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American Masters: LENNONYC

Airs Monday, November 22, 2010 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: John Lennon on rooftop in New York City, August, 29 1974.

Remembering Lennon

PBS is asking viewers nationwide to record and upload memories of John Lennon and his music to become part of “Remembering Lennon,” a new online video exhibition tied to “LENNONYC.” Starting November 18, 2010, PBS will accept user-generated videos through its PBS Arts website.

In October 2010, John Lennon would have been 70-years old. In December 2010, he will have been dead for 30 years. Yet, his art still haunts us. It still matters deeply and it is still deeply relevant. It still speaks to millions of people.

This film establishes Lennon as an American artist. It is, essentially, a classic immigrant tale. Lennon and Ono left London in 1971 in search of freedom, both artistic and personal. We hear Lennon's song "New York City" and follow into their life -- their commitment to peace and political activism, their struggles to remain in America and, of course, the greatest music from that period and the concert footage from Lennon's first two albums, "Plastic Ono Band" and "Imagine."

With unprecedented and exclusive cooperation from Yoko Ono, access to never-before-seen material from the Lennon archives and conversations with those closest to him -- Ono, Elton John, the photographer Bob Gruen, Ringo Starr -- AMERICAN MASTERS tells John Lennon's story as it has never been told before -- and as it will never be told again.

Video

Preview: American Masters: LENNONYC

Above: Watch a clip from "American Masters: LENNONYC," a new film that takes an intimate look at the time Lennon, Yoko Ono and their son, Sean, spent living in New York City during the 1970s. The film premieres nationally Monday, November 22, 2010 on PBS (check local listings). In this clip see archival performance footage and interviews with the musicians and recording engineers who worked with Lennon - Jim Keltner, Jack Douglas, Roy Cicala, Andrew Newmark, Klaus Voorman, and Earl Slick - all discussing John Lennon's particular genius.

Video

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in the Village

Above: "American Masters: LENNONYC," coming to PBS November 22, 2010 (check local listings). In this clip, rarely seen archival footage by filmmaker Jonas Mekas captures John Lennon and Yoko Ono's early years in Greenwich Village - surrounded by New York City staples such as Andy Warhol and Allen Ginsberg.

Video

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Central Park

Above: "American Masters: LENNONYC," coming to PBS November 22, 2010 (check local listings). Watch archival footage from 1980 of John and Yoko walking in Central Park. Hear John talk about the personal freedom he has found living New York City.