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In 1989, John Lennon's jukebox surfaced in an auction of Beatles memorabilia at Christie's, and was sold for £2,500 ($4,907) to Bristol-based music promoter John Midwinter. Lennon had apparently bought the jukebox – specifically a Swiss KB Discomatic – in 1965, and filled it with forty singles to take with him on tour. Midwinter spent several years restoring the box and researching the discs catalogued in Lennon's spidery handwriting. When Midwinter developed cancer, and his health began to deteriorate, his desire to see the player featured in some kind of documentary became all the more important.
The story finally reached its wider public in 2004, when The South Bank Show broadcast a documentary on the jukebox in which many of the represented artists, along with Sting, were asked to comment. Developed by Steve Jansen for the UK television production company Initial, headed by Malcolm Gerrie, the project took longer than was hoped to get picked up. This fact was rendered all the more poignant in that the show was commissioned mere days after Midwinter died. A compilation album was also released, containing thirty-four of the singles' A-sides and seven of their B-sides
A fresh take on one of the 20th century's greatest songwriting talents -- John Lennon. An in-depth performance documentary that celebrates the songwriter's craft, this fascinating program traces the influences on one of music's most inspirational figures by revealing the secrets of his private record collection. Stacked with the tracks that inspired Lennon to tune up, turn on, and rock out, JOHN LENNON'S JUKEBOX explores the impact of those songs on his life and the times in which he lived, and evokes the spirit that propelled a rock and roll delinquent to become an icon. Authorized by Yoko Ono and featuring commentary by Sting, this unique documentary puts a delicious new spin on a classic tale, re-creating the sound of a revolution in the making. Among the featured songs are Otis Redding's version of "My Girl," Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour," Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me," the Lovin' Spoonful's "Daydream/Do You Believe in Magic," and hits by a wealth of other '60s music icons.