Liverpool keeps the dream alive. I went to see The Beatles Exhibition and John Lennon’s Memorial, mingling with Japanese tourists and ageing hippies. If you go to Cavern Walks, you get the feeling you’re in a Beatles theme park. Slightly more interesting is the Hard Days Night Hotel and The Beatles Shop where I bought tshirts and a Dinky Yellow Submarine.
The bust of John Lennon, Hard Days Night Hotel.
By the time Lennon had distilled the hippy dream with Imagine, the revolution wasn’t revolving much at all. It’s a powerful song, generating controversy through lyrics which ask us to think about a world without religion. A simple, potent suggestion which put the song on American radio’s ‘do not play’ list. ‘Above us only sky.’ There’s a stillness to that line which chilled righteous conservatives around the world, and it’s a clever man who can stop people in their tracks with a few words.
It’s easy to dismiss hippy ideals as quixotic, but something sinister felt compelled to rise up and burst the bubble. All that peace and love must have shaken a few ivory towers. It makes you think about People Power. Riots continue around the world. In Britain the media pretends it’s because teenagers don’t have enough sportswear, and we put up sickly ‘I Love Manchester’ posters so we won’t have to confront the Heat or Eat? conundrum. All over the planet it seems that people are just as restless now as they were then…
The John Lennon Memorial.
Freaky t shirt.
The centrepiece of the Beatles Jukebox, Hard Days Night Hotel.
I wonder. What would John have made of the Facebook Revolution?