The Event Featuring Heather Nova, Maxi Priest, and Roy Young, Also is the Multi-Media Launch of The Book and CD ‘Lennon Bermuda’ and a Double Fantasy Sculpture by Bermudian Artist Graham Foster, Commemorates The Ex-Beatle’s 1980 Summer Trip to Bermuda, Which Inspired the Songs of His Landmark ‘Double Fantasy’ Album
Thirty two years after John Lennon’s sailing trip to Bermuda sparked the creative renaissance that inspired the final album released in his lifetime; the island celebrates the late legend’s enduring spirit and vision with the “John Lennon Double Fantasy Bermuda Tribute,” an all-star charity concert named for that landmark recording.
The show, which takes place at the Bermuda Botanical Gardens on Friday, September 21 at 8 p.m., will feature a wide array of performers, including Heather Nova, Maxi Priest, Biggie Irie, Judie Tzuke, Roy Young, Chewstick, Rachel Brown, Joy Barnum, Paul Muggleton, Bailey & Tallula Tzuke, Robert "Sai" Emery, Christina Frith, Jonathan Frith, Bailey Outerbridge, Steve Easton, Michael Cacy and others. Net proceeds from the concert will benefit Bermuda Charities
Since 1982, the world has celebrated September 21 as the “International Day of Peace.”
The event also marks the release of several commemorative multi-media items, including the star-studded Lennon Bermuda CD and launch of a Lennon Bermuda book.
The double CD includes 32 Lennon and Lennon-McCartney classics by many of the artists participating in the concert, in addition to Paul Carrack and Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono. The project, which retails for $20.00 and will also be available on the Lennon Bermuda website, includes a bonus video of “All You Need Is Love.”
Visitors to the John Lennon Double Fantasy Bermuda Tribute are also invited to view the new Lennon sculpture (also called “Double Fantasy”) outside the Masterworks Museum of Bermuda in the Bermuda Botanical Gardens. It was created by Bermudian artist Graham Foster, who is best known for his huge mural “The Hall of History” inside the Commissioner's House at the Bermuda National Museum in Dockyard. The two-story, 1000 square foot interior mural depicts five centuries of Bermudian history and took approximately 7000 hours (over 3 years) to complete. On November 25th 2009, Her Majesty The Queen, officially opened the Hall of History mural and on this occasion was presented with a painting by the artist.
The sculpture was unveiled in May as part of the museum’s “Imagine The Art of John Lennon” art exhibit. Foster’s iconic image of Lennon also appears on the Double Fantasy Bermuda T-shirt, available for $20 at the event and in the shop section of the website.
On August 22, PRS For Music, the collecting society representing 90,000 songwriters, composers and music composers, became an official sponsor of the Bermuda tribute concert. PRS for Music has been present in Bermuda for a number of years promoting the value of copyright and raising awareness about the importance of music licensing which ensures that creators of musical works can earn a living. A team from PRS for Music are working with government departments, business leaders, music users, broadcasters and key stakeholders to discuss copyright issues, listen to concerns and understand what work needs to be done to improve the awareness of the requirement for music licenses in Bermuda and to highlight the continued importance of the Bermudan music industry.
Karen Buse, Director of International from PRS for Music, says, “We are delighted to be supporting such a fantastic event and tribute to one of the greatest musicians and British songwriters the world has ever known and enjoyed. We felt this was a great opportunity to be involved in something special which brings local and international music talent together and puts live music in Bermuda on the world map.”
The Lennon-Bermuda story is a remarkable chapter in the singer’s final year. In June 1980, Lennon left Newport and became a passenger on the Megan Jayne for a five day sailing voyage to Bermuda that would change his life. Prior to his adventure to Bermuda, fans the world over had begun to worry about Lennon, as his drive for writing and creativity lacked vigor. The pressure to produce quality music, the pressure of his family and troubles got the best of him and his creative energy for songwriting suffered. Eventually the pressure and the reclusive lifestyle led to a self-imposed hiatus—a period he chronicled on Double Fantasy songs like “Watching the Wheels.”
During this time, Lennon started to further explore his lifelong fascination with sailing. Lennon immersed himself in the culture of sailing, learning the ropes and even acquiring a small boat for himself. After consulting with Takashi Yoshikawa, then the leading authority on Ki, Lennon was told to sail to the southeast to overcome the negative shadows casting over him.
After agonizing days at sea with twenty-foot thrashing waves, forceful winds and ultimately facing the threat of life or death, Lennon arrived in Bermuda a different man from the one who left Newport. From seasickness to being the captain at one point and the uncertainty of life, Lennon later cited the journey to Bermuda as a life altering and inspirational experience that was a major part of the catalyst for the end of his five year song writing block.
Arriving to Bermuda felt like an accomplishment, and spotting land was like seeing the gates finally open before him and leaving the journey behind them. The combination of the prospect of death with the sun and the sand inspired new music and lyrics that marked the revival of Lennon’s creative spirit. Lennon spent the following weeks with passion and enthusiasm as he wrote his final songs. Double Fantasy, his first recording in five years, was named after a flower he observed in Bermuda. He returned home not only with new songs but with a new vision and enthusiasm for life itself.
John Lennon’s legacy has been honored numerous times by musicians throughout the world, but the Double Fantasy Bermuda Tribute—the concert, statue, book and CD--is the first official celebration of his intimate connection to the famous island.