Four local organisations were gifted a copy of 'Happy Xmas (War is Over)'

TO celebrate 50 years of the iconic Christmas song Happy Xmas (War is Over), 50 rare John and Yoko records have been gifted to charities and record shops around the country so they can raise funds.

The Jacaranda Club has its own history with the Beatles going back to the late 50s

The recipients, including Jacaranda Records, Dig Vinyl, and The Brain Charity in Liverpool, and Skeleton Records in Birkenhead, were all personally chosen by Yoko Ono and Sean Ono Lennon and sent with a note reading: 

"Happy Xmas. This is one of only fifty Limited Edition acetates hand-cut at Abbey Road, it's yours - to sell, auction, raise money to help your business or your favourite charity or to fund your Xmas party - to spread Xmas cheer.

"We'd love to see the journey these acetates take, and the goodwill that they spread."

Jacaranda Records Happy Xmas War Is Over John Yoko Ono Sean Lennon Limited Edition Vinyl
Jacaranda Records received one of 50 limited edition records Image: Jacaranda

The one-sided 12” acetate has been hand-cut on the lathe at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. Each edition is stickered and numbered out of 50 and includes a machine printed signature from Yoko, making them incredibly collectable.

Jacaranda Records is offering a chance to get your hands on their copy of the record by entering a paid prize draw that could help find Liverpool’s next great music legend. 

Graham Stanley, managing director at The Jacaranda Club and one of the team behind the record label, says that what they have come up with should hopefully allow them to raise enough money to record an album with 10 local bands that have never recorded before.

The Jacaranda Club The Beatles Liverpool Seel Street
The Jacaranda Club on Slater Street Image: Jacaranda

“The Jacaranda Club has its own history with the Beatles going back to the late 50s, and its former owner Alan Williams took The Beatles on their first trip to Hamburg,” said Graham.

“We want to honour that tradition by giving a leg up to local bands who might struggle in the new modern music industry. We have a great opportunity to do this as never before thanks to this incredible gift from Sean and Yoko. We are extremely excited by what we can potentially achieve with this.”

Early next year, Jacaranda Records will start the search for 10 of the best unrecorded bands in Liverpool to take into the studio for a charity compilation to be released on Jacaranda Records. The label will be selecting the artists from the massive range of acts that have played on the stage at The Jacaranda Club but have never had the chance to record before. All the profits from the sale of the album will be donated to an as yet undecided charity, but it will be local and music related.

The prize draw to win the limited edition record goes live at 9am on Friday 10 December, to coincide with the reopening of Jacaranda Records at 40 Seel Street. 

Tickets cost £10 each and are available worldwide; the winner will be drawn at 1pm on Christmas Eve as an early Christmas present. Keep an eye on the website Jacaranda Records and socials Jacaranda Records StoreThe Jacaranda and Phase One for details of how to enter.

Jacaranda Records Happy Xmas War Is Over John Yoko Ono Sean Lennon Limited Edition Phase One Records
The record store on Seel Street reopens this week Image: Jacaranda

Originally released in the United States in December 1971, Happy Xmas (War is Over) has become an iconic global Christmas classic. The track was released a year later in the UK, originally reaching number four in the British charts.

The 50 limited edition records from Yoko and Sean were sent to charities and record shops across the UK, including Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Newcastle.

The Brain Charity were gobsmacked at their surprise Christmas gift. The Liverpool charity based on Norton Street in the city centre believes that the Music Makes Us! project for people living with dementia must have caught Yoko and Sean’s attention.

The Brain Charity Liverpool Happy Xmas War Is Over John Yoko Ono Sean Lennon Limited Edition
Ged Bretherton from The Brain Charity holding the vinyl and letter Image: The Brain Charity

Nanette Mellor, CEO of The Brain Charity, said: “We feel absolutely bowled over by this astonishingly generous surprise Christmas gift from Yoko and Sean.

“The recognition that they thought about us in Liverpool and at this time of year, when our clients really need us, was unbelievable. It’s such a lovely gesture to be recognised by a family who are globally iconic.

“We are all hugely moved. Any funds raised from the sale of this incredible item will be absolutely needed right now as our clients with neurological conditions do really struggle at this time of year.” 

The Brain Charity has put its copy of Happy Xmas (War is Over) on sale at ebay, where bids are at £4,100 at the time of writing. The charity has launched their Sixmas campaign to raise £60,000 for urgent mental health support for the 1 in 6 people left out in the cold to deal with their neurological condition alone

Read next: ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ - unseen footage features in new documentary

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