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Originally published Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 7:00 PM

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Yoko Ono happy with new John Lennon TV doc

"American Masters" airs a new two-hour documentary about John Lennon in New York, "LENNONYC," at 9 p.m. Monday. The documentary, which Lennon's widow Yoko Ono worked on and approves of, commemorates what would have been the ex-Beatle's 70th birthday.

McClatchy Newspapers



9 p.m. Monday on KCTS

Tonight in Prime Time

LOS ANGELES — Yoko Ono looks tired. The 77-year-old artist, musician and political activist has spent the majority of the day talking about the "American Masters" production "LENNONYC."

The documentary looks at her life in New York with John Lennon and their son, Sean, from 1971 until Lennon's murder in 1980.

She smiles, extends her hand and again takes up the labor of love she's dealt with for 30 years as the champion of her husband's life and work.

"I had so many things of my own I wanted to do this year. Then I remembered John would be 70, so I dropped the other things. I am concentrating on John because it's a very special year," says Ono.

"American Masters" creator Susan Lacy says the two-hour documentary, made in close association with Ono, establishes the Liverpool-born Lennon as a true American artist.

"He was, to be sure, a Beatle; as Lennon-McCartney, part of the greatest song writing team of our time. But for the last decade of his life, Lennon was an iconic solo artist, except for his collaborations with Yoko. It was New York City where most of his solo work originated. It was there, too, that he found peace and redemption, freedom to create a loving family ... and live a normal life."

Ono is happy with the final product and she's sure Lennon would have approved.

"It's very, very interesting, even for me. When I saw the rushes, I thought, 'OK, this is something that John would have approved and John would have wanted the world to see,' because it's the part of his life that he really loved. ... "

The film includes never-before heard studio recordings from the Lennon-Ono "Double Fantasy" sessions, outtakes of Lennon concerts and family home movies.

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