John Lennon, ‘The Beatles, She Said So/I Feel Fine Cel 109’, HG Contemporary

The complete artwork for the film comprised 240 hand colored (by John Lennon and Stephen Verona) paper cels for the short film ‘She Said So’. Each measuring 8 x 11 inches unframed.

A chance meeting in a London nightclub in 1966 between artist and film maker Stephen Verona and the man of the hour John Lennon led to a friendship and artistic collaboration which resulted in this, the world’s first music video. John gave Stephen a new and soon to be hit record, which arrived on an unlabeled disc. It sounded like the title of the song was going to be ‘She Said So’ not the next line in the song, ‘I Feel Fine’ hence the title of the video became ‘She Said So’.

Verona set to work in New York drawing the pop art cartoon images to fit the lyrics and flow of the music. Lennon flew to New York and the two got together to measure the progress. Stephen remembers the night Lennon came over to his apartment and the two wiled away the hours by sitting at the kitchen table, smoking and coloring in the images with markers - the Music Video was born.

It was a smash hit. The film was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and went on to win at the Atlanta, San Francisco and Chicago Film Festivals. It won the CINE Golden Eagle and went from there to all the major foreign oil festivals.

The original print of the film resides in the Library of Congress archive.

These hand drawn and hand colored original cels are unique and no other copies exist. They compose both a milestone in music video history as well as an important step in the history of the Beatles.

About John Lennon

John Lennon is primarily known for being a member of the Beatles and one of the 20th century’s most influential and beloved musicians. But he also produced a significant body of visual art that his wife, Yoko Ono, has brought to public attention in the years since his untimely death. Lennon’s pen-and-ink works on paper, which depict family, sex, and music, are playful, illustrative, and almost always personal. His “Bag One Portfolio,” a group of line drawings that he made for Ono as a wedding gift, is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, in New York. His wife has noted that his rock-and-roll stardom excluded him from the art world and its trends, allowing his sketches to maintain a kind of aesthetic purity.

British, 1940-1980

Fair History on Artsy

2018
HG Contemporary at If So, What? 2018