Tag Archives: John Lennon

Video: Bob Dylan & John Lennon Have a Very Stoned Conversation About Mama Cass, Barry McGuire & Johnny Cash – 1966

Bob Dylan and John Lennon, very stoned, talking in the back of a cab in 1966. What’s amazing about this is that here we’ve got two of the greatest rock music minds of the 20th century and what should be a momentous occasion is, well, not much different than any two guys, stoned, talking about nothing.

This is from Dylan’s film, “Eat the Document.”

This version is tinted blue.

This version is just audio but it goes on for almost three more minutes.

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Video: Patti Smith Sings John Lennon’s ‘Beautiful Boy’

Last night Patti Smith sang “Beautiful Boy” at the Capitol Offenbach in Offenbach, Germany.

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Watch: Flaming Lips, Sean Lennon Go Psychedelic with ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’

Last night the Flaming Lips and Sean Lennon (looking like a version of his father with shaggy beard and moustache) delivered a devastating version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” on “Late Show with David Letterman.’

Dig this!!

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Listen: Beck Covers John Lennon’s ‘Love’ for Valentine’s Day Comp

As previously reported, on February 4 Starbucks will start selling a new Valentine’s Day compilation, Sweetheart 2014.

Today we get to hear Beck’s contribution, a cover of John Lennon’s “Love,” which appeared in it’s original form on the 1970 album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.

Sweetheart 2014 Tracklist:

1. Jim James – “Turn Your Lights Down Low” (Bob Marley cover)
2. Vampire Weekend – “Con Te Partirò” (Inspired by the Andrea Bocelli recording)
3. Beck – “Love” (John Lennon cover)
4. Phosphorescent – “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” (Bob Dylan cover)
5. The Head and the Heart – “Don’t Forget Me” (Harry Nilsson cover)
6. Valerie June – “Happy or Lonesome” (the Carter Family cover)
7. Bahamas – “Always on My Mind” (Willie Nelson cover)
8. Thao – “If You Were Mine” (Ray Charles cover)
9. Ben Harper – “Fade Into You” (Mazzy Star cover)
10. Fiona Apple – “I’m In The Middle of a Riddle” (Anton Karas cover)
11. Brandi Carlile – “The Chain” (Fleetwood Mac cover)
12. Blake Mills – “I Hope” (Bobby Charles cover)
13. Sharon Jones – “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” (Stevie Wonder cover)

Hear samples of the tracks:

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Listen: Flaming Lips Cover ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’

Photo via the Flaming Lips’ Facebook page.

For New Year’s eve the Flaming Lips plan to play a bunch of John Lennon and Beatles’ songs when they play at Aspen, Colorado’s Belly Up, according to Consequence Of Sound. The show will be broadcast live on Sirius XM Radio Jam On.

Here’s “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”:

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Revisiting John & Yoko’s ‘Merry Xmas (War Is Over)’

Back in 2000, when I was publishing the daily music blog prototype, Insiderone.net (which soon became Neumu.net), for Christmas I wrote this essay about John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Christmas classic, “Merry Xmas (War Is Over).” In reading it over the other day — I’m putting together a collection of my music writing and have been reviewing what I’ve written these past 30-plus years — it struck me as appropriate to reprint this year. I hope you enjoy it.

“So this is Christmas/ And what have you done/ Another year over/ A new one just begun.”

So begins John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” one of the great rock ‘n’ roll Christmas songs. Recorded and released in 1971, it was co-produced by John and Yoko and the legendary producer Phil Spector. (The other rock Christmas song that really means something to me is “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” produced by Spector in 1963 for his Christmas album, A Christmas Gift for You.)

When I was a kid, John Lennon was one of my idols; I always thought he was the coolest Beatle. When he paired up with the avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, I was one Beatle fan who thought it was a great move, and not just because he had found a soul mate.

Yoko opened John’s eyes to experimental art, and she also seemed to help him become conscious of social and political issues. And while his most political album, Some Time in New York City, is also mostly a failure, Ono’s positive influence was evident on both Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, as well as such singles as “Instant Karma.”

I thought John and Yoko’s bed-in for peace was awesome, an over-the-top, outrageous stunt — the perfect way for rock royalty to make a statement.

“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is a wonderful, heartfelt song set to a great sing-along melody, and more. That first line challenges the listener. John and Yoko are saying, in essence, “OK, year’s over, what did you do? Contribute anything worthwhile to the world?” Then they follow with “…And so this is Christmas/ I hope you have fun/ The near and the dear ones/ The old and the young.”

So you take stock of the year that has passed, but then you celebrate. The song, which weds classic Spector wall-of-sound production to a great Lennon lead vocal, offers hope for a new beginning in the chorus: “A very merry Xmas/ And a happy New Year/ Let’s hope it’s a good one/ Without any fear.”

According to Yoko, the song was written over breakfast one morning in a New York hotel room; it was recorded during the evening and morning of Oct. 28–29, 1971 at the Record Plant in New York.

In his book, “Out of His Head,” Richard Williams described the session: “Spector is already into the groove. He is thinking not just of sound, but of arrangement and drama — production. His weird little head is taking the simple guitar chords and modeling, blending, and transforming them — his old pattern. Well ahead of everyone, even Lennon, he imagines the sound coming out of a million, two-inch transistor speakers.”

The second verse of “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” finds John reaching out to all the peoples of the world: “And so this is Christmas/ For weak and for strong/ The rich and the poor ones/ The road is so long/ And so happy Xmas/ For black and for white/ For yellow and red ones/ Let’s stop all the fight.”

I don’t think it’s just because I grew up listening to the Beatles that John’s voice moves me so intensely. The current success of an album of old Beatles hits seems to prove that those records are timeless, and that they can touch a kid now in the same way that they touched me, back in the ’60s and early ’70s.

John and Yoko’s Christmas song ends with a wish for peace: “War is over/ If you want it,” they sing. “War is over, now/ Happy Xmas.”

Happy Xmas indeed!

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Watch: Jeff Tweedy Covers Kinks, John Lennon at Fillmore

Jeff Tweedy plays The Kinks’ “Oklahoma USA” and John Lennon’s “God,” The Fillmore, San Francisco, Dec. 12, 2013.

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Listen: Check out Darkside’s Nicolas Jaar’s John Lennon Memorial Mix

Nicolas Jaar (Left) and his Darkside partner guitarist Dave Harrington. Photo by Tim Jones.

Darkside’s Nicolas Jaar released “Our World” yesterday, a John Lennon memorial mix.

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Dept. of the Strange: What Kurt Cobain Might Look Like Today, Plus John Lennon, Karen Carpenter & More

CGI technology imagines Kurt Cobain at age 46.

This is a weird one. I’ll let the folks who did this speak for themselves:

What might some of the rock ‘n’ roll era’s greatest stars have achieved and what might they look like now, if they had not died before their time? To explore these tantalizing questions, Sachs Media Group partnered with photo restoration and manipulation company Phojoe to create this gallery of images. It is a heartfelt tribute to the memory of beloved artists who helped shape generations of music fans, in order to keep their memory alive for future generations.

Here are some insights about the Kurt Cobain image:

Insights by Dr. Reebee Garofalo and Elijah Wald: “Given his aversion to celebrity, had Cobain lived he would likely have continued to work with Nirvana but also explored smaller, less commercial projects with other players, trying to recapture some of the anonymity and artistic freedom of his early years. He would probably have pursued artistic outlets offstage and behind the scenes, eschewing the limelight and using his fame to bring attention to young musicians on the cutting edge, as well as exploring his deep interest in Americana styles by producing and collaborating with older roots artists.”

Dr. Reebee Garofalo, a professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Boston, where he taught for 33 years. Dr. Garofalo is an internationally known scholar of popular music studies who has written numerous articles on music and politics, racism, censorship and the globalization of the music industry. Among his recent publications is Rockin’ Out: Popular Music in the U.S.A.
Elijah Wald, a musician and frequent writer about music, including more than ten years as world music writer for the Boston Globe. In recent years he has written books on such diverse subjects as Delta blues, Mexican drug ballads, hitchhiking and a broad social history of American popular music. He has authored eleven books, including How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ’n’ Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music.

To see images of Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Karen Carpenter and others as they might look if they were still alive, head here.

The Beatles File: See John And Paul Before Beatlemania Hit

John and Paul in the summer of 1961.
John and Paul in the summer of 1961.

London’s The Mirror has published a previously unseen photo of Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The photo, according to the paper, will be included in a “a special edition of Beatles authority Mark Lewisohn’s soon-to-be-published book, “The Beatles – All These Years: Volume One: Tune In.” The group didn’t even have a record deal at the time the photo was shot. Their first single, “Love Me Do,” would be released in October 1962 and reach #17 on the UK charts.