Monday, December 08, 2008

John Lennon & Yoko in their own Words & Music

This is the last interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, on Dec. 8, 1980. In this audio clip he talks about their innovative peace vision and activism, from the late '60s and early '70s. He talks about envisioning a peaceful world in the same way that many years before flight, or landing on the moon, people imagined that happening - projecting into the future a better world.(By the way, this clip is part 10/13 - the other clips are very interesting as well)

In other interviews Lennon said that in peace events like the John-Yoko honeymoon bed-in, they were aware that whatever they did after getting married, the press would be focusing on them, so they thought why not use their "opportunity" to make a new type of call for peace in the world. Prior to their PR stunts for peace, Lennon had talked with a media friend (who was alledgedly "in the know") who told him the government ultimately controls the messages the media broadcasts - in particular he referred to messages about the Vietnam war. According to Lennon, this inspired him to feed the media with anti-war messages.

He knew his popular appeal could be used to promote and send a message that the world could be a better, safer place, and that as one of the greatest musicians ever, he had the potential to reach great numbers. Thus, he wrote songs that were not standard "Beatlish" songs, but were meant to make people think about another way of living in the world without fighting.

John and Yoko's bed-in for peace was creative and outrageous, especially at the time, - two newlyweds lying around in bed for a week, with a room full of media, talking about peace. But that was the way John Lennon's mind worked - always wanting to explore new things, be it music arrangements, effects, melodies, lyrics, art, or political activism.

In the video below you can hear Lennon at the 1969 Concert for Peace in Toronto. He, Eric Clapton on lead, Klaus Voorman, bass, Alan White on drums, and Yoko (Plastic Ono Band), played together for the first time and did a few numbers, including this sizzler - great vocals and lead guitar work here. Not bad for a band who never played before. By the way, this was Sept. 1969. Lennon had told friends that he was leaving the Beatles, though it was not publicly announced till April, 1970. On stage he looks similar to the famous Abbey Road shot, which was photographed the previous month. Enjoy.

Just one more link to give a glimpse into John Lennon. On the Dick Cavett show in 1971, he discusses drugs, alcohol and why it might be that people rely on them - interesting and insightful.

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