Kickoff is tomorrow, but we were in the bowl mood weeks ago, designing posters and web banners to help connect the Rose Bowl with The GRAMMY Museum. We combined images of John Mayer and John Fogarty with headlines such as “Go from fight songs to favorite songs” to help promote the museum to fans in town for the 100th Rose Bowl game.
We have been doing work for the GRAMMY Museum since 2010. Our first project was launching the Girl Rock Nation website for Fender guitars at the museum. Since then, we designed a special guitar this fall for the museum’s fifth birthday. We’ve also created work for exhibits featuring Bob Marley, Roy Orbison, Hip Hop and, my personal favorite, John Lennon. When we were given the Lennon Songwriter project, we were told we would have to get all creative approved by Yoko Ono, but we would only have a “few minutes with Yoko.”
Now as a lifelong Beatles fan, this posed quite a quandary. A few minutes with Yoko, how do I use them properly?
Should I ask her how she feels about being blamed for the break-up? Should I ask her which Beatle smelled the best? Did Ringo get paid the same amount as the other three? Or should I just get right to the point and ask, “What crazy potion did you make John drink to make him think you had talent?” Yeah, I said it … in my head.
When I got to the museum that day to present the Lennon creative, it was a madhouse. Yoko was doing press interviews to promote the Lennon exhibit in one of the private conference rooms and we didn’t know when she would have time to look at the concepts. The nice people at the GRAMMY Museum were trying so hard to get me in front of her but were totally powerless. I assured them I’d be patient, and I went to a far corner of the second floor and found a bench and outlet in the wall to charge my phone. The second floor is filled with Lennon memorabilia. Original lyrics, guitars, costumes and photos surrounded me. Right above my head were the handwritten lyrics to “Beautiful Boy” with one of my fav Lennon lyrics: “Take my hand. Life is what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans.” I stared at those words, written in Lennon’s own scribble, and choked up.
Peace and love was what the Beatles were all about so when I meet Yoko, I should do it in the spirit of John. So with peace in my heart, I collected my things and went back down to the first floor. My GRAMMY friends ran to me and said, “Oh there you are. We want you to meet someone.”
This is it, the moment of truth. I needed to find my inner peace and embrace what John loved in Yoko. I can do it. I. Can. Do. It.
“Louie Moses, meet Joe Herbsman, Yoko’s attorney…” Yoko had left the building.