Rare unseen photos of John Lennon in New York are set to be put on show by The Beatles Story to mark what would have been the Liverpool music legend’s 80th birthday.
The pictures were taken by New York-based photographer Robert Deutsch in 1974 and show Lennon at the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road theatre show.
In one photo, the 34-year-old is captured larking around and changing the sign for West 74th Street on Broadway to Sgt Pepper Way.
Another snap pictures him in more reflective mood, dressed in a hat and dark velvet suit and sporting an Elvis badge, while a third sees him sitting at an organ.
John Lennon was born in Liverpool on Wednesday, October 9 1940.
The images are going on show at the Royal Albert Dock attraction for three years from this week, and additional photos will be added to the exhibition titled Sgt Pepper Way.
Deutsch, who offered the loan of the photos to The Beatles Story after a visit to Liverpool, explains: “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.
Top: John Lennon in New York October 1974. Photo: Robert Deutsch
"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.
"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!”
The Beatles Story general manager Mary Chadwick says: “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.”
“As the world’s leading permanent exhibition dedicated to the lives and careers of the Fab Four from Liverpool, we’re delighted to be able to mark what would have been John’s birthday with a new display we’re sure our visitors will love.”