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Lennon-Mania hits Hollywood

John Lennon's 70th birthday celebrated with multiple events

October marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of John Lennon, and Los Angeles will see a slew of events over a 5-day period to commemorate the occasion. The "Happy Birthday John!" website is acting as a one-stop information portal for all Lennon 70th birthday celebrations and will offer details and links on its website.

Adding to the sense of occasion, there will be a Proclamation issued by the City Of Los Angeles and a Council Resolution by the L.A. Council, both saluting Lennon for his cultural contributions to Los Angeles. The civic honors will be presented on Thursday evening, September 30, at the Los Angeles Premiere of "Nowhere Boy," the new film about Lennon's childhood. The presentation will be made by L.A. Council Member Tom LaBonge to three of Lennon's closest childhood friends, his band-mates in The Quarrymen,- the band that eventually became The Beatles. The Quarrymen are visiting Los Angeles from their native Liverpool in order to salute the 70th birthday of their friend, and after the film screening will perform a concert of the songs they played with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison in the years 1957-1959.

Thursday September 30

The kick-off event is the West Coast Premiere of the new John Lennon biopic "Nowhere Boy" which is being presented by the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on Thursday September 30 at 8pm. The premiere is being attended by the film's star Aaron Johnson and director Sam Taylor-Wood who will partake in a Q&A after the film.

The event is in two halves and following an intermission there will be a special 70th birthday concert by John Lennon's original band-mates, The Quarrymen. The performance, which includes anecdotes about their adventures with John, Paul & George, is the L.A. concert debut by the three still-active founding-members who were all childhood friends of Lennon. The event is also the first night of the four-night Lennon film celebration presented by the Mods & Rockers Film Festival.

Yoko Ono, who will be in Los Angeles rehearsing for her concerts on Friday October 01 and Saturday October 02, made a surprise appearance at the New York Premiere last Tuesday (September 21) and warmly endorsed the movie, calling it "incredibly, incredibly real" and saying, "John would have loved it".

For details and tickets, visit

Friday October 01

On the Friday morning, the Quarrymen make a special live appearance on KTTV's "Good Day L.A." (7am-9am on Channel 11 in L.A.) and then head to the John Lennon star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to pay their respects to their boyhood friend at an informal ceremony at 11am. The event is open to the public. The John Lennon star is located next to the Capitol Records building at 1750 Vine Street, half a block north of Hollywood Boulevard.

Friday afternoon 2pm-4pm sees the public launch of the largest-ever exhibition of childhood photographs of John Lennon. The exhibit is titled "This Boy... John Lennon in Liverpool" and it features 30 rare photos of Lennon in the 1940s and 1950s. The exhibit will be at the Mr. MusicHead Gallery, 7511 Sunset Blvd., midway between Fairfax Ave. & La Brea Ave, half a block west of Gardner Street. The opening will be attended by the Quarrymen and by the star (Aaron Johnson) and director (Sam Taylor-Wood) of the film "Nowhere Boy" which is set in the time period in Lennon's childhood chronicled in the photo exhibit.

The exhibit is curated by Beatles scholar Martin Lewis and Rod Davis of The Quarrymen. Admission is free. The opening party on Friday October 01 will be open to the public 2pm-4pm, with the gallery staying open tlll 8pm that day. Thereafter the exhibit will be open daily through Sunday October 10th (except for Sunday October 2nd.) Opening hours of the exhbit are Monday through Saturday 11am to 8pm, Sunday 12 noon to 5pm. During this period, the gallery will also be exhibiting rare Beatles photographs by Robert Whittaker (who shot the notorious Beatles "butcher cover") and Beatles artworks by artist Alan Aldridge ("The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics") For more info, visit

Friday night at 7.30pm sees the second of four nights of rare Lennon and Beatles films at the Egyptian Theatre. The film festival is titled "A Lennon Time Is Guaranteed For All!" The festival is dedicated to Amnesty International which counts Yoko Ono as one of its foremost supporters. There will be an ultra-rare screening of the film "What's Happening! The Beatles In The USA," in which filmmaker brothers Albert and David Maysles documented the Beatles first US visit in February 1964. This full-length theatrical film was never released because of contractual issues, and while extracts from it were used in one or two TV specials and videos, the original feature-length documentary has never been seen on TV or released on home-video.

Also showing on the Friday is "Mighty Good!" the first-ever documentary overview of the Beatles' career, made in 1976 by John Lennon's filmmaker friend Tony Palmer with the full cooperation of the Beatles. For details and tickets, visit

Friday night at 8pm also sees the first of Yoko Ono's two "We Are Plastic Ono Band" concerts at the downtown Orpheum Theatre. Performers for both nights are Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Perry Farrell, Carrie Fisher, Vincent Gallo, RZA, Harper Simon, Tune-Yards, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Haruomi Hosono, Yuka Honda and Cornelius (Keigo Oyamada, Shimmy Hirotaka Shimizu and Yuko Araki). Friday's show will include guest appearances by Iggy Pop, Nels Cline and Mike Watt. For details and tickets, visit

Saturday October 02

Saturday night at 8pm sees the second of the "We Are Plastic Ono Band" concerts, with the primary performers being augmented with guest appearances by Lady Gaga, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore. For details and tickets, visit

The third night of the Lennon film festival presents a very rare screening of the restored version of the Beatles' second film "Help!" (1965), only the second time the restored print has been screened in L.A. Plus the L.A, Theatrical premiere of "Two Of Us," Michael Lindsay-Hogg's film about the legendary last-ever get-together (in 1976) between John Lennon (played by Jared Harris) and Paul McCartney (Aidan Quinn). Lindsay-Hogg famously directed the Beatles' final film "Let It Be" (1970) and some of their notable promotional films including "Paperback Writer". "Hey Jude" and "Revolution". For details and tickets, visit

Sunday October 03

Sunday's film festival finale at the Egyptian Theatre at 7.30pm presents a double bill of two iconic documentaries about John Lennon: the 2006 film "The US vs John Lennon" (with filmmaker David Leaf present for Q&A) and a screening of Andrew Solt's 1988 documentary "Imagine: John Lennon" For details and tickets, visit

Monday October 04

Monday sees the opening of the Grammy Museum's exhibit of John Lennon memorabilia, "John Lennon, Songwriter" at the Grammy Museum. The museum is open 7 days a week, 11:30am - 7:30pm. Saturday opening time is 10am. For details, visit

For many more details of the John Lennon 70th birthday celebrations, check out

Published September 29, 2010

This article is Copyright © 2010, The Author, and may not be reproduced on other web sites or in print, in whole or in part, without expressed permission

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