From Liverpool to Legend
December 19, 2012
Sure I was only three years old when it happened, but I have my own small memory of an image from the television of Yoko Ono standing with Julian Lennon around the time of his father’s horrific assassination. I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through that poor boy’s head, let alone Yoko’s or Lennon’s other family and countless fans. I wasn’t a fan at three, but I would grow up to be a big one!
It started with my parents playing Beatles records at home when I was a kid. I dug the sound, but it wasn’t until I was older that I really got into them, specifically John Lennon. I got out all those old records and made my own cassette tapes from them. Then, when I had my own money, I started my own CD collection. I eventually owned every album they ever made, along with most of McCartney’s solo stuff and ALL of John Lennon’s. He’s my favorite Beatle and one of my favorite musicians of all time.
I became kind of obsessed as it were. I had to find out everything I could about this cat, man! My mom had some old magazines and stuff in her collection of memorabilia, and I also scoured the shelves at MCPL for books about him. I learned that John Lennon was not only a musician but also a social activist, writer, and artist. Maybe you’ve heard of the famous "Bed-In" for peace he and Yoko did in 69? Or that in the mid- 60s, he published two books of poems and stories with illustrations: In His Own Write; and A Spaniard in the Works. Skywriting by Word of Mouth, and Other Writings, Including the Ballad of John and Yoko was posthumously published in the late 80s.
Art was actually Lennon’s first love, as he began drawing long before he picked up a guitar. In primary school, he and his chums started a sort of underground magazine showcasing their work. And then, he attended the Liverpool Art Institute for a few years before his music career took off. But just because he became a famous rock star, he never gave up on his passion for art. Over 20 years ago, Yoko Ono teamed up with an art production company to bring his art to the people by way of a travelling exhibit, which hits several cities every year. I have seen his work a few times in the Kansas City area, and I highly recommend it to fans and non-fans alike. That same raw emotion you hear in his voice is ever present in his art, and it is an experience to behold!
So, if you would like to find out more about the legend that is John Lennon, I implore you to check out MCPL’s extensive resources on the man. To see him as a doting father, check out Real Love: the Drawings for Sean. Or, to read his own thoughts on a variety of subjects, try All We Are Saying: the Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono conducted by David Sheff. And to get a glimpse of what lay at his heart, there’s Give Peace a Chance: John and Yoko’s Bed-In for World Peace by Gerry Deiter. MCPL also carries some great DVDs, and don’t forget about the music, folks!
Peace and love,