John Waters

Entertainer John Waters joined me for a Coffee Break to chat about his live show “Lennon – Through A Glass Onion”.

How did you come up with the idea of “Lennon – Through A Glass Onion”?
It was through the memories of John Lennon and my love for his music that I decided to personalise a show about him by channelling him in a way that means I didn’t have to dress as him but could present his music to other people.

Tell us a bit about the show “Lennon – Through A Glass Onion”?
The show takes a journey inside John’s head and gets you closer to knowing what sort of man he was and that was my objective with it.


How did the name come about of the show because there are so many great John Lennon songs?
Glass Onion is the name of a Lennon song which featured on the “White Album” and it describes Lennon’s tongue in cheek retrospective of the Beatles era and I thought it made a nice analogy for remembering things but not entirely clearly – a little distorted… who knows what the glass onion is, it doesn’t matter.

Has Yoko Ono seen “Lennon – Through A Glass Onion” if so, what were her reactions?
Yoko Ono knows the show very well from dvd’s and scripts and cd recordings etc but it has some very confronting images of the death of Lennon and I wouldn’t invite her to attend to be honest as I think it would put her through the worst memory of her life. She knows what we do and how strong the images are of John Lennon and feels we are doing story in the right way and that is why she is supporting us.

How many songs are performed in “Lennon – Through A Glass Onion”?
31 songs either in full or in part.

Do you have a favourite song from “Lennon – Through A Glass Onion”?
Yes, Strawberry Fields Forever – it’s a definitive John Lennon song for me.

Glass01As you’ve grown older has your view of John Lennon changed?
I would say I’ve learnt a bit more about John Lennon through other people’s reactions and the reactions of people who knew him personally and who have seen the show in the UK and New York City especially – their stories and anecdotes have really increased my knowledge about the guy.

The show has evoked strong emotions from some audience members. What sort of reactions have you seen?
I have seen people in tears after a show, literally in tears, and feel deeply moved by the show.

At one stage you had a five piece band, why did you decided for this tour to have yourself and Stewart on stage?
The show started in this format with myself and Stewart. I believe it’s most intimate and most powerful in getting the message across in this stripped down performance.

You performed the show in London and New York. Can you tell me about this experience?
It’s always fantastic to reach a big audience in the two main theatre cities in the world so I think it’s been incredibly fortunate that we’ve been able to play both those cities and hopefully we can go back.

Can people come and met you after the show?
Yes, Stewart and I sign merchandise at the end of the show and talk to our audience.

Glass03Music is your first love, but Australians know you also as actor. Can you tell me about some of your roles?
Well I first started out on the Australian children’s series Play School some 20 years ago… I’ve also appeared in other TV series such as All Saints, Offspring and most recently the ABC TV series Rake.

Do you have any hobbies?
Not really, just work.

What is your favourite food?
Italian food.

Do you have a favourite movie?
No not really… I don’t really play the favourites games… there’s things I like and things I don’t like but nothing that stands out as a favourite in particular.

What is your idea of a good holiday?
One where I don’t lose anything.

What is the last album you listened to?
Actually it is an album I am on, it’s the Jon English double album called Paris – A Rock Odyssey and I am performing on this in Melbourne in mid-July so I am listening to it all over again. The album was originally released in 1990 and the show hasn’t properly been staged yet so we’re doing a show of four or five performances in Melbourne.


If you were stranded on a desert island, what items would you take with you?
My guitar.

Is there anything which you don’t you leave home without?
I’m a light traveller… I leave home with as little as possible.

What’s next for John Waters?
I am performing in The Paris concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre on July 13 – 15.

John Waters will be performing Lennon – Through A Glass Onion at Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts on 17 June.

Images kindly supplied by John Waters.


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