To mark what would have been dear John Lennon's 80th birthday
today, here are two of my original sketches of John, drawn 60 years apart. The first John Lennon Drawing is of 1958, when John Lennon, aged 17, during his Buddy Holly
period. I drew him "from life", when we were students together and great friends at Liverpool College of Art. I still treasure our shared roots in the world's greatest city
The thick, black-rimmed spectacles worm by John became synonymous with cool and never lost their appeal for creatives but it was Buddy Holly who kicked off the trend, widely hailed as "rock’s first fashion statement”.
The second artwork is a more recent sketch of a more mature "Abbey Road John”. It features his iconic talisman
pendant, first seen at the Sergeant Pepper launch party
in 1968. John was a dreamer and a pacifist, ahead of his time. I am always moved by how his legions of new fans around the world continue to adopt and promote his message of peace and love. It’s over 40 years since I last spoke to John. But it still feels like Yesterday
Also in Stories
A loving tribute to June, life model and friend of John Lennon and Helen Anderson, who died in 2020. My reflections of some of the funniest moments of our time together with John in our art classes.
These John Lennon caps are made to last! Helen Anderson's original design, originally created in 1964, worn here by the Beatle in 1975, still with the Ferrari pin he stuck into it when he passed his driving test and bought a powder blue convertible.
For the inside story on John Lennon and loads of memories from fashion designer Helen Anderson - Lennon's friend and of course the designer of his famous leather cap - listen to this great interview with Jude Southerland Kessler.
How to measure your head for my leather cap
A message from Helen about sizing:
Hats are a bit like jackets and dresses: sizes are supposed to be universal but may vary from one manufacturer to another. I can’t guarantee you a perfect fit, but I can do my best to help.
My cap is available in 4 sizes: Small (S), Medium (M), Large (L) and Extra Large (XL). It’s an investment piece, so I encourage you also to invest three minutes to find the perfect fit.
Don’t just guess your size!
John Lennon’s head measured 23.5 inches. He was a size XL (big brain!). Here's how I measured it, back in 1964 - and how you can measure yours now.
- Don’t panic if you don’t have a tailor’s tape measure handy. You can also use a length of string or ribbon, and then measure it against a ruler.
- Place the string or tape around your head about 3mm above your ear, across the mid-forehead, completely circling your head. Hold the tape firmly, but not super-tightly.
- I’d like you to measure your head exactly where the cap will sit. If your measurement falls between sizes, choose the next size up.
Remember: If you have big hair, you’ll probably need the next size up!
You will need to tell me your size at the time you order.
If you are in such a hurry to get hold of a cap that you don’t have time to measure your head, you could also check the size of another hat that fits: hat sizes are universal… in theory. Don’t see your size? Have a special request?