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Byron Shire
May 16, 2022

Aquarius Legends bring Lennon back to life

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Nimbin’s Al Basch will channel John Lennon for the inaugural Legends of Aquarius competition at MardiGrass. Photo supplied

John Lennon’s Imagine is just as relevant today, as it was when it was first recorded in 1971, according to Aquarius Legends entrant Al Basch.

Mr Basch, a long-standing local, will be channeling the former Beatle in this year’s inaugural Aquarius Legends competition, which will feature tribute artists celebrating counterculture icons who provided the soundtrack of the changing times, culminating in Australia in 1973 in Nimbin with the legendary Aquarius Festival, ten days of peace, love and music, which has radically changed the face of Nimbin forever.

Mr Basch said John Lennon led the way with inspirational messages back in the sixties and seventies, painting word pictures with relatively simple songs, protesting against power, bigotry and greed.

‘Imagine is a classic, along with the anthemesque Give Peace a Chance. they have stood the test of time, and with the cold war warming up again, they still relate and reverberate as much today,’ he said.

Al Basch is a former professional musician who has played and recorded with many renown artists, including Dobie ‘drift-away’ Gray and Phil Jones of Quintessence fame. Al is a current member of lismore’s Cry Wolf Choir and plays in the Lismore Orkestra.

Besides John Lennon, the Aquarius Legends competition will also feature other key icons such as Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa and Neil Young.

Aquarius Legends organiser Billy Cliff said he wants more contestants.

‘This is our first year staging the event, but we hope to grow it organically and exponentially, especially in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of Aquarius in 2023, so more the entrants the merrier, but I’m concerned that we still don’t have any female legends represented yet, so come on girls dress up and show us your Janis Joplins, Jodie Mitchells and Carol Kings.’

Prospective entrants can email [email protected] or visit http://nimbinmardigrass.com/participate or simply turn up and register before the rally on Sunday, May 6.

Heats for the Aquarius Legends competition will be held in the Hemp Bar from 1pm on the day.

Three finalists will be selected to battle it out on the Mardigrass main stage at 4pm with celebrity judge, Senator Derryn Hinch adjudicating.

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  1. Love the idea of the legends competition. Just wish / hope it might also come to a stage away from the mardigrass. Yes it’s a good fun festival but when someone you love was in and out of rehab for years as their all consuming love was dope, it takes the shine off festival message that’s it’s all good fun harmless. It would all be improved by hey .. sometimes some people might get addicted so stop and get help…. and as an aside …if you smoke any combustible material you could end up with emphysema. So yes legalise the stuff but don’t push it like a tobacco company. Michael Balderstone, if you added a bit of balance to your message, you too could be a legend.


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