Tag Archives: yoko ono

Book Review: “Lennon: The New York Years” by Foenkinos/Corbeyran/Horne

Well, Amazon got me again! While browsing online at Amazon.com, this book appeared as a Recommendations….

Lennon: The New York Years was written by David Foenkinos and Eric Corbeyran, illustrated by Horne and published on May 30, 2017. According to an article on NME.com, this graphic novel is adapted from a 2010 novel “Lennon” by French author David Foenkinos. After reading this book, there is a part of me that wants to see what the original was like.

This book is touted as “true biographical fiction”, as the setting is John Lennon laying on a psychiatrist’s couch talking about the ups, downs, joys and pains of his life. There are 18 sessions (chapters) in all. Now, I get that when they termed it ‘true biographical fiction’ they were probably referring to his regularly seeing a therapist that happened to also live in the Dakota so Lennon wouldn’t have to go out in public, but unfortunately, some of the fiction seems to have leaked out into Lennon’s life. Starting off with the tall tale that seems to still keep popping up, after long having been dismissed, that John was born during an air raid in Liverpool with the whistling and boom of bombs going off all around the hospital. You be the judge…

“The night I was born it was to the deafening sound of Liverpool being bombed by the Germans. I didn’t come into a life, I came into chaos. And I spent my whole life frightened. That night everything shook. Things fell from the shelves. A building fell down near us. Things had to happen fast so my mother had a cesarean.”

Artistically speaking, this book is actually a pretty nice book. The artist’s interpretation of this story is done in black and white in a 150 page hardcover edition. Comparatively speaking, I personally like the B&W rendition in this graphic novel better than Vivek J. Tiwary’s The Fifth Beatle, but I prefer the linen texture Tiwary cover over the smooth, scratch prone cover of this book. Your mileage may vary…

I leave you with the trailer to this book…

I rate this book, 2 out of 4 Beetles!

 

 

 

 

 

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NAMM 2017: The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

I know it’s been several weeks since I last posted a blog, but a friend of mine kind of lit a fire under my ass and so here it is. I need to apologize ahead of time for the lack of audio in this video. That’ll teach me not to preview the video before leaving NAMM 2017! Yes, I’m really embarrassed that this didn’t come out right. I believe the mic wasn’t properly plugged into my iPad. Also, the initial feedback you’ll hear fades away…so bear with it.

20170119_1339501The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is absolutely amazing! From the outside, there is no clue as to how extensive the inside is. This is an entire recording studio on wheels! The bus travels to schools from coast to coast in the U.S., teaching kids how to record music, engineer and make videos. And this is its 20th anniversary doing so!

As the video opens, our host Ryan sits at the main console and to his right, you’ll see his image on a computer screen. That’s because the bus is filled with video cameras. Not just for security reasons, but for also recording music videos. After a few minutes, Ryan gets up and goes into the second section of the bus and closes the door behind him to demonstrate that each of the three sections of the bus are sound proof. In the second section are the drums. In the third section of the bus you’ll notice a lot of curtains are hung. When they are all fully spread out, they become a green screen for shooting videos with any background the artist my choose to use. The third section is also where the the employees sleep while traveling all year round with the bus. The bus sleeps three and Ryan at one point spent over 4.5 years traveling on the bus. (note: every other night they sleep in a hotel so they can shower and get a proper meal!) 20170119_1055521

There are a lot of corporate sponsors that make this bus what it is, but you can also donate to help keep it on the road. Yoko Ono has donated to the bus and Sean Lennon has visited the bus (Julian has not…yet.) There’s even a John Lennon Educational Tour Bus in England now.

For more information on the bus and it’s schedule, go to: www.LennonBus.org. If you’re an educator, you can also request that the bus visit your school.

You can also Follow and LIKE them on Facebook!

 

 

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Book Review: “At John Lennon’s house” by Rosaura Lopez Lorenzo

At John Lennon’s house by Rosaura Lopez Lorenzo was recommended to me by a friend and fellow Beatle Freak, Thom Donovan. The book was originally written in Spanish (En casa de John Lennon) in 2005. Rosaura died several months after it’s publication, but it was translated to English and released as an e-book in 2013.

Rosaura in front of the Dakota in New York, NY

Rosaura in front of the Dakota in New York, NY

From 1976 until 1980, Rosaura Lopez Lorenzo worked for John Lennon and Yoko Ono as their housekeeper. According to the book, in June 2001, two reporters from TVG (Galician Television in Spain) were covering the annual Galician celebration in Newark, NJ when they stumbled upon a tambourine player. While interviewing her about when she came to America and her life here, she admitted to having previously been the housekeeper to John Lennon at one time. It was then that these two crafty reporters decided that Rosaura needed to write a book about her time with the Ono-Lennons!

The first thing to catch my eye in the book was Rosaura’s admission that this book in Yoko Ono approved. That immediately sets off bells and whistles in my skeptical head. It tells me that every word was scrutinized by Yoko and her lawyers. And in fact, both Yoko and her lawyer are mentioned in the dedication for “their exquisite attention”.

Rosaura says early on that this book was written to right all the wrongs that have been written about John and Yoko. She glosses over her daily 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. chores around the house while talking extensively about how apartment 72 is laid out, what color the rooms are painted and the contents of Sean’s bedroom and playroom.

In her story, John is a happy go lucky doting father who spends much of his time in his room playing guitar when he’s not sitting around smiling at his son, baking bread with Rosaura or asking her about her life in Spain. Sean is a happy child who loves her more than his own nanny and professes that she is his favorite. All the while, Yoko is happily conducting the family business during her days. But there are evil people working for them, including John Green, Fred Seaman and a nanny she called Lupa who would eventually get Rosaura fired.

Besides being hard to swallow, this book is poorly translated and edited. The typos and grammatical errors abound, which let me know that this was hastily edited for e-book format to squeeze out as many doubloons as possible from Rosaura’s rosy stories of the swell world inside the Dakota with the Ono-Lennon. There are many pages of photos included at the end of the book which some may find a bonus, but all in all, I found them just another way to capitalize on this tale. And for that reason…

I rate this boo, 1 out of 4 Beetles!

4beetle

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Imagine Peace holiday giveaway

20161211_0805041Well folks, I got nothing this week when it comes to a review. I am currently reading a very good book (non-Beatles related), just nothing to write about this week. But since it’s the holiday season, I decided to give something away to my loyal followers and readers since you’re the ones that keep me going week after week.

During our trip to the Imagine Peace Tower last month, the boat tour company offered us our pick of buttons from a basket as a souvenir of your trip to the tower. The basket was filled with buttons that said IMAGINE PEACE in the 24 different languages that are on the Peace Tower. Being a little greedy I picked out two in Italian. 14591671_212499435841158_2426614261419048137_n

So lucky readers, I’m going to give away one of my Italian Imagine Peace Tower buttons AND a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky person who leaves a comment on this post. The only thing I ask is that you write something either holiday or Peace related.

One entry per person and I will pick a winner on Sunday, December 18, 2016.

Best of luck and happy holidays!

 

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Trip Report: Imagine Peace Tower, Reykjavik, Iceland

20161106_2035071Two weeks ago, my husband and I took a four day excursion to Reykjavik, Iceland. Earlier in the spring, I had seen a great deal (3 nights for $499 each including air, hotel and breakfast) and couldn’t pass it up. It included a Northern Lights tour which just added to the excitement of going since seeing the Aurora Borealis is on my bucket list.

When I booked our trip for November, I didn’t even remember that the Imagine Peace Tower was in Iceland. That realization came on October 8th when I read that Yoko Ono was on her way to light the tower for it’s 10th anniversary. The tower is only lit from John Lennon‘s birthday on October 9th until the anniversary of his death on December 8th. I believe it’s also lit on John and Yoko’s wedding anniversary and her birthday. The light comes on one hour after sunset and is turned off at midnight.img_3971

The tower’s history according to the website is: IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is an outdoor work of art conceived by Yoko Ono in memory of John Lennon. It is situated on Viðey Island in Reykjavík, Iceland. The artwork was dedicated to John by Yoko at its unveiling on October 9th 2007, John Lennon’s 67th birthday. 

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The only way to get to Videy Island is via ferry boat. My husband and I decided to take a walk to the dock and catch the last ferry out for the day at a cost of about $12 each. In the winter, the ferry only makes 3 trips to the island and only on weekends! Unfortunately, after walking over a mile in a damp drizzle (the same way we spent the entire 4 days), we arrived 5 minutes too late for the last ferry out! You can see the Imagine Peace Tower in the picture with me pointing to it (that little whit dot!) from the pier at the dock. To add some perspective, Videy Island is the same size as the country of Monaco…0.7 square miles.

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After a disappointing Northern Lights excursion the night prior and now missing the last ferry out for the weekend, we were not about to miss out again on this vacation! We went back to our hotel and booked ourselves on the night’s Imagine Peace Tower Tour hosted by the Edding Whale Watch company. Cost = $80 each for a two hour tour.

As our luck would have it, it rained. And I don’t mean a gentle rain…I mean it rained sideways! Add in the fact that it was about 45 degrees fahrenheit and yeah, it would make for a miserable evening on any given night…but we were off on a once in a lifetime trip to see the Peace Tower up close and in person! And there were 7 other people just as crazy as us on that boat.

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This is what it looks like up close in the rain. Our guide that night, Megan said that in the rain is the only time you’re going to see the light refracted, producing that rainbow effect. I asked her what it looks like in the snow, and she said the light reflects off the snow and makeimg_3970s that light brighter.

Underneath the tower are time capsules. Each one holding a years worth of wishes that people around the world make. The wishes are stored there until the year 2040 (John’s 100th birthday) when the first capsule will be opened. A lot of wishes come from the Wishing Tree that is a building on the island.

20161106_2105271It’s not a very attractive tree…Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree may have been in better shape. But none the less, we added our wishes to the tree while enjoying hot cocoa after walking back in the driving rain (it’s about 1/3 mile from the dock to the tower). You can also make wishes through the Imagine Peace Tower website at this link.

Despite the weather (hey, they did provide us with those yellow rain parkas you see in the photos!), we wouldn’t have missed this experience for the world. It was the highlight of our trip to Iceland…and an added bonus since I didn’t even think about it when I booked the trip. If you’re a true Beatles freak like myself, spend the extra money and take the night tour whether in the rain, sleet or snow…you won’t want to miss this!

And…unlike the northern lights (which we never saw), this is a guarantee!

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Around the circumference of the Imagine Peace Tower, the words “Imagine Peace” are written in 24 different languages.

 

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Book Review: “Dakota Days” by John Green

dakota-days

One thing leads to another…

I found out about Dakota Days by John Green (1983) from reading a book that I had previously reviewed. Who is John Green? Well, a lot of Beatles fans know him as Charlie Swan…Yoko and John’s tarot card reader! Yes folks…even the psychics cashed in on Lennon’s death!

A mere 260 pages, this book is a hoot! Who knows how much of it is factual (probably not much), but it amused me to no end. The book opens with Yoko placing a call to her tarot card reader, John Green, to let him know that John Lennon has moved back home after his “long weekend”. She tells Green that he must change his name to Charlie Swan because John is going to be jealous that he has the same name as him! SERIOUSLY!

For those of us who are not Yoko fans, this book just proves that she really is just as crazy as we all believe she is. (For those that are Yoko fans, this book will be filled with lies). From the beginning, John Green makes himself out to be the Ono-Lennon’s greatest marriage and financial counselor, but fails to mention he was apparently fired by Yoko after he didn’t warn of Lennon’s murder.

One standout moment in this book…when Yoko discloses to Charlie Swan that she originally went after John Lennon to get Paul McCartney’s attention. It was Paul she originally had eyes for. She then continues on to say that Paul is very sexually attracted to her…she can tell by the way that he looks at her that Paul McCartney wants her!

It’s one bizarre moment after another. This book is really a waste of paper, but for a good laugh, Beatles freaks should read it. You can buy a used copy for $1.09 at Half.com. And for that reason…

I rate this book, 2 out of 4 Beetles!

4beetle3beetle

 

 

 

 

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Article in People Magazine – July 4, 1983

people_070483I just recently stumbled upon this article that was in People magazine in July 1983. It’s about all the books that were coming out about John Lennon after his tragic death. Some of you may find it completely irrelevant, but I found the author’s opinion of the books and their authors very interesting…

 

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20085405,00.html

 

Enjoy!

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