Three decades ago this year, Mark David Chapman murdered John Lennon on the steps of Lennon’s apartment building, the Dakota, in New York City. It was a mere two months after the former Beatle turned 40 years old. Despite the fact that his life was brutally cut short, Lennon’s legacy remains as strong as ever.
To that end, longtime friends and musical collaborators Rex Fowler and Tom Dean have formed “Imagined: The John Lennon Song Project,” an album and concert tour that celebrates the life and work of the beloved musician. Fowler and Dean, with co-collaborator Alana MacDonald, will perform the songs from the album at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, at the Gracie Theatre at Husson University. Tickets are $25 for the general public; $5 for Husson students.
Fowler is in the band Aztec Two-Step, a popular folk-rock duo, and Dean and MacDonald are in the group Devonsquare, which still performs today. The pair met while playing the New England folk scene, and shared their love of the work of Lennon and the Beatles over the years.
As a gift to Lennon and his millions of fans, the pair re-imagined 14 of Lennon’s most beloved songs in a fully acoustic setting, ranging from clever medleys of songs such as “Come Together” and “I Am the Walrus,” to quiet versions of “Julia” and “Girl.” The album is a sensitively thought-out homage to one of the greatest songwriters of all time. It ends with an original song by Fowler titled “Johnny’s An Angel,” a sad but hopeful tribute to the man himself.
MacDonald, Dean’s bandmate in Devonsquare, provides backing during the live show on a variety of instruments, while Dean and Fowler play acoustic guitar. After their Bangor show, the trio will move on to the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath on Sept. 18, the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield on Sept. 19, and will come back to Maine on Nov. 27, with a performance at One Longfellow Square in Portland.
For information on “Imagined: The John Lennon Song Project,” visit www.johnlennonsongproject.com.