Julian and Cynthia Lennon at press launch for White Feather: The Spirit of John Lennon

I’ve just returned from The Beatles Story’s White Feather: The Spirit of Lennon press launch at The Beatles Story Pier Head, where Julian Lennon gave the closest thing to an interview he’s provided in years.

Lennon and mother Cynthia were answering questions on the exhibition, created with mementoes and artefacts they’ve largely collected themselves over the years.

A such it’s an intriguing and invaluable insight into a man frequently described as ‘difficult’ and ‘infuriating’ – it’s hard not to come to the conclusion having read various accounts of John Lennon that these were not simply euphemism for ‘nasty piece of work’.

Of course, behind every nasty piece of work is often a rather vulnerable character, and the anecdotes and notes from the Lennons paint a portrait of John as man equally difficult and easy to love.

They go beyond what one might generally expect to see at an exhibition: beyond the Beatles memorabilia; beyond the obvious anecdotes; beyond myth and legend.

Sound & Vision: Francesco Mellina at the Conservation Centre

I was on the lig the other day at the Conservation Centre’s Sound & Vision exhibition of Francesco Mellina’s pictures of Liverpool during the birth of punk, new wave and new romanticism.

Francesco Mellina was Dead or Alive’s manager – a dubious honour, I’d’ve thought – and once asked a cricketer friend of mine to play bass for the band. Wisely, I think, he declined.

Mellina’s role in the scene at Eric’s and other bars with fantastically- ridiculous names between 1978–1982 was outlined by the always-entertaining Paul du Noyer.

The exhibition is a genuine visual record of the music scene at the time, with an impressively wide range of images – both in terms of their style and content.

The film grain that dates these kind of pictures lends a stylised filter to images like Mellina’s, as does the low-light high-contrast black and white tone.

Like the difference between vinyl and digital, they are technically inferior but have much more character.

Liverpool graffiti: DELTA FUCK OFF, THE PIES THE PIES…

A post on FACT’s blog reminded me of some graffiti I’ve been walking past around Jamaica Street, in what is euphemistically known as the waterfront business area: DELTA FUCK OFF.

I’ve noticed the graffiti a few times over the years and often wondered what it means. Was it aimed at the taxi firm? Did it indicate a taxi war? Was it part of some other sectarian stuff scrawled on other walls in the same area? Was it a Bad Wold-style meme? Or was it just some baffling gibberish designed to be ambiguous?

A little detective work indicates that indeed it is aimed at Delta Taxis, and was a reference to Delta allegedly undercutting other firms. DELTA SCAB CABS seems to confirm this.

So, like all things the reality is rather more mundane than my imagination may have suggested. Although I’d be pleased if there was a follow-up spray job to indicate how the story transpired. Nothing major, maybe 500 or so words.

Still, the sight of it reminded me of other famous Liverpool graffiti I’ve noticed over the years.