John Lennon in Florida

John Lennon died in New York City in 1980, but his spirit lives on through the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a non-profit 501(c)(3) mobile audio and HD video recording and production facility. Since 1998, the Bus has provided free hands-on programs to hundreds of high schools, colleges, Boys and Girls Clubs, music festivals, concerts, conventions and community organizations.

Working together with some of the biggest names in music, the Lennon Bus encourages students to play music, write songs, engineer recording sessions and produce video projects using the latest audio, video, and live sound equipment.The interior is divided into three separate studio environments that can be opened to create one large studio. The front studio is a cutting-edge audio and video production room. The rear studio offers pro-level recording and mixing at the highest possible resolution, as well as an “iso” booth for acoustic recordings, and a chromate (green screen) booth. Powered by Apple computers, the studios feature traditional musical instruments and the latest Sony HD products and solutions. Also on-board is a Mackie P.A. system enabling performances on the side of the Bus.

The Lennon Bus is committed to providing students with increased access to music, audio, video, and broadcast technologies. The program works together with local partners to create free events for middle, high school, and college age students to tour the bus, and participate in the production of music, video and digital photography projects reflective of their ideas and concerns, regardless of their levels of expertise.

John Lennon Educational Tour Bus website: http://www.lennonbus.org

John Lennon in Florida

John Lennon had some interesting connections to Florida.

The Beatles formally ended in Orlando, Florida in 1974

(As told by May Pang)

“At the end of 1974, after three years of court battles and acrimony, the final dissolution of The Beatles was about to happen. The meeting was scheduled for December 19 at New York’s Plaza Hotel – ironically, this was the first place the group stayed in America in 1964. George Harrison was in New York on his Dark Horse tour. Paul and Linda McCartney came in, and of course John and I were already in the city. Only Ringo was missing, but he had signed the documents in England. Julian was with us for the Christmas holiday and all was calm, all was bright. John was even planning to join George on stage during his concert at Madison Square Garden. Gathered around a huge table were: George, his lawyer and business manager; the McCartney’s, with Paul’s in-laws and lawyers; Ringo’s lawyer and business manager; Neil Aspinall, of Apple, with two sets of company lawyers (one for America and one for Britain); and John’s lawyer Harold Seider and his team. Harold told me that after a while, George said out loud what everyone was thinking: “Where’s John?” “Good question,” replied Harold. Harold left the room to call John, who wouldn’t come to the phone. I was with John and it was up to me to tell Harold he had decided not to attend the meeting.

Although John was concerned with shouldering a major tax burden because he lived in the United States, I could sense there was a bit more on his mind. His official reason for not showing was ‘the stars aren’t right’. George, already in a dour mood because his tour was getting poor reviews, went ballistic. He started yelling at Harold, as did all the other lawyers in the room. Then George picked up the phone and called John. I answered and asked if he wanted John, but he barked, “No! Just tell him whatever his problem is, I started this tour on my own and I’ll end it on my own!” before slamming down the receiver. John was listening over my shoulder. George’s rage didn’t last long. Julian went to George’s concert the next day and returned home with a message saying: “All’s forgiven, George loves you and he wants you to come to his party tonight.” We did go to the party at the Hippopotamus Club, where George, John, and Paul all hugged.

John, Julian and I left New York the following day to spend Christmas in Florida. On December 29, 1974, the voluminous documents were brought down to John in Florida by one of Apple’s lawyers. “Take out your camera,” he joked to me. Then he called Harold to go over some final points. When John hung up the phone, he looked wistfully out the window. I could almost see him replaying the entire Beatles experience in his mind. He finally picked up his pen and, in the unlikely backdrop of the Polynesian Village Hotel at Disney World, ended the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in history by simply scrawling John Lennon at the bottom of the page.”

John Lennon in Palm Beach, Florida

During the last few years of his life, John Lennon, Yoko Ono and their son Sean spent winter vacation time in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, Florida. While there, Lennon consulted with the well-known metaphysicist and spiritual advisor Tamas Burger. Lennon and Burger were making plans to open a spiritual learning center together. In 1980, Lennon purchased the sprawling “El Solano” mansion (the former home of Harold Vanderbilt shown above), located on Ocean Blvd. in Palm Beach. Lennon was murdered outside his New York City apartment on December 8, 1980, ending plans for life in Palm Beach.

John Lennon’s Memorial, at His Palm Beach Home

By Ken Davidoff

“The day that I found out that John Lennon was shot, I decided to go to his home in Palm Beach, and leave some flowers at the gate. Not to my suprise there were hundreds of people gathered at the property, the groundskeeper realized that the crowd was getting out of hand. The street was packed, and the local police were giving out parking tickets left and right. We were all allowed to come onto the property, and were led to the pool area. People just stood around and cried, pretty soon the groundskeeper lead everyone in a prayer. He let everyone stay a little longer to gather their thoughts, and say their own prayer. Everyone left in a slow sad silent march out the front gate. I went back to leave flowers every year thereafter, untill Yoko sold the house. A light that shone brightly had left the planet.”

So what’s “Irish” about this article ?

In case you didn’t already know, John Lennon considered himself to be Irish, and had two Irish grandparents. He first discovered his Irish roots in a manuscript that his estranged father, Freddie Lennon, had written regarding the Lennon family’s Irish history. It was sent to John after Freddie died. John had been raised by his mother’s Welsh family, the Stanley’s, so he knew nothing about his Irish Lennon family until that time. In the manuscript, which was also published in a book, called “Daddy Come Home,” by Freddie Lennon’s second wife, Pauline, John discovered that his Irish Lennon ancestors had been very accomplished musicians.

In their day, they were popular Irish crooners, fiddlers and toe-tappers. He then enthusiastically embraced his Irish heritage, and from then on considered himself to be more “Irish” than English. He even bought an Irish island and named his son by Yoko Ono, “Sean”, the Irish spelling for “John”.

In 1974, John looked up the name “Lennon” in the book “Irish Families, Their Names, Arms and Origins” by E. MacLysaght, and found the name “(O)Lennon” and some uncomplimentary passages. He quoted one of those passages on his “Walls & Bridges” album cover: “No person of the name Lennon has distinguished himself in the political, military or cultural life of Ireland (or England for that matter),” which was followed with John’s handwritten response: “Oh Yeh?”  Since that faux pas, the book has been updated as follows: “John Lennon, an outstanding member of the Beatles group, assassinated in 1980, has become well known outside Ireland not only as a talented musician but also for his connection with the Peace Movement.”

If you would like to meet someone who knew John Lennon, spiritual advisor Tamas Burger still operates the “Rainbow Bridge” metaphysical book store, library and museum located at 7593 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, Florida.

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