The fascination with dead rock stars has reached a new extreme, and we’re not talking about another performer coming back from the grave as a hologram, a la Tupac’s Coachella set.
A Canadian man who purchased a rotting tooth belonging to John Lennon at an auction two years ago is proclaiming his plans to clone the legendary Beatle from DNA extracted from the mouldy molar, as Examiner reports.
Michael Zuk, a dentist from Edmonton, Alberta, says that, “if scientists think they can clone Mammoths, then John Lennon could be next.” Dr Zuk is already getting by with a little help from his friends to achieve his vision of a Lennon clone, collaborating with American scientists to decode strains of DNA from the tooth. “To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of Rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing,” adds Dr Zuk.
The dentist first acquired the tooth, and made global headlines, after he purchased it for $30,000 at a UK auction at 2011. “Most people would say I was crazy, but I think it’s fantastic,” he said at the time. Lennon gave the rotting molar, which he apparently extracted himself in his kitchen in the late 1960s, to his housekeeper Dot Jarlett as an intended “souvenir” for her daughter before it was purchased by Dr Zuk in 2011. “To potentially say I had a small part in bringing back one of Rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing.”
Since buying the unique piece of macabre memorabilia, Dr Zuk has used the tooth to participate in a variety of charity initiatives and television appearances, including touring Great Britain for oral cancer awareness and participating in a documentary on celebrity DNA, which triggered the possibility of multiple music legends in the dentist’s mind.
Zuk says that the Lennon tooth is being examined by a lab in the United States where scientists are researching the bone fragments for genetic codes, which they hope will provide further insight into Lennon’s physical legacy.
The progress of the project will be tracked on the dentist’s personal website, which offers a line of John Lennon DNA pendants, ‘Rot Star’ art prints, a book about his celebrity purchase, and features a tribute song called ‘Love Me Tooth’ to the tune of the Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’
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Dr Zuk is firm on his conviction that offering up the rotten Lennon tooth for research could provide a scientific breakthrough. “I am nervous and excited at the possibility that we will be able to fully sequence John Lennon’s DNA, very soon I hope. With researchers working on ways to clone mammoths, the same technology certainly could make human cloning a reality,” he says. “Many Beatles fans remember where they were when they heard John Lennon was shot. I hope they also live to hear the day he was given another chance.”
In related Lennon madness, the legendary musician’s former mansion is up for sale for a cool $23 million, offering prospective home owners and Beatles fanatics the chance to purchase the lavish English homestead where such classics as ‘Day Tripper’, ‘In My Life’, and ‘Hey Jude’ were reportedly written.
Meanwhile Mrs. John Lennon, Yoko Ono, is headed to an Australia stage for the first time this November in a special panel appearance as part of the Sydney Opera House’s ‘In Conversation’ series. Hopefully someone can ask her what it was like working with Lenny Kravitz Questlove of The Roots, and the surviving members of the Beastie Boys on the latest Plastic Ono Band album.