"John Lennon: The New York City Years"

A new exhibit, created by Yoko Ono, examines the life of one of NYC's most famous transplants. Rock Annex vice president of exhibitions and "Lennon" curator Jim Henke explains the history behind three of the artifacts on view.

“Photographer Bob Gruen documented much of John’s life in New York City. In 1972, he gave John a New York City T-shirt. The following year, he was doing a photo session with John, and was trying to capture him with the New York skyline behind him. John ran downstairs to his apartment and put on the T-shirt. Bob said, 'John wasn’t posing as a New Yorker—he was a New Yorker.’”

“When John’s temporary visa expired in 1972, the Nixon administration sought to have him deported, and a four-year battle ensued. Nixon didn’t like John’s political views, particularly his stance against the Vietnam War. Many people, including Dick Clark, Joan Baez and former New York City Mayor John Lindsay, wrote letters supporting John. Finally, in 1976, John won the right to remain in the United States.”

“John truly loved being in New York. He said, 'If I’d lived in Roman times, I’d have lived in Rome. Today, America is the Roman empire, and New York is Rome itself. New York is the center of the earth.’ The song appeared on the 1972 album Some Time in New York City, and it showed how much John appreciated his adopted hometown.”

GO THERE NOW! “John Lennon: The New York City Years”: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex NYC, 76 Mercer St between Broome and Spring Sts (866-976-2569, rockannex.com). Mon--Thu, Sun 11am--10pm; Fri, Sat 11am--midnight. $24.50, seniors and military personnel $22.50, students $19.50, children 4--12 $16.50, children under 4 free. Tue 12--fall 2009

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