1969 John Lennon Interview at Auction
A candid John Lennon interview discussing the state of the Beatles taped in late-1969 is set for auction next month. Beatles Examiner posted, “two reels containing an unedited and no-holds-barred audio interview” conducted in Toronto with Village Voice writer and DJ Howard Smith will go on sale via the Marvels of Modern Music Auction, which runs from September 19th to September 26th. Lennon, who unbeknownst to no one but the Beatles’ inner circle, had split with the band in September, and fields questions for over an hour on the state of the “Fab Four,” among other things.
He speaks about the drawn out process of the band’s Let It Be album, which was being prepped for release at the time after being in the can for nearly a year: “We were going through hell. We often do. It’s torture every time we produce anything. The Beatles haven’t got any magic you haven’t got. We suffer like hell anytime we make anything. And we got each other to contend with. Imagine working with the Beatles, it’s tough. There’s just tension. It’s tense every time the red light goes on. . . It’s a strange album. We never really finished it. We didn’t really want to do it. Paul (McCartney) was hustling for us to do it. It’s the Beatles with their suits off.”
Lennon, who had wrapped work on the Beatles’ final album, Abbey Road, the previous August, talked about the competition to get space on each new group album: “We hustle for it. In the old days, Paul and I won. I don’t know personally if there will ever be another Beatle product with the four of us on again. In the old days, Paul and I wrote most of the songs because George (Harrison) wasn’t prolific. We encouraged him to an extent, subconsciously we would have just made sure we got the LP for ourselves. Now there’s three of us all trying to squash ourselves onto 14 tracks. Do we make a double album every time? That’s why I broke out with the Plastic Ono Band.”
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