Tag Archives: Yoko Ono

VIDEO: JOHN LENNON Box Of Vision Catalography book

Here is the video guide to the Catalography book in the JOHN LENNON Box Of Vision.

I tried something different this time. A silent movie, “Ken Burns” style using stills. I think it gives a good feel for whats inside the John Lennon Catalography book. I love the way this book came out– the cover is a “debossed” bed of lyrics, white on white. It has a really nice physical feel to it that is impossible to capture on video. Otherwise, you can see here the discography, historic record ads and other drawings, photos and handwritten documents. I think its a beautiful book that really reinforces the “time capsule theme.”



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JOHN LENNON Box Of Vision: the Catalography

Early in the process of putting together the John Lennon Box of Vision, I was given a tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex exhibit: “John Lennon the New York City Years.” The tour was given to me by Karla Merrifield, who among other things, oversees the John Lennon photo archives. Karla graciously offered me the unbelievable opportunity to include in the project anything I thought would work. Of course it was tempting to say, “okay, everything,” but that would have disorted the focus of what I was trying to do. There were a few things, however, that  i knew would be perfect: John’s handwritten lyrics to “Grow Old With Me,”  the song based on the Robert Browning poem that was one of the last songs John wrote. I knew that could be a good way to end the Catalography. The other was John’s handwritten “sound notes”– his direction for how the songs should sound– for “Double Fantasy” and “Milk and Honey.” At that point I did not have a clear theme for the Catalography, but I was starting to hone in on it.

It was while putting together the LP art book that I had the idea for the John Lennon Time Capsule.  (More on the specifics of why and how that came about later). So, when I turned next to the Catalography, I finally realized that it should reflect the “Time Capsule” concept.

It was at that stage that I called up Bruce Spizer, who had written the text for the Beatles Catalography, and I asked him if he would be interested in writing a new essay on John (he was). And I began to search out some old album advertisements for John’s, and John and Yoko’s, albums.

With the help of my art director, Eric Roinestad, we began to lay out the Catalography book. It begins with a full, beautiful print of the Iain Macmillan portrait of John that is also used in stylized way on the cover of the slipcase box. It ends with the “Grow Old With Me” handwritten lyrics, with an additional bonus: courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery of London I was able to use the “adapted” portraits of John and Yoko, based on original photos of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  In between, a trip through John, and John and Yoko’s catalog that I think gives the context for a long time fan to enjoy a new look (perhaps) at John’s catalog,  and for new fans to begin to explore and discover it. And, for fans in 2040, when the John Lennon Time capsule is unsealed, to be intrigued enough to want to learn more about this 20th century hero. Below are a few of the elements included (in miniature form i know– some close-ups soon). I look forward to hearing your reactions when you see the final book.


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“Double Exposure Fantasy”

Printing presses go through a lot of ink and a lot of paper. Huge amount of waste. Until they get the colors exactly right they have to print sheafs and sheafs of copies, and each time they run the printer it takes a number of sheets before the ink is spread just right. So each run begins with a large number of pages being printed that will need to be disposed (the “make ready sheets.”) To cut down on the waste, they use pages that have already been printed on (basically waste from earlier print runs). This leads to double printing on the same sheets. Which can lead to some random but interesting combinations of photos.  Here are a couple from the John Lennon Box of Vision print run….a real fan can quickly id the original images in how many seconds?



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JOHN LENNON Box Of Vision– “Catalography” cover

I love this photo. in the foreground is the “Catalography” (what we call the discography book– the word “disc” just doesn’t seem right anymore). The cover is a bed of (John Lennon) lyrics, “blind” debossed into the cover. So no ink. Its a great texture, and I love the way it looks.

When I think of how to crystalize the ideals that underly John’s music, in addition to “honesty” and the obvious “peace and love,” there is the concept of personal responsibility…”If YOU want it.” I wanted to tie that idea to the “Time Capsule” concept (more on that coming in days): that it is our responsibility to preserve the legacy of the artists who we love and respect for future generations. Otherwise their songs and recordings, to the extent they survive, wind up nothing more than meaningless jingles and elevator/background music.
Thats a common thread running through all of these Box of Vision releases, but a little more blatant (fittingly) in the case of the John Lennon BoV.

I thought blind embossing the lyric bed would be a good way of symbolizing how easy it is for those lyrics and ideals to fade away and be forgotten….

Of course, if you just like the way nice things feel, the texture should please you as well…

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Trouble posting, but a new Lennon BoV product pic..what do you think?

Having a little trouble posting from China….definitely cant post on Facebook or Youtube.
Have a bunch of good photos from the presses, but will have to wait until i can figure out how to get those past the Great FireWall.
In the meantime a new product shot…


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“Nowhere Boy”

On my flight to Hong Kong last night I was able to watch “Nowhere Boy”– the film about John’s childhood (up through meeting Paul and George, and the formative early days of The Beatles) which has not yet been released in the U.S.
I wasn’t expecting to like it (don”t know why, was just my instinct). My instinct was wrong.

It is really well made, and the casting is surprisingly great. The actor who plays John, though he really looks little like him, becomes him halfway through the film. It starts with a few camera angles where you begin to think, wow he looked like John there, and then somehow it just clicks. The actor who plays Paul, also gives a very believable performance, without going for cliche/ imitation. (George didn’t have enough screen time to really leave a strong enough impression).

I was impressed that it covers the many well known events of John’s early life (fresh in my mind after having read Jude Southerland Kessler’s Shoulda Been There not too long ago) without banging you over the head– instead of just a series of events sewn together, it uses them to tell the story effectively. Its a good film!

Its supposed to be released in the US on John’s birthday. A good way to celebrate (after you have have received your Box of Vision of course)….


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JOHN LENNON Box Of Vision– beginning to manufacture

Here are some new photos. I have the final prototype now and I am really happy with it. I head to China tonight and we start manufacturing on Monday. It will be a very limited edition, so i plan on being there for each one manufactured and numbered.
Will be posting from there….hoping to put out the Time Capsule announcement on Thursday…


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