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John Lennon Remembered on His Birthday

John Lennon Peace

Today (October 9th) marks what would have been John Lennon’s 73rd birthday. By nightfall tonight, hundreds of fans will have made the pilgrimage to Central Park’s Strawberry Fields in New York City for a day of remembrance, sing-alongs, and celebrations dedicated to the memory of Lennon. Strawberry Fields, a triangular patch of land dedicated to Lennon by the city of New York and named after the Beatles’ 1967 hit, sits directly across the street from the Dakota, Lennon’s Manhattan apartment building, where he was gunned down on December 8th, 1980 at the age 40. Today is also Lennon and Yoko Ono’s son Sean Lennon’s 38th birthday.

Fans were shocked earlier this week when Lennon’s star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame was defaced by vandals. Volunteer fan crews have been working overtime to get the star ready for today’s celebrations. The star, which is adjacent to the Beatle’s record label headquarters in Los Angeles, is the primary spot for fans to gather both on Lennon’s birthday and the day of his death.

Last month it was reported that Lennon’s only full-rehearsed concert from 1972 is getting a drastic overhaul. Producer Jack Douglas, best known for his work with Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, and Lennon’s final 1980 songs on Double Fantasy and Milk And Honey, revealed to us in an exclusive interview that plans are in the early stages to restore the show for an upcoming release. On August 30th, 1972, Lennon and Yoko Ono were backed by Elephants Memory for two full concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The performances, known as the One To One concerts, included an afternoon matinee and an evening performance, benefited the Willowbrook House, with the proceeds from the shows going to help establish new accommodations for the mentally handicapped inhabitants of the former Willowbrook institution in Long Island, New York.

Douglas, who was behind the boards for the 2010 Double Fantasy Stripped Down collection, says that unlike the 1986 LP and VHS versions of the ’72 show — called, Live In New York City — he plans to include material from both the afternoon and evening charity concerts. No release date has been set.

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