R&B Great Bettye LaVette To Perform John Lennon Classics;
Rock Photographer Bob Gruen, “Double Fantasy” Producer Jack Douglas and
Legendary Radio DJ Dennis Elsas To Reminisce In Unique Tribute to the “New York Beatle”
Theatre Within, the grassroots non-profit behind the Annual John Lennon Tribute in New York City, announced that it will present Remembering John Lennon: An Evening of Music & Memories With Those Who Knew & Worked With John on Thursday, September 12 at City Winery. Tickets are available online at LennonTribute.org, by phone at 212-608-0555 (ext 713) and at the City Winery Box Office, 155 Varick Street, NYC.
The event will be headlined by R&B great Bettye LaVette, now making waves singing and appearing in the opening of AMC’s new series Low Winter Sun. LaVette will perform some of her favorite John Lennon classics chosen for this special occasion. The unique event offers music-lovers the opportunity to hear personal reminisces of Lennon from the people who knew him best during his New York City years, along with the chance to experience rare photos, interview clips and studio recordings. The event is being hosted by creator of the Annual John Lennon Tribute (and Senior Editor of MAD Magazine) Joe Raiola. His guests are:
- Bob Gruen – Renowned rock photographer author and friend of John Lennon’s who took the most iconic photos of him, including the famous “New York City T-shirt” shot.
- Jack Douglas –Producer of the Grammy Award-winning Double Fantasy;
- Dennis Elsas – Legendary radio personality who’s on-air interview with John Lennon in 1974 remains one of the most engaging and revealing interviews he ever gave.
Proceeds will benefit “Friends of the Annual John Lennon Tribute,” a newly launched fundraising initiative seeking to contributions to cover the production expenses of this year’s Tribute. As the Tribute has grown from a small neighborhood gathering to a full scale professional production with top artists, including Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne and Judy Collins, Theatre Within has kept the event afloat by borrowing money to cover rising production costs.
It’s beautiful that Theatre Within continues to honor John’s memory and have such a powerful and positive impact with its annual Tribute to him,” says Yoko Ono.
“The fact that the Tribute has lasted over 30 years without any consistent funding or large donor base is a miracle,” says Theatre Within President, Irina Vekselman. “It’s a testament to both New York’s love of John and our commitment to celebrating him. But to keep it going we need meaningful financial support.”
To get the “Friends of the Tribute” campaign started, Theatre Within enlisted the support of Capitol Records, Warner Home Video, the aforementioned Bob Gruen, Bag One Arts (exclusive dealers of Lennon’s artwork) and Yoko Ono, each of whom have provided enticing thank you gifts for contributors ranging from Double Fantasy CDs signed by Yoko to limited edition John Lennon artwork.
In the last decade the Annual John Lennon Tribute has raised money to feed the hungry, build music schools in the Third World, fund education programs for homeless children and, most recently, support Hurricane Sandy relief.
This year’s Tribute will return to Symphony Space on Friday, December 6 and performers will be announced in September. Proceeds will be shared with Spirit Foundations, which was founded by John and Yoko in 1978 as a vehicle for supporting charities around the world that address problems of the aged, abused women, schools in underprivileged areas, victims of September 11 and natural disaster, AIDS, daycare programs and music scholarships.