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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds: woman who inspired Beatles song dies

Lucy O'Donnell, the woman who inspired the classic Beatles song Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, has died aged 46.

Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Beatles album cover: BEATLES' 'LUCY IN THE SKY' DIES
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds featured on the ground-breaking 1967 album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Photo: PA

The song featured on the ground-breaking 1967 album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

John Lennon's elder son Julian said it was inspired by a picture he drew of his classmate Lucy O'Donnell when they were at a nursery school in Weybridge, Surrey, in 1966.

Julian said he took the picture home and showed it to his father, explaining: ''It's Lucy in the sky with diamonds.''

When Lennon and Paul McCartney's song was subsequently released, it caused controversy because of its hallucinogenic theme and supposed reference to the drug LSD.

The former classmates resumed their friendship in recent months when Lennon heard that Lucy, who was married to Ross Vodden and lived in Surbiton, Surrey, had become ill with lupus, a disease of the immune system.

The St Thomas Lupus Trust, which had been supporting Mr and Mrs Vodden during her illness, said she died last Tuesday aged 46.

Angie Davidson, campaign director of the trust, said: ''Everyone at the Louise Coote Lupus Unit was dreadfully shocked by the death of Lucy. She was a great supporter of ours and a real fighter.

''It's so sad that she has finally lost the battle she fought so bravely for so long.''

The trust said that Lennon and his mother Cynthia were ''shocked and saddened'' by Mrs Vodden's death.

A book of condolence will be opened on the trust's website