Saturday, March 31, 2007

John Lennon Memorial

The John Lennon Memorial has been very quiet recently - only one post since last August.

Please sign it and let us know what John means to you!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Spain pictures

The Beatles in Spain, 1965, photographed in front of some casks of sherry which they were asked to sign for the Lord Mayor of the city of Jerez de Frontera.













John signing his name:



John demonstrating how to pour sherry:







Thursday, March 29, 2007

Yoko to launch John Lennon Foundation

Yoko Ono is to visit Liverpool in May to launch the John Lennon Foundation for Child Health at Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Read the full story from icLiverpool:
In The Name Of John

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Over-50s vote Imagine greatest song

John Lennon's "Imagine" has been named the favourite song of the baby boomer generation in a new poll of 3,760 over-50s.

Chris De Burgh's "Lady In Red" came second with Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" third in the survey conducted by Smooth Radio.

The Beatles missed out on a place in the top 10, but had five entries in the top 50 with Hey Jude, Yesterday, A Day In The Life, I Want To Hold Your Hand and In My Life.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Elton John pays tribute to Lennon

Sir Elton John paid tribute to late Beatle John Lennon during his 60th birthday Madison Square Garden gig in New York City on Sunday (25 March 07). Lennon made his last public performance alongside the Rocket Man star at the same venue in 1974.

John played his Lennon tribute song Empty Garden for the 20,000 fans and celebrity friends gathered on Sunday. He said, "The reception he got still gives me goosebumps and it makes me very, very sad and happy at the same time because we know what happened a few years later.

"I only ever sing this song here because it's the only place it's appropriate and it's too upsetting for me to sing it anywhere else."

From Contact Music

John Lennon's blue sunglasses to be auctioned next month

The iconic glasses are one of over 200 music-related items to be auctioned for hurricane victims.

John Lennon's iconic blue sunglasses are expected to fetch up to $6,000 at auction next month.

The former Beatle's glasses will go under the hammer at the Icons of Music auction at New York's Hard Rock Cafe to raise money for the Music Rising charity.

Fans may bid online or in person until April 21.

Details can be found at U2.com, musicrising.org and juliensauctions.com. - Bang Showbiz.com

From news24.com

Sunday, March 25, 2007

It's Elton John's 60th birthday

Here are some pictures from when John Lennon joined Elton John on stage at Madison Square Garden in 1974.

























Elton had played piano and organ and sang backing vocals on the "Walls and Bridges" track "Whatever Gets You Through The Night". John didn't have much confidence in the song, saying "It would be nice, but it's not a No. 1." - however, Elton thought otherwise and made John promise that if the single did top the charts he'd appear in concert with him.

"Whatever Gets You Through The Night" became John's first solo No.1 in the US, so he agreed to appear at Elton's Thanksgiving concert on 28 November 1974. As well as "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" they performed two Beatles songs, "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "I Saw Her Standing There", which John introduced by saying, "We're trying to think of a number to finish off with so I can get off here and be sick. And we thought we'd do a number of an old, estranged fiance of mine called Paul. This is one I never sang - it's an old Beatles number and we just about know it." Elton had wanted him to sing "Imagine" but John refused and said "I don't want to come on like Dean Martin, doing my classic hits."

Elton talked about the concert in his 1976 interview with Playboy magazine:

"I was so knocked out by Lennon - everyone was just standing there in amazement. I was halfway through Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me - which I always do with my eyes closed - and suddenly there were all these lighted matches in the audience. Usually they do that at the end, when you come back for an encore, but this time it was right in the middle of the song. And I just started to cry...The rush I felt came from the audience - and from Lennon, who really stole the show. It was magic."


More Beatles/John Lennon/Elton John connections:

* Elton recorded a cover version of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" in July 1974. John Lennon provided guitar and backing vocals under the name Dr Winston O'Boogie. Elton also covered "One Day At A Time", a track from Lennon's album "Mind Games".

* Elton was godfather to John Lennon's son, Sean.

* In 1982, Elton had a hit with "Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)", a tribute to John Lennon.

* He also played piano on George Harrison's "Cloud Nine" album and wrote the song "Snookeroo" (with Bernie Taupin) for Ringo Starr's "Goodnight Vienna" album.





Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

"The US vs John Lennon" on UK television

BBC2 will be showing "The US vs John Lennon" on Friday March 30th 2007 at 11.35pm.

I think it's great that they're showing it, but why put it on so late at night? It would have been a good opportunity for young fans in particular to learn more about John, but not many people will be watching at that time. Surely 9.00 or 10.00 would have been better!

Pictures for the weekend: Part 1

A few screencaps from the 2003 documentary "I Knew John Lennon". Click here for more.











Wednesday, March 21, 2007

You know that what you eat you are...

Someone was asking me if John Lennon was a vegetarian. Well, here is all the information I've been able to find on the subject. This is a topic that is particularly interesting to me as I have been a vegetarian for more than 10 years!

First we have a quote from a British teen magazine, in which John answered a questionnaire. When asked about vegetarianism, he said:

"I've not come across it. If people want to eat nuts that's okay with me. I wish I could do it, the way I feel about animals."

I'm not sure of the year this magazine was published but I would guess it was probably 1964 or 1965.

Within another year or two, however, John's friend Pete Shotton said that John had stopped eating meat and would offer him vegetarian burgers and sausages whenever he visited him at his home in Weybridge. [Source: "John Lennon: In My Life" - Pete Shotton]

It was around the same time that George Harrison also became a vegetarian, probably in 1967 for religious reasons due to his interest in Hare Krishna and the Maharishi. As far as I know, he stayed a vegetarian until his death.

Joshua Green, the author of "Here Comes the Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison", attended several recording sessions with George. He said there would always be 'huge trays of vegetarian food' in the studio.

"The thing that repelled me about eating meat was the idea of killing animals. But the main issue is that it's not healthy and not natural." - George Harrison

Paul McCartney was the third Beatle to give up meat, along with his girlfriend Jane Asher.

"Jane made the dinner. It was all vegetarian; Paul had just become one, like John and George."
[Source: "The Beatles - The Authorized Biography" - Hunter Davies, 1968]

Paul later went back to eating meat until the 1970s, after his marriage to Linda.

"We stopped eating meat many years ago. During the course of a Sunday lunch we happened to look out of the kitchen window at our young lambs playing happily in the fields. Glancing down at our plates, we suddenly realized that we were eating the leg of an animal who had until recently been playing in a field herself. We looked at each other and said, "Wait a minute, we love these sheep - they're such gentle creatures. So why are we eating them?" It was the last time we ever did." - Paul McCartney

Paul's former publicist Geoff Baker said, "It's true that Paul and Jane discovered vegetarianism together during their trip to an ashram in India in 1968. But it wasn't until he was together with Linda that he developed the powerful anti-meat convictions he still holds today."

Ringo was less keen than the others to give up meat as he suffered stomach problems due to a childhood illness. When the Beatles visited India in 1968, one of the reasons Ringo came home earlier than the others was because he couldn't eat the spicy vegetarian food.

"John and George were already vegetarians so for them the diet was nothing strange. Paul liked the Indian cuisine but the spices were too strong for Jane. Ringo had spent long periods in hospital with peritonitis as a child and found the food much too hot for his taste. Mal Evans assembled a stock of eggs so that he could cook Ringo fried, boiled, poached or scrambled eggs, and Ringo himself had resourcefully brought along a suitcase of baked beans, just in case." - [Source: "Many Years From Now" - Barry Miles, 1997]

When Ringo went to Hunter Davies' for dinner one day, he warned Davies that the Beatles were vegetarians now. Davies' wife, Margaret Forster, cooked a vegetarian meal for him, but when Ringo arrived he explained that although he was vegetarian he didn't actually like vegetables and would rather have beans on toast!
[Source: "The Beatles, Football and Me" - Hunter Davies]

Ringo was asked about his diet in December 1973 and replied, "I eat meat twice a year. On Bonfire Night I have a sausage and Christmas I have a turkey with the festivities, because it is exciting. I am getting excited over Christmas. So they are the only two days I have it."
[Source: "The Beatles After The Break Up" - Keith Badman]

In a 1995 interview, Paul McCartney said, ""We all turned out to be veggie. Ringo's walking around with, like, a bag of seeds, so healthy".

Returning to John Lennon now, his diet for the remainder of the 1960s and throughout the 1970s was mainly vegetarian, although he did occasionally go back to eating meat now and again.

"I don't think animals were meant to be eaten and worn. We have enough resources to do without them. It's common sense to me that you shouldn't eat most of the chemically treated rubbish most people seem to stuff themselves with. The trouble is most vegetarians don't get enough protein. My diet's based on meal, bread which Yoko makes, rice and no sugar. We have honey if things need sweetening." - John Lennon

May Pang, John's partner during his separation from Yoko in the mid 1970s said that "he'd also go through food periods - during Walls And Bridges, he was into my Sunday cooking of a total English breakfast".

John and Yoko were also macrobiotic, as they explained to David Sheff, who interviewed them in 1980 for Playboy magazine:

SHEFF: What does your diet include besides sashimi and sushi, Hershey bars and cappuccinos?

LENNON: We're mostly macrobiotic, but sometimes I take the family out for a pizza.

ONO: Intuition tells you what to eat. It's dangerous to try to unify things. Everybody has different needs. We went through vegetarianism and macrobiotic, but now, because we're in the studio, we do eat some junk food. We're trying to stick to macrobiotic: fish and rice, whole grains. You balance foods and eat foods indigenous to the area. Corn is the grain from this area.


This website has a great cartoon drawn by John Lennon in 1968 to advertise the macrobiotic restaurant, SEED.

http://www.chaos-works.com/vegeburger7.html

In his song "Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)" from the 1973 album Mind Games, John makes several references to macrobiotics:

When I'm down, really yin
And I don't know what I'm doing

People who follow the macrobiotic philosophy believe that most things in life are either yin or yang. The way to achieve harmony is by the correct balance of yin and yang.

Yin = The 'feminine' qualities of gentleness, sensitivity and spirituality
Yang = The 'masculine' qualities of aggression, ambition and curiosity

According to the rules of macrobiotics, foods that are either extremely yin or extremely yang should therefore be avoided.

When I'm down, real sanpaku
And I don't know what to do

This excerpt from the book "All You Needed Was Love" by John Blake explains the meaning of the word sanpaku:

"You," Yoko told John one day after gazing into his eyes, "are sanpaku".

Sanpaku, she explained patiently, was a Japanese term meaning literally 'three whites'. If a person was sanpaku it meant that the irisis of their eyes were turned upwards so that white could be seen on three sides. The condition had been recognised for centuries in oriental countries where it was thought to signify poor physical and psychological health - caused primarily by an unwholesome diet.

...The two of them had together pored over photographs of the Beatles and realised that, though none of them were sanpaku in their early days, now all of them were.

Yoko explained that sanpaku could be cured if the person followed a macrobiotic lifestyle and ate the right types of food. This led to John's lifelong interest in macrobiotics.

You can find out more about this at Wikipedia's macrobiotics page.

If anyone has any other interesting facts or quotes on the subject of the Beatles and vegetarianism/macrobiotics please feel free to comment on this post!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mother

Today is Mother's Day here in the UK so I thought I'd post a few pictures of some very important mothers.


John and his mother, Julia


Another picture of Julia


Cynthia and baby Julian


A more recent picture of Cynthia and Julian at the premiere of 'Love'


Yoko and Sean


Yoko and her daughter Kyoko

Pattie's Birthday

Happy Birthday to Pattie Boyd!



...and Happy St Patrick's Day to those who celebrate it!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Flower Power