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Still Poignant After All These Years
on 23 July 2013
Audio Go, in association with the BBC, has put together an hour's worth of the highlights from interviews with John Winston Lennon, the earliest from the heady days of Beatlemania, the latest - a mere two days before his murder in New York - featuring Lennon the relaxed and reborn family man. Kenneth Allsop fires salvo after salvo at the man, asking about the inspiration and pattern of writing during the pen work for Lennon's two early books A Spaniard In The Works and In His Own Write. Lennon fends off the questions with quiet but determined aplomb.
Just a month or so later and a somewhat patronising Wilfred De'Ath attempts to intellectualise Lennon's poetry to the obvious amusement of the interviewee. A year later, in the aftermath of the legendary Shea Stadium concert an obviously ecstatic Lennon accepts the flattery, comments and questions of Brian Mathew with classic charm and good humour. This is followed by a clip from an interview to promote his play, The John Lennon Play: In His Own Write where again the humour and his knack for voices lift the spirit of the whole interview. There are excerpts from interviews during the notorious bed in at Room 902 of the Amsterdam Hilton with Yoko Ono making what can only be called agreeable noises in the background. The final interview of the Beatles years on the CD features a very persistent inquisitor trying to get substantiation to all the rumours concerning the breakup of the band and the associated arguments, silences and general lack of co-operation. Lennon, typically, refuses to be drawn into letting any cats out of bags and diverts attention instead to his ( and Yoko's ) solo projects and his new close haircut.
The final three excerpts are from Andy Peebles' memorable three hour interview with the Lennons recorded on 6 December 1980, a mere two days before John Lennon was gunned down fatally by Mark Chapman. In the interview Lennon comes across as a man of honesty, balance and happiness, relaxed with his ability to walk around the streets of New York without being unduly pestered by fans. Lennon talks of the future, the two planned albums nearing written completion to follow the recently released Double Fantasy. Again there is humour and a real lust for life in Lennon's answers. It is the world's loss that these and future albums would remain un recorded and that this interview would, in effect, be Lennon's swan song. It is to Audio Go's credit that they have released this compilation to allow a new generation to hear for themselves what an incredible mind and presence John Lennon possessed.