Monday, June 15, 2009

The Beatles came from Liverpool, you know

After the not-entirely-successful attempt of Capital Of Culture year to prove there's more to Liverpool than The Beatles, the City Council returns to business as usual:

John Lennon's son Julian and Liverpool's Lord Mayor are teaming up for a global peace initiative tomorrow (Tuesday, June 16).

They will light a white candle at the Beatles Story museum in the Albert Dock urging people to think of peace.

Are they going to light it together? Isn't that a marriage ceremony type of thing?
Candles will be sent to all cities across the globe for civic leaders to do the same in memory of John Lennon's struggle for peace and understanding, and Julian's continuing efforts.

All cities? I'd love to know where Liverpool got a definitive list of cities from. And the money to buy tens of thousands of candles. If you live in an urban area and don't get a candle, you might feel a bit slighted, so let's hope that it's watertight.

Interestingly, that "Lord Mayor" is none other than Mike Storey. Somehow, the civic leader of the city is a man who had to resign as leader of the city council after leaking information; it's ironic that a man who got himself into such a position over a big council row is now offering to send out candles of peace to the world.

Anyway, it's not really about peace, is it?
The event coincides with the opening of an exhibition at the new Beatles Story branch at the Pier Head on Wednesday (June 17) called White Feather - The Spirit of Lennon.

The exhibition offers an introspective view of Lennon's personal life including his rise in fame and fortune.

Ah. So world peace is being used as a way of marketing a tourist sideshow, then? Classy.

Julian is happy to be involved:
Julian Lennon said: "The white feather is so prevalent in my life. One thing for sure is that it's always represented peace to me. One of the things my father said to me was that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be ok, or that we were all going to be ok, it was by in some way, shape or form presenting me with a white feather.

"I hope this exhibition lets people see another aspect of his life and our time together as a family. This collection represents something of great importance to us as it is part of our history.''

That's quite touching, isn't it? It does, though, sit awkwardly with the way Julian used to speak about his pa before he abandoned a solo career in favour of being John Lennon's Official Child:
Well it’s difficult when people come up to you and say ‘I loved your father so much’ y’know coz it tugs at my heart in two ways. Yes, as an artist in his solo work and with the Beatles- he was fantastic..but as a father I don’t have much respect for him coz he wasn’t there and he didn’t take the time to be.

Mike Storey, meanwhile, wants to remind you about something important about John Lennon. He came from Liverpool, you know:
"John Lennon, and indeed the Beatles are a huge part of the history of the city. As a city we will never forget the contribution John Lennon made not only to music but towards a more peaceful world.

"The candles represent a white feather which was a symbolic part of both John and Julian's life. We are hoping that all major cities will take part and help create a more peaceful world."

Oh, it's just the major cities now, is it? Sorry, Aurora, if you didn't get one; you're just not major enough.

You've got to love the "and indeed The Beatles", haven't you?

As James M (to whom, thanks for the link) sums it up:
So heartening to see the civic leaders championing new, unsigned acts from Liverpool & not falling back on tired old stereotypes as well as a band that split up 40 years back in order to have easy PR stunts, eh?