J'étais un jeune lycéen de 17 ans qui se préparait à aller au lycée lorsque le (9 décembre 1980 à 7h30 à Paris) ... la radio annonçait la nouvelle. D'abord "on a tiré sur John Lennon" puis quelques minutes après ... "John Lennon est mort".
Comme beaucoup je
n'ai pas compris tout de suite ce que disait le journaliste à la radio.
Comme beaucoup je n'ai pas voulu comprendre. Comme beaucoup j'ai pleuré.
J'ai dû acheter tous les journaux le lendemain, moi qui a l'époque n'en achetais pas beaucoup.
Puis la dernière interview de Lennon dans Playboy en version US puis en version française. Les derniers mots quelques heures avant la fin.
Les années 80 commenceraient donc sans John Lennon. Une autre période s'ouvrait.
Des questions sans réponses : qu'aurait dit Lennon sur tel ou tel sujet d'actualité... quels auraient été ses engagements. Et puis le rêve à jamais disparu d'une reformation des Beatles qui n'avaient jamais semblé si proche. Simon & Garfunkel se reformaient pour un concert à Central Park en 1981 devant 500 000 personnes. Qu'aurait été un concert de reformation des Beatles ?
John Lennon c'était avant la gauche au pouvoir, avant les téléphones portables, avant internet.
Mais malgré tout, Imagine reste encore aujourd'hui la chanson la plus téléchargée dans le monde.
Parmi les centaines d'articles publiés aujourd'hui, vous trouverez ci-dessous une petite sélection.
Il y a 25 ans, la mort de John Lennon
Aucun programme "officiel" de commémorations n'a été annoncé mais plusieurs ouvrages des proches de l'ex-Beatles sortent dans les librairies.
John Lennon et Yoko Ono en 1980 (AP)
Les fans de John
Lennon commémorent jeudi 8 décembre le 25ème anniversaire de la mort de leur idole. Le 8 décembre 1980, peu avant 23h00, l'ex-Beatle tombait devant son appartement new-yorkais, à 40 ans, sous les
balles d'un jeune Américain qui rêvait de lui voler une part de sa célébrité.
Depuis, l'aura du personnage et la vision d'un Lennon chantre de la paix n'ont fait que se renforcer, sous la surveillance de sa veuve Yoko Ono. Entre les publications, éditions d'albums et déclarations - "je suis sûre que John aurait été troublé" par la guerre en Irak, déclarait Yoko en 2003 - le créateur d'"Imagine" a gardé une place unique.
A l'approche de cet anniversaire, des voix discordantes se font entendre. Sa première femme, Cynthia Lennon, en particulier, vient de livrer sa version: "le temps est venu de raconter la vraie histoire du vrai John, homme que l'on aime, exaspérant, parfois cruel".
Dans son livre tout juste paru, intitulé "John", elle raconte un génie mais aussi une personnalité peu assurée, parfois tentée par la violence, par la drogue, déconnectée de leur vie et de leur petit garçon Julian.
Cynthia Lennon, 66 ans, décrit comment elle apprit la fin de son mariage en découvrant Yoko Ono chez elle, dans son propre peignoir, et accuse la nouvelle femme de mauvaise influence.
Pour cet anniversaire, Julian, 42 ans, a quant à lui choisi de rester en retrait. Sur son site internet, il poste un message : "Papa avait un talent énorme... Mais j'ai toujours eu des sentiments mitigés à son égard. Il était ce père que j'aimais et qui m'a abandonné de tellement de façons", dit celui qui ne revit son père que trois fois après le départ de celui-ci pour les Etats-Unis en 1971.
"C'est comme un drame shakespearien", dit Yoko Ono ce mois-ci à Newsweek. "Tous ont des raisons de se sentir misérables vu la façon dont ils se sont retrouvés dans cette 'pièce', et j'ai de la sympathie pour eux, vraiment."
Quant à Paul McCartney, qui lutta longtemps pour faire valoir sa place dans l'héritage des Beatles, elle estime que "les gens célèbres ressentent une certaine forme d'insécurité".
Accusée par ses détracteurs de vouloir contrôler l'image de Lennon, louée à l'inverse par d'autres fans pour avoir sorti et mis à disposition des oeuvres jamais publiées, cette femme de 72 ans, toujours installée dans leur Dakota Building, face à Central Park, est la gardienne du temple.
"Je ne pense pas que je fasse de John un produit", a-t-elle objecté un jour dans une interview. "Si je n'intervenais pas, certaines personnes le feraient et en rendraient une version bon marché. Et cela détruirait le travail de John".
Pour marquer cet anniversaire, Yoko Ono a choisi de sortir "Souvenirs de John Lennon", un recueil d'anecdotes de célébrités, d'Iggy Pop à Bono ou Mick Jagger, où elle dit aussi que 25 ans après, "son cœur tremble" quand elle se retrouve seule.
Présente lors de l'assassinat, elle a protesté quand le meurtrier, Mark Chapman, a dans le passé déposé une demande de remise en liberté.
Aucun programme "officiel" de commémorations n'a été annoncé mais déjà les librairies américaines regorgent de livres, tandis que des journaux appellent leurs lecteurs à envoyer leurs témoignages sur le meurtre.
Moins d'une heure après le meurtre, en 1980, des milliers de personnes avaient commencé à affluer, en pleine nuit, au pied du Dakota Building.
Source : Le Nouvel Observateur
A Final Record
TWENTY-FIVE years ago today, John Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This previously unpublished photograph was taken a little more than a month before his death.
The session was to take place in my studio on East 74th Street on Sunday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. The couple, who had not been in a photography studio for five years, had insisted that I be alone - with no assistant, or anyone else, in my studio during the session. I put up a gray seamless backdrop because I had no idea what they would be wearing.
The two arrived about 15 minutes late, rang my buzzer and walked up to my second-floor studio. They were wearing sweaters, and they were by themselves.
In an effort to gauge how much time I was going to have, I asked John if this was a stop en route to dinner. He replied, laughing: "Dinner? I've not had breakfast yet!"
When we started the shoot, John and Yoko both kept their glasses on - she was wearing dark sunglasses and he had on tinted lenses. After four long-shot takes, I asked that the glasses be removed. I explained that I wanted to take some tight close-ups and needed to show their eyes.
They agreed - and from that point on the photographing went easily. They were both relaxed and agreeable to the poses I suggested. John was especially spontaneous and loose. He seemed to be having fun and laughed a lot.
During breaks John looked at the pictures hanging on the studio walls, admiring especially some portraits I'd done recently of Meryl Streep. He said he was a Meryl Streep groupie. He also liked, and petted, my ginger studio cat, Red.
It was apparent that John and Yoko were enjoying being photographed and were in no hurry to leave. But at 10:45 p.m., with eight rolls of black-and-white film and a half roll of color film shot, I suggested we had more than enough pictures and should stop.
I was scheduled to process the black-and-white rolls by midnight so a photo editor from the Times could pick up the contact sheets. But I was well over an hour late - largely because the couple stayed a while after the shoot.
John mentioned how comfortable he was in my simple, home-like studio and asked if he and Yoko could come back after the first of the year to do a personal sitting. (I said yes.) Then they took the time to draw a self-caricature. John drew himself first, then Yoko drew her face adjacent to his. They both signed it. We never discussed music.
After a photograph from the shoot was published in The Times on Nov. 9, Yoko telephoned to ask if she and John could use the picture on their 1980 Christmas card. I gladly gave permission. Given what happened on Dec. 8, I'm not sure if the card was ever produced.
Over the years, many Lennon fans have asked why I didn't take any solo pictures of John. My reply has always been this: First, my assignment was to photograph John and Yoko together. And second, they were just so together that it simply never occurred to me.
Source : The New York Times
Recalling the Night He Held Lennon's Still Heart
Even now, 25 years later, many John Lennon fans can vividly recall the helplessness and frustration they felt on Dec. 8, 1980, when the singer was shot outside the Dakota.
"There was just nothing left to pump," Dr. Lynn recalled in an interview. "There was so much damage to the major blood vessels leading from the heart" that his blood just leaked out.
Dr. Lynn, 58, is still an emergency physician at Roosevelt. He stood in the bustling emergency room in his scrubs one recent morning and recalled the night 25 years ago when the police carried in the singer. Lennon's vital signs showed that he was already dead when he arrived at the emergency room, and after a 20-minute battle to resuscitate him, Dr. Lynn and two other doctors officially declared him dead.
"All the nurses broke out in tears, and most of us said, 'What just happened here?' " Dr. Lynn said. "There was a sense we had all just witnessed a major event."
That Dr. Lynn would have a bit part in history was not immediately apparent when he rushed to the emergency room that night. He had been called back to work to treat a man with three gunshot wounds to the chest. The patient had a pierced lung and no pulse. He was not breathing or moving and had lost a lot of blood. He was gaunt, and his hair was a mess. He was not wearing any glasses.
"When someone said it was John Lennon, I thought it was a bad joke," Dr. Lynn said. "But then they found his ID in his pocket, and he had something like $1,000 in cash on him."
Dr. Lynn recalls that he was too busy to let the news sink in. He and two other doctors cut open Lennon's chest to find blood flooding his chest cavity. "The bullets were amazingly well-placed," he said. "All the major blood vessels leaving the heart were a mush, and there was no way to fix it."
Lennon was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m.
Dr. Lynn was faced with the task of delivering the news to Yoko Ono.
"When I told her, she said: 'You're lying; it can't be true. He's not dead. I don't believe you,' " he recalled. "She threw herself down on the floor and began banging her head on the ground. I was afraid we'd have a second patient. But after two minutes, she accepted it and asked me to delay announcing the news to the media for 20 minutes because her son Sean was home watching the news, and she wanted to tell him first."
The commotion surrounding Lennon's treatment at the hospital caught the attention of another patient, Alan J. Weiss, a producer for WABC-TV who was being treated for a head injury from a motorcycle accident. After seeing Ms. Ono and hearing the police talking about Lennon, Mr. Weiss called the station, which relayed the news to Howard Cosell, to announce during "Monday Night Football." A thicket of reporters and fans gathered outside the hospital. Dr. Lynn walked out to them, blood spattered on his white coat, and told them that John Lennon had just been pronounced dead.
Asked how he felt at the time, Dr. Lynn, a longtime Beatles fan, replied stiffly that emergency doctors are taught not to feel but only to react to medical emergencies. He stifled a slight quiver and gave this clinical judgment: "I think the world would have been substantially different if we could have saved him."
Then he excused himself and returned to his bustling emergency room.
Source : The New York Times
25 years after death, his songs remain strong in hearts and minds
Lennon's music continues to stir generations of listeners, many of whom were born in the years since the Beatles broke up, and his signature is instantly recognizable 25 years after his
In the beginning, Lennon performed cover versions of '50s rock 'n' roll before finding a writing partner in Paul McCartney, whom he met at a church picnic in 1957. The pair quickly began churning out originals that would strike a chord around the world.
The duo essentially stopped composing together in 1965, but because of contractual and personal arrangements, their individual songs were credited to Lennon and McCartney. But it remained clear whose song was whose. Lennon was plainly the instigator of such inward-looking Beatles classics as "Norwegian Wood," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "In My Life," "Julia" and "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away."
The mark of those songs and such post-Beatles tracks as "Imagine" and "Working Class Hero" is the sincerity of Lennon's voice and an inclusive sense that we know as much as he does. Rarely maudlin, he didn't insult the intelligence.
Lennon continues to fascinate: Three new books on the ex-Beatle are just out: "Lennon Revealed" by friend Larry Kane, "Memories of John Lennon" edited by Yoko Ono and "John Lennon: The New York Years" by photographer Bob Gruen. Lennon's story is also told in the new Beatles biography by Bob Spitz, and his post-Beatles music was showcased this year in the Broadway show "Lennon."
Tributes today include a gathering of Lennon fans at 6 p.m. in front of Capitol Records in Hollywood. And his legacy will be celebrated with a four-hour "Lennon Live" concert at 11 a.m. today on Sirius Satellite Radio, featuring performances by Dave Matthews, Paul Weller, Jamie Cullum, Dr. John, Daryl Hall, Stereo MCs and Lulu originating from London's Abbey Road Studios and the Sirius studios in New York.
Also marking the 25th anniversary of his death is a covers project organized by Amnesty International to feature the Cure, Black Eyed Peas, Snow Patrol, the Postal Service and Avril Lavigne.
To mark the anniversary, we asked residents, music buffs and musicians for their favorite Lennon song and why.
"If I Fell," chosen by Valley marriage and family therapist Stephanie Prince, 33. "It's a beautiful song that speaks to all kinds of relationships, not just romantic ones. It reflects what people go through in terms of questioning and sincerity. Every time I hear it, it makes me stop and think. It's very rare to have a questioning type of song like this that's so poetic and gorgeous."
"I'm Only Sleeping," "I Am the Walrus," "I'll Be Back," "Look at Me," "I'm So Tired," chosen by Chris Carter, Sherman Oaks-based host of "Breakfast With the Beatles" (8 a.m. Sundays, KLSX-FM 97.1). "It's too difficult to pick one favorite, so this is my all-time Lennon top five, which always seem to stay the same. These are personal favorites and not necessarily what I'd select as his best compositions."
"No. 9 Dream," chosen by West Hollywood keyboardist Morley Bartnoff, 45. "Paul gets credited all the time for amazing song structure, but this one goes through three sections of chords and moods. A very intelligently written song - melody, structure and lyrics."
"Instant Karma," chosen by Sherman Oaks author and record producer Harvey Kubernik. "This song, from John's Plastic Ono Band period, makes more sense to me now than it did a third of a century ago. I love the production, which owes much to Phil Spector's involvement, and I know it was done pretty impulsively. John and Phil were going for a raw Sun Records sound."
"Jealous Guy," chosen by Woodland Hills singer-songwriter Chris Greene, 27. "It has a unique melodic phrase and deals with a feeling everyone can relate to. Lennon had a hell of a knack for capturing the essence of a common human emotion and communicating it artistically."
"Across the Universe," chosen by Sheman Oaks computer engineer Kevin Nolte, 49. "It's so poetic. You can tell immediately it's a John song because of his thoughtful, poetic lyrics. It's a beautiful song."
"Imagine," chosen by West Hills resident Kevin Olson, 55, a manager at Blue Cross. "It opens up the listener's mind to the possibilities of a better
world. This is what Lennon did best - introspection that everyone can relate to."
Source : Los Angeles Daily News
lost John Lennon
It’s been 25 years since the horrifying night no music fan can forget
The song was only six years old, but might just as well have been 60.
Walking out of a college dormitory after visiting a friend one December night 25 years ago, I heard John Lennon’s sweet song of longing, “# 9 Dream,” wafting out from an open door. It sounded wonderful. It sounded odd.
Why would a radio station or stereo be playing that? So much had happened since. Disco. Punk rock. Lennon had reconciled with Yoko Ono after a separation and was only then beginning to publicly emerge from a period where he concentrated on home life more than music. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d heard the song.
I walked home. Then, when I saw a cluster of friends quietly gathered around a television set, the reason became sickeningly apparent.
It was Dec. 8, 1980. A mentally disturbed fan who had collected Lennon’s autograph earlier in the day waited outside of the Manhattan apartment building called the Dakota for the singer to return from a recording session. Mark David Chapman opened fire. Lennon didn’t survive the trip to the hospital.
The musical hero of a generation was dead, and anyone who had ever sang along to “I Want to Hold Your Hand” or chanted “give peace a chance” also remembers where they were when they heard the news.
In his typically blunt manner, Lennon had told Beatles fans a decade earlier that “the dream is over.”
Now it really was.
Twenty-five years later, the day stands as a cultural black hole. Lennon became an instant legend, even more so than before, but it was hardly worth the price. Millions of people who never met him felt they knew him, felt they knew all the Beatles. His music often felt like personal letters; on “Watching the Wheels” he explained why he needed to step off the merry-go-round of stardom. A friend was gone.
“I still miss him massively,” former songwriting partner Paul McCartney told The Associated Press. “It was a horrific day for all of us.”
That night, an ambitious young woman who had just moved to New York to make it as a singer or dancer was out walking a few blocks from Lennon’s home on the Upper West Side. She heard the sirens, saw a crowd beginning to gather. A curious Madonna joined them outside the Dakota.
“I remember walking up and going ‘What’s going on? What’s going on?”’ she recalled. “And they said John Lennon was shot. It was so weird.”
Madonna was a toddler during the feverish days of Beatlemania. But she later recorded Lennon’s utopian vision of a peaceful world, “Imagine,” which has matured into an anthem and, 25 years from now, will likely be Lennon’s best-remembered song.
Another version of “Imagine,” by country singer Dolly Parton, is in music stores now. In her own tribute, Parton shot part of a video for the song in Strawberry Fields, the Central Park memorial for Lennon. Sharp-eyed viewers will spot the Dakota in the background.
Parton had been on a plane from Nashville to Los Angeles the night Lennon was shot. She was supposed to go out with friends, but instead they all went to her house to watch the news and talk about it. “Everyone was so heartbroken,” she said.
“Like all young teenage girls back then, I fell in love with the Beatles,” she said. “Back there in the Smoky Mountains, it was like something had been dropped from outer space.”
Also in California, rock singer John Fogerty felt the loss of a kindred spirit. In 1969, Fogerty’s band Credence Clearwater Revival had sold more records than the Beatles, then an astonishing accomplishment. But both men spent the latter half of the 1970s publicly silent; Fogerty because of a business dispute, Lennon because he was “watching the wheels.”
“I thought about him every day because he was that important to me,” he said. “I was still a recluse but I was working on music in some fashion every day, and I would say to myself, `I wonder what John Lennon is doing?’ For several years we didn’t hear from him and I would always think about that fact.”
Singer Neil Diamond had been in New York that December night for the premiere of his movie “The Jazz Singer.”
Diamond had been a struggling songwriter when the Beatles hit. No one was interested in hearing him sing. No one was particularly interested in his creativity, either: They just wanted him to churn out songs that sounded like current hits. The Beatles made it standard for musicians to interpret their own songs, and to experiment.
“Aside from being broken-hearted about the loss of this man, I felt I owed him something,” he said. “My life would not have been the same without the Beatles.”
Lennon’s music has even touched artists who weren’t alive when he was, like 21-year-old singer Patrick Stump of the hit pop-punk band Fall Out Boy.
“It is like the Bible,” he said. “You can’t cite it without sounding cliched, but here’s the thing, there’s a reason why it’s so citable like that. His body of work was so interesting and had so many valid points.”
What has the world missed in 25 years without John Lennon?
Yoko Ono has grown old without a husband; she still lives in the Dakota and is the caretaker of the work he left behind. Sean Lennon grew up without a dad. He’s tried music, too.
John’s legacy remains frozen in time and, like James Dean’s or Kurt Cobain’s, burnished by sudden death far too young. Lennon didn’t grow old in the spotlight, didn’t have to contend with tired “steel wheelchairs” jokes like his peers in the Rolling Stones. He didn’t have to watch his talent fade, his instincts betray him or hear the whispers that he’d lost it. McCartney could tell him a few things about that.
It’s impossible to predict from his catalog where his muse would have taken him.
Truth be told, his track record as a solo artist was wildly uneven in style and quality. The brutal confessional of “The Plastic Ono Band” was followed by the perfectly polished “Imagine.” There’s the leftist screeds in “Some Time in New York City,” the tired wistfulness on “Walls and Bridges” and the domesticated work he made at the end.
Even during the Beatles’ intense creative period, author Bob Spitz in this fall’s new “The Beatles: The Biography” portrays Lennon as tormented by personal demons and drug abuse. Would it have crippled him as he got older?
“The level of engagement wouldn’t have gone away,” said music journalist Alan Light. “If he was going to be an activist, he would have been all the way an activist. If he was going to be a father, he would have been all the way a father.”
Lennon clearly had courage as an artist. He wasn’t afraid to mess up, or to speak up. Lennon mocked Bob Dylan with a song, “Serve Yourself,” when he didn’t like “Gotta Serve Somebody.” It’s not too hard to envision him making his own cracks about the Stones during their dreary years. Few others today have the stature or nature to speak up with a contrarian word, and know they’ll be listened to.
By moving to New York and walking the streets, Lennon always seemed more accessible, more human than his peers, Light said. No one had more reason to fear the warped effect of fandom than the four men who lived through the hysteria of Beatlemania. Living outside of a bubble made Lennon a target.
Chapman remains in New York’s Attica state prison, where his third request for parole was denied in October. Ono wrote to the parole board urging he not be released. Chapman won’t be eligible for parole again for two years.
A legacy of Lennon’s death is a lingering uncertainty among musicians about being in public. Tom Araya, lead singer of Slayer, admitted that he’s “a little more cautious, conscious of his surroundings” than he might have been otherwise.
Losing the partner to whom he’s wedded in history has been difficult for McCartney, in ways he could and could not control. With Lennon lionized, McCartney’s reputation shrank in comparison. For a while, it became LENNON-McCartney.
It was unfair, and has since been corrected, but not before breeding an unwarranted insecurity. McCartney has spent years seemingly saying, “Hey, I was cool, too.” Light was struck by how McCartney opens his current concert tour with a video reminding fans of his Beatles exploits, when the music can speak for itself.
“He just digs himself deeper into a hole no matter when he does it,” Light said.
If Lennon had lived, McCartney said he believes they would have written songs together again. It all depended on the state of their relationship, badly frayed in the Beatles’ fracture, but improving at the time of Lennon’s death.
“We were having long telephone conversations about his cats and baking bread,” McCartney said. “Ordinary things, which I think easily could have led us into being mates again.”
After seven years of studying the Beatles, author Spitz said he doubted it. Lennon had left the Beatles behind and hadn’t gone back before he died. The closest the world got was when McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr transformed Lennon leftovers “Free As a Bird” and “Real Love” into “Beatles” songs.
“I always assumed I would meet him,” Fogerty said. “And when they are gone from you, you’re almost overcome with the sense that you never got to say goodbye. I never got to touch base from my heart to his heart and I’m sure that millions of us felt the same way.”
Lennon’s words from “ 9 Dream” still echo.
“So long ago. Was it in a dream? Was it just a dream?”
AP music writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody contributed to this report
Source : Rockford Register Star
The soundtrack of our lives
If you're old enough to have once had a favorite Beatle, then you probably know that today - Dec. 8 - is the 25th anniversary of the day John Lennon was murdered. For many people in the 40-and-over age range, that day was the first one in which we experienced a where-were-you-when-you-heard moment.
John Lennon, first as a Beatle, then later as a New York-based singer/songwriter teamed up with wife Yoko Ono, was an icon whose importance in contemporary music cannot be overstated. It was hard not to feel a personal sense of loss when he was suddenly gunned down outside his home at the Dakota on Central Park West in Manhattan. I grew up just 20 blocks away from that building and I remember walking by there after school with my friends, hoping to catch a glimpse of him (preferably without Yoko), never dreaming that he would be killed right next to the spot where so many came to wish him well. It's almost as hard to take in the fact that 25 years have passed since that day, but they have and the anniversary is being commemorated around the world, including right here in Israel.
The biggest organized celebration is at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque at midnight. A group called Progrock is sponsoring a program of rarely seen Beatles films and clips, including footage of them performing in Japan on their last world tour, and also of their first American tour. There will be a screening of Gimme Some Truth, a documentary about the making of John Lennon's Imagine album, directed by avant-garde filmmakers Jonas Mekas and Andrew Solt. The program will be hosted DJ MosheL and will last about three-and-a-half hours.
There will be some special programming on television, although not nearly as much as you'd hope. Yes 2 is broadcasting the 1994 Backbeat tonight at 6:10 p.m. It's a fictional account of the Beatles' early days performing in Hamburg, and focuses on John Lennon's relationship with Stu Sutcliffe, his childhood friend. Ian Hart is excellent as the young John. At 1 a.m., Starworld features what is billed as A Tribute to John Lennon, while Channel Eight is showing a documentary called The Beatles' Biggest Secrets at 11:20 p.m.
If none of these tributes work for you, then you can rent some videos or DVDs about Lennon and the Beatles. The easiest documentary to get hold of is Imagine: John Lennon (1988), a Yoko-approved film directed by Andrew Solt that features great clips of Lennon, interviews with those who knew him and a great deal of home movie footage provided by his widow. Another option would be to rent some of the Beatles‚ classic movies, such as A Hard Day's Night (1964), a faux-documentary look at the early days of the Beatles, which many still believe to be the best rock movie ever made, or the 1965 Help!, which features the Beatles playing themselves in a slightly dated but still charming madcap Sixties caper. John briefly flirted with acting and you may be able to find a DVD of his one role in a mainstream picture, How I Won The War (1967), in which he played a Cockney soldier in World War II, for which he received mostly favorable reviews. All three films were directed by Richard Lester. Magical Mystery Tour (1967), is a fantasy musical and Let It Be (1970) is a look behind-the-scenes at the making of that record album. Although John Lennon didn't provide the speaking voice for his character in Yellow Submarine (1968), he did do his own singing, and this cartoon musical is as fresh and inventive today as it was when it was first released. Children will love it, although it might be too intense for the under-eight set.
Of course, you can always just put on your Lennon and Beatles CDs and dream back to the days when Lennon was alive and imagine that you're listening to an actual performance.
Or imagine anything else...
Source : The Jerusalem Post
The Beatles may still be revered, but is John Lennon's music and message of peace resonating with young people today - 25 years after his death?
John Lennon was one of the most iconic men on the planet in the 1960s and 70s, revered by young people all over the globe.
His fiery wit and artistic vision was an inspiration to millions across the globe, as he provided a creative foil to Paul McCartney and forged an artistic and politically-active partnership with second wife Yoko Ono.
Lennon's death, shot by deranged fan Mark Chapman outside his Manhattan apartment building on 8 December 1980, caused a wave of mourning.
The Lennon legacy survived his death - buoyed by the posthumous re-release of his humanist anthem Imagine - and the continuing influence of The Beatles ensured Lennon's iconic position.
Even into the early 1990s, Lennon still enjoyed godhead status, especially during the Britpop boom in the UK. The Gallagher brothers of Oasis revered Lennon as a visionary songwriter and style icon.
But what about now?
In a music scene where reality TV stars such as Will Young and Girls Aloud are chart-toppers, where 50 Cent and the Sugababes hold sway, is Lennon still relevant?
When you look at Lennon, especially in the later years of his life, he was as famous for his campaigning as he was for his music
NME's Julian Marshall
Julian Marshall, news editor at music weekly NME, believes he is still a massive influence on music-loving teens and fledgling musicians.
"I think a huge amount of bands, regardless of what generation they are in, look back at the beginnings, at where rock 'n' roll started, and that means Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
"And for a lot of people, Lennon was the most important member of The Beatles."
Mr Marshall believes it is not just the music but Lennon's political bent that has also aged well.
After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, Lennon and his second wife spent their honeymoon in a hotel room bed in Amsterdam to campaign for world peace. The search for peace became one of his overriding aims.
If you talk to anybody in a proper band now they will count Lennon as an influence - or at the very least as someone they respect
Q editor Paul Rees
"When you look at Lennon, especially in the later years of his life, he was as famous for his campaigning as he was for his music.
"This generation of musicians are angry about different issues, but they've carried on that aspect of his personality," he says.
"In the last few years we've seen it with things like the protest over the Iraq War by Damon Albarn and Massive Attack, and the Live8 and anti-poverty campaigns this year."
The BBC's Newsround website recently asked its readers if they had heard of Lennon, his music and his campaigning.
One reader, Amatis, posted the message: "The world needs more people like John Lennon. And sadly no-one nowadays even comes close to filling his shoes."
Paul Rees, the editor of rock magazine Q, also believes Lennon's influence still resonates with young people today.
"It's because he's one of the last of that generation of pop stars who stood up for what they believed in. That sort of rebellion people respect.
"Plus, with Lennon there's that tragic aspect," adds Mr Rees. "It's like he's been freeze-framed."
Source : BBC
Beatles 'were to come together again'
Lennon was making secret plans to record an album with the other former Beatles when he was killed, Jack Douglas, the producer who was working with him until minutes before his death, told The Times.
He said in an interview in New York: “He and Paul planned to play on a Ringo album and that’s how they were planning to do it, and George had not come aboard yet.”
The sticking point, however, was with Harrison. “George was already in a lot of hot water with John because of George releasing his autobiography and not really mentioning much of John in it,” Mr Douglas said. “But I think they assumed that George would come along as soon as the thing got going.”
Mr Douglas, who won a Grammy award in 1982 for producing Lennon’s Double Fantasy album, said that Lennon had already begun sending him material “earmarked verbally” on tape for the planned Ringo album. But he said that Yoko Ono was unhappy about the proposed reunion.
“Yoko discouraged Paul coming around,” Mr Douglas said. “There was a writing session somewhere in the Dakota [the apartment block where Lennon and Ono lived] and there was one cancelled which John did not know about, cancelled by a third party,” he said. “He was waiting for Paul to show up. He was told that Paul did not show. Paul was told that John was too busy.”
The revelations were given credence by a new claim that a £6 million record contract, which McCartney signed with CBS in 1978, contained a clause that allowed him to record with the Beatles at any time.
But Beatles experts said they were unaware of any Lennon reunion plans. Ray Connolly, author of The Beatles Complete, said: “John liked to help Ringo and this could have been a way he saw to get the guys back together in the studio.
“But George and Yoko had rows and she would probably have tried to stop a reunion.”
Eliot Mintz, Ono’s longtime spokesman, confirmed last night that Lennon and Ono had planned to go on a limited tour with Double Fantasy, but added that he knew knothing about the ex-Beatles playing together again.
Mr Douglas, now 60, said that Lennon spent his final day finishing off a track featuring Yoko called Walking on Thin Ice. After weeks of work, they finally finished the mix at the Hit Factory studio and agreed to meet at 9am the next day to make a master tape.
“We were all thrilled with it. His [Lennon’s] feeling was that this was the one that was going to take Yoko over the top and make her critically acclaimed, and cut him loose so that he could do his things with ‘the boys’ without Yoko tagging along. She could do her own thing,” Mr Douglas claimed.
Spurned MBE in royal vault
THE MBE medal that John Lennon rejected in an antiwar protest has been unearthed in a royal vault (Adam Sherwin writes). Beatles historians have called for the medal to be placed on public display.
The Fab Four were invested as Members of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1965. At the time hundreds of angry war veterans returned their medals. Lennon followed suit on November 25, 1969.
In an accompanying letter he wrote: “Your Majesty, I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With Love, John Lennon.”
Source : The Times
Musicians recall the Lennon they knew
Memories of John Lennon, Edited and introduced by Yoko Ono, HarperEntertainment, 310 pp., illustrated, $24.95
Lennon in all of his multiple personalities -- Beatles songwriter, political activist, family man, and prankster -- is revealed in generally flattering terms, but throughout he is very human. Jagger reveals how they used to get drunk and go sailing off Montauk, Long Island, while Charles recalls how the Beatles were just regular guys who opened for him in Hamburg and Stuttgart, Germany, in the early 1960s.
''Backstage afterward, we would sit . . . and say we loved each other's music -- the typical thing that people in our musical brotherhood do," Charles notes. ''See, we were just common people, working together."
Singer Jackie DeShannon remembers opening for the Beatles in their first extensive tour of the United States. ''We played jokes on each other and had countless pillow fights," she says of Lennon. And Ronnie Hawkins, whose group later became known as the Band, talks of how John and Yoko stayed at his house in Toronto -- they ate macrobiotic food, but he caught them down at his fridge in the middle of the night sneaking bologna.
Some artists contribute drawings to express their feelings. Bono sends a caricature of a wire-rimmed Lennon with the caption: ''For the first time in my life I could see." And Joan Baez adds a strange pencil drawing showing Lennon exulting with a free soft drink he got out of a hotel vending machine in New York.
Lennon's playfulness resonates frequently. Lewis reminisces about Lennon kissing his boots after a gig at the Roxy in Los Angeles. ''Thanks, Killer, for showin' me how to rock 'n' roll," Lennon tells him. Iggy Pop recalls going to a topless bar with him. And Brit folkie Donovan remembers that he and Lennon stayed at the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's ashram in India and went up to the roof of their bungalow to swap acoustic-guitar licks, and that Lennon was eager to have Donovan teach him to finger-pick.
Of course, there are heavy moments as well. California state senator Tom Hayden recalls FBI agents roaming the crowd at Lennon's benefit for jailed marijuana user John Sinclair. And a neighbor at the Dakota, in Manhattan, chillingly reveals how, for days after Lennon's death, crowds gathered around the building to sing ''Give Peace a Chance."
But most of this book, which is divided by chapters from the various participants, deals with the joyous side of the man. Townshend of the Who talks of opening for the Beatles in England and having Lennon happily join the band for a song, though he hid behind a curtain so the audience wouldn't see him. And close adviser Elliot Mintz offers this eloquent assessment: ''It really didn't matter if you thought of [Lennon] as saint or sinner, mediocre or brilliant, heroic or naive, a working-class hero or an isolated dreamer . . . everybody had an opinion. He touched you."
Source : The Boston Globe
Liverpool, NYC remember Lennon
Ono is comforted by music mogul David Geffen after the murder.
Died: December 8, 1980, New York, New York
Married: Cynthia Powell, 1962-1969; Yoko Ono, 1969-1980
Children: Julian (1962- ) and Sean (1975- )
Notable solo songs: "Give Peace a Chance," 1969; "Instant Karma," 1970; "Imagine," 1971; "Mind Games," 1973; "Whatever Gets You Through the Night," 1974; "(Just Like) Starting Over," 1980; "Watching the Wheels," 1980
Tidbits: "Imagine" is the official song of the human rights organization Amnesty International; the area in Central Park across from the Dakota, at 72nd Street and Central Park West in Manhattan, is called "Strawberry Fields" in Lennon's honor.
Here is a list of songs at least partially inspired by Lennon's death:
"All Those Years Ago," George Harrison
"Here Today," Paul McCartney
"Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)," Elton John
"Life Is Real (Song For Lennon)," Queen
"Not Now John," Pink Floyd
"Edge Of Seventeen," Stevie Nicks
"Moonlight Shadow," Mike Oldfield
"The Late Great Johnny Ace," Paul Simon
Source: Beatlelinks (www.beatlelinks.net)
(Reuters) -- Liverpool and New York prepared to honor pop icon John Lennon on Thursday with floral and musical tributes and a candle lit vigil close to where he was shot dead 25 years ago.
In a ceremony in the center of the northern English city where Lennon was born and raised, fans and officials will create a shrine beneath a statue of the legendary Beatle, gunned down in New York by a fan in the presence of his wife Yoko Ono.
Later in the day, the city holds a memorial service for the man who created some of the best-known tunes in pop and is considered one of the most influential songwriters of all time.
In New York, hundreds of mourners are expected to gather at the Strawberry Fields section of Central Park and light candles at 10:50 p.m. ET (0350 GMT Friday), the time Lennon was shot.
Friends in Liverpool remembered Lennon with fondness, but also felt he distanced himself from them after meeting Ono, the woman who many fans blame for breaking up the Beatles in 1970.
"You couldn't approach John at the end, and looking back it was from the moment ... he met Yoko Ono," said former friend and fellow musician Billy Kinsley, who knew Beatles Lennon and Paul McCartney in the 1960s.
"It was sad. He was my hero from when I was a 15-year-old kid, and he was always approachable, always said hello, and had a little chat. But after he met Yoko, that went out the window completely."
His assessment of Lennon and the Beatles as musicians, however, has never changed.
"It really did make a big impression on me seeing the Beatles on that first night at the Cavern, because it just changed my outlook," he told Reuters in a makeshift recording studio in his garden, recalling the night in February 1962.
"I thought 'My God, I have just seen the best thing that I could ever see', and since then it's been downhill because I've never seen anything as good as the Beatles."
Kinsley will perform "Beautiful Boy", which Lennon dedicated to his second son Sean on his "Double Fantasy" album, at a memorial service in Liverpool later on Thursday.
In New York, Ayarton Dos Santos will be at the "Imagine" mosaic, named after one of the Lennon's most famous songs, just as he has been nearly every day for the last 13 years to arrange petals, acorns, apples and bagels into a peace sign.
"It's all about peace, love and happiness.