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John's book was also a play
28 October 2013
Funny Paper
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1982
Member Since:
1 November 2012

I just learned from a website that apparently actor Victor Spinetti (in the movie A Hard Day's Night, among many other things) co-wrote John Lennon's book of nutty fiction, In His Own Write -- and not only did Spinetti co-write it, he also wrote and produced a play based on it.

Now there's a capital idea for any directors, producers or agents flailing around wondering what new ideas to bring to the stage:  revive Spinetti's play based on John's book!


Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
29 October 2013

Forum Posts: 9774
Member Since:
1 May 2011

If memory remembers correctly John done some recording work for the play in EMI's studio's in '68, probably during the White Album sessions. He was certainly involved in getting it from page to play.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
29 October 2013
A Beginning
Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
29 October 2013

John wrote In His Own Write. What you are referring to is The John Lennon Play: In His Own Write which is a combination of John's first two books, which was co-adapted into a play by the late great Vincent Spinetti and Adrienne Kennedy. It played at London's Old Vic in 1968. A music critic from Toronto named John Sakamoto attended one of the performances. I remember reading his review which was pretty good. I had a copy of the book of the play but I sold it later on along with other Beatle books much to my regret.

29 October 2013
Canberra, ACT
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1684
Member Since:
29 August 2013

One of the extras on the Magical Mystery Tour bluray has them both talking about it.

29 October 2013
Inside a Letterbox
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2216
Member Since:
1 December 2009

dutyman said

A music critic from Toronto named John Sakamoto attended one of the performances. I remember reading his review which was pretty good.

Good grief, is this the same John Sakamoto who still writes a music column for the Toronto Star?! I had no idea he was that old!

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
30 October 2013
Ron Nasty
"Where have you been?" "I'm not telling you..."
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 3034
Member Since:
17 December 2012

The play was originally titled Act III, Scene I, though changed before it opened at the Old Vic Theatre on 18 June 1968.

It was written by John and Victor Spinetti in late 1967/early 1968.

On 6 June 1968, at the end of a Beatles session, John recorded 12 sound effects tapes – some of which went to Revolution 9, the majority to the play. It is certain that Spinetti was present for all or part of the creation of these tapes.

Of the 12 sound effects tapes, five were titled Various, while the remaining seven – which were probably the ones for the play – were titled Vicars Poems, Queen's Mess, 'Come Dancing' Combo, Organ Last Will Test, Neville Club, Theatre Outing and Applause/TV Jingle.

Before, during, or after the assembling of these tapes, John and Spinetti gave an interview to Peter Lewis for the BBC2 arts programme Release.

At that time in the UK, though coming close to ending, scripts for theatre productions had to be approved by the Lord Chamberlain. In His Own Write's script was censored, with several lines removed and others changed.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
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