifies Lennon’s songwriting. and stands as one of the most brilliant solo albums of all time.

Imagine is an album of two distinct characters , it is a commercially accessible record crafted by Lennon out of a hunger to achieve greatness on his own terms and spread a message of peace and love across the entire globe, it is an album filled with mischief and confessional wit.



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Free screenings of the IMAGINE film + Tim’s Twitter Listening Party

We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s IMAGINE with free venue & online film screenings + Tim’s Twitter Listening Party.

On Thursday 9 Sept 2021, Yoko Ono Lennon, Sean Ono Lennon, Mercury Studios, Tim’s Twitter Listening Party, The Coda Collection, AXS, WDR/ARD, Hard Rock, Sage Gateshead, Music Venue Trust and Universal Music Group invite you to join us for a Global Party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John & Yoko’s IMAGINE.

Simplest way to join in:
To join in online, watch the film here, and join the Listening Party JOIN US .. H E R E.


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To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of John Lennon’s landmark album Imagine, a strictly Limited Edition Double White Vinyl version of the album will be released on 10th September, featuring the new stereo Ultimate Mixes on Disc 1 and Album Out-takes on Disc 2, engineered and mixed by Paul Hicks and produced by Yoko Ono Lennon in 2018.

Features brand new stereo mix, album outtakes. A truly unique expanded edition of one of the most iconic albums of all time. This new edition (White Double Vinyl) takes us on incredibly personal journey through the entire songwriting and recording process – from the very first writing and demo sessions at John’s home studio at Tittenhurst Park through to the final co-production with Phil Spector – providing a remarkable testament of the lives of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.


Side A
1 Imagine
2 Crippled Inside
3 Jealous Guy
4 It’s So Hard
5 I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die

Side B
1 Gimme Some Truth
2 Oh My Love
3 How Do You Sleep?
4 How?
5 Oh Yoko!

Side C
1 Imagine (Original demo recorded at Ascot)
2 Imagine (Take 1)
3 Crippled Inside (Take 3)
4 Crippled Inside (Take 6 /alternate guitar solo)
5 Jealous Guy (Take 9)
6 It’s So Hard (Take 6)

Side D
1 I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die (Take 25)
2 Gimme Some Truth (Take 4)
3 Oh My Love (Take 6)
4 How Do You Sleep? (Takes 1 & 2)
5 Oh Yoko! (Bed Peace footage/Sheraton Hotel, Bahamas 1969)


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A new documentary is in works. The festival called Toronto Rock & Roll Revival featured John Lennon by himself in a solo performance that many believe led to the breakup of Beatles.

The film will be called ‘Rock & Roll Revival’ and will be directed by Ron Chapman. It will tell the story of the Toronto event in September 1969, held the same year as Woodstock and Harlem Cultural Festival.

The one-day music festival at the University of Toronto’s 20,000-seat Varsity Stadium was put together by young promoter John Brower with artists including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, Gene Vincent, The Doors and Alice Cooper. When the ticket sales were poor, the concert was almost cancelled. That’s when Brower invited John Lennon and he said yes.

At the time, John Lennon had been in the studio with The Beatles putting together the Abbey Road album and he didn’t have a band for his two solo albums so he got together a group consisting of Eric Clapton, Yoko Ono, Yes drummer Alan White and bass player Klaus Voorman, who designed the artwork for the Revolver record.
At the music festival, John Lennon,Ono and the band played songs including a cover of “Blue Suede Shoes,”as well as “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” The Beatles’ “Yer Blues” and a new song “Cold Turkey” as well as Ono’s “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow).”

It’s after the success of the music festival that John Lennon was sure of leaving The Beatles.
Pennebaker Hegedus Films is exec producing the project, which is produced by Vancouver’s Screen Siren Pictures,Toronto’s Chapman Productions, Paris’ Films A Cinq. Trish Dolman, Sally Blake and Ron Chapman produce the doc, which is written by Phyllis Ellis.

The film will shoot in Toronto, Los Angeles,New York, London and Berlin, ready for a spring release touring the festival circuit.

It will air on Crave in Canada and Arte in France and Germany.

Funding support was made possible by Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund, Rogers Cable Network Fund, Rogers Documentary Fund, Hot Docs Slaight Music Fund, and Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund and the Centre National du Cinéma in France.

The film is distributed in Canada by Photon Films, and Myriad Pictures is the distributor outside of Canada.



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By the late ’70s, John had taken a break from recording to raise his son Sean (born October ’75). But the Rolling Stones continued to soldier on as a band, and in summer ’78 released Some Girls. “Miss You,” that LP’s lead single, topped the Billboard charts in August. When Lennon heard it, he thought it sounded familiar.

“I think Mick Jagger took ‘Bless You’ and turned it into ‘Miss You,’” John told David Sheff in 1980. “The engineer kept wanting me to speed that up. He said, ‘This is a hit song if you’d just do it fast.’ He was right. ’Cause as ‘Miss You’ it turned into a hit. I like Mick’s record better.”
John made it clear he didn’t hold anything against Jagger and the Stones for what he believed was a swipe. “I have no ill feelings about it. I think it’s a great Stones track, and I really love it,” he told Sheff. “But I do hear that lick in it. Could be subconscious or conscious. It’s irrelevant. Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think people own it.”

John walked the walk on that front after he heard Rod Stewart’s ‘The Killing of Georgie,” which sounded an awful lot like “Don’t Let Me Down.” In that case, Stewart’s track came a lot closer to John’s work than “Miss You” did to “Bless You.” But no legal action took place in either case.
Though the Stones continued scoring top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the ’80s, “Miss You” remains the last No. 1 hit the group had in America. The song seemed to strike just the right chord at the moment disco was nearing its peak in popularity.

Ironically, Stones bassist Bill Wyman thought people in turn borrowed from his band’s work. “I did the [bass] riff for ‘Miss You,’ which made the song,” Wyman said in a 2002 interview with Ian Fortnam (via Rock’s Backpages). “Every band in the world copied it for the next year — Rod Stewart, all of them.”

As for Stewart, whose name popped up twice in this discussion of songs that resemble other songs. Rod used to think Led Zeppelin copied the Jeff Beck Group’s concept. But Zeppelin’s members laughed it off.