The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a mobile music and video recording studio. Traveling across the country, the bus is used by small groups of students to create songs, music videos and other media projects.
“It’s pretty sure fire that every time a student walks onto the bus for the first time the eyes get wide, and they like, weren’t expecting it. It looks crazy when you walk inside, it’s a $3 million recording studio,” said Steven Meloney, an on-board engineer for the bus.
The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is a way for students to experience and work with state-of-the-art equipment, and it all started back in 1998 with a little help from Yoko Ono, who is known as the second wife of the rock legend John Lennon from The Beatles.
“Our Founder is Brian Rothschild," Meloney said. "He knew Yoko through his contacts in the industry, but he started the John Lennon songwriting contest which started before the bus. Originally, when the bus was created, it was to support the songwriting contest and be a prize for the song contest winners to get to come on the bus and record their song. But it eventually just morphed and evolved into this long tour that we do now, stopping at schools and helping students.”
The students work together to write and record an entire song from scratch and record a music video for that song in one single day.
“The bus is actually divided into three different rooms," Meloney said. "So the front room that you first walk into is our video production suite, which is also fully audio capable, but mostly we just use it for video editing. It’s kind of a bigger room, so we do a lot of the songwriting and collaboration in there. And as you move farther down the bus, you get to the second room, which is our second studio or our audio recording studio, and that’s where we have all of our Yamaha instruments like the drum and piano set up.”
The bus is completely nonprofit, which makes everything completely free for the students and schools that participate.