Never-before-seen photographs of Lennon cinematically enhanced and created with AR-technology to be sold as an exclusive NFT collection Liquid Avatar Technologies Inc.,ImagineAR Inc., McCartney Multimedia Inc. and Oasis Digital Studios proudly announce a truly historical collaboration, in an effort to unveil new, never-before-seen photos of John Lennon drops for viewing today (May 10th), as part of an exclusive, first set collection of 15 photographic and animated NFTs with AR enhancements, that recount the original inspiration of Lennon’s Walls and Bridges album cover art. Music enthusiasts and John Lennon fans will be able to purchase this NFTs in two special groups, as originals, variations, and cinematics, starting May 19th, gaining digital ownership of a representation of a very personal time in his life. Majority of the photos have never been seen before and have been previously preserved as part of music history. “I’m proud to share these portraits of John, which became the inspiration for the Walls and Bridges album artwork as NFTs, allowing music fans and collectors the opportunity to own a piece of music history,” shares May Pang, artist and ex-partner of John Lennon.
“I have kept them in my personal collection for almost 50 years and I am excited to present them in this new and innovative form. I know that John, a man of music and art who was always well ahead of his time, would have been excited to experience the emergence of NFTs.” This commemorative moment is made possible by Oasis Digital Studios. The collection can be viewed via Pang’s website. “This is a historical collaboration that wouldn’t have been possible without May,” stated David Lucatch, Managing Director of Oasis and CEO of Liquid Avatar.
“It’s been an honor to work with May to share this personal collection of hers during a very cherished time in her and John’s life and open them to music fans around the world as cinematically and Augmented Reality enhanced NFTs. We’re grateful and honored to be able to bring these iconic photos to millions of John’s fans around the world.” While the album cover for Walls and Bridges featured some of Lennon’s childhood drawings, including one portraying a game of football, specifically the goal scored by George Robledo in the 1952 FA Cup Final. That drawing also featured Newcastle United’s number nine, Jackie Milburn; as a child, Lennon lived at 9 Newcastle Road and it, along with his birth date, October 9th, fueled lifelong fascination with that number.
The album also features a series of photos of Lennon’s face with different expressions. The front cover contained two flaps which, when folded, created several interchangeable “Lennon faces,” some of them silly. This is where May came in.
While discussing the creation of the album cover, Lennon and Pang had an idea. They went up to the rooftop of the Record Plant Studios where he was recording at 321 W. 44th Street in NYC, and she started to take fun and candid photographs of Lennon with her Nikon 35mm camera, capturing the playful essence that was the true John Lennon. When the photos were developed, they were well-received, but the 35mm format was not the right size for the album design requirements, and unlike digital images today, nothing could be done to change that in 1974. New photographs were taken by photographer Bob Gruen, based on the concept and designs that Lennon and Pang created. The final art for the album was credited to Capitol’s in-house designer Roy Kohara. These photographs are a combination of works done both at the Record Plant Studios and Lennon and Pang’s home rooftop.
In September 1973, while separated from second wife Yoko Ono, Lennon and Pang left New York for Los Angeles to promote Mind Games and began an 18-month relationship, which Lennon affectionately and publicly referred to this period of his life as his “Lost Weekend.” While there, Lennon embarked on a recording project — a collaboration with Phil Spector, to record and produce an album of the old rock ‘n’ roll songs that inspired Lennon to become a musician. The album, Rock ‘n’ Roll, was ultimately completed in New York using the same musicians he used on Walls and Bridges.
Walls and Bridges was Lennon’s fifth studio album and captured his mindset and feelings in the midst of the “Lost Weekend.” The album was released by Apple Records on September 26, 1974 in the United States and on October 4, 1974 in the United Kingdom. Walls and Bridges was an American No. 1 album in all three trade papers, Billboard, Cashbox and Record World and included two hit singles, “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night” which hit No. 1 and was John’s first and only No. 1 hit as a solo artist in his lifetime and “#9 Dream” which fittingly peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and No. 23 on the British singles chart. The Walls and Bridges album was certified gold in the US and silver in the UK.