Jody Denberg talks with Yoko Ono about the John Lennon reissues. Recorded September 7, 2000, NYC
(Note: The following is a transcript of the interviews contained on "John Lennon: Starting Over," a CD used to promote the recent Lennon reissues. We thank Jody Denberg for allowing us to use it here.)
Track 1: Introduction, 13 seconds
Welcome to Starting Over, a conversation with Yoko Ono featuring songs from three classic John Lennon albums that have been reissued this year: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine and Double Fantasy.
Track 2: Question 1, 15 seconds
Yoko, many people will be remembering John this year, because October 9th is the 60th anniversary of his birth, and December 8th is the 20th anniversary of his death. Did you choose to reissue these albums in 2000 to coincide with the milestones?
Track 3: Answer 1, 6 seconds
Definitely. I thought that we have to do something special for this year. This very special year…
Track 4: Question 2, 19 seconds
I understand there are some other special things happening this year, both in America and in Japan. I know at the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame they're going to be opening a--an exhibit about John. And there's also a permanent John Lennon Museum in Japan. What are some of the items that you've given to be displayed?
Track 5: Answer 2, 24 seconds
I think it's difficult to sort of list them. But basically it's an overall thing. John was--an artist and musician and a poet as well. And all that aspect of him will be represented there very well.
And also he was a songwriter/singer/rocker. So he's a very complex character. And we're covering it all.
Track 6: Question 3, 5 seconds
The museum in Japan though, that's a permanent museum, the first of its kind.
Track 7: Answer 3, 32 seconds
I know! It's a surprise, isn't it? And I think there's something very cosmic about the fact that--it's happening first in Japan because when you really see the earth from the universe, probably there's not much difference whether it's in Japan or in--in Britain, you know. And the thing is this idea that John had of East in East and West in the West--never the twain shall meet, you know, that was Kipling. But John was saying "No, East is West, West is East. And we're meeting!"
Track 8: Question 4, 7 seconds
Some of the items in the Museum in Japan you had to part with on a permanent basis. Was that difficult?
Track 9: Answer 4, 4 seconds
I think it's all on loan though.
Track 10: Question 5, 22 seconds
Last year the Beatles' Yellow Submarine Songtrack featured Beatles songs. They were remixed and remastered for the first time. And you've used the same team from Abbey Road Studios to do the same for two of John's reissues. Was the improved sound that the Beatles got on their project part of what motivated you to upgrade John's catalog?
Track 11: Answer 5, 23 seconds
Well, we were thinking about it before that was done in a way. So I don’t think it had to do with that, no.
Imagine being an album that we made in--England, so I thought well, I should go back to England. And Abbey Road Studios, being a very, very kind of sweet memory for us you know, so I went there.
Track 12: Question 6, 20 seconds
The sound of John's first solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, it's very stark, just like the lyrics. And for the most part the only musicians were the rhythm section, Klaus Voormann and Ringo Starr, and you are credited with "Wind." What do you remember about those late 1970's sessions at EMI Studios?
Track 13: Answer 6, 24 seconds
Well, I was credited as a co-producer as well, if I'm not mistaken (laughs).
And, you know, in those days people thought "Oh, Yoko got a credit because John--John is so much in love with her" or something. But I did my share you know I mean, I was working.
Both of us really felt it should be with minimum instruments, and, and it just worked.
Track 14: "REMEMBER"* 4 minutes, 32 seconds
John Lennon-vocal and piano. Yoko Ono-wind, Ringo Starr-drums, Klaus Voormann-bass
Track 15: Question 7, 14 seconds
Sometimes, Yoko, the album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is referred to as the Primal Therapy Album. How did the primal scream therapy that you and John did with Dr. Janov affect John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band?
Track 16: Answer 7, 20 seconds
Very much so. It is true and right to be called Primal Therapy or Primal Scream Album. Most of the songs were either written or inspired … I mean, not in the sessions but when we were in L.A. going to the sessions, primal therapy sessions.
Track 17: Question 8, 7 seconds
Was it that therapy that allowed John to get so in touch with his emotions, lyrically and vocally?
Track 18: Answer 8, 5 seconds
Yes! And vocally I think he opened up so much, you know. It's beautiful, I think, yeah.
Track 19: Question 9, 12 seconds
The album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band with songs like "Mother" … it's so personal, and then you chose very political songs as the bonus tracks for these reissues:
"Power to the People" and "Do the Oz"…
Track 20: Answer 9, 24 seconds
Because we didn't have very many--extra songs of those days. And I think that "Do the Oz" and "Power to the People" are two very--prominent ones that we did then. Because in the -- John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band a very personal side is shown, but we were very political at the time, and that's not shown at all. So I thought it's nice.
Track 21: Question 10, 12 seconds
Phil Spector is listed as a co-producer on the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. But the album is the opposite
--of the "Wall of Sound." So what did he contribute to that record?
Track 22: Answer 10, 37 seconds
He's a very sensitive and talented producer, and he knew how to accommodate John’s wishes. And I didn't know it then but you know he just walked in, when we were doing "God." And we weren't doing "God" that way at all. And he just said "now what about Billy Preston?" And we said "okay, well let's try." And Billy did such a brilliant, brilliant piano. I mean, you can never think of "God" without Billy's piano playing there.
So that was--Phil's idea. He just walked in, listened to it and said "What about it?" And that's how he just made--made that track shine.
Track 23: Question 11, 26 seconds
John Lennon had a, a contradictory personality in his songs. He could be nostalgic on a song like "Remember," or "Strawberry Fields," and then he would sing that he didn't believe in Beatles--he didn't believe in magic, yoga, -- in the song "God."
Ultimately he did believe in many of these things. Do you think he realized how seriously people would take his declarations in "God," especially that "the dream is over"?
Track 24: Answer 11, 30 seconds
Well, I think he was--almost like telling himself, "dream is over, let's move on." And I think it's a healthy thing to say and to do.
And, of course, I think that particular song hurt a lot of people. In hindsight, yes. You know, it was a--very hurtful song, I think.
But at the time--at the time I was very, very impressed with … I don't know, the--the melody's beautiful, and the song itself is very meaningful.
Track 25: "GOD"* 4 minutes, 7 seconds
John Lennon–vocal, Yoko Ono–wind, Ringo Starr-drums, Klaus Voormann-bass, Billy Preston-piano
Track 26: Question 12, 15 seconds
Yoko, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band was recorded at EMI Studios. Imagine was recorded at your Tittenhurst Park home studio in Ascot. How did recording at home affect Imagine?
Track 27: Answer 12, 28 seconds
Well, a beautiful warm feeling. I think that John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is a very artistic--album, but it's kind of gritty and--it certainly is not a very warm album. Almost sad in a way.
Imagine just turned out to be a very warm kind of beautiful album because we were together at home and we felt relaxed, you know.
Track 28: Question 13, 8 seconds
The Imagine sessions were very well documented on film. Why did you choose these sessions to, to film?
Track 29: Answer 13, 34 seconds
It was a fluke, you know. And we didn't think it was going to be--that important or anything. He said "Why don't we film it?" "Okay, let's do it."
And then afterwards we thought that we did something really silly because … the people, the business people were saying, "well nobody wants to watch, you know, a film that's a b--it's boring to watch a film of just--going on and on and rehearsing and making a--an album. So this is not commercial." So we said "Okay" (laughs). And we just chucked it (laughs). Well, chucked it meaning it was sitting in the storage (laughs).
Track 30: Question 14, 9 seconds
It's long been rumored that the Double Fantasy sessions were also filmed but that the tapes were either lost or destroyed. What's the true story on that?
Track 31: Answer 14, 36 seconds
It wasn't filmed. I think that the only--thing that was filmed was "I'm Moving On" and "I'm Losing You."
And the way it was filmed was so bad, and when John saw it he said "Oh" (laughs), you know. Well, he didn't say anything. He was just so totally upset.
He took the, the whole negative of the film and--put it in the bathtub (laughs) and--and--filled with water. I don't know if it--just filling it with water is going to destroy it, but that--that was how he wanted to destroy it (laughs).
Track 32: Question 15, 12 seconds
The utopian idealism of the song "Imagine," John claimed that this vision had its roots in your book, Grapefruit. How do you think that you influenced it?
Track 33: Answer 15, 11 seconds
Well, we were close together, and you know two artists living together, of course we're going to influence each other. Some of the things that I did rubbed off on him. And that was "Imagine" I think.
Track 34: Question 16, 4 seconds
Do you remember the first time you heard "Imagine"?
Track 35: Answer 16, 7 seconds
Well yes, I was there (laughs). We were in the bedroom, in our bedroom in Ascot.
Track 36: Question 17, 5 seconds
Did you have an inkling of--how the song was going to affect people?
Track 37: Answer 17, 15 seconds
I knew it was a very important song, and--we were both hoping that people would--understand it and it would communicate widely. But we didn't believe it, you know. I mean, part of us didn't believe that it's going to be a big song.
Track 38: "IMAGINE"** 3 minutes, 1 second
John Lennon-vocal and pianos, Klaus Voormann-bass, Alan White-drums, with the Flux Fiddlers
Track 39: Question 18, 17 seconds
Yoko, you oversaw the remixing process of these reissues from John Lennon's catalog. Where do you draw the line in, say, bringing up the strings more prominently into the mix? Would you tamper with history for the sake of clarity and volume?
Track 40: Answer 18, 10 seconds
Clarity and volume, yes, that's--that's it. But--I made sure that everything was exactly as before. Just the clarity and the volume changed.
Track 41: Question 19, 19 seconds
You've sustained John Lennon's career since his death with--CD's, videos, art prints, even by using his songs in TV commercials. Is it your strategy to slowly give the public unavailable items from John in order to sustain his career?
Track 42: Answer 19, 30 seconds
I don't have a very kind of--overall view of it, but I just know that every year I have to keep doing something, to keep John out there. Because John's work is so important, important - not just for us but for the people. And so I just want it to be alive.
Also John was an artist, and I know how artists feel about communicating their work. I just want to do my best about that.
Track 43: Question 20, 9 seconds
Are you fearful that without your efforts that John's messages and art and concepts wouldn't endure? It seems like they would.
Track 44: Answer 20, 28 seconds
They would. But there are ways of destroying it too. Say if somebody did a remix that was totally not like the original remix or something like that of course they can destroy the feeling of it.
And also if they used it for some commercial that's not right, or, etcetera.
But I, I don't have any feelings against using his song for commercial because I think that's another media where you can expose his songs.
Track 45: Question 21, 14 seconds
You have your own work that is not only enduring but flourishing here in the year 2000. And so you go from working on your work to John's work. Does that help keep you fresh for each?
Track 46: Answer 21, 18 seconds
I don't know how it's working. I'm just like somebody who's really trying to go through a storm and come out well (laughs), you know.
This year it's been very heavy because of John's 60th birthday. And I'm very happy about that. You know, we're making so many special things to come out.
Track 47: Question 22, 18 seconds
John's son from his first marriage, Julian, he's very friendly with Sean, but he's been very outspoken about his disagreements with you, especially when it comes to the marketing of John's work. Do you ever think there'll be a time when Julian and you could be at peace with each other?
Track 48: Answer 22, 58 seconds
Well, I think that the world is making it very difficult for us to get together too you know.
And especially the press. Because I--I'm sure that they go to Julian and say "Well now, come on, what do you think about what she's doing to your father's work?" you know. And then, it kind of, leads him into saying something that becomes sensational. And I don't think he means it really.
But also, if he had meant it, I understand. I mean, there’s a certain anger in him (pause). All children of broken marriages, you know they--they have some anger and sorrow. And, of course, it's not that easy to sort of like--blame his father, because he passed away and all that.
And, of course, he's not going to blame his mother. I mean, you know, the mother who was really taking care of him all this time and everything. So then—(laughs) it's probably easier to attack me (laugh).
Track 49: Question 23, 9 seconds
There's been so much speculation about John's leather-bound desk diaries that he kept towards the end of his life. Would you ever publish those?
Track 50: Answer 23, 16 seconds
Well, diaries are diaries. And you know, you don’t … write … every day something about your personal life, thinking that one day people are going to read them. I mean I think it’s a horror if you did that. So I don’t think I would do that.
Track 51: Question 24, 16 seconds
In the years since John's death, and especially lately, there's just been this rash of books with hearsay and unfounded rumors. Yet, you never really seem to respond to the allegations and set the record straight. Why?
Track 52: Answer 24, 17 seconds
Well, because I believe in just going on doing positive things and putting my energy in that. If I kept putting my energy into all these negative books and, and rumors and such, I'd be giving them energy. I just believe in going forward.
Track 53: "GIMME SOME TRUTH"** 3 minutes, 13 seconds
John Lennon-vocal and guitars, George Harrison–lead guitar, Klaus Voorman-basses, Alan White-drums, Rod Linton & Andy-acoustic guitars, Nicky Hopkins-piano
Track 54: Question 25, 14 seconds
Yoko, in the summer of 1980 you and John announced that you were going to make a new album, John's first album in five years. Was that an exciting time for the two of you in New York, or was the summer of 1980 sort of nervewracking?
Track 55: Answer 25, 32 seconds
[Laughs] It was one of the most exciting summer for us. Because--there was a five years hiatus or whatever, and you know, both of us are workaholics. We weren't really happy about that. We were--trying to make--the family life well and … in that sense we were happy, a happy family.
But there was something missing, you know, because both of us are artists. And so it was great to come out and finally do something.
Track 56: Question 26, 8 seconds
Even though Sean was only five do you think he had a reaction to the two of you all of a sudden being gone from home and at work?
Track 57: Answer 26, 21 seconds
That was not a problem as you think because Sean was starting to grow up. Grow up, he was only five. But--from around three, he would be going out with the nanny sometimes. He's starting to get a little bit more independent. He wasn't just cringing on me. He wasn't just sort of like holding onto John.
Track 58: Question 27, 9 seconds
Did you get resistance from people when they heard that John's new album was going to feature both John's songs and your songs in a dialogue?
Track 59: Answer 27, 11 seconds
They might have felt that way. They might have felt terrible about it, but they didn't express that. For some reason by then they got used to the John and Yoko situation, I think.
Track 60: Question 28, 23 seconds
There's a lot of people who thought that the days when John was at the Dakota raising Sean, that he wasn't musically creative. And then there was this radio show called "The Lost Lennon Tapes" and there were a lot of song sketches and demos.
There's obviously more music from John that hasn't been released, even if they are demos … do you plan to share them one day?
Track 61: Answer 28, 14 seconds
Yes, probably [laughs]. Let me think about it, and give me some time, because I think that each one of the songs really deserves a, a kind of platform to--have it brought out.
Track 62: Question 29, 15 seconds
At the end of October 1980 we all heard John's first new song in five years, "(Just Like) Starting Over." With your new energy that you both felt, were you going to share it--with a musical tour? Do you think you might have become more politically active?
Track 63: Answer 29, 30 seconds
Not so politically active. I think that it would have been just, doing a really good tour together (laughs). John was thinking that, I should sing just sort of freak stuff, you know, that I did in Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band.
He said he wants to do "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and just drop on his knees and hold my hand. And I said "Well, that's going to really create an excitement, some kind of excitement (laughs)." That'd be so commercial! (Laughs).
Track 64: "(JUST LIKE)STARTING OVER"***
3 minutes, 54 seconds
John Lennon–voice, guitar, keyboards, Earl Slick & Hugh McCracken–guitars, Tony Levin–bass, George Small–keyboards, Andy Newmark–drums, Arthur Jenkins Jr.– percussion, Ed Walsh–oberheim, Cas Mijac aka: Michelle Simpson, Cassandra Wooten, Eric Troyer, Benny Cummings Singers-Kings Temple Choir–background singers.
Track 65: Question 30, 12 seconds
One of the bonus tracks on the reissue of Double Fantasy is a demo from John that we have never heard anywhere. It's called "Help Me to Help Myself." What can you tell me about it?
Track 66: Answer 30, 49 seconds
Well, I think you should (laugh), hear it and judge for yourself. But I think it's a very controversial song.
When John was--playing the song on the piano and then he was saying "Oh this is a, this is going to be a very controversial song," he knew that too. It was to do with his kind of spiritual side.
I think it's very interesting because … it's a kind of song that has to do with … a conversation with God? He was just kind of tongue-in-cheek about it.
But they say that people do start to converse with God or whatever, in the end of their lives you know? And maybe he was doing that without him knowing.
Track 67: Question 31, 15 seconds
December 8th, 2000 marks the 20th anniversary of John's death. Twenty years later most people can tell you exactly where they were on that day and what they were doing. How did you handle December 8th 1980 after you returned to the Dakota?
Track 68: Answer 31, 23 seconds
(Sighs, clears throat). Well, it was very hard for me, really. (Pause). I don't know how I managed in those days, you know. I think that one of the reasons why I survived, was because I kept telling myself that, I have to survive for Sean.
Track 69: Question 32, 8 seconds
Your son with John, Sean Lennon, he shares John's birthday. Does that make his birthdays bittersweet or even sweeter?
Track 70: Answer 32, 19 seconds
It's very sweet. Because you see, the feeling that I have, and probably Sean does too, is the fact that John is still around, and looking over us and protecting us.
So--his birthday is really a happy moment for us, a happy day for us.
Track 71: Question 33, 5 seconds
How has your relationship with Sean evolved in the last 20 years?
Track 72: Answer 33, 28 seconds
We became closer, I must say, because of the tragedy, I think. And also he’s a very kind of, gentle, kind person. And, you know, he knows that his mother went through something … difficult time. And also she's a working mother, you know, that kind of thing.
And most children are actually, I think, very sympathetic to their working mothers.
Track 73: Question 34, 5 seconds
What is your reaction to those who theorize that John's death was the result of a conspiracy?
Track 74: Answer 34, 5 seconds
(Sighs) Well, I would never know. There might have been some design or whatever. I don't know.
Track 75: Question 35, 22 seconds
There was a--a song that you and John co-wrote in 1972. It was called "Attica State." And you said "free all prisoners everywhere." Now John's killer - who happens to be imprisoned in Attica State - is going to be up for parole by the end of 2000. What did you consider in forming your opinion that you had to give to the parole board?
Track 76: Answer 35, 43 seconds
It's silly to put together the "Attica State" song and this one because the time is different too. But also when we were saying "free all prisoners everywhere" it has a lot to do with my song that's called "Born in a Prison." In a sense that we are all prisoners, and it's a freedom of--mind, spirit, and it's a kind of conceptual freedom we were talking about.
In this day and age and in a situation, like this, I don't know how I would feel. And I think that I'm supposed to send my opinion into the parole board, and that's what I will do. I don't think that that's something that I should be discussing … here.
TRACK 77: Question 36, 31 seconds
One of the bonus tracks on the reissued Double Fantasy is a song that you were working on in the studio the night that John died. I think John was holding a tape of the song in his hands when he was shot. It was your song, "Walking on Thin Ice." A song about life's random fates. And John's guitar playing, it's perhaps
the best he ever did on record. But it seemed like he was channeling something from somewhere else. Was the song ultimately a premonition?
Track 78: Answer 36, 39 seconds
Well, it sounds like that, doesn't it? (Pause).
And it was a song that John liked so much, and he was listening to it over and over again.
The … well … he was shot on Monday, and so over the weekend he was listening to it.
It's not only very sad but it became a kind of reality that I was walking on thin ice after John's passing. Then I thought well, I have to switch the channel. That's what I thought.
Track 79: Question 37, 4 seconds
What do you remember about writing "Walking on Thin Ice"?
Track 80: Answer 37, 8 seconds
It just came to me and I just wrote it. It was like (snaps fingers)--like that. It was channeling maybe. It might have been kind of … a premonition?
Track 81: "WALKING ON THIN ICE"***
5 minutes, 59 seconds
Yoko Ono-voice, John Lennon-guitar, keyboards, Hugh McCracken-rhythm guitar, Earl Slick-rhythm guitar, Tony Levin-bass, Andy Newmark-drums, Jack Douglas-percussion
JOHN LENNON: SPOKEN WORDS
Track 82: "The ‘60s Revolution" 31 seconds
1974 radio interview with Dennis Elsas on WNEW-FM New York
You know that bit about we changed everybody’s hairstyles? But something influenced us, whatever’s in the air, to do it, you know?. And pinpointing who did what first, you know, is -- doesn’t really work. We were part of whatever the ‘60s was. And we were like the ones that were chosen to represent whatever was going on…on the street. It was happening itself, you know. It could have been somebody else, but it wasn’t. It was us and the Stones and people like that. And here we all are, you know. And we all went through it together.
Track 83: "The Jesus Apology" 53 seconds
1966 Press Conference
If I’d have said we’re more--television is more popular than Jesus, I might have got away
with it (laughter). As I just happened to be talking to a friend I used the word Beatles as a
remote thing, not as what I think. As Beatles as though those other Beatles, like other
people see us. I just said they are having more influence on kids and things, than anything
else, including Jesus. But I said it in that way, which was the wrong way, yap yap.
We meant more to kids than Jesus did or religion, at that time. I wasn’t knocking it or
putting it down, I was just saying it. It was a fact. And it’s sort of…it is true, especially
more for England than here. But I’m not saying that we’re better--or greater--or comparing
us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing or whatever it is. You know, I just said
what I said, and it was wrong, or it was taken wrong, and now it’s all this.
Track 84: "Love & Jealousy" 16 seconds
From the video Gimme Some Truth
When you actually are in love with somebody, you tend to be jealous. And want to own them, possess them 100 percent, which I do. But intellectually, before that, well, I thought, right, you know, I mean, owning a person is rubbish. But I love Yoko. I want to possess her completely. I don’t want to stifle her.
Track 85: "Sex & Love" 16 seconds
From the video Gimme Some Truth
Well, I don’t know who made the Golden Rule that sex and love have to go together. Because I’ve enjoyed love without sex and sex without love. And they, quite often, come together, but just – (laughs) very good! But quite often, they don’t.
Track 86: "War & Violence" 28 seconds
From the video Gimme Some Truth
War is, I think, the most -- the thing we should really be talking about is the violence, you know, that goes on in this society. Not in Vietnam, but just right in England or Northern Ireland, which is part of Britain. That’s a far more important subject to talk about than how -- where’s your hem line and did you sleep with somebody when you were 15 or 16. I think that humans always tend to talk about rubbish and--because they don’t really want to face the reality.
Track 87: "Beatles Reunion" 26 seconds
1973 television interview with Elliot Mintz
Elliot Mintz: "Will they (The Beatles) ever team up again?"
John: It’s quite possible, yes. I don’t know why the hell we’d do it, but it’s possible. If it happens, I’ll enjoy it. I go on instinct and if the idea hit me tomorrow, you know, I might call them and say, "Come on, let’s do something." And so I couldn’t really tell you. If it happens, it’ll happen. My memories now are all fond and the wounds are healed and…if we do it, we do it. If we record, we record. I don’t know. As long as we make music.
Track 88: "Immigration Woes" 7 seconds
1974 radio interview with Dennis Elsas on WNEW-FM, New York
Occasionally I get into a little spot of trouble, but nothing that’s going to bring the country to pieces. I think there’s certainly room for an odd Lennon or two here.
Track 89 "Househusbandry" 2 minutes, 8 seconds
From The Playboy Interview with David Sheff, 1980
Lennon: I’d like it to be known that yes, she kicked me out. It took me a long time to get back in. And yeah, I looked after the baby and I made the bread and I was a househusband. And let them understand that. And I’m proud of it. And it was an enlightening experience for me because it was a complete reversal of my whole upbringing. And it’s the wave of the future, you know. And I’m glad to be in on the forefront of that, too.
Know the thing of feeling that one did not -- was not justified in being alive unless one was fulfilling other people’s dreams. Whether they were contractual dreams or dreams about the public fulfilling their dreams, or fulfilling my own dreams and illusions about what I thought I was supposed to be. Which, in retrospect, turned out to be not what I am. That’s what I was saying, I’ve lost the initial freedom of the artist by becoming enslaved to the image of the artist, of what the artist is supposed to do. And a lot of artists kill themselves because of that. You know, whether it be through drink, like a Dylan Thomas, or through insanity like another artist -- you know, like a Van Gogh or anybody. Or V.D. and craziness like Gauguin, you know. Painting a picture for his child which he never spent any time with, you know. Trying to create a masterpiece to give to the child. But meanwhile, the child dies and anyway he gets V.D. and the masterpiece burns down, is burnt to the ground. And even had it survived, better he should have stayed with the kid. That was the conclusion I came to.
David Sheff: Why were you able to see that and most people don’t? Most people would have gone on and did the next album…
Lennon: Most people don’t live with Yoko Ono. That’s the main difference. Or don’t have a companion who will tell you the truth.
Track 90: "1980" 49 seconds
From the motion picture Imagine: John Lennon. 1980.
Sean was born on October the 9th, which I was. So we’re almost like twins. It’s a pleasure for me to hang around the house. I was always a homebody. But I think a lot of musicians are. I’ve been so locked into home environment and completely switched my way of thinking that I didn’t really think about music at all. My guitar was sort of hung up behind the bed, literally. And I just don’t think I took it down in five years.
I’d go through periods of panic because I was not in the Billboard or being seen at Studio 54 with Mick and Bianca. I mean, I didn’t exist anymore. And I realized there was a life without it. I thought "this reminds me of being 15!" I didn’t have to write songs at 15. I wrote it if I wanted to. That’s when I suddenly could do it again with ease. All the songs that are on Double Fantasy all came within a period of three weeks.
Track 91: "Famous Last Words" 35 seconds
From the motion picture Imagine: John Lennon. 1980.
When I was singing and writing this and working with her, I was visualizing all the people of my age group. I’m singing to them. I’m saying, "Here I am now. How are you? How’s your relationship going? Did you get through it all? Wasn’t the ‘70s a drag, you know? Here we are. Well, let’s try and make the ‘80s good, you know."
It’s not out of our control. I still believe in love, peace. I still believe in positive thinking. While there’s life, there’s hope. Because I always consider my work one piece and I consider that my work won’t be finished until I’m dead and buried. And I hope that’s a long, long time.
*John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band Produced by John & Yoko and Phil Spector
**Imagine Produced by Produced by John & Yoko and Phil Spector
***Double Fantasy John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Jack Douglas
Starting Over Producer and Interviewer: Jody Denberg
Recorded at NTV Studios, NYC, by Josh Heineman, Clifford Kennet and Jeff Glicklin
Digital Editing by J.D. Foster at Sperry Sound and Picture, NYC
Mastering by Jerry Tubb at Terra Nova Digital Audio, Austin, Texas
Special Thanks: Curt Fritzeen, Karla Merrifield (Studio One), Dave Ayers, Ricky Riker, Brian Corona, Eimar Bradbury (Capitol Records), Elliot Mintz, Jim Trawicki, Barbara Koonce.