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john lennon sunglasses 1966

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1966. The Beatles rule the world and John Lennon's uncompromising personality and powerful identity has climbed to its feet - increasingly at odds with the band and the world at large. 12 months of creativity and conflict, fear and fame, armed security, death threats, Revolver, Yoko, a papal ban and a new label in the Far East and the US; public-enemy-number1. ‘Bigger than Jesus’ is Lennon’s notorious lyric and becomes the soundtrack for the madness of that year.

Tokyo. Late June/early July, in the eye of the storm holed-up in the Hilton with cigarettes for company, fancy guitars sprawled across beds and guns keeping the masses at bay, Lennon strikes up a friendship with his translator, Junishi Yore - a guy who finds himself imprisoned with Lennon and the band for the duration of the high security tour Budokan centred Tour.

By the time the Beatles depart Tokyo, John and Junishi have gotten close, they exchange gifts, with John bequeathing Junishi his trademark circular sunglasses, immortalised by Bob Whitaker’s portraits and the blaze of media…but then, perhaps Lennon has seen the future.

December 1980. John Lennon is shot four times by Mark Chapman. A devastated Junishi, honouring Japanese tradition, pushes the dark lenses out of the frames with his thumbs so that, in death, Lennon can see. A powerful lament, an incredible treasure; Lennon’s life and death radiate from these sunglasses.

A hand written note validates the provenance of these legendary spectacles:
'sunglass no lense, given to my self Producer Nippon T.V. Network, at time translator for Beatles At Tokyo Hilton John Lennon wore same glasses at Budokan for shows had silver glass too he gave me this I gave copper cups to him very nice man lenses removed whe he die (black) as I/we feel he see us after death in Japan Regards Junishi Yore Producer NTV Tokyo Japan Nippon Television 1984'





March 4th BIGGER THAN JESUS
An off the cuff remark to a friends question appears in London's Evening Standard and sparks a controversey that would shroud the whole year.

An interview in London's Evening Standard entitled How Does a Beatle Live? quoted Lennon as saying: "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that. I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity.".....

April 6th RECORDINGS FOR REVOLVER STARTED AT ABBEY ROAD
The bands 7th LP would be released to universal acclaim - selling millions of copies worldwide - the band are now a global phenomena.

May 26 1966 HIGH?
John & Bob Dylan, filmed, apparently under the influence ...

June 14th -BEATLES BUTCHERED
A day before its official release Alan W. Livingston, President of Capitol Records (USA), decides to pull the "butcher cover" Yesterday & Today album which depicted the Beatles dressed up in white smocks with red raw meat and decapitated heads from baby dolls & replace it with a more conventional picture. The backlash appears to have started.

June 30 -July 2 IMPRISONED, TOKYO
The Beatles arrive into a Far Eastern frenzy as the decision to allow them to play 5 concerts at the sacred site at Budokan caused offense. This leads to the four being holed up in the Capitol Hotel in Tokyo for three days as virtual prisoners with only their translator and famous photographer and personal friend Bob Whitaker for company.

When departing Tokyo, John Lennon gave the glasses to their translator Japanese producer Junishie Yovie, who removed the lenses as per Japanese tradition when he heard of Lennon's tragic death.

July 3, 1966 STIFFED IN MANILA
Beatles perform infront of 50,000 fans at the Manila's National Football Stadium. Later, the President of Manila would feel "stiffed" by the Beatles for them not showing up at his children's party. News of the 'snub' causes the band to be kicked & punched as they leave Manila and Epstein is forced to give back all the royalties from the concert.

July 29 1966 USA HATES JOHN LENNON
Lennon's "We're more popular than Jesus" comment appears in the American teenage magazine, "Datebook". Within days of publication, anti-Beatle sentiment builds up and American disc jockeys in the southern States encourage God-fearing youths to destroy their Beatle records at bonfire rallies. A radio ban on Beatle records is picked up by other radio stations in the southern Bible belt and within a week thirty US radio stations have banned all Beatles records from airplay.

Aug 1966 - BANNED
South Africa ban The Beatles

August 8 1966 CONSPIRACY THEORY GATHERS PACE
The US version of Revolver is released omiting 3 Lennon compositions ("I’m Only Sleeping," "And Your Bird Can Sing," and "Dr. Robert") which appear on the UK version.

August 29 FINISHED
Beatles final U.S.A. performance held in San Francisco's "Candlestick Park". George Harrison quoted as saying: "it was ridiculous, and it felt dangerous because everybody was out of hand. Even the cops were out of line....we thought, 'Hey, we've got to pack this in".

September 1966 WAR
John Lennon flies to Spain to star in the movie "How I Won the War." John would play the part of Private Gripeweed. The film is directed by Richard Lester.

NOVEMBER 6 1966 LENNON MEETS YOKO
John Lennon visits the Indica Gallery in London where he meets Yoko Ono who is displaying her art. Many cite this fateful day as the beginning of the end of the Beatles.

December 8th 1980 - LENNON SHOT DEAD
John Lennon was killed by Mark Chapman outside his New York apartment building.