Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Art teacher Geraldine Brock didn't get much work out of a tall teenager with glasses.
He was polite but not interested. His studies of flowers and foliage were usually incomplete because he left the class early.
She said: "They were OK, but unfinished and he left them and I used to bin them. I wish now I had kept them because they would have made me a lot of money."
For that 17-year-old was John Lennon.
And Liverpool Art College, where he was a first year student, stood next door to Liverpool Institute where fellow Beatle-to-be Paul McCartney was a pupil.
Together the pair formed the group which made them icons of popular music.
Geraldine, now 69, of College Road, Epsom, was a former Liverpool Art College student who returned there briefly to teach before becoming a successful textile designer.
She said: "John was a nice enough lad, but never finished whatever was set for each session. He always found an excuse to go early and it often seemed to be when there was a sound of a guitar coming over from the Institute.
"Later I realised that he would have been going off to practice with Paul.
"I used to go to The Cavern Club myself when it was a jazz club and I went to hear Chris Barber and Humphrey Lyttleton."
Anything associated with the Beatles can now yield thousands,with Lennon memorabilia fetching the biggest prices since his assassination in 1980.
Geraldine said: "I don't even want to think how much those drawings would have been worth. Teaching John Lennon plant drawing has been my biggest claim to fame."
Paul McCartney insists he had settled his differences with John Lennon before his Beatles bandmate was shot dead. The pair's friendship was famously fraught with tension throughout their working lives, but McCartney is adamant they rekindled their relationship before Lennon was murdered by obsessed fan Mark David Chapman in December 1980.
And McCartney believes the pair's friendship would've prospered had Lennon been alive today - and referenced a Beatles lyric to prove his point.
He says, "We had a good relationship when he died and I think it just would've got better. It's one of the tragedies of him being killed. I think he was mellowing. He was a great man and I was very lucky that we healed our relationship. So that's something that's very precious to me. It would've been a real problem if we hadn't. Y'know, he loved me...he loved me yeah yeah yeah."
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Sunday, June 10, 2007
John Lennon's determination to see his young son rather than go for an evening meal may have cost him his life, his widow reveals today.
Describing the moments before Lennon was shot and killed by Mark Chapman, a deranged fan, in New York on December 8, 1980, Yoko Ono says: "We were returning from the studio, and I said, 'Should we go and have dinner before we go home?' and John was saying, 'No, let's go home because I want to see Sean before he goes to sleep'.
"It was like he wasn't sure if we would get home before [Sean] went to sleep and he was concerned about that. That was the last thing he said, that he wanted to see Sean."
Ono, 74, who says that the former Beatle uttered no dying words, also says she was not able to tell her son what happened outside the Dakota building on that fateful night.
The Japanese artist also reveals that, having fallen pregnant with Sean shortly after she and Lennon were reunited in 1975 following a two year split, she allowed him to decide whether to abort their unborn son or not.
"It sounds very strange that I should let John decide whether I should keep it or not. We had just got back together and I became pregnant very soon, and I didn't know if it was the right moment to have a child because maybe he didn't want it.
"I just didn't want to burden him with something he didn't want... He said of course we are going to keep it and he was very upset with my remark."
Like other wives of the Beatles, Ono was vilified by the public following her marriage to Lennon in March 1969 and later held responsible for the band's decision to break up. She blames a combination of racism and the affection the public had for Lennon.
"The racism was always there, it was just something about John being their treasure and I stole that from them," she tells today's edition of Desert Island Discs on Radio 4.
"It was hurtful in a way, but I had John beside me which did help. It seemed almost as if those things were happening at a distance so those things out there didn't hurt that much."
On honeymoon, Ono and Lennon decided to stage a protest about the war in Vietnam. Their bed-in for peace pose became one of the images of the Sixties. "We thought we were doing a good thing. We were very narcissistic about it. "
Ono also says her primary mission is to protect her husband's memory but admits that she does not want Sean or Kyoko Chan Cox, her daughter by second husband Anthony Cox, the jazz musician, to be burdened with that responsibility after she dies.
"After John's passing it was my pleasure actually to keep on protecting his work and I cherish the fact that I feel that I did my best," she says.
"But at the same time, most of my time was spent on that and I feel that Sean should not be bothered with it. It is too much of a burden for him and it's such a heavy past that he is already burdened with."
"I just want to say to my two children not to defend me. I don't want them to waste their time defending me, don't even think about the past or your mother because your mother had a great life and you should know that." Ono's choice of desert island discs include Lennon's Beautiful Boy, about Sean; Liverpool Lou, recorded by Scaffold, which Lennon would sing to his son each night, and Magic, one of Sean's own compositions.
After Beautiful Boy is played, Ono tells presenter Kirsty Young: "When I was listening to Beautiful Boy [just then], I felt that John just jumped out of the corner and said, 'That was a good idea to select Beautiful Boy'. He is always there jumping out and saying things."
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
I've been busy adding some new features to my John Lennon Forum.
* Collect Peace Points and spend them on a choice of different prizes - every new member receives 200 Peace Points just for joining, then 3 for every post after that. More points are available for various things you do, for example, posting pictures or referring a friend.
* New Album Reviews section - share your opinions on John Lennon's solo albums.
Existing features include:
* Fan Fiction and Fan Art section
* All the latest John Lennon and Beatles news
* Pictures and video clips
* Polls, games and links
* Private 'Members Only' area, including a discussions board, a bootlegs board and the Peace Points Store.
All John Lennon and Beatles fans are welcome to join. I hope to see some of you there soon!