On December 8, 1980, mere weeks after his 40th birthday, musical legend John Lennon was murdered. An article in Newsweek's December 13, 2010 issue commemorated both his birthday and the anniversary of his death. This article, and others about Lennon's life and legacy, are included in a new Newsweek Special Edition.
'Tis the season for John Lennon. The former Beatle had the misfortune of being murdered on December 8, 1980, mere weeks after his 40th birthday, and so for the past few months we’ve had to endure a wearying deluge of documentaries, reissues, biopics and exhibitions of the sort that only the twinned, round-number, life-bracketing anniversaries of an assassinated pop legend could possibly occasion. At first, it seemed as if the releases might reveal something new about Lennon’s music. But now that the date of his death is approaching and the tributes haven’t stopped, it’s clear that the most revealing thing about this year’s anniversary extravaganza isn’t some remastered version of “Imagine.” It’s that Lennon’s celebrity—the very thing that killed him—is still large and lucrative enough to inspire such a frenzy in 2010.
The hullabal details
Statues of The Beatles could be installed on Liverpool’s waterfront.
During the summer it was revealed that the Cavern Club is paying £200,000 for the 8ft tall bronzes of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The club said it was donating the statues to the city and hoped they would be placed at the Pier Head. Now a planning application has been submitted by Liverpool City Council for the statues to be placed prominently at the waterfront site near Brunswick Street, and in front of the Three Graces.
According to a heritage statement accompanying the plans, the location is “within the Castle Street Conservation Area, and the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site”. But the planning application says the Statement of Outstanding Universal Value, which was written for the location’s World Heritage Site status, also says “the significance of the Beatles is mentioned specifically”.
The application also states: “From distant views the statue will not be seen, and even closer vistas such as the view west from Castle Street along Brunswick Street, the figures will be indistinguishable from people.
“The figures wi details
John Lennon made drawings before he met Yoko Ono in 1966, but it was only after he started a relationship with Ono—at the time a rising art star—that he really came into his own as an artist. Over the course of their time together, the Beatle went from rendering cartoons influenced by British absurdist humor to a simple but elegant style that was indebted to both contemporary minimalism and traditional Japanese painting. His modest, intimate portraits of Yoko and their son Sean provided a fitting visual accompaniment to the music he made about their lives together.
This month, the AFA Gallery in New York City is unveiling an exhibition of Lennon's drawings to mark what would have been his 75th birthday. Before its opening, Esquire got on the phone with Yoko to discuss John Lennon the artist, and why Paul McCartney expressed gripes about Beatles songwriting credits.
How are you?
You know, busy. That's good.
You have this exhibit opening soon.
I know. I'm really happy about that, because this is John's 75th this year, so I wanted good representation of John in many places. And this is one that's very good.
By: Miles Raymer
More than 60% of Britons cannot identify the famous historical faces on our banknotes, a survey reveals today (Fri). Many believe their banknote images should be replaced by modern-day icons like the Beatles, JK Rowling and Cilla Black. Only 33% of people could name philanthropist and social reformer Elizabeth Fry whose face appears on £5 notes. Four in ten Brits mistakenly thought she was either modern nursing founder Florence Nightingale or Queen Victoria - while the rest had no idea who was pictured on the note.
Even fewer people (25%) recognised economist Adam Smith on the £20 note - with many mistaking him for civil engineer George Stevenson or the Duke of Wellington.
Founding father of evolutionary theory Charles Darwin proved easier to pick out on the £10 note - with two thirds naming him correctly.
But only one in three knew manufacturers Matthew Boulton and James Watt featured on the £50 note. They were mistaken for 1960s British comedy duo Michael Flanders and Donald Swan and French chemist Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch the German founder of bacteriology. Vix Leyton of cash-back site Quidco, which quizzed 2,000 people in the survey, said: “This lack of knowledge co details
A recording of The Beatles playing at The Cavern Club has been found in a desk drawer and will be sold at auction next month. The tape features audio of the band playing 'Some Other Guy' at The Cavern Club in September 1962. Granada chose to record the band playing live after footage they filmed for TV show Know The North was affected by technical issues.
Beatles manager Brian Epstein ordered five copies of the tape to be produced. TV producer Johnnie Hamp will auction one of the tapes at The Cavern on November 4 as part of Adam Partridge Liverpool's memorabilia auction, BBC News reports.
Just one of the five tapes has been sold in the past, with Apple Records buying a copy in 1993 for £16,000. The appetite for Beatles memorabilia shows no signs of slowing down.
Earlier this week the band's first ever management contract, signed with long-term manager Brian Epstein, was sold at auction. The item was up for sale on September 29 at Sotherby's Rock and Pop auction in London for £365,000. The contract was famously signed in 1962 despite Paul McCartney annoying Epstein by attending a meeting late as he was taking a bath, and agreed by some of The Beatles' parents because they were too young to sig details
You have to wonder what John Lennon might have done with an additional 35 years.
Even up to his death, the former Beatle continued to create memorable, sonically pleasing songs, including “Woman,” “Nobody Told Me” and “(Just Like) Starting Over.” But on Dec. 8, 1980 — not long after he wrote “Grow Old With Me” — Lennon was gunned down in New York City.
If former band mate Paul McCartney is any indication, Lennon, who would have turned 75 on Oct. 9, would have continued to create music. But his tragic murder requires Lennon be remembered for the vast catalogue he compiled during his 40 years.
Several local performers will offer their own interpretations of those songs during tribute concerts at the Shell Cafe tonight and on Oct. 13 at SOhO in Santa Barbara — two special editions of the Songwriters at Play Series, which occasionally features tribute nights.
We asked three of the performers to write about the Lennon songs they chose to sing.
LOREN RADIS, NIPOMO - ‘All You Need is Love’
This has long been my favorite song, and it’s more than just beautiful to listen to — it’s a true and pow details
Noted animal lover Paul McCartney brought down the house at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ 35th Anniversary Celebration at the Hollywood Palladium Wednesday night.
Macca took the stage for a rollicking hourlong set, which included Beatles hits like “Let It Be” and “Blackbird” as well as Wings cuts and his animal rights anthem, “Looking for Changes.”
Beck joined the legend onstage for high-energy renditions of “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “Drive My Car,” eliciting a huge response from the crowd.
“When I first heard the name, that’s what appealed to me, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,” McCartney said during his set. “I thought that was really a very dignified, very cool title. They’ve got 35 years of saving so many animals. And we love them.”
PETA doled out awards to some of its most vocal celeb supporters, including Bill Maher, Alicia Silverstone, Jason Biggs and Tommy Lee. RZA and Maggie Q were also honored for their promotion of the vegan lifestyle.
“PETA and I have the same motto, actually: If anything’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing details
Imagine — John Lennon weighing in on global politics today.
One of the 20th century’s most influential artists would be turning 75 on Friday, October 9, and San Francisco is throwing a party with fresh prints of his fine art.
San Francisco Art Exchange opens to the public “Imagine Peace – The Artwork of John Lennon” October 9 — honoring Lennon’s 75th birthday with over 60 prints available for sale through October 31, including several new releases and the iconic “Self-Portrait”, used on the film poster for the 1988 documentary Imagine John Lennon.
Lennon was a visual artist before he became a guitarist. He attended the prestigious Liverpool Art Institute from 1957-1960 and worked mainly in line drawing throughout his life. Lennon wrote and illustrated three books: In His Own Write (1964), A Spaniard in the Works (1965), and Skywriting by Word of Mouth (1986). He had loose and sketchy style with both whimsical characters and loving family portraits.
Lennon first published 14 lithographs in 1970. In 1986, Yoko Ono published his final book and the first in a series of prints. These estate-authorized, limited edition prints are adapted from Lennon details
To celebrate World Vegetarian Day on 1 October, PETA has teamed up with food artist Prudence Staite to create portraits of Liverpool’s most well-known vegetarians, including Sir Paul McCartney and John Bishop, using only vegetables.
A longtime vegetarian advocate, Sir Paul told PETA, “Many years ago, I was fishing, and as I was reeling in the poor fish, I realised, ‘I am killing him – all for the passing pleasure it brings me.’ And something inside me clicked. I realised as I watched him fight for breath that his life was as important to him as mine is to me”.
John stopped eating meat in 1985 after seeing a cow being slaughtered. He told an interviewer, “The cow was hanging up looking at me as if to say, ‘You did this’”.
They have also depicted Smiths singer Morrissey. Never one to shy away from the subject of vegetarian living, he said, "Nobody can possibly be so hungry that they need to take a life in order to feel satisfied – they don't after all … so why take the life of an animal? Both are conscious beings with the same determination to survive. It is habit, and laziness and nothing else".
By: Jade Wright
From Let it Be to She Loves You, The Nation's Favourite Beatles Number One will look at just how all 27 of the fab four's number one hits on both sides of the Atlantic came to be.
The two-hour film will feature interviews from other musicians, friends and celebrity fans of The Beatles, who will recount their memories of Britain's most successful band.
The documentary will chart the rise of The Beatles and feature never-before-seen archive footage of the group from their company Apple Corps. The Nation's Favourite programme has previously celebrated the music of Elvis, Queen, ABBA and Motown and will now be doing to the same for one of the most influential bands in the world.
"The Beatles have had more number one singles in the UK than any other band. It’s a tough call to even start predicting what might be voted the nation’s favourite," said executive producer Mark Robinson.
He added: "It’s extraordinary to think that The Beatles’ output changed so dramatically within seven years – these are 27 songs that chart that extraordinary revolution in popular music." The music from the programme will be available on a new DVD featuring restored videos for each song and aroun details