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October 5, 2022

Interview with John Waters: The John Lennon Songbook in Concert

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The John Lennon Songbook in Concert is back on tour starring John Waters, Stewart D’Arrietta and the fabulous Liverpool Band, bringing the newest instalment of their hugely successful interpretation of Lennon’s music.

Seven caught up with John Waters to ask him – of all the bands, why the Beatles? And of all the Beatles, why John Lennon?

‘The four Beatles were all brilliant in their own different ways,’ says Waters, ‘but I’ve found a lot to relate to in John Lennon, and the extra edginess in him as a person and as a writer. It’s a very personal connection.’

Waters says he knows the songs are as relevant to today’s youth as they were to the youth in the ’60s and ’70s because he has inside information. ‘I have experts to answer that question in the form of teenage children. They may like Harry Styles or Katy Perry, but they ALL love the pop music of the ’60s and ’70s.

‘We cover the full spectrum when it comes to the age group of people seeing the show. Unsurprisingly, Baby Boomers form the bulk of our audience, but we’re always glad to see how many younger people we bring in by playing this music.’

Waters has explored and honoured his relationship with Lennon’s music for 30 years with co-creator and musical director D’Arrietta in many incarnations. John Lennon was the voice of a generation, and for many more that followed. Imagine and so many other albums and songs remain poignant and relevant today.

The band has toured the world interpreting Lennon’s genius to great acclaim. The overwhelming response to recent performances of the new Songbook concept has led to a 20-date east coast tour. 

Waters says that The Songbook show is different from the dramatic show Lennon Through a Glass Onion. ‘In our new incarnation as John Waters and the Liverpool Band performing The John Lennon Songbook, I am not in any way impersonating Lennon. It’s a pleasure, actually, to switch to just performing these great songs as ourselves. We do it in our own way, and it gives us a more personal interaction with our audience, which is such a happy and direct vibe. 

‘It feels like we’re all finally getting together again. For two years the whole world has had to stop, and now that we have the chance to congregate and celebrate, we need something like this. I know I do. I hope the audience take away memories of a great night out seeing a band of really expert musicians enjoying playing and singing timeless, classic songs!’ 

The John Lennon Songbook in Concert is on Saturday at the Byron Theatre.

Visit: byroncentre.com.au for more information and tickets.


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