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  •  The EvO:R Street Journal

    The EvO:R Street Journal
    Editorial statement
    Dedicated to the culture, business and interests of the indie artist. EVJ delivers controversial points of view, hard-news commentary, Industry Insites, artistic prose and photography and welcomes responses (pro or con), feedback and topic suggestions from readers. If you would like to submit an opinionated article, inspired poem, photo or essay to EVJ, forward all copy to Editor ESJ and put To the Editor in the subject field.




    Re-meet The Beatles - Lesley and Lennon speak
    By Frank Cotolo

    Lesley Jane, an American songwriter and musician, lives in New York City and, as John Lennon knew, strange things happen "some time in New York City." What many people consider strange happened in New York City between Lesley and John. According to Lesley, for two decades the spirit of Mr. Lennon has been coming thorough Lesley on the living plane and their partnership in creating Beatles-like music continues to this day.

    The situation allowing this is called "channeling." It is a process whereby an individual claims to have been invaded by a spirit entity which speaks through him or her. In ancient history, the Oracles of the Dead in Greece channeled, calling upon the deceased to help improve the lives of their loved ones. In the "new age" the old procedure is practiced with a different twist. Instead of contacting departed loved ones, the entities contacted are usually guides, masters, aliens or Archangels.

    Followers and practitioners of channeling vary somewhat in their definitions of the practice, but for the most part hold some common beliefs. It is generally accepted that the channeler must be emotionally and intellectually prepared to receive and transmit any such communications. Channeling is not a widely accepted behavior, but according to a Gallup poll, belief in channeling has increased from 11% to 15% over the past decade.

    I spoke with the channeler and the channeled, Lesley Jane and John Lennon, respectively, individually, about their union and its purpose. Those conversations are on these pages exclusively. The reader may, however, want to first listen or download (free) music created by Lesley and John, at ampcast.com/beatlesex .


    Lesley Jane

    When did you first realize you were channeling John Lennon?

    My earliest indication of Lennon's presence was within the first year of his death. John was already trying to make contact with me but I was by no means receptive. It was not until 1985, while fronting a Beatles cover band, when I was "playing the part" of Lennon, that people who were witness to this began to notice a subtle change between me going into character and the character going into me. People around me became convinced, even before I was yet willing to believe it, that John's soul had somehow ended up either inside of me, or near to me, because it was obvious to anyone seeing it that Lennon was coming through me. It wasn't until I saw some video of John speaking through me that I faced it myself.

    And you faced it then?

    Between people's reactions and then myself seeing what it looked like on video, facing it became unavoidable. So John and I started writing songs together consciously. Even at that point I didn't completely embrace the idea. I believed it enough to go along with it and see what happens, and we did indeed begin writing together, which has gone on to this day.

    With each new song I believed it more. John had already been helping me with songs before I was aware of it. I can look back now and tell what he had a hand in, like "Born To Be A Dreamer," which was one of the earliest Lennon/Jane works, written with John already in my life, but before I had to admit that something was going on. The truth is I realize this a new and different way all the time. There are days when it really doesn't mean squat to me anyway. I was the last to admit John was here, but everyone else was the last to admit why he was here.

    And why is it?

    To John, it was always very simple; he was just picking up the guitar and trying to make new songs like he always did. I recognized and took seriously the concept that if John Lennon is still sticking around this realm, choosing to or not, that there was probably a damn good reason for this.

    What is the one, convincing element that allows you to believe that the voice of Lennon speaks through you?

    I have personally matched his "personality print" from all that I've learned about John while John was alive, with the John I've gotten to know over the years. As each human being has a distinct fingerprint, so does each being have a personality print. This phenomenon is easier to witness in the case of an artist, or in any case where a person's work done in life is available as a matter of public record. The way John speaks, the way he sings, the way he plays his instruments, the way he composes. There is within all of this the fiber of his essence, like grain in a piece of wood.

    Granted, one can quickly point out that this is subjective proof. You did ask what is the thing that makes me believe it though, and the answer to that is that I knew him well enough while he was here that I can recognize him now. I know it's him. Others know it as well. The ones most convinced that it is not John are invariably the ones most threatened by the idea, the ones who cannot bear the answer to the question "What if it really is John?"

    Do you feel, now that you can look back?

    When I was three, my dad left my nearly teenage mother, my little brother and me. The Beatles in general, and John Lennon in particular, became my father figure. So, in a very tangible way, I've been being prepared for this since childhood. Of course I didn't know this then. Because I always idolized John, looked up to him, wanted to follow in his footsteps, I got to know John real well before he ever came into my life.

    But by the time I was 20 I was trying to invent me, and enough about John already. So actually, it was a bit of a disappointment at first for me to pretty much get the idea that here he is. Because I had always wanted to be known for me, I'd wanted to top Lennon. This is before I had any clue I'd spend my life channeling him.

    Why do you feel Lennon is coming through you and not anyone else?

    I could not say for sure one way or another whether or not he ever has any interaction with anyone else. In fact, I'd say I doubt it is only me who can channel his presence; I'll bet quite a few people can. And I don't feel it's even a matter of choice, not John's or mine anyway, where he ends up. My understanding of all this has grown over the years. The very way my mind grasps this situation has evolved exponentially throughout this entire time span.

    When this began, I had a much more linear way of looking at the whole thing; John was earthbound, and for whatever reason he stuck with me and that's about as much as I thought of it. In retrospect, I feel that while John's existence may indeed be still largely earthbound, that John's personal experience may and probably does contain some degree of psychic interaction, though usually this sort of thing is almost never consciously recognized as an interaction, with many people who keep John in their hearts.

    But it has been difficult for you to handle, right?

    It took me calling upon the patience of God to handle this, and even then many times I wanted to run screaming. But what kept me at it was knowing that I was much more talented musically than the average bear, and that the odds were that if I did not help John, then someone with less talent than me would, or would feebly try, and I wouldn't have that. I'm old enough to remember how amazing John could be, and I insist to this day that he have the best chance possible to continue to do great work.

    Then you decided to devote your life to this union.

    I never had the green light from friends and family. This was an easier-to-ask-forgiveness -than-ask-for permission-thing. I decided that this was too important a calling to be dissuaded by a lesser agenda; I would do this or I would die trying. Essentially, I shut down from all other activity. Quit my job and hung up a gone-fishing sign. I did nothing else but follow John down the yellow-brick road.

    Had it not been for my wife supporting me for all this time, sometimes happily, sometimes reluctantly, sometimes completely admonishing me yet always still hanging in there with me, I'd be dead now. I'd have been dead back when it was still the 80s. I said, "Honey, I quit my job, I'm doing this now." A lesser woman would've either thrown me to the wolves or just abandoned me.

    What is the purpose for Lennon to channel through you?

    Who's purpose? Mine? God's? John's? Big question there. My purpose is because it's worth it. John's purpose is, as he says, "because this is what I do-I make music." God's? Go ask God, I can only speculate.

    You say 'calling.' What is the grand purpose of this as you and John see it?

    Twenty years or so ago at the very beginning of all this, I felt that there was going to be a real lack in music quality in the future and that it was imperative to the well -being of the planet that I kept following a course with John. I was old enough to remember the impact The Beatles had on the world way back when. I also watched the trend of music quality undergo some very unpredictable changes over the years-only I had predicted them; music was becoming increasingly crappy every year and that would be putting it kindly.

    So the simple answer is: Because the world needs great music. And for my day at the races: John's the element of rescue from it all. John's just getting better and better, to my assessment. The world is in sorry shape, it needs all the help it can get. And it just so happens that John Winston Lennon, founder of The Beatles and co-founder of Beatlesex, is, for lack of better terms, top gun. And while I'm not John, John has trained me and I'm a talent in my own right.

    He helped you believe you were talented?

    I didn't know that when we started and I certainly didn't have much to back it up. I know it now. John and I have a songwriting chemistry every bit as potent and inventive as that which he once enjoyed with Paul McCartney. This is John's own assessment of what we do: He used to joke about me, saying, "He's a better Paul than Paul is." But now John says that that even doesn't begin to convey what we have become. The purpose for Lennon to channel through me is because he died prematurely and I make it possible for him to continue working here.

    Is your Beatlesex music a collaboration of John and yourself, or are you doing John's post-life musical bidding?

    In the beginning, I very much thought of it as this is all about John and I'm not fit to tie his bootstraps. Over the years while we toiled at songwriting he had to train me a lot. But I scarcely noticed that John was also learning things from me, the more as time went on. John always encouraged my efforts to write songs, was always ready to help, as I was always there for him, so over the years, I became his equal.

    So at this point where we stand with Beatlesex flag I can indeed say yes, our Beatlesex music is very much a product of John and I. Because what we've tried to do all along with Beatlesex is try to tune in to "essence of Beatles" -which is what our name means-and "tune in" to the spiritual reality of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

    We of the physical realm often and easily forget that we are not just bodies but souls as well. So John and I try to tune into the very thing which brought The Beatles into existence in the first place. Their spiritual reality, which existed outside of time and space, before the physical components known as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr ever met and continues to exist long after they are all gone from this physical realm. So really, the fullest comprehension of Beatlesex is to say that it is John, Paul, George, Ringo and Lesley. You hear that, and you think we're crazy. Then you go listen to our 300 Beatlesex records and you think you yourself are crazy because you begin to understand exactly what we are talking about.

    What are the most difficult things about having the presence of a dead superstar with you at all times?

    All along, the single most difficult thing about John's relatively constant presence has been and continues to be the burden of knowing that it's all on my shoulders. Being responsible for seeing all this through. That's the most difficult thing, bar none. I always find it funny when people say "why you?" to me. I've been saying "Why me?" since this started. I've tried to get out of it. But I cannot in any good conscience. Another difficult thing is there are times where I stop and ask myself, "Am I crazy or what?" It's sometimes preferable to discount the unbelievable than stretch the brain a size big enough to get a grasp on it.

    Did anyone who knew Lennon alive ever become exposed to your channeling?

    Fred Seaman, a former Lennon personal assistant, "which means gofer" says John. Fred is the author of the book "The Last Days Of John Lennon." He was intrigued enough, after hearing a message John left on Fred's answering machine, to call us back and then to visit our home in New York City. Fred was receptive to the music we'd made. And there were references to Lennon activities, which took place while Fred was in John's employ. They talked and said, "You did this…" "You said that…" and it seemed incredible, even to John, that Fred would acknowledge him to such an extent. This went on for a couple of years. We also noted that the better our records got, the more real it became, the more it visibly made Fred uncomfortable.

    What happened?

    One day John asked Fred to go out on a limb and try and make contact with other people in John's life, such as his son Julian, and Paul, and Yoko, who liked Fred. And Fred completely backed away from that idea. He would have absolutely nothing to do with it. But it proved to us all the more that it isn't just us: Sometimes people do see it, people who knew him. What they do with it then is always the big question.
    So, you see, this is an impossible burden, And yet, an unparalleled adventure.

    And Beatlesex is being acknowledged, right?

    Beatlesex does have a following all around the world. Type Beatlesex into any search engine and there is all sorts of stuff about us that pops up, much of it in languages we don't speak. But we've got fans around the world, exactly because we put humanity over profit. Because everyone who downloads our music is in effect, spreading the word.

    And where are you in the journey of this adventure, then?

    The older I get the more tired I get. I am concerned about just how long I'm really going to be able to keep doing this. I'm 44 years old, quite a bit older than the pup I was when John and I began our working relationship. And this not paying my way yet. So I ask, is it worth it or have I wasted my life so far? Maybe I can say I know I haven't exactly wasted my life, because I can more than believe we have made a difference. A pebble will change the shape of the ocean, and as John puts it: We have dropped a big fat weighty rock on the dull thick head of complacency and done so smiling.

    I went a long, long way on hope and faith, but now I admit, I'm really getting worried. So it becomes a thing of facing that I may have to say to hell with the miracle. And not only do I not want to have to do that, but I worry about going to hell myself if I were to say it.

    Is John disappointed?

    It really has not gone down as John had said that it would. John really believed his old friends were going to come through for him. It's almost been hard for him to realize that it's different once you're dead. In this physical realm, we tend to like our dead to go on remaining that way.

    John was not ready for that little fact. To the point where he wonders what exactly was the purpose of his remaining on earth after his death, and of my teaming up with him. Like, not really questioning the sake of the thing itself, but what will become of this? This work we've done. Like if anything happens to my wife or myself, God forbid.

    Everything seems so stacked against us. You know the press, the media, are not receptive to this. They ignore us. They hold their breath and hope we drown; they don't even want to try and disprove us, probably because they realize they cannot. We don't know for sure what it means if our music dies, but we suspect it's not good. And if it is to die, then why'd we have to do it in the first place? I am tired of seeing Lennon's own friends turn away from him.

    John's best mate, Paul McCartney, turned his back on John. We have made plenty of official and formal contacts through various agencies controlled by Paul. By now John is convinced that Paul is aware of us and aware of Beatlesex, and simply intends to look the other way. It's not funny. It's horrendous. Paul ought to be ashamed.

    Is there an indication that you will ever again be alone?

    I really don't know. There are plenty of times when it doesn't seem that John is hovering nearby, so to speak, but instead could be anywhere. Specifically times when it's all getting to me and I need to forget for a little while and just try to feel like a regular person, not that I even remember what that feels like, but now and then I do need to focus on anything but John.

    Then, after a bit, I'll be saying "okay, let's get on with it" and John will say "all better now?" or some such quip, or else he'll know better and we'll just quietly resume. At this point, I really don't know how long this will continue. The nay-sayers have traceable reasons for wanting us to go away. But no matter how much resistance there can be, eventually the thing, if you keep doing it, grows in momentum to the point of where it cannot be held back.

    So the indication most resoundingly is that this all means something and actually is meant to be. And meant to keep going. Something bigger than either John or I engineered all this. Even an idiot like me can see that.

    Continued on this page


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