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Excerpts from the John Lennon Hard Rock interview by Maurice Hindle

John Lennon and Yoko Ono
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Lennon Archive

Here are four transcript and audio excerpts from the John Lennon interviews by Maurice Hindle being released unedited Feb. 6 by Hard (See our main story for details):

Clip #1 – Lennon on success:

Interviewer: “Do you ever sort of lie in bed at night and think, 'Christ, what the hell is going on'?”
JL: “Oh yeah. Yeah, about once a week!”
Interviewer: “I mean about your success.”
JL: “I don't think about my success. I think that the success I've had is to enable me to do what I'm going to do from now on.”
Interviewer: “What, do you think you’re predestined?”

JL: “I don't know about pre-, that's what I was saying about the luck and that bit. I think you get a choice of which path you're going to take, but there's only like, a couple of them. A couple of paths, y'know. And I think the path I took through music was the path that took me here. And until I was fourteen the path was going to be art, or writing. But it was just that choice when I was eighteen, twenty or something. And it was music, music brought me here. But it's only to enable me to do whatever I'm doing now.”

Interviewer: “Were you ever really unhappy when you were rushing around making money?”

JL: “Oh, that was the most miserable time of our lives, was the mop top, MBE, cop-out period. It was torture. And that's why I dropped touring. I just wasn't even a physical fact. It was the thing we were put through to get that, what we earned.”

Clip #2 – Lennon on The Beatles Songwriting:

Interviewer: “How do you go about writing the songs for the group?”

JL: “Well, we haven't written together since 'Pepper,' really.”

Interviewer: “Oh.”

JL: “'Cause we sort of, vaguely in India we were writing a bit together. This album we wrote least of all together. Just cause of circumstances and all that, or maybe we didn't feel like it. I don't know what. We do it any way, any combination you can think of, we do it. From a line, from nothing – like 'Birthday' was written in the studio from nothing, “Let’s do one like that”. We did it. Just… there's no way of describing it unless I'm going to talk about, and when we wrote this I was on piano and he was on guitar. And then it's alright, that kind of talk, but I've said it all. Somewhere or other.”

Clip #3 – Lennon on “Changing Peoples’ Heads”:

JL: “Well, you can change people you know, change their heads.”

Interviewer (DW): “Can you?”

JL: “Yeah I've changed a lot of people's heads. A lot of people have changed my head, just with their records, apart from anything else they do.”

Interviewer (MH): “It’s just change all the time then?”

JL: “Yeah, but… y'know. I believe in change. That's what Yoko and my scene is, to change it like that.”

Clip #4 -- Black Dwarf:

Interviewer: [paraphrased] “Do you think you got busted for drugs because you offended the establishment?”

JL: “Oh, that was in the ‘Black Dwarf’ thing…Well, he's probably right. Earlier on, the Mop Top thing was preventing us getting busted. Because, we were open about it years ago. I mean, it was common knowledge. And then, I don't really know the reason they suddenly busted me now. Probably because I’ve been waving me flag a bit, that's all. Like ‘Two Virgins’ and various other things. But you see, this guy's one of those, y'know, “the Stones are changing it, you're not.” One of them… You know, the Stones and I are great mates. But the Stones did pull back their album cover. So tell him that [‘the Black Dwarf letter writer] It's not against Mick [Jagger], it's against him. You know, I'm sick of this sort of… what is it…petty… thing. It's been going on for years. It used to be, “the Stones do that, and you do this,” with the fans and that. But now it's all down to these revolutionaries, y'know. And the thing is, the Stones and I are close and… where’s he?

YO: “I haven’t seen that, have I?”

JL: “Oh, this is the one from the ‘Black Dwarf’ – it’ll get you going!”

Interviewer (MH to Yoko]: “[It’s about] street fighting groups versus the capitalistic Beatles.”

JL: “Yeah, well they'll see, y'know. See, I'm not here to change them. They can get on with it. Let them straighten out a few people’s faces and see where it gets them. I'll tell you what, if those people start the revolution, me and the Stones are probably the first ones that they'll shoot. And I mean that. It's just the kind of thing they do. Like Lenin and all… not Lenin. Just whoever… the ones who are really doing it get shot, y'know. It's him, the guy who wrote the letter that'll do it. He'll shoot me just for living here. I mean that's the kind of Christian Communist attitude they've got, y'know - we're all one brother, but you can't live here.”


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