Friday, November 19, 2010


It has been a long time coming but at last John Lennon has a commemorative 'Blue Plaque' on a London building. It was fittingly unveiled by Yoko Ono in October on the first home that she and John shared as a couple; 34 Montague Square.

The actual wording on the plaques certainly doesn't tell the full story of this monumental landmark. The ground floor and basement of this lovely central London Georgian period building had its first rock'n'roll resident in the shape of Ringo Star. There's a great photo of Paul and Ringo taken outside on their way to collect their MBEs. When Ringo decided to move out to the country, Jimi Hendrix and manager, ex-Animals bassist, Chas Chandler moved in, with their respective ladies.

Jimi was reputedly not the ideal tenant, as we heard from Jeff Dexter, who spent many an evening with Jimi there, at our recent Hendrix Commemorative weekend. It was while living there that Jimi wrote 'The Wind Cries Mary'.

Anyway, Jimi's exit led to John's Liverpool-based mother-in-law moving in. But this was but for a brief interlude as John's split from first wife, Cynthia, meant that John now required a new place to stay himself. Montague Square thus became John and Yoko's first, and in fact last, home in London before upping sticks for NYC.

Behind these basic facts, however, there's a raft of stories, other players and rock history and legend. Paul worked at a studio in the basement, starting work on Eleanor Rigby; American author William Burroughs also recorded here; and the infamous photo of a naked John and Yoko, taken for the front of the Two Virgins album was shot here.

We'd like to think that all those who have signed our petition while on a tour over these past few years (and there were over 5000 of you from a total) of 52 countries worldwide) has contributed to this honour for John Lennon.

So that's two Blue Plaques now; John and Jimi. There are other commemorative plaques, of course, (see my next posting) but these are 'unofficial'. Who, or what, would you like to see commemorated from rock's heritage?

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