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John Lennon Interview

paperlennon-1

JW. What do you think of George’s album?

JL. I don’t know, I think it’s alright you know. I don’t have much to say about it. I think it’s better than Paul’s.

JW. What do you think of Paul’s?

JL. It’s rubbish you know. I think he’ll make a better one when he’s frightened into it. But I think that first one was a load of… crap…

JW. Were you surprised when you heard it, at what he had done?

JL. Yeah, I was surprised it was so poor you know. I expected just a little more you know. I mean because Paul and I are sort of disagreeing, I think that he must feel strong so I find it surprising, and I was glad too. I suddenly got it all in perspective you know.

JW. What do you think Paul is going to do now?

JL. I think it will probably scare him into doing something decent. And then he’ll scare me into doing something…. I think he’s capable of great work you know. I think he will do it. I wish he wouldn’t, I wish nobody would – Dylan or anybody. In my heart of hearts I wish I was the only one in the world. But I can’t see him doing it twice.

JW. What exceptional talents has George?

JL. I don’t know. George has not done his best work yet. His talents have developed over the years and he was working with two fuckin’ brilliant song writers and he learnt a lot from us. And I wouldn’t have minded being George the invisible man, and learning what he learnt. I don’t consider my talents fantastic compared with the fuckin’ universe but I consider George’s less.

JW. How do you rate yourself as a guitarist?

JL. I’m not technically very good but I can make it howl and move. I’m an artist and if you give me a tuba I’ll bring you something out of it. Ask Eric Clapton, he thinks I can play. Ask him… I have a definite style of playing but all the time I was overshadowed – they called George the invisible singer, well I’m the invisible guitarist!

JW. You played the solo on ‘Get Back’?

JL. Yes I played the solo on that. When Paul was feeling kind he’d give me a solo perhaps because he was guilty having all of the A-sides, he’d give me a solo. I played the solo on that… I think George produces some beautiful guitar playing you know. But I think he’s too hung up to really let go. But so is Eric really, maybe he’s changed… They’re all so hung up, well we all are that’s the problem…

JL. People were giving us such a hard time. We got such a hard time from everyone you know. You see, I presumed I would be able to just carry on and bring Yoko into our lives, but it seemed that I had to be married to them or Yoko. And I chose Yoko. And I was right.

YO. It was very, very difficult. We stood alone in a way. I think that we were just holding each other with this incredible storm was around us. I think it’s quite surprising, even when you think about now that people are so against it all. Why? It’s true that they did hurt John deeply and basically we thought they didn’t want us there. Most of this animosity came from them, rather than the world, initially, and it kind of slipped out I suppose, from the headquarters.

JL. They despised us you know.

j-8

JW. From the very beginning?

JL. They insulted her and still do. They don’t even know I can see it. We’re in our own dream you know. Paul said many times he hated Yoko, and then he got to like her. It’s too late for me. And Yoko was naive, she’d came in and expected to perform with them like any group, but she was jamming you know. But there would be a sort of coldness about it so… When I decided to leave the group that’s when I decided that I could no longer artistically get anything out of the Beatles, and here was someone who could turn me onto a million things.

JW. Why can’t you be alone without Yoko?

JL. But I can be alone without Yoko but I just have no wish to be. There’s no reason on earth why I should be alone without Yoko. There’s nothing more important than our relationship, nothing. And we dig being together all the time. Both of us could survive apart but what for? I’m not going to sacrifice love, real love for any whore or any friend or any business, because in the end you’re alone at night and neither of us want to be. And you can’t fill a bed with groupies. It doesn’t work. I don’t want to be a swinger. I’ve been through it all and nothing works better than to have someone you love hold you.

JW. Paul kept making these attempts to revive the group, and one of them was ‘Let It Be.’ So, of course, ‘Let It Be’ has a lot of Paul in it and when you look at it, much less John. It’s about Paul and the sound of the Beatles which of course is not the truth of it. But it ends up again an amazing record and you can see them disintegrating…

JL. It was time for another Beatles movie or something or he wanted us to go on the road or do something. And George and I would say we don’t want to go on the fucking road. And we’d just tag along and I had Yoko by then and I didn’t even give a shit. And nobody did you know. And anyway like in the in the movie when I got to do ‘Across The Universe’ Paul yawned you know. The tape ended up like the bootleg version. Glyn Johns did it, nobody could be bothered to go in and nobody called anybody about it, and the tapes were left there and we each got an acetate each and we called each other. We said oh, let it out in really shitty condition and I was disgusted. I thought it was good to show people what happened, and this was where I am. We can’t get it together, we don’t play together anymore - leave us alone! But that didn’t happen and Paul wouldn’t run and we ended up doing ‘Abbey Road’ which slipped out quickly to preserve the myth.

JW. John was the one who went to Paul and said look I’m tired of and I want the group over, it’s over. I’m out of it. Paul then begs John not to make this announcement – “Please you can’t say this, let’s not break up.” John clearly had made up his mind and finally wasn’t going back, so in the interim Paul takes the opportunity to go and record his solo album and as part of the public relations for his solo album announces the break-up and puts out an interview.

JL. Well, I said to Paul, I’m leaving and we hadn’t decided how to do it – to have a permanent new group or what. And then I decided fuck it, I wouldn’t get stuck with another set of people. Then we were discussing something in the office with Paul and I kept saying no, no, no to everything he said. So it came to the point when I had to say something of course and he asked ‘what do you mean?’ And I said the group’s over and I’m leaving. So that’s what happened. Like anybody when you say divorce their face goes all sorts of colours. It’s like he knew really this was the final thing you know. And six months later he comes out with whatever. I was a fool not to do what Paul did which is use it to sell a record.

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