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War Is Over? (If You Want It) – John Lennon

John Lennon composed Happy Christmas song in 1971 and stormed the British charts on December 24th 1972. Its remains poignant to this day.

In my adolescence and youth I was a die-hard fan of John Lennon. In fact, as you can see from the photo of 2004, I even wore round glasses. I was wearing them from 1997 till 2010 when I lost them somehow.

My Lennonesque glasses

I even wrote a post marking one of Lennon’s birthdays and did an interview with Joel Warady who recalled hearing about Lennon’s being murdered. Then my passion for his work subsided a little. In part, I suppose, I want to find the way to do more action than words. Imagine is good but you’ve got to make your dreams come true, haven’t you?

The first Lennon post on this blog

Imagine: The Impact of One Life

Amsterdam Bed-In 40 Years On: Memories and Reflections

Stand By Me in English, Italian, and French

Lennon’s Tooth Is Auctioned Off in Stockport

But one song that was written in 1971 and premiered in the British charts on December 24th, 1972, 19 years ago, remains poignant. It was composed amidst the Vietnam war, and John Lennon with Yoko Ono sang it with Harlem Community Choir, the British ex-Beatle being literally the only white man in the video. So I thought we should listen to it on Christmas Eve. There are still wars, offensive and defensive, military and ideological, but we could finish them all if we could imagine the Heaven on Earth where all people are equal…

More about Happy Christmas song

The Wired Sculptures by Ivan Lovatt

Ivan, Andy, and Soup
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Ivan Lovatt was born in Kenya and then came to live in the UK. For the past 6 years he contributed, as a professional sculptor, his works to private collections, corporations and public exhibitions. His most famous pieces are made of chicken wire: “by layering, twisting and shaping this very ordinary medium Ivan creates both abstract and realistic representations, which are tactile, appealing to the viewer to touch.  As Ivan’s skills developed and evolved he was drawn to figurative work, and Ivan began a series of portraits of famous people which candidly demonstrates his superior level of craftsmanship and attention to detail“. 


Michael Jackson

You can visit Ivan’s official website, while here is a small selection of his portraits of famous people. Most of them are instantly recognisable; it seems that Ivan is experimenting more with the medium than the form. However, his portraits of The Beatles and John Lennon reminded me of a series of photographs by an Italian photographer Enzo Rafazzini who was once offered to participate in a project illustrating The Beatles’ lyrics. Rafazzini chose When I’m Sixty-Four


Enzo Rafazzini
Enzo Rafazzini

In the post, though, I’m using The Beatles’ Come Together. I thought the rhythm suits all the images quite nicely. 

Enzo Rafazzini


Enzo Rafazzini

A Stockport Auction Sells John Lennon’s Tooth for GBP19,500

The trend of obsession with celebrities limbs and other body parts continues this year with the sale of a tooth that belonged to John Lennon. The lovely town of Stockport on the border of Greater Manchester and Cheshire counties held an auction where one of the items was Lennon’s molar: it was given by the Beatle himself to his housekeeper in the 1960s.

Back in 2009 an Italian astronomer and scientist Galileo made the news when his tooth and “missing finger” were found in a jar. Now it is the famous musician’s tooth. The bidder, Michael Zuk, a dentist, was bidding by phone to secure himself the lot. He will now pay £19,500 ($30,000) for this highly coveted item.

According to Karen Fairweather from Omega Auctions who managed the sell-up of Alan McGee’s collection, the molar is “rather gruesome, yellowy, browny with a cavity“. Dr Zuk, from Canada, is now going to add the item to his personal collection of celebrity teeth, with which he occasionally tours.

To quote The Hollywood Reporter, “the author of Confessions of a Former Cosmetic Dentist, a tell-all of sorts about celebrity teeth, Zuk now plans to display his prize in his office and eventually take it on a tooth tour of other practices and dental schools“.

So, folks, if you can imagine yourself reaching worldwide fame, think twice before asking someone to dispose of your cut nails, teeth, hairs, and such like. You never know in whose collection it ends up.


John Lennon’s 71st Birthday, Paul McCartney’s Wedding, and Charles Register’s Band

Chuck & The Dirty Dog, Moscow, July 2011

In Chelyabinsk (that’s a city in Southern Ural in Russia) they are celebrating John Lennon’s 71st birthday on October 10. Paul McCartney is tying the knot this weekend with his fiancee, Nancy. And now that I’ve recovered access to my computer, I want to share one of the two posts about a wonderful man I came to meet in Moscow. I think some of you might even know him. His name is Charles, he’s American, and has for years been practising chiropractic. Charles has been living in Moscow since 1992, and previously lived in the Arabic part of Israel; as a result, he speaks Russian, Arabic, and his native English.

Chuck & The Dirty Dog, Moscow, July 2011

He was born under the sign of Aquarius, so this already may have to do with how and what shaped his outlook. I’ve met him twice, once to attend his rehearsal, another time to do the interview, and both times I felt immensely happy to have known the person who loves what he’s doing. He loves to help people; and when he’s tired, he loves to sing. He occasionally performs with his band, and the point is that unlike many of us he ENJOYS himself. He doesn’t walk the streets with lofty ideas, neither does he winge about sitting in the office doing the job he hates. He was lucky to have found the occupation that he wanted to dedicate himself to early on in life, and then he relenltlessly pursued it.

Anyway, because this is the time for music, here are two recordings, a video on YouTube found by Vassily, and my edited extracts from Charles’s rehearsal. Charles performs as Chuck, accompanied by The Dirty Dog band. Photographs are by Kirill Kuzmin.

Other posts (in Russian): On chiropractic and the life of Americans in Russia and A Doctor in Moscow. One more article is coming up at chuma3.livejournal.com.


Stand by Me – John Lennon, Johnny Hallyday, and Adriano Celentano

I love discovering versions of well-known songs in different languages. Here are three absolutely different versions, not only in that one is in English, another is in French, and the third is in Italian. The tonality varies from gentle and romantic (Celentano), through humourous and rock’n’roll (Lennon), to passionate and riveting (Hallyday). To top it all, there is an Italian cover by Sylvie Vartan. Under the cut are French and Italian versions: the French is closest to the original. The Italian song is a prayer that someone would find God.

Italian version: 

Pregherò per te
Che hai la notte nel cuor,
E se tu lo vorrai, crederai.
io lo so perché
Tu la fede non hai,
Ma se tu lo vorrai, crederai.

Non devi odiare il sole
Perché tu non puoi vederlo, ma c’è.
Ora splende su di noi, su di noi.
Dal castello del silenzio
Egli vede anche te,
E già sento che anche tu lo vedrai.

Egli sa che lo vedrai
Solo con gli occhi miei,
Ed il mondo, la sua luce riavrà.

Io t’amo, t’amo, t’amo, o-o-oh!
Questo è il primo segno che da
La tua fede nel Signor,
Nel Signor, nel Signor.

Io t’amo, t’amo, t’amo, o-o-oh!
Questo è il primo segno che da
La tua fede nel Signor, nel Signor.
La fede è il più bel dono
Che il Signore ci da
Per vedere lui e allòr
Tu vedrai, tu vedrai, tu vedrai

French version: 

Quand la nuit revient
Comme un voile sombre et tendre
Quand ton corps vient s’étendre
Je suis bien

Je ne crains plus rien
J’ai mon cœur sur tes mains
Je te crie ouais dans la nuit
Reste ici

Je t’en prie, je t’en supplie
Reste ici
Oh ! Reste avec moi
Ne pars pas reste là
Reste avec moi

Quand le monde se plaint
Quand les hommes se déchirent
Rien qu’un mot, un sourire
Et je suis bien

Je pourrais pleurer
Comme un gosse à Noël
Sur le ciel, sur ma vie
Reste ici

John Lennon


Yes, it’s yet another anniversary. There is nothing to say, as no words would express everything we feel on this day every year. For me as the fan of both The Beatles and John Lennon it was difficult to gradually realise that this man is no longer here, and that I’ve only got as much as he’d written/drawn/sung/acted, etc., that there will be no more. In fact, there hadn’t been any more for a long while before I even discovered his music.

My history of attending music venues was strangely linked to Lennon and The Beatles. The first *serious* music venue that I attended was a concert dedicated to Paul McCartney’s 50th anniversary. It took place in Moscow, there was no Macca, but before the concert we were treated to a screening of Let It Be. In 1997, when I just entered the University, I saw an announcement on the board about the celebration of John Lennon’s birthday in one of Moscow’s clubs. I went with a few friends. His songs were mixed with some modern performances, of which my memories are still very vivid.

There is his official website, as well as many good fansites across the web. There was recently an appeal to make December 8th The Day of Peace. I think for many people it has already been such for 26 years now (and perhaps even before then) and will remain such for as long as the memory lives. The idea, in the end, is not about commemorating either John Lennon, or peace. It is about making peace happen. And on that there is no-one better to quote, than Lennon himself:

If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.
Sad, but true. As indeed many of Lennon’s songs. I have decided to put up a YouTube video of one of his classics of The Beatles’ period. In part, it is because I did not want to be ‘conventional’ and go for Imagine, which is totally predictable on this occasion. In part, however, I have chosen this song for its utter dramatism in both lyrics and music and – its poignancy. 

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