Anthony Pomes was 3 years old when he first heard The
Beatles - his big brother's "The White Album." No, he didn't play it backward
and discover that Paul was dead. "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" went right
over his head. But the lullaby voice on "Julia," the memory-song John Lennon
recorded about his mother, entranced the toddler.
One morning five years later, as the third-grader awoke to get ready for
school, he noticed there was nothing but The Beatles on the radio. John Lennon
was dead. Later, Pomes' guitar teacher told him he'd heard the dreadful news
from Howard Cosell on "Monday Night Football."
Lennon died 26 years ago today, murdered in front of his home, The Dakota,
in Manhattan. To mark the date, Pomes and his Mostly Moptop band play a
memorial concert at Five Towns College, one of a handful of commemorations in
"I wanted to celebrate what he gave us," says Pomes, who by day is
marketing director for Square One Publishers in Garden City Park. A
self-proclaimed "Lennonologist," Pomes serves on the advisory counsel for Five
Towns' John Lennon Center for Music & Technology on the Dix Hills campus. The
center, brainchild of a Five Towns vice president, Martin Cohen, was dedicated
in 2005 by Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, who embraced Cohen's proposal for an
academic center focusing on Lennon's canon as a way to inspire student
Tonight's John Lennon Memorial Ceremony and Tribute Concert, at the Dix
Hills Center for the Performing Arts, begins at 7 with readings by former
Suffolk County poet laureate George Wallace and others, including Pomes.
The concert follows at 7:30, with a three-part theme representing, Pomes
says, the "three P's" of Lennon's mature career: "passion, his late Beatles
years; perspective, early solo releases like 'Instant Karma'; and peace, in his
re-emergence with the 'Double Fantasy' album just before his death."
Pomes is also working on an adaptation of Lennon's unproduced play with
music, "The Lennon Play: In His Own Write," to be produced at Five Towns in
"I think if he were alive today," Pomes says, "he might be known as much as
a writer as a rock star."
Unlike many Beatles fans, who blamed Ono, in part, for the breakup of the
Fab Four, Pomes credits her with re-energizing Lennon. "He was drifting away
from The Beatles anyway," he says. "But there was an outpouring of creativity
when she came into his life. Lennon plugged into his muse."
Joining Pomes tonight in the Mostly Moptop tribute (the band's name
reflects its habit of sneaking in Kinks or Stones covers, or one of its
original songs, amid The Beatles classics) are Paul Michael Barkan, John
Tabacco, Edward Franz and guest percussionist Don Larsen.
But don't expect to see any Beatlesque moptops, says Pomes, the band's
Lennon figure. "We're a sound-like rather than a look-like Beatles band."
"We All Shine On ... Celebrate John Lennon." A sing-along to his words and
music, 4 p.m. today, Strawberry Fields, Central Park, Manhattan. Meet at the
mosaic at 72nd Street and Central Park West (across the street from The Dakota,
where Lennon was shot on his way home); free.
John Lennon Memorial and Tribute Concert. 7 p.m. tonight poetry readings by
George Wallace and others, free; 7:30 p.m., a concert by Mostly Moptop, Dix
Hills Center for the Performing Arts, Five Towns College, Burrs Lane, Dix Hills,
$20; 631-656-2148, dixhillsperformingarts.org.
Circus Minds Lennon Tribute. The band Circus Minds plays a John Lennon
tribute, along with its own original songs, starting around 10 tonight at
Chesterfields, 330 New York Ave., Huntington. Cover, $5; 631-425-1457,
26th Annual Lennon Tribute. A celebration in theater, dance and music with
David Dorfman Dance, Wendy Osserman Dance, John Passafiume Dancers; singers
Garland Jeffreys, Michelle Shocked, Ben Taylor, Sonya Kitchell and Jan Owen;
and the folk group Aztec Two-Step.
7 p.m. Sunday, Ailey Citigroup Theater, 405 W. 55th St., Manhattan, $55;