John Lennon unseen pictures to go on display to celebrate his 80th birthday

John Lennon fans are set for a treat this week when a Liverpool-based art gallery shows a series of previously unseen images of the late musician.

Taken on October 17, 1974, the black and white photographs of The Beatles star were snapped when he was at the Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Roadshow at the Beacon Theatre.

The images include Lennon changing the sign of West 74th street on Broadway to read "Sgt Pepper Way".

The snapshots, taken by freelance photographer Robert Deutsch, will go on display at The Beatles Story in Liverpool to mark what would have been the Imagine singer's 80th birthday on Friday, October 9.

A second image depicts Lennon, who was murdered outside his New York home, sitting at an organ in a dark velvet suit, with a hat and lapel badge featuring Elvis Presley.

The musician was just 40-years-old when he was fatally shot by Mark David Chapman outside his Manhattan apartment in December 1980.

The images have been kept for over 45 years at Mr Deutsch's home but he got in touch with The Beatles Story after visiting Liverpool while on a cruise and exploring the museum along with Beatles landmarks Strawberry Field and The Cavern Club.

Speaking about the images, Deutsch said: "I met a John a few times and he was always very charming and very easy to talk to, but I was very nervous because he was a Beatle and I was a big Beatles fan!

"He went up on the ladder and changed the street sign to Sgt Pepper Way and when that was over he went into the theatre and invited us all to come in with him."

The photographer added: "He was having a great time talking to us, then he sat down at the organ and started playing – I couldn't believe it, this is John Lennon, playing music for me!

"He was very nice, very friendly and very accessible."

Meanwhile, general manager at The Beatles Story, Mary Chadwick, said: "We're so pleased to be able to share these amazing photographs, which have remained hidden in Robert's home for so many years.

"Despite everything, 2020 is a significant milestone year for The Beatles Story – celebrating what would have been John's 80th birthday, along with a special exhibit to mark Ringo's 80th birthday and our 30th anniversary so it's important to honour these occasions appropriately and in the best way we can."

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