I loved the tour, which takes you around Liverpool to the Fab Four’s birthplaces, schools, finishing up near the famous Cavern Club. I was surprised at how many green spaces they have there, and how compact the city centre is. We also went past the street where they film Peaky Blinders (exciting). I knew I wanted to check out some of the museums afterwards so I headed towards the Tate then the Museum of Liverpool. I didn’t expect to find the Double Fantasy exhibition, which tells the moving story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their own words (it’s free but I would have gladly paid to see something of this quality).
|Me at Strawberry Fields, Liverpool|
As a recent Beatles fan, I’ve seen how often people trash Yoko for breaking up the biggest band ever. The exhibition made me realise that she was a groundbreaking artist (which is often ignored) way ahead of her time, and responsible for many of John’s lyrics when he went solo, but was never credited (I call blatant misogny and sexism – nobody wanted to see a woman in the recording studio with their heroes).
Very quickly I found myself moved by the sheer number of their personal objects, especially John’s comics that he made at school and moving love notes they wrote to each other. Song lyrics and quotes are scattered around the space, which is curated brilliantly (I loved the black and white colour scheme from the Double Fantasy album which made it extremely visually powerful). They even had the bed from the Bed-In For Peace they did in Montreal in 1969, protesting the Vietnam War (a film called Bed Peace was made documenting it).
|The bed from the Montreal Bed-In and John’s guitar sketches|
Other items on display include John and Yoko’s glasses, John Lennon’s Green Card from 1976, handwritten lyrics from songs like ‘Beautiful Boy, ‘ ‘Love’ and “Instant Karma’ and artwork by Yoko.
|John’s childhood comics/musings, inspiring slogans and John’s iconic NYC vest|
I challenge anyone not to get emotional at the section which addresses John’s death. There’s a memo from Yoko and Sean (their son) following his shooting to say that there will be a vigil to pray for his soul instead of a funeral, and to love and pray for the human race (just like John would have done). The sobering image of John’s glasses spattered with blood below the horrifying number of deaths due to gun violence since John’s death in 1980 made me cry, as well as the poise of his son Sean talking about the aftermath of his death in video footage.
|The classic peace slogan, ‘Love’ lyrics. Yoko’s memo and the shocking poster|
You can also see a variety of films that John and Yoko made, as well as music videos. Music lovers will enjoy the Music Room which overlooks the river, where you can see the couple’s album cover art and hear the music they made together.
|The moving message board for John|