Flower Power with Beatles “Now and Then”

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By Jill Brooke

Credit: Peter Jackson Video

A sunflower is in the background of the “new” Beatles song video “Now and Then.”

Peter Jackson, who directed the video, opted for a perfect floral symbol in one of the backdrops of this cultural event. Although there is darkness in the center of a sunflower,  representing the absence of George Harrison and John Lennon, the bright yellow petals lean towards the sun representing hope for happy times, optimism, and possibility.

The original “Now and Then” song was written and sung by John Lennon, who recorded the track as a demo on his home piano in 1978. As Pitchfork reported, in 1994, Yoko Ono gave the demo to McCartney, Harrison, and Starr. Working with producer Jeff Lynne, the remaining three Beatles recorded new parts for a version of “Now and Then” in 1995, but they were unable to separate Lennon’s vocals from the piano on his original demo.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr invited Jackson to shoot footage of themselves playing the song,  Then a little serendipity happened. Apple Corps Ltd. unearthed over 14 hours of unseen film footage from 1995, when McCartney, Starr, and George Harrison first attempted to record “Now and Then.” All this is woven into the video.

Then AI came in to be the solution to isolate Lennon’s vocals- and voila – we now have this “new” song.  Of course, the song is both novel and bittersweet. George Harrison, who died in 2001, is not part of it either. John Lennon died in 1980.

“This is the last Beatles song and represents the end of a chapter of our lives,” says Showbiz411 editor Roger Friedman. “The Beatles have literally been the soundtrack of our lives. This is the last thing they will do together. It’s the final song of the Beatles.”

But the Beatles will always be rooted in our culture and lives.


In the world of flowers, there is the McCartney Rose which is immensely popular. It was presented as a gift to Paul from his record company in 1991. This lush pink rose with over 40 petals, is still sold by Star Roses.  A hybrid tea, it was hybridized by Meilland. It also won the Geneva Gold Medal in 1988, the LeRoiix Gold Medal, and the Fragrance Award in 1988. It also won the Belfast Award for Fragrance in 1993.

Furthermore, one of McCartney’s solo albums in 1989 was called “Flowers in the Dirt.”  In fact, his wife at the time, Linda McCartney, photographed the flowers and foliage arranged by their friend  British artist Brian Clarke, who painted the background painting in oil on canvas. Elvis Costello also was part of this album.



George Harrison was an avid gardener who even dedicated his autobiography, “I Me Mine,” to “all gardeners everywhere.” He once said that he felt closer to God when he was in his garden.

As his widow, Olivia Harrison said at the unveiling of a George Harrison garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2007, George would delight in going to the show. As she told Radio Times, he could often be seen “strolling around with his camera and notebook in hand. He never felt more at peace” than in the garden. The show had all his favorite greenery and flowerd interwoven with his. song lyrics as well as a giant “Here Comes the Sun” emblem.

After all, let us not forget that avid gardener George Harrison wrote “Here Comes the Sun” while visiting Eric Clapton’s garden.

Because of her husband George, she now is an avid gardener too.

Speaking at Friar Park, the couple’s Victorian neo-Gothic home, she shared how “George showed me the creativity and fun that was involved.

“One day, for example, we looked out of the window and decided everything in the garden was too green, so we went on a color binge, buying lots of brightly colored flowers.” In fact, in terms of landscape design, George liked the idea of Capability Brown, “so we started calling him Capability George.”

In the United States, a special pine tree was dedicated to him in 2004. That’s because Harrison also lived in Los Angeles at the end of his life. But in an odd case of irony, the memorial tree in Los Angeles was destroyed – literally – by beetles. A new one was planted in 2014.

Chelsea Flower Show


Ringo says he has been interested in gardens since 1965 when he bought his own house. He started visiting the Chelsea Flower Show through “my friend George Harrison, a crazy gardener. I picked it up from him.” So aside from music, they shared a love of gardening. And his son even married a woman named Flora.


John Lennon will always be linked to Strawberry Fields in Central Park. The entrance to the 2.5 acre memorial is near the Dakota where he lived. He often took walks in the park. The memorial is a triangular piece of land falling away on the two sides of the park, and its focal point is a circular pathway mosaic of inlaid stones, with a single word, the title of Lennon’s most famous song “Imagine“. The mosaic is based on a Greco-Roman design. It was created by Italian craftsmen and was donated as a gift by the Italian city of Naples.

He also wrote the song, “Forgive Me My Flower Princess’ in his post-Beatle life. It was remastered in 2010.

Perhaps he is also forever known for the quote, “Love is the answer, and you know that for sure; Love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow.” This wisdom is also part of the reason the Beatles’ popularity endures for generations.

Listen: The Beatles – Now And Then (Official Audio)