Imagine Peace On Hiroshima Day By Yoko Ono

Imagine Peace

Believe in the power of goodness which we all have.

Be an oasis for people who are suffering from spiritual thirst.

Have a vision of a society that has ridden itself of social injustices.

Yoko Ono - Imagine Peace
Yoko Ono pays tribute and lays flowers at the Hiroshima Memorial, August 2011.

Dear Friends,

The 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were a tragedy of the greatest magnitude.

Even now, 73 years later, many victims of the violence of atomic weapons are still suffering, physically, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

People make a point of it. They don’t want us to forget. Of course, we are not forgetting.

But when you actually visit Hiroshima as I did in 2011, you will be totally surprised by what you see and experience. Hiroshima now is a beautiful shining city with healthy people and great food!

How did they do it?

“All that we are is the result of what we thought.” – Buddha

Yes. It’s the thoughts of the Hiroshima people who brought this incredible recovery.

Let’s start with having good thoughts – especially about ourselves.
Don’t waste time being angry at greed-ridden corporate guys and lying-through-the teeth politicians.

We have to focus on what we can do, and do it.

Believe in the power of goodness which we all have.
Be an oasis for people who are suffering from spiritual thirst.
Have a vision of a society that has ridden itself of social injustices.

This time, we are challenged to make a mass enlightenment.
It’s not any different from other challenges we have had to take care of.
We always did take care of them and came out of it.

The Human Race is a miracle race.
We can do anything we want.
Just focus on what to do, and how simple it is.

Look into people’s eyes.
They are your eyes.
They are beautiful.
They are smiling.

Let’s go!

I love you!

Yoko Ono
Hiroshima Day
6 August 2018

36th Annual John Lennon Tribute Honors Donovan

Theatre Within’s Annual John Lennon Tribute joyously celebrates John Lennon’s life, music and timeless message of peace, love and social activism. It is the only ongoing John Lennon Tribute concert in North America or Europe officially sanctioned by Yoko Ono.

This year’s Tribute will feature folk-rock legend Donovan, who will be honored as the recipient of the 2016 John Lennon Real Love Award. Having accompanied the Beatles on their historic journey to India, Donovan will perform a special extended set dedicated to John Lennon, which will include Beatles songs and his own classics.

“I am delighted to be honored at this year’s ‘John Lennon Real Love Award.’ And I am amazed to say that John has written a song through me which I will sing at the Tribute with special guests. Please support Theatre Within and remember, PEACE BEGINS WITHIN.”  — Donovan

Beatles Fest – A Saturday Report

We live right off the Metro North train line in Connecticut. It was easy to hop the 9:38 a.m express and get into Grand Central Terminal at 11:15 a.m. The Grand Hyatt is right next door to GCT where we entered The Fest for Beatles Fans 2014.

We decided to attend the day in between the two major Beatles 50th Anniversary events, the Beatles Invasion February 7th and the Ed Sullivan broadcast on February 9th.

After we checked in we headed up to the main ballroom on the 4th floor. We watched the balance of the film, Good Ol Freda which was a special treat as Freda Kelly herself appeared after the film. She brought a tear to my eye as her role in The Beatles family is devout, private but very caring. You could see how much she loves the fans as she met with them at the autograph table.

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Our focus for this event was the music in the main ballroom. Granted there were floors of art exhibits, video, presentations by authors etc. But we got anchored to the concert floor. The event was oversold and many people had to stand which made for a fire law problem. This meant we had to pretty much stay in our seats all afternoon which grew uncomfortable over 6 hours.

The Ballroom Agenda

Mark RiveraKen Dashow

Ken Dashow interviewed Mark Rivera who has performed with three of the Beatles, John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Mark is Ringo Starr’s Musical Director for the Ringo Starr All-Starr Show where we’ve seen Mark play three times this past decade. Mark Rivera is also a band member of Billy Joel‘s band. He has a new album coming out, Common Bond which drops on February 18th.

The album includes a rare appearance by Billy Joel playing a sizzling Hammond B3 organ on Mark’s unique cover of the Jimi Hendrix classic Spanish Castle Magic. Ringo Starr, Robert Randolph, Nils Lofgren and Steve Lukather all give their great talents to what will be a most cool album!

It really rocks in a good old way – like we did back in the day. Your voice sounds great and the band kicks ass!”– Billy Joel

Gretsch Presents, Peter Asher, A Memoir of the 60’s and Beyond – Part 1

PeterA

We were pleasantly surprised by Peter Asher. He had a well-polished agenda for us. This speaks to his role as a producer. He interspersed his verbal talk which was filled with nostalgia about The Beatles with vintage video. He had a class back up band that increased the dimension of the Peter and Gordon songs. The Eric Idle introduction was funny. We especially loved the segment where Peter sang with Gordon behind him as they played. It was so comforting to hear them sing together that way with Gordon Waller having left us in 2010.

I was intrigued to learn that Peter and his sister Jane Asher had founded a book store and art gallery Indica in London where John Lennon met Yoko Ono at her art show.

Surprise Guest – Pattie Boyd – Martin Lewis

We were surprised by Pattie Boyd’s appearance. It was a warm, intimate 40 min conversation with Pattie and Martin Lewis where Pattie spoke about George Harrison, The Beatles in the day, the trip to India and her love of photography. I thought she was a delight and very honest interview subject.

Donovan

It was a joy to see Donovan perform. It had been 44 years since our last Donovan concert. This show was very immediate. We loved the magic he created for us. Donovan has always been a special artist in the music of our heart.

He was in good voice. I especially loved how he sounded phrasing wise especially on “Jennifer, Juniper”. I really dug with unique vocal sound he makes on “Hurdy Gurdy Man”. His one hour set went so quickly but he played all his hits which made it loving and lasting for us.

Donovan’s Set

  1. Catch the Wind
  2. Colours
  3. Universal Soldier
    (Buffy Sainte-Marie cover)
  4. Jennifer Juniper
  5. Lalena
  6. Wear Your Love Like Heaven
  7. Hurdy Gurdy Man
  8. Sunshine Superman
  9. Season of the Witch
  10. Mellow Yellow

   Encore

  1. Atlantis

Cousin Brucie’s Saturday Rock and Roll  Party

We were really happy to hang out with Cousin Brucie who has been a major force in our music listening lives. He has such energy and passion for what he does as an on-air personality. It was exciting to be part of his live SiriusXM broadcast. We often listen to his show on Sixties on 6.

We didn’t stay for the three-hour show as we were weary from the ballroom chairs. We figured we’d listen to the rebroadcast on Sunday night from 5-8 p.m. Which we are listening to that show now as I finish up that post 😉

I finally got to see Ronnie Spector live which was cool! Ronnie had some great stories about the boys and Murray The K. She then performed “Be My Baby”.

Donovan rejoined us next and paid Brucie a wonderful complement as a disk jockey. He performed “Hurdy Gurdy Man” and it was great to hear it twice in the same day!

Scan 3

Cousin Brucie, “We Love You!”

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50 Years Ago Today, The Beatles Invade America!

AP

It was 50 years ago today that The Beatles arrived on our shores at JFK International Airport in New York City. It was a very exciting day for us Beatles fans. I listened to the JFK arrival and infamous press conference on my transistor radio in my Junior High Science class, thankful that my Science teacher was hard of hearing 😉

The Fest for Beatles Fans 50th Anniversary Event starts today and runs through Sunday evening February 9th.

JFK Salute The Moment

Today two bus loads of Fest Beatles Fans will be driven to JFK Airport to honor the Beatles arrival. Here is a picture of one of the two bus participants. It looks like fun 🙂

We Love You Beatles, Yes We Do…Oh Beatles We Love You”

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MC5 – Kick Out The Jams, Motherfucker

Revolution is in the air as Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street gain momentum. 2011 is reminiscent in ways of the sentiment  in 1968 when revolution took to the streets. Music has always played a role in shaping our thoughts when there is strife.

The Detroit high-energy rock scene in 1969 gave us the central protopunk bands known as the MC5 and The Stooges. I was 17 years old then and the rock and roll scene plus its voice, Rolling Stone magazine were my prurient interests.

The first and most explosive MC5 recording was Kick Out The Jams. It is their signature recording. How rare is it that a début album is recorded live and sold to the public for their digestion? Virtually never.

The influence MC5 had on the punk rock music scene is clear throughout this live recording. If you listen closely to “Kick Out The Jams” you can hear  The Ramones sound. MC5 is the bedrock for many of the punk rock bands that followed.

MC5’s Kick Out The Jams introduced me to my favorite rock and roll music journalist, Lester Bangs. His review of Kick Out The Jams was his first published article for Rolling Stone magazine.

I recall the controversy that surrounded the MC5. I am not a fan of censorship and the use of the word, “motherfucker” posed the MC5 and Elektra Records issues through its sales channels. I purchased the “uncensored” Elektra vinyl recording of the MC5’s Kick Out The Jams and I played it real loud.

The MC5 was rooted in hard-core revolutionary politics. They represented the thrash for the White Panther Party led by John Sinclair, who was their manager. You may recall John Sinclair from the song “John Sinclair” by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Elephants Memory on the album, Sometime in New York City.

It is important to note that one of the founding members of MC5 was lead guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Smith number ninety-three in its list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.[5] The band Sonic Youth took its name from Smith’s nickname.

Motor City 5 "a.k.a. MC5" - MC5 pictures from 1969 LS-4137-002

Fred “Sonic” Smith was married to Patti Smith. They were introduced to each other by Lenny Kaye. Patti Smith wrote a song about her husband, entitled “Frederick” which appears on her Wave album.

File:Frederick - Patti Smith Group.jpg

I especially like how full circle Fred “Sonic” Smith’s activist vision became as a result of writing “People Have The Power” which is an anthem for protest. Fred “Sonic” Smith passed away at 46 years of age in 1994 of a heart attack.

Patti Smith performs this song with conviction and purpose. It speaks to the triumph of the human spirit and their symbiotic, eternal relationship.

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Copyright Jurgen Vollmer
Copyright Jurgen Vollmer
Copyright Jurgen Vollmer