Seance for John Lennon
Imagine John Lennon spinning in his grave.
The ex-Beatle, who was murdered over 25 years ago, is the latest subject of a pay-per-view seance arranged by the producers of a 2003 attempt to contact the dead Princess Diana. That show made money but was slammed by critics as hitting a new low in television tastelessness.
"People say this is disgusting and I accept that criticism, but we're making a serious attempt to do something that many, many millions of people around the world think is possible," said Paul Sharratt, who heads Starcast Productions, which made "The Spirit of Diana." That show drew over half a million U.S. viewers willing to pay $14.95 to watch it.
The Lennon show will air on April 24 on a pay-per-view channel and cost $9.95.
Sharratt himself is a "non-believer," and admits to not being totally convinced otherwise after psychics attempted to contact the dead princess in the 2003 program. Nevertheless, it made for some great television, he said.
"I have to say that I'm a skeptic. I went into it very skeptically and I didn't come out a total believer, but it was good for a lot of people as a tribute to Diana," he said.
Sharratt said he chose Lennon because the former Beatle, like Diana, is an icon and was also a deeply spiritual person. "Lennon was very interested in the spiritual world. It's a natural follow-up to the Diana seance," he said.
"The Spirit of John Lennon" is being done without the knowledge or consent of John Lennon's estate. A spokesman for Yoko Ono, Lennon's widow, had no immediate comment.
Sharratt said, "We are writing to Yoko and contacting friends this week to see if any people associated with Lennon would take part."
The program will show psychics traveling to sites of significance to the former Beatle, including New York's Dakota apartment house, where he lived and was fatally shot by a deranged fan, Mark David Chapman, just over 25 years ago.
Psychics will also visit the Capitol Records Building in Los Angeles where the Beatles recorded, and a town in India where Lennon pursued a spiritual retreat.
Sharratt said the Indian sequence will feature a spirit reader at an ashram who believes he can contact Lennon to receive musical notes and lyrics from the other side.
Any notations will be flown to Los Angeles, where a composer will arrange the notes, add vocals and backgrounds to produce a new song.
The special will culminate as psychics, colleagues and confidantes sit at a seance table for 30 minutes surrounded by infra-red cameras that can capture any "presence" or spirit that enters the room.