Saturday, October 9 marks what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. A variety of projects, events, and music releases will celebrate Lennon’s all-too-brief life, his music, and his messages for peace. The following list summarizes major events; for more information, visit the Beatles Examiner and the official John Lennon website.
Gimme Some Truth remasters: Lennon’s catalog finally undergoes the remastering treatment, resulting in rereleases of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Some Time in New York City, Mind Games, Walls and Bridges, Rock ‘n Roll, Double Fantasy, and Milk and Honey. In addition, the Double Fantasy Stripped Down edition features the original album as well as a remix that emphasizes Lennon’s vocals. A new greatest hits collection, Power to the People: The Hits, includes 15 of his most popular songs. While these albums can be purchased individually, they are also available as part of the John Lennon Signature Box, a 15-disc package that includes the newly remastered albums, a rarities disc, and an EP of Lennon’s non-album singles. Finally, Gimme Some Truth presents 72 Lennon recordings grouped on four themed CDs: “Roots,” “Working Class Hero,” “Woman,” and “Borrowed Time.” The albums and box sets will be released on Tuesday, October 5.
John Lennon Time Capsule: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will unveil a Lennon-dedicated time capsule on October 8; the project, a collaboration with Yoko Ono and Jonathan Polk (who created last year’s Beatles Box of Vision), incorporates Lennon’s solo catalog, restored prints of his LP covers, and fan remembrances, and a newly restored art prints of his LP artwork, a newly commissioned essay on his career. Another time capsule will be stored at Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Art and Design (Lennon briefly attended the then-titled Liverpool College of Art in 1957). Learn more about the project by visiting the BoxofVision channel. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio will host a variety of Lennon-centered events, beginning with the time capsule dedication on October 8; visit the Hall of Fame site for a full schedule of activities.
John Lennon Box of Vision: Released in conjunction with the time capsule project, this deluxe box set encases all the newly remastered Lennon CDs. Similar to last year’s Beatles Box of Vision, the Lennon edition includes a hard-bound book displaying the catalog’s original artwork, gatefolds, and inserts. The Catalography lists the complete Lennon discography, and the set includes a box specially designed to store 32 CDs. Two recordable DVDs and CDs are included so fans can archive their own Lennon-related media. Each limited edition box is hand-numbered. For more information, visit the John Lennon Box of Vision site.
Nowhere Boy: The Lennon biopic, already released in the U.K., finally hits American shores October 8. The critically acclaimed film chronicles Lennon’s adolescence in Liverpool, living with his Aunt Mimi while trying to establish a relationship with his free-spirited mother. Starring Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient) and directed by artist Sam Taylor Wood, the film has even received Ono’s blessing as an accurate depiction of Lennon’s pre-Beatles life. Visit Nowhere Boy’s official site, and discover the accompanying soundtrack, a rollicking collection of ’50s rock and roll.
Imagine Peace Tower: Ono will light the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland on October 9; the event will be streamed live on her website. Before the event, Ono has asked that fans Tweet their birthday wishes as well as messages for peace; her goal is to transmit at least a million wishes. To participate, simply include “@IPTower I wish…” at the beginning of your Tweet. Go to Ono’s site for more information.
Look for a variety of music magazine to publish Lennon-dedicated issues. Britain’s Q magazine plans John Lennon at 70, a collector’s edition featuring four different covers of Lennon. Previously unseen images as well as tributes from Ono, Paul McCartney, Bono, and many more will grace the special edition.
Many more art shows, screenings, panel discussions, and tribute concerts will be held on or around October 9; for up-to-date information, visit the Beatles Examiner site or John Lennon’s page. Chances are at least one event will allow you to pay tribute to the legendary Lennon in your own way.