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Last on

Mon 4 Nov 2013 23:00 BBC Radio 4

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 04 November 2013

Months before John Lennon's life was ended, he spent the summer of 1980 living in Bermuda. Lennon was an enthusiastic yachtsman and sailed through a gale to reach Bermuda where he took a rental at a beautiful waterside residence in Fairyland, one of the island's oldest neighbourhoods.

While there, he composed many songs and the imagery of Bermuda can be heard in a number of tracks on his final two albums. John McCarthy hears from those who met him and discovers how he got to grips with his creative energy once more.

We hear from Captain Hank Halsted and crewmember Tyler Coney about life on Megan Jaye, the boat which took Lennon to Bermuda, his demeanour and his sailing skills. We also hear from Donna Bennett who rented Lennon his Bermuda residence and visited the singer on a number of occasions to make sure all was well.

While on the island, John Lennon posed for a painting by New York artist Nancy Gosnell and she recalls what it was like having the ex-Beatle relaxed and ease before her canvas. The finished painting now sits above Lennon's piano in New York, enjoyed by Yoko Ono.

Last year a memorial to Lennon was unveiled at the Botanical Gardens. The centrepiece is a sculpture by Bermuda artist Graham Foster. He explains more about the thinking behind it and the Lennon Peace Concert, now an annual musical event in Bermuda.

Producer: John Sugar
A Sugar production for BBC Radio 4.


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