Secret Lennon Songs?
Never publicized, Lennon befriended Bierman during 1972 when he was a member of the "David Peel and The Lower East Band," a music group which Lennon and wife Yoko Ono produced, releasing an offbeat album under the Apple Records label.
By mutual consent, the friendship was kept private. Bierman enjoyed a comradeship which involved "hanging out, showing John around New York City, playing and writing songs together - just having fun." He continued, "I was sort of John's protégé. He loved that my interest was in learning from him, and not the typical thing... to be seen with him... he despised that," Bierman said.
The two wrote several tunes reminiscent of early Lennon solo years and some that sound as if they could have been recorded as Beatle's songs, but never were. Anytime Bierman had shared his relationship with Lennon, dating back to his high school senior year, college years and after, he experienced ridicule and disbelief. He decided to remain silent and enjoy the moment, however long it would last.
And, it would last only until his friend was brutally murdered outside his residence in New York City on December 8, 1980, twenty-five years ago.
Before then, the friendship became difficult when Bierman moved to Northern California in 1976 to work as a stage sound engineer for the likes of the founders of The Jefferson Airplane - a band called Hot Tuna; The Grateful Dead and its members; and other San Francisco Bay Area based bands. However, Bierman met with Lennon in New York during frequent visits, or spoke on the phone.
"There's so much to tell, but the music we shared speaks more than I could possibly say," said Bierman. Depending on interest, he plans to eventually release and perform some of the songs he and Lennon penned together. He said, "If people are curious to hear what I did with John, I'll certainly find a way to share that." Bierman has learned first-hand knowledge from Lennon, his craft of songwriting, musicianship and recording.
The website with Bierman's untold story, background information and song samples are located at www.newlennon.com. "I am happy to have finally found the courage to tell my story and share what I did with John, and I am very pleased with the encouragement and kind words I have received. I was in a very difficult position all these years. I just hope everyone will understand my sincerity and my respect for my friend and his family."
Previously appearing in an isolated 1991 Billboard Magazine article, where Bierman shared recordings and photos with the reporter, he subsequently decided to hold off pursuing his story until being certain not to infringe on anyone's rights. Documentation of these events also appeared in two Beatles books, "The Beatles: The Ultimate Recording Guide" and "The Beatles Diary: Volume 2: After The Breakup 1970-2000," released in 1992 and 1999, respectively.
In 2001, he informed Yoko Ono of what occurred between him and Lennon, and visited with her attorney in New York at her request. Ono subsequently decided not to pursue the matter further. Four years later, Bierman ultimately decided to step forward and tell his story. "I am not exploiting anything, nor am I attempting to profit at John's or anyone else's expense. I think it is appropriate to tell his fans our story and share the music we did together."
Bierman, also known as Jon Brulen, resides in Los Angeles, and is exploring options on how to share the music and experiences he had with John Lennon. Concurrently, he has also launched a petition to get John Lennon on a U.S. postage stamp at www.johnlennonstamp.org.