It looks like street artist Mr. OneTeas is at it again with his very fun Wack Donald’s Project, in which he paints the clown face of Ronald McDonald on various pop culture icons. I spotted John Lennon and Alfred E. Newman side by side on a traffic barrier at 26th Street and 11th Avenue in the Chelsea Gallery District.
For Beatles fans who crave an authentic performance experience of the group’s expansive catalog of music, there is certainly no shortage of grand scale productions, which range from Rain and Let it Be on Broadway to 1964 The Tribute – an act that regularly sells out Carnegie Hall. But for fans who maintain a keen interest in the life and post-Beatles career of John Lennon specifically, Lennon: Through a Glass Onion offers something completely different.
Now in evening and matinee performances at the Union Square Theater, Lennon: Through a Glass Onion, is an intimate, two-man show featuring esteemed actor and singer John R. Waters and accompanist Stewart D’Arrietta, which originally saw sell-out tours in the duo’s native Australia. While there are no dazzling lights, clever sets, informative backdrops or special effects to bolster this very stripped down production, what you get is a heartfelt acoustic performance (guitar and piano – and D’Arrietta’s piano playing is quite excellent) of a selection of over thirty of John Lennon’s best and most autobiographical songs – both written with Paul McCartney while in The Beatles, and written and recorded by Lennon as a solo artist.
Tying the musical numbers together is Water’s biographical narrative of John Lennon’s often traumatic youth and tumultuous adulthood, the ups and down of which are punctuated and fleshed out by songs he wrote at that time. Although Water’s speaking voice is appealingly similar to Lennon’s, his (often quite gravelly) singing voice is not, so don’t expect the “close your eyes and imagine it is really him” effect that you can get with so many tributes. Through a Glass Onion is really more like watching two hardcore John Lennon fans perform his songs and talk about his life in a pub setting. This may or may not be your thing, so just know what you are walking into a ahead of time.
In order to fit thirty songs into a 90-minute run time, many of the songs are performed as excerpts of various lengths, but you get the idea. Likewise, some liberty is taken with traditional arrangements, which finds “Help!” – one of The Beatles‘ most exhilarating anthems – performed almost as a dirge. Sometimes the alternative arrangements work and other times not so much.
It’s also unclear how much of the biographical information is simply improvised or creatively extrapolated based on various facts but, again, it is easy to imagine that Waters is speaking as Lennon and the story all comes together. As an aside, fans seeking more information about John Lennon’s life as a child and teenager, including the not-very-happy story about his relationship with his mother Julia – which had such a profound influence on so many of his songs — might be better served by the 2009 film, Nowhere Boy. You can find it on Netflix.
An added note about the venue, for those who’ve not yet been to the Union Square Theater, is that you are in for treat in this pristinely maintained, old school theater where every very comfy seat offers optimal viewing, so you don’t have to stretch your ticket buying budget to get the best seat in the house. The theater is also conveniently located three blocks uptown from the Union Square subway hub and is within blocks of dozens of excellent restaurants — so you can plan a night of it!
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion will run through February 22nd, 2015 at the Union Square Theater, located at 100 East 17th Street (Between Park Ave South and Irving Place), New York, NY 10003. Visit Lennon Onstage Dot Com for more information about the show, to get show times and to purchase tickets!
There is no denying that George Harrison was a ridiculous babe, as evidence by the above poster, which was created by Shepard Fairey based on a photograph by Astrid Kirchherr. I want to own it.
Poster For George will be offered in two editions — Red and Silver — as a tie-in with the recent release of the CD Box Set, George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75. Both editions are limited to 400 signed and numbered copies. The posters are being sold one day apart and via separate webstores, as detailed below.
The Silver Edition (pictured above) is an 18×24″ Screen Print, which be released October 24th, 2014 at 10:00 AM PST through the George Harrison web store located: This Link.
The Red Edition will go on sale on October 23rd, at a random time between 10:00 AM and 12 Noon PST through Fairey’s Obey Giant Web Store. Both poster editions will sell for $65 each and here is a limit of 1 print per household/person.
About the posters, Shepard Fairey remarked: “My parents were Beatles fans and introduced me to them at a young age. In college, I grew to especially love the later Beatles albums like Sgt. Pepper, The White Album, and Abbey Road. George Harrison started to contribute more songs to the later Beatles albums that were just as strong as any Lennon-McCartney compositions.
I got George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album a long time ago, but even as a kid listening to the radio I reacted very emotionally to the song “My Sweet Lord.” The song has a profound beauty and melancholy that is unique and powerful. I love George’s solo material musically, but what speaks to me most about George’s music and actions is his humanity and his soulfulness.
I think George looked at himself as a world citizen, and not only brought international influences into his music, but was sensitive to human rights and politics around the globe. I’ve always seen music and art as amazing pleasures, but also as relatable vehicles to deliver a point of view. Art and music can invite people to think about something they might ordinarily not be interested in.
George put together the Concert For Bangladesh as a way of using his music to benefit humanity. I admire that he went beyond just writing songs addressing issues, and used his significant cultural weight to be an activist and put something noteworthy together, both as a way of raising money for Bangladesh, and of publicizing the situation there. George is a hero.”
CONAN To Celebrate George Harrison the Week of Sept. 22 with Performances by Paul Simon, Beck, Norah Jones, Dhani Harrison & Friends and More
Week-Long Musical Tribute to Mark the Release of George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75
TBS’s late-night show CONAN is set to honor George Harrison next week with a full week of performances by some of the biggest names in music. Paul Simon, Beck, Norah Jones, Dhani Harrison & Friends and others will stop by Stage 15 at Warner Bros. the week of Sept. 22-25 to perform a live version from Harrison’s catalogue. The performance schedule for next week’s shows is as follows:
Monday Sept 22: Beck
Tuesday Sept 23: Paul Simon
Wednesday Sept 23: Dhani Harrison
Thursday Sept 24: Norah Jones
The celebration will coincide with the release of George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75, a major reissue of the artists’ first six solo albums. Available on CD and digital download on Sept. 22, George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75 is designed to complement Harrison’s 2004 collection, The Dark Horse Years 1976-92. The set spans Harrison’s solo work for The Beatles’ Apple Records from 1968 to 1975 and features an exclusive DVD with several video pieces, including a new seven-minute film with previously unreleased footage. The Apple Years box also features an exclusive perfect-bound book with an introduction by Dhani Harrison, new essays by award-winning radio producer and author Kevin Howlett and rare, previously unpublished images. George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75 can be pre-ordered at This Link.
George Harrison Week is presented by AT&T.
CONAN airs Monday-Thursday at 11 p.m. (ET/PT) on TBS. The series, which earned an Emmy for its innovative mobile app, is produced by Conaco LLC, with Jeff Ross serving as executive producer.
A fluid back-and-forth between contemporary art, music and fashion characterized the 1960s. Made for Universal Studios as a rare promotional item, this Beatles dress illustrates three ideas central to Pop Art – the blending of Art and Advertising; the instant obsolescence of fashion; and the cult of the rich and famous.
Its brightly contrasting print mimics Andy Warhol’s repetitive silk-screened images of celebrities and commercial products through the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Regarding the black patent leather mid-heeled shoes on the mannequin, designed by Roger Vivier, The Beatles themselves were avid customers of Vivier, a fashion designer credited with the Stiletto heel.
Snagged this one from the Huffington Post
The Beatles are credited with being the first to do many things such as printing lyrics on a pop album, creating music videos and holding a stadium concert, but most bizarre is their role in the “devil horns” hand gesture taking off. John Lennon’s cartoon figure on the Yellow Submarine cover is apparently the first time the symbol was on the cover of an album and is one of the earliest instances associated with a rock band, ever.
George Harrison Memorial Tree Plaque (Image Source)
From Spin Dot Com:
A tree planted to honor of the memory of the Beatles songwriter George Harrison has been killed by actual beetles. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the living local monument fell victim to an infestation of insects that couldn’t be bested. According to Councilman Tom LaBonge, the 10-foot-tall pine planted in 2004 bit the dust only recently, and a new one will be planted in its stead shortly.
Harrison’s last years were spent living in L.A. — he died there at 58 in late 2001, and was cremated at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The so-called George Harrison Tree was accompanied by a plaque reading: “In memory of a great humanitarian who touched the world as an artist, a musician and a gardener.” It includes a quote from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: “For the forest to be green, each tree must be green”
The plaque (and the forthcoming tree) is located near the city’s famous Griffith Observatory. The memorial has one very glowing review on Yelp (with photos), which now reads more as a eulogy to the tree that was:
On the day I was there, many tourists and visitors, in fact, walked right by it without noticing it at all. There is no signage that leads people to the tree, and the memorial plaque is near the ground and out-of-sight. Furthermore, I didn’t see any buskers or fans with guitars either playing “Here Comes the Sun,” “Something,” or “My Sweet Lord” (or any of Harrison’s many other well known songs). Instead, with my own private thoughts and reflections, I enjoyed that pine tree in peace just as George, I’m sure, would have wanted it.