How did you build the bus – it’s more of a lorry than a conventional bus?
When I first started putting the idea together for Lennon Bus Europe, I was looking for a bus because that’s what we are in America. I went around to a lot of the manufacturers in Europe, and they were all enthusiastic but we’d get to a certain point and they couldn’t do it.
It’s a custom piece, so eventually I found this company names Ketterer that’s in Germany who had built luxury motor homes for the equine industry and formula one racing. They fell in love with idea of doing something unique like this. It’s based around a Mercedes Actros chassis, and then they built a custom box with pop outs on the side. That was our first objective, to get a lot of space, how much could we push it. Pretty far!
One of the advantages to a truck, when we made the decision, was that the vehicle has a flat roof, so we could put a deck up here. I couldn’t help myself, because it was again more space, and in the right setting it’s great. We built it with a port, so we have audio and video input and outputs here, so we can use it as another location for content production.
How involved has Yoko been?
We launched it on May 8 at the Museum Of Liverpool, and Yoko came on. She walked in, walked right to back and talked to me there. Then she saw the ladder, and she had to go up! I had only climbed it a couple of times, and I was a little nervous about it, and she said ‘Come on Brian,’ pushed in front of me like I was a wimp and climbed right up. She got up, looked up to the sky, and it was like a movie. It had been grey and rainy, but the sun came out and the sky was blue, and Yoko said “I feel closer to John up here.” It was so sweet.
Yoko was always super supportive of the idea, and that’s really just developed and become this kind of snowball. It’s something we see as of value in providing the young people with opportunities to get their voices heard and to collaborate, come together and create something from scratch. We all really believe that being involved in creative activities are the best way to combat violent activities, especially for young people, so that mission is a big part of why we do what we do. Yoko has been the major patron and support and sponsor, and then we have all these wonderful sponsors.