MARQUETTE - Dec. 8 will mark the 32nd anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon and a local event is planned for that date as a celebration of the musicial icon's life of creativity and his quest for peace.
John Lennon Night will take place from 7 to 11 p.m. Dec. 8 at Ore Dock Brewery in Marquette. A $5 donation is being requested at the door for UNICEF, an organization that works for children's rights, survival, development and protection.
"The main focus of the John Lennon Night event is live music performed by a variety of musicians," said David Stensaas, event organizer. "They will be playing music written by Lennon, The Beatles and original music inspired by Lennon and/or The Beatles."
Clockwise from top left: Some of the musicians taking part in the Lennon event are Jeff Krebs, Gregory Sandell, John Mallo, David Steinsaas , Jim Pennell and Michael Waite.
More than three decades after his passing, Lennon continues to influence musicians, Stensaas said.
"The impact that John Lennon still has on all of us is profound. So many of the songs John wrote are now iconic and part of the canon of classic rock and pop songs, and with the commercialization of music that has made music ubiquitous, you hear his songs almost anywhere you find music," Stensaas said.
"Many of those songs are deeply meaningful to people, and for many, his music has become a soundtrack for our lives," he said. "Lennon had a knack for writing songs that let you in on his experience, but in a way you can relate to your own life, and the songs can also take you to places you would never go otherwise.
JOHN LENNON NIGHT
Ore Dock Brewery
7 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8
$5 per person donation for UNICEF
Among those scheduled to perform:
Rusty and Jack Bowers
Mike and Eric Waite
The Plastic Yooper Band - Mark Hamari (vocals), David Stensaas (guitar), Greg Sandell (bass, keys), Brian Geschel (guitar/vocals)
Dave and Kelly
Greg Sandell and Tom Mackenzie
John Mallo and Co.
"His song 'Imagine' has been one of the more meaningful songs of the past three decades, becoming a mantra for people in many places where despair is thick in the air, including New York when Lennon was killed and after the terrorist attacks in 2001."
Mark Hamari will be performing at John Lennon Night as well and counts The Beatles as one of his musical influences.
"I was pretty young when the 'Ed Sullivan' thing happened, but I had six older siblings who brought home Beatles music," Hamari said. "I remember that orange and yellow Capitol (Records) logo. Even at a young age, the energy and vitality coming out of the speakers moved me. Watching them evolve from that to 'Let It Be' was amazing.
"Not only with The Beatles, but with John Lennon, the music is timeless. He did so much wonderful great music, but beyond that, he was about artistic and personal freedom. That resonates with every generation as they discover Lennon and The Beatles."
For musician Greg Sandell, the opportunity to take part in the event is a thrill.
"Dave called me about the idea, and the first thing that struck me was 'How come no one had thought of this before ... and how come that someone wasn't me?' Dave heard about me through a friend. The friend told Dave that he knew a guy who loved The Beatles and played a Hofner Beatle-bass; that someone was me. He was led to believe that I was a competent musician, and by the time we met and set up the opening act it was too late for him to get someone else!
"I play in a band with Brian Geschel who can play similar to George Harrison, so I asked him if he could join in. Brian is younger but knows, and appreciates, The Beatles and the history of music as much as anyone I know. When I heard Mark Hamari was joining in I had an even keener interest to participate because I enjoyed one of his old bands very much.
"I just heard ... that Jim from Jim and Ray is going to be playing on several songs, so that's a real cool thing. Those guys are great. Paul Neumann from the old Plaid Billy Goats will play some drums. John Mallo, a talented guy, will lead a cool band that night also. It will be great to see Andy Langlois do a song also."
While Hamari, Sandell and Stensaas had much more to say about the genius of Lennon and the immortality of his music, Stensaas summed up things this way:
"John Lennon Night is an opportunity for musicians to share their love of Lennon's music, while observers hear a variety of talented artists play their favorite music and maybe dance a few songs throughout the evening. Every musician is donating their time and energy, in the spirit of helping UNICEF help children that are suffering through no fault of their own.
"We can hopefully conjure up a bit of Lennon magic during the night and feel deep in our bones what is so special about the music of John Lennon."
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is rprusi@miningjournal. net.