Saturday, December 2, 2017

The 5th Beatle?

The Fifth Beatle?

Uncanny Connections to Stuart Sutcliffe and the Beatles. 

Stuart met John Lennon at the Liverpool College of Art.
Stuart was very intelligent and talented as a painter.  John wished to be like him. There was a mutual attraction/love between the two young men.

John’s mother Julia, abandoned him for another man and family, and he was raised by his aunt Mimi and Uncle George starting at the age of nine.  He then lost his mother for good at age 15, when she was accidentally run over by a police car.  His father, Fred Lennon, had abandoned him at age four, and was a merchant seaman who opted for a life in Australia.

Stuart and John took a flat in Mayfair together, with another room-mate down the hall named Rod Murray.  They worked into all hours of the night and played—music.
John let Stuart join the group after he sold one of his paintings and could afford to purchase a bass guitar.  Stuart also owned an acoustic guitar. (The name, “Beatles” actually came from Stuart Sutcliffe, and later, the “mop-top” haircut as well.)

Stuart shared a cramped room with three other boys for a year, all close in age, in Berlin, Germany: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison.  (Drummer Pete Best stayed with a girlfriend at a different location.)

All were raised Irish Catholics; all born in Liverpool England.

Paul competed for John’s attention, and didn’t really want Stuart in John’s band, claiming his bass guitar playing was below par.  John quickly defended his friend saying—“He’s staying-- because he looks good.”   Paul wanted to be the star and was actually happy when Stuart “fell in love” with Astrid Kutcher, a German photographer and artist.  She was very beautiful and popular, and she and her mother gracefully took Stuart into their home and gave him their attic space as a studio to work in. He painted and then fainted.  

At the age of 20, Stuart collapsed and died of a brain hemorrhage in Berlin, in April 1962.  He never fulfilled his artistic potential because his life was suddenly cut short.  Most believed that he was bisexual, if you read between the lines of his personal letters.  Berlin was a sensual place where “anything goes.”  It is also a documented fact that John Lennon was bi-sexual, and the two young men were emotionally involved.

The Beatles first signed a contract was with Brian Epstein, who became their official manager.  It was he who found musical director, George Martin- who arranged music for all of the Beatles’ 12 albums, except for, “Let it Be.”)

My talent agent is with John Epstein, of Global Talent Agency, whom I have my first contract as a writer, although I am a painter by profession.

Interesting that the list of my first loves starts off with: 1980 John  Martin/ then George--/ then Brion -1982---only later did I meet Rod in 1986. 

Stuart died in Berlin in April, 1962.  I was born March 1962. My maternal grandparents were from Berlin. My Uncle George helped me start a new life in Los Angeles after I graduated High School in 1980, but I’m jumping ahead.

I bunked in a small room with three other boys for ten years--my brothers!  The Beatles broke up after ten years, in 1972, the same year my parents divorced. I was emotionally abandoned by my father, and then physically abandoned by my mother at age 15.   I bought my first 45 single, “Imagine,” by John Lennon, in 1975, along with Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations”.

     Looking for “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by Elton John, at age 15, I discovered the Beatle’s “Blue Album” compilation, which contained the original “Lucy in the Sky.”
I bought it and fell in love with the Beatles’ music right then and there and wanted to know everything I could about them.  I became obsessed!  I couldn’t believe how many songs they had written, and how many I grew to love and live with. My interest in the Beatle’s music has not wavered after forty years.  I listen to them all the time & know every lyric.  My small den/office is a paean to the Yellow Submarine theme.

    I have dozens of books, collectibles, all of their albums on vinyl and cds.  I’ve seen Paul McCartney twice in concert, both times at the Hollywood Bowl.  I have nearly all of each of their solo albums.  I love George Harrison, and always have championed John Lennon as a promoter of peace.  Julian Lennon and Ringo Starr were each delivered one of my art designs although I can’t confirm that.  I was interviewed on tape at the Griffith Park Observatory at George Harrison’s public memorial and Tree Dedication.  I have seen “The Fab Four” (awesome imitators!) five times at the Burbank Starlight Bowl.  I danced right in front of them and sang every song! WOW, I felt ecstatic!  
John Lennon Imitation “Last Concert” Show, twice. Los Angeles
LOVE (Beatle’s Cirque du Soliel) in Las Vegas-1988
RAIN - Hollywood Pantages Theater, 2013

John Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia, mother of Julian Lennon, eventually married an artist named Noel Charles.

My artist assistant, who I once considered a dear friend for 15 years, was named Noelle Charles.  She appears in my film, “The Raven,” as the Lost Lenore.  (Yes, I also have a friend named Julian, a former neighbor, who I still refer to as my brother.

Why so many coincidences/connections?  Could I be Stuart’s reincarnate?
Is he a Walk-In?  Why do I love the Beatles so much?

When I was about six years old, sleeping in the bunk-bed in Mayfair, I had a “Dream Experience” that still haunts me.  I dreamed that a man had come into my room and laid completely on top of me.  He stayed there and sunk into me.  I was scared to death, and didn’t move a muscle.  I thought if I pretended to be asleep, he would leave.  But he never left. The energy is still within me. At the time I didn’t understand that there wasn’t a ghost in the hallway.  After that, I used to always think there was a man lurking in the hallway at night near the stairway.  I have never mentioned this to anyone in our family.

As I write this, my body is pulsing with goosebumps, in the belief that it was indeed Stuart Sutcliffe’s spirit that somehow found that cramped room full of four boys in Mayfair, who were all Irish Catholics.  He was always singing about “Boston and Philadelphia, PA,” (“Sweet Little Sixteen”) so, perhaps he chose the one named John to merge his artistic spirit with to fulfill a desire to become a professional painter and work in Hollywood, and still be connected to the Beatles’ world.
  (Don’t forget I worked as a painter on the film spoof, “Repossessed.”)

One of the strangest coincidences is that my acoustic guitar (which I never learned to play very well) looks identical to the acoustic guitar that Stuart Sutcliffe once owned!  

You can rent “Stuart Sutcliffe the Lost Beatle.”   It is the documentary which helped me to recognize the many connections I have regarding John Lennon, The Beatles, and of course, artist Stuart Sutcliffe.  The Beatles have definitely influenced my art and I continue to create work that revolves around their core ideals of LOVE & PEACE.

Yesterday, June 16, 2016 another strange coincidence occurred.  My friend Rod and I visited Bob’s Big Boy in Toluca Lake.  I had recently read that there was a special booth that the Beatles sat in while visiting Burbank.  I casually asked the waiter which was the famous “Beatle Booth.”  He pointed to the back booth on the right, just a few feet from where we were sitting.  Just then a large party of eight arrived and sat in the Beatle booth.

Rod recognized one of the gentlemen whom he worked with for many years in the Motion Picture Editors Guild. I actually helped designed their 50th reunion Ballroom d├ęcor back in the 1980’s, so I knew the gentleman as well.  Rod told him that they were sitting in the Beatle’s booth.  They all smiled with polite recognition.

   After breakfast at Bob’s Big Boy, we headed out to the parking lot and to my surprise, parked next to my Equinox is a car with the license plate: 5THBTLE.
Again I was so surprised that a reference to Stuart Sutcliffe appeared in conjunction with my first experience of locating the famous Beatle Booth in Toluca Lake, California.
 I find these coincidences oddly intriguing, and am still deeply curious about my inspired fascination with the Fabs.  I can also mimic each of them vocally and have uncanny recordings to prove it.

Johnathon Gallagher   
 Listen to my  imitation of George's Sgt Pepper song
Imitating John on  version of Julia, renamed "Cynthia":