Bermuda has long been a favored destination for creative types and celebrities. Case in point: in the summer of 1980 John Lennon set sail from the US to Bermuda in search of adventure and inspiration. The waters between Newport and Bermuda can be treacherous and it turned out to be a rather difficult and dangerous journey. Nevertheless, his visit to the island sparked his interest in writing music again, after a nearly five-year hiatus during which time he began raising his son, Sean. It was on this sailing trip that he started to compose what turned out to be his final album, Double Fantasy.
The album is inexorably linked with Bermuda, and was even named after an island flowera species of freesia that he came across in the Bermuda botanical gardens.
This year Bermuda is honoring Johnís memory with a series of events, kicking off with the unveiling of a John Lennon sculpture by local artist Graham Foster, and culminating in a tribute album and concert on September 21st. We had the honor of seeing the sculpture unveiled last week, along with the islands best and brightest (including the Premier, no less!) and itís really not hard to see why Lennon, and before him the likes of Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling and NoŽl Coward, were so inspired by Bermuda.
Pro tip: Rumor has it that you can actually hear the island's noisy tree frogs on early Double Fantasy demos recorded on the island.
The sculpture's artist, Graham Foster, and Bermuda's Premier, Paula Cox
The Lennon exhibit only ran through July 4th, but the sculpture will be on permanent display at the Masterworks Museum. You donít need to sail through stormy seas like Lennon did to get there, either: itís a two-hour flight from New York-JFK, close enough for a quick weekend jaunt. You do need a passport, as itís a British Overseas Territory, but you go through US Customs and Immigration on the Bermuda side so itís a real breeze when compared to US mainland airports.
Disclosure: We traveled to Bermuda for the Lennon unveiling as a guest of the Bermuda Department of Tourism, but all opinions and images are completely our own.
[Photos: Kai MacMahon for Jaunted]