Friday, 9 December 2011

Liverpool Remembers John

Along with the many private acts of remembrance for John this week, Liverpool celebrated John’s life with two very special events.

Celebrating John's life at the vigil

At 7pm, fans from all over the world gathered at the ‘Peace & Harmony’ monument dedicated to John in its new location at Kings Dock outside of ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena by the River Mersey. They took part in a moving candlelit vigil and were led in song by local musicians.

The vigil marks just the second time that Liverpool has had a place for people to gather to celebrate the life of Lennon and his legacy of peace through his music. The ‘Peace & Harmony’ monument was unveiled in October 9th 2010 on the 70th anniversary of Lennon’s birth by his son Julian and first wife Cynthia to worldwide media acclaim.

Even the extreme weather conditions couldn't dampen the event, which later continued with an impromptu jam session at the Beatles Story Starbucks cafe nearby on the Albert Dock.

Jerry Goldman, MD of Beatles Story commented:
“No amount of adverse weather conditions could dampen the spirits of Lennon fans as they made the pilgrimage to Liverpool to celebrate John’s life. Like last year’s inaugural vigil this has been a fitting tribute to a son of the city. The atmosphere at the ‘Peace & Harmony’ monument has been incredible with people from all over the world gathering to pay their respects and contemplate John’s message of peace. Liverpool has once again done itself proud.”

Bob Prattey, chief executive of ACC Liverpool, said: “The people who braved the weather to gather at the monument on the piazza outside ACC Liverpool reiterated the importance of remembering such an important musical icon. Liverpool is proud of its rich heritage and, together with Paul McCartney performing at Echo Arena on December 20th, this is a time to remember the legacy that these individuals have brought to the city.”

(Thanks to The Beatles Story for this section of the review)

Afterwards, the celebration of John’s life continued in the Cavern. The Mersey Beatles, the Cavern’s resident Beatles tribute band dedicated their set to John, and then focused on his music throughout their three sets. As well as John’s songs from the Beatles, they treated the audience to some of his solo work, including ‘Love’, ‘Working Class Hero’ and ‘Stand By Me’.  

The Mersey Beatles' Mark Bloor pays
tribute to John

It seemed fitting that the show straddled the midnight hour. Although December 8 is the official date of John’s death, we in the UK woke up on December 9 to the shocking and tragic news. It was therefore poignant, but very right, that the first song after midnight was ‘In My Life’. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one in the Cavern with a lump in my throat.

The Mersey Beatles finished their three-hour set with two songs that perhaps best sum up John’s message and legacy – ‘Imagine’ and ‘All You Need is Love’. John wanted to make the world a better place, and although he is no longer with us in person, his message will never die: there’s nothing you can do that can’t be done, if you only imagine. 

A candle burned for John in
the Cavern

Reviews by The Beatles Story and Donna Jackson

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