A CONCERT commemorating the 20th anniversary of John Lennon's death can only go ahead if the organisers don't mention his name.
Lawyers acting for his widow Yoko Ono have refused producer Robert Gabriel permission to use either the names "John Lennon" or "Lennon" in publicity as they are registered trademarks.
Ono's lawyers have also forced Gabriel to shut down a website he set up specially for the December 10 event, previously called Lennon 2000.
He has also been forbidden from even using pictures of John Lennon on either posters and leaflets for the event or printed programmes.
They only made their feelings clear the day after he paid London's Palace Theatre a non-refundable £2,200 deposit.
Now called "L2K...All You Need Is...", it will donate eight per cent of profits to charity and has been organised "to highlight the issues that Lennon raised in his lifetime, like war, environment and people" with celebrities such as Noel Gallagher, Ken Livingstone and Cynthia and Julian Lennon invited to speak about what John Lennon meant to them.
Gabriel, who is a former lead in the hit musical Miss Saigon, said: "I just wish they had told me sooner. I researched what I could and couldn't do months ago and wrote to Yoko Ono's people but did not hear back from them until a few days ago.
"I'm disappointed because this is a positive charitable venture, organised by people like myself who have a massive amount of respect and admiration for John Lennon.
"For all that though, it does seem a bit harsh that we are not allowed to use the name of the man it is all about in the title of the show."
Ono's New York lawyers told Gabriel to "immediately cease and desist from any continued use of our client's trademarks".
They added that posters advertising the event, which will feature Buddy star Gus McGregor as the Beatle, must be altered because "Lennon 2000 suggests your venture is sponsored by, approved or affiliated by Mrs Lennon".
Ono is notoriously protective of her late husband's estate. In July she sued a Tokyo subway operator for selling train passes with a portrait of Lennon. The artist, who will make £50m from sales of the official Beatles biography, was seeking £80,000 for copyright infringement.But despite her protectiveness, she has been accused by stepson Julian of cheapening Lennon's legacy with blatant commercialism. He recently bemoaned her decision to sell some of John Lennon's art as limited editions etched into small slabs of marble.
Peace, Love, and Beatles,
Beatle Me This, Beatle Me That
"After all is said and done, you can't go pleasing everyone, so screw it"