The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus


A fully-functioning, completely mobile music and video studio, the Lennon Bus criss-crosses the country to allow music students, youth groups and amateur musicians to get a high-tech, hands-on recording experience. The idea is to encourage interest in songwriting and production among enthusiasts who would otherwise not have the opportunity to explore their love of music. During Outside Lands, the bus also had a number of high-profile visitors, including members of Black Eyed Peas and Dave Matthews Band.

I was watching Cranky Geeks and John C. Dvorak explained the bus and I hesitantly checked it out. I’m hesitant because I’ve seen great philanthropy in music ideas go bust. I admire Yoko’s visual art but I haven’t agreed with her decisions about John’s legacy. I went to a magazine event years ago sponsoring one of his charities and it became Wyclef bitching and moaning onstage about The Man to an audience of the media people who helped put him there. I came away seeing the divide between us not the unity and that’s where they went off message.

I temped for one of the major sports organizaitons to plan their yearly championship game. Making copies of the meeting agendas, I got to see the talent lists. It made my soul cry to see the manufactured music being sold. The band chosen turned out to be some of my idols growing up. It’s interesting to see a band that help create the business around them. Just to poke, they have wildly stupid contract demands and it was fun to see the sword fight between their lawyers and my boss, the head of legal. My other boss is the head of international programming. She was elegant and brilliant and knew how to play the game. She chose the bands for the private parties and was wild about the new upcoming rapper Kanye West. I had dismissed him as ego pop and then saw Dave Chappele’s Block Party and loved his set. A buddy sent me his drop “Friday Morning, May 25th, 2007” and I loved it. It’s good to know there are good ears out there as well.

So the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. John C. Dvorak says you can go on and they’ll teach you how to make beats. The fun factor could go either way. If the vans are manned with serious music geeks who (like I) think The Beatles contributions are as important to the world as Mozart. I would love the opportunity to see a recording studio through the eyes of Sir George Martin but I can’t find any pr material that links him to this bus. (If you know otherwise please contact me.) I wonder why he hasn’t signed up for this project as his input would be most appreciated. The Ovation cable channel shows many of his documentaries and they are not to be missed.

Last year the bus was in the city in May and I hope to see it in my area to see what’s the deal. I think it would also be fun to invite the crew out for drinks at a cool bar and show them some NYC hospitality.

To be continued…

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