Get on the bus

While John Lennon died 21 years ago, his musical and personal legacy has loomed large. Whether it’s art shows of his pencil drawings, foundations or song remixes, we’ve managed to keep him very much alive in the public consciences. Yet another extension of this is The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus that will be at the Mirage June 6-9 in conjunction with The Beatles Love Fifth Anniversary show June 8.

The Tour Bus is a non-profit dedicated to keeping our kids educated in the arts and allowing them, even for a day, access to resources such as recording equipment, songwriting mentoring and video production help.

The bus hit the streets in 1998 as the brainchild of Tour Bus Executive Director Brian Rothschild and Music Manager David Sonenberg. With the blessing of Yoko Ono, it has been touring schools, colleges, festivals and concerts around the country since. Eight producers and engineers help mentor aspiring songwriters.

The bus is, well, an actual bus, separated into three separate studios filled with A/V equipment from sponsors such as Apple, Epiphone and Avid. Visitors can write, record and produce a song in one sitting. It is also set up with video editing equipment for aspiring filmmakers.

With music programs across the country being cut, and our own Clark County School District facing a $407.4 million budget shortfall it seems music education is doomed to be relegated to private schools or after-school activities. The tour bus is a way for students and adults alike to have a hands-on music experience like they may not get in today’s schools.

The bus helps encourage music education, while giving aspiring singers, songwriters and other artists a chance to record at a professional level. It has seen The Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake record on board.

Public tours of the bus will be from 3 to 8 p.m. June 6-9 with all guests getting a chance to record with the help of three on-board engineers.