Happy Birthday to John
- Jonas Mekas |
- 1972 |
- 24 minutes |
- COLOR |
Rental Format(s): 16mm
October 9, 1972 an exhibition of John Lennon/Yoko Ono's art, designed by the Father of Fluxus movement, George Maciunas, opened at the Syracuse Museum of Art (curated by David Ross, presently director of the Whitney Museum). Same day an unusual group of John's and Yoko's friends, including Ringo, Allen Ginsberg and many others gathered to celebrate John's birthday. This film is a visual and audio record of that event.
We hear a series of improvised songs, sung by John, Ringo, Yoko Ono, and their friends,--not a clean studio recording, but as a birthday singing, free and happy. This is the only recording of that event.
There are other images that are included in the film that develops like a "music video": the John & Yoko party at Klein's /their agent/ June 12, 1971; August 1972 at the Madison Square Garden; the Central Park Vigil on the day John was shot; and some other rare footage that I have taken on different occasions of John and Yoko.
The soundtrack, besides the unique recording of the Birthday Party singing, contains John's comments on his own film-making, his "home movies" he did on 8mm. The most catchy song, sung in an improvised manner, in the film, is the Attica Blues. The drummer for the last part of the film is Dalius Naujolaitis.