Yoko Ono celebrates Liverpool’s past, present and future in artwork for the ECHO

by Catherine Jones, Liverpool Echo, 17 Aug 2012.

LIVERPOOL’S status as a “world in one city” inspired the artwork created specially for today’s ECHO front page by Yoko Ono.

The image, signed “love Yoko” by John Lennon’s 79- year-old widow, features a shaft of light stretching up from the ground into the sky and the message “Imagine Peace” translated in 24 different languages.

It marks the 50th anniversary this weekend of The Beatles playing their first shows as their final line-up – John, Paul, George and Ringo – as well as celebrating the city today.

Yoko said: “The cover represents Liverpool now and in the future.

“The reason I was inspired to do Imagine Peace in different languages was when I came to the city last time I noticed so many people from different countries and it looked like they were feeling so comfortable in Liverpool. I thought that was beautiful.

“The whole world is getting very global and it is great that Liverpool is very much like that – not everywhere is.

“It also reminded me of a long time ago when Liverpool was a big port and there were so many people from different countries who emigrated there.”

Yoko was speaking from London where she and son Sean were both at the Olympics closing ceremony last weekend to see performers create Lennon’s face as youngsters from Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Choir and the city’s Signing Choir sang and signed his iconic hit, Imagine.

The New York-based artist, who collaborated on the section of the ceremony, said: “I thought it was fantastic. All the children were wearing their Imagine T-shirts and looked proud of being citizens of Liverpool and citizens of the world.

“They looked like children who represented global peace.” It is 50 years tomorrow since Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr performed for the first time on stage together, playing at Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight.

To mark the anniversary, the historic event will be recreated by the Cavern Club Beatles at Hulme Hall in a show starting at 7pm.

Yoko added: “On behalf of John and of Sean, who is half- English, I feel very proud of Liverpool because that was where they started and where John gave us a band called The Beatles.”