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JOHN LENNON, NEW YORK, 1975


QUESTION: What were you thinking and feeling when you were fifteen?

JOHN: I was thinking if only I could get out of Liverpool, I might get a break. I wanted to be a famous artist. Possibly I would have to marry a rich old lady, or man, you know, to look after me while I did my art. But then rock 'n' roll came along, and so I didn't have to marry anybody.

QUESTION: How do you feel now about your music with the Beatles?

JOHN: Beatle records stand up in any period unless the music really changes. We were all used to groups like the Grateful airplane. We were always ourselves. You could pick any Beatle record and a few of them are obviously of an era. But most of them still sound current like "Hey Jude," or songs like "Eleanor Rigby." It doesn't matter what period or what era, they would go down well.

QUESTION: What were the Beatles really tryingto do? And why all the hostility when you broke up?

JOHN: When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, it's the song, you know. And, if anything, the Beatles were figureheads. I could speak [about them] more succinctly later on when I thought about it. I call it divorce, right? But when I thought about it, obviously, I could change my mind.

QUESTION: What did the Beatles actually contribute to their generation?

JOHN: I have a picture of it now. There was a ship sailing to the new world. I saw this group on the ship, maybe the Stones were up there too, but I just said, "Land Ho!". So we were all part of it. We were in the crow's nest. We contributed whatever we could. I can't designate what we did or didn't do, how each individual was impressed by the Beatles, physically, or whatever. And we were all on this ship together, our generation. What we did was wake up the avant-garde in music and film. I mean, not just the Beatles, but rock 'n' roll itself, you know. And this so-called avant-garde was asleep, and we were going around in circles.

QUESTION: What is your goal these days?

JOHN: I'm now thirty-four and a lot of things one knew before but you couldn't live them. So now I'm trying to live out all the things I've learned in thirty-four years, to apply everyday. All those things from the psychedelic era to Maharashi or Janov, or anybody like that.

QUESTION: Do you like people?

JOHN: I do like people, but I do become whoever I'm with and so if I am with a madman, I become mad. If I'm with somebody I love, I become lovely. Right? So really, I'm like a cloud in the wind.

QUESTION: Do you want to clear up the idea that the Beatles were responsible for the drug scene?

JOHN: Hey! Actually that's a dumb question. Who gavethe drugs to the Beatles? I didn't invent those things, I just bought them. We never invented that stuff. The big story about the Beatles and LSD started in the British press after they interviewed Paul on TV. They asked him if he felt any responsibility announcing that he had taken LSD. So he said, "Okay, well, just don't put the film out then." How dare they say that we propaganted it.

© THE LOST BEATLES INTERVIEWS