From an earlier time...
Listen nowRip It Up, The Star Combo, Roy Young, vocal
From The Star Club, Hamburg

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By John Whelan,
Ottawa Beatles Site

The photos on this page are taken from the private collection of Allan Whyte*, a personal friend of mine. Allan, by the stroke of good luck, had a chance to be photographed while sitting on John Lennon's piano chair, tickling the ivory with his hands. And those photos (below) where you see Allan, were taken by none other than Roy Young!

How did all come about, you may well ask? Well, on Saturday, December 28, 1996, on a stormy Canadian winters day, the CN Tower's "Clubhouse" was showcasing Lennon's Steinway upright which once belonged in John and Yoko's Dakota apartment. The "Clubhouse" featured the Steinway in an effort to raise funds for the "Canadian Abuse Prevention Foundation" whereupon the event would be dubbed as the "Imagine Sweepstakes". The organizers felt in order to make the event a memorable one, they invited Roy Young whose historical association with Beatles dates back to the band's "live stage acts" at the Top Ten Club and Star-Club including his early studio work on Sheridan's "My Bonnie" album. Advertisements were issued in newspapers listing date of the event and invited people to simply answer a John Lennon trivia question on an entry ballot. If they provided the correct answer, then 10 lucky winners would have their chance at playing the piano and to win a souvenir t-shirt. The draw occurred on Friday, December 20th with the winners names published on Sunday, December 22. So, did my friend Allan play J.L.'s piano as result of entering the contest? Nope! He was luckier than that! You simply must understand that Canadian winters can sometimes play havoc on people's may have planned days or even weeks in advance to attend a special concert or gallery display but end up deciding to leave your car parked in your garage in fear that if you ventured out into the storm, the vehicle may end up getting stuck in the snow or hit by another car resulting from slippery road conditions. Thus, I'm afraid to say, not many patrons showed up for the event that day because of the storm, from what Allan told me. Only a few brave souls ventured out to the "Clubhouse" on that stormy day. With very few patrons in the "Clubhouse", it provided Allan an unique opportunity to work up a nice conversation with Roy Young who was there at the piano. Roy Young apparently discussed the early history of The Beatles and his personal involvement with the band and, after the discussion was over, Roy invited Allan up to play Lennon's Steinway piano. Allan told me personally that when he laid his hands on the keyboard, he claimed he could "feel the spirit of John Lennon!" Wow! I'm sure that Allan did feel the spirit of John Lennon! What an unique opportunity to experience that!

Visit Roy Young's personal web site at:
The site contains a Roy Young discography, some unique photos, and a write-up on Roy's musical career. -- J.W.

* The photos taken by Allan Whyte may not be electronically reproduced by any means in whole or in part without written permission by the owner and are exclusive property of the Ottawa Beatle Site, July 5, 2000. All rights reserved.