Q. Well, er, John it’s been a long time no speak….
A. Has it been that long?
Q. Probably, anyway, what have you been doing since we last talked?
A. Oh, the usual…….
Q. I see, well, weren’t you supposed to be making an oldies album with Phil (for is it he) Spector?
A. Yes, we started in ‘73, but it never ended, even Alex beeinhisbonnet Bennett noticed that.
Q. Then suddenly, as it were, you were working with that great radio star, Harry (Buckminster) Nilsson.
A. Quite right! I produced his album, “Pussycats” out now, at a reasonable discount, then went on to make my own reasonably wonderful album, “Walls And Bridges” out now, which includes the fast rising single, “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” featuring my close friend and fiancee, Elton John, on piano and vocal harmony.
Q. Do you feel that you new album, “Walls And Bridges” is a step forward in your never ending search for artistic fulfillment, the struggle of the lonely……..
A. I went to party in L.A., just to look at Liz Taylor, was I thrilled to meet her, and on top of everything, who, but who, do you think was all over her armpit? None other than the great, great show, David The Bowie! Wow! Was I thrilled to see that they were both smaller than me!
Q. The track I liked best was that miserable one about “Nobody loves you when…….”
A. And Brian Wilson was there too and Ringo and Elton, and it was somebody’s 21st…….
Q. Do you mean smaller physically?
A. I feel quite happy about the album. “Walls And Bridges” out now, the title of which, was sent from above in the guise of a public service announcement.
Q. How How! I was meaning to ask you, John, what you thought of the Beatlefest, and why you didn’t go, and are you getting back together again, how’s your immigration, and is it true about you and…….
A. Great. Nervous. You never know. Very appealing. If you want to help, write your congressperson, or some such similar…..
Q. About those dreadful stories that came out of L.A. with you and Harry, etc…..
A. Mostly fiction, with a grain of alcohol….
Q. I mean you don’t have to answer, but did you rape a waitress in the Rainbow…..?
A. I never actually laid a hand on anyone, in fact, it was impossible, I was carried out…
Q. But…. But…. Todd Rudgren said that you…….
A. That’s what you get for reading fanzines.
Q. Do you like glitter?
Q. Talking of the Beatlefest, didn’t you find it strange that David Peel and Alex Beeinhisbennet were both there playing 5th Beatle?
A. Yes! Considering that the day before I’d seen Peel on cable TV screaming about the Beatles ripping people off etc. etc… Alex? Well, he’s sooo controversial! He’s just getting into Andy Warhol you know, he’s very deep.
Q. Didn’t you produce an album of Peel’s for Apple?
A. Yes, one of the highlights of my career!
Q. Who else have you produced records for in you astonishing but sometimes perfectly ordinary life?
A. Elephant’s Memory, Yoko, Harry… myself.
Q. Now that you’ve been living in N.Y. 3 years, do you still….
A. If you look closely at the wonderful “Walls And Bridges”, out now, album package, you will notice a little notice saying, “I saw a U.F.O…” why don’t you ask me about that?
Q. Oh, I hadn’t noticed, did you really… where you drunk? high? having a primal?
A. No. Actually I was very straight. I was lying naked on my bed, when I had this urge…
Q. Don’t we all…?
A. So I went to the window, just dreaming around in my usual poetic frame of mind, to cut a long short story, there, as I turned my head, hovering over the next building, no more than a hundred feet away was this thing… with ordinary electric light bulbs flashing on and off round the bottom, one non-blinking red light on top…. what the Nixon is that! I says to myself (for no one else was there)… Is it a helicopter? No! It makes no noise… ah then, it must be a ballon! (Frantically trying to rationalize it, in all my too human way) but no!! Balloons don’t look like that, nor do they fly so low, yes folks, it was flying (very slow, about 30 m.p.h.,) below…. I repeat, below most roof tops (i.e. higher than the ‘old building’ lower than the ‘new’.) all the time it was there, I never took my eyes off it, but I did scream to a friend who was in another room “Come and look at this” etc. etc. My friend came running and bore witness with me. Nobody else was around. We tried to take pictures (shit on my polaroid, it was bust) with a straight camera. We gave the film to Bob Gruen to develop, he brought back a blank film…. said it looked like it had been thru the radar at customs…. well, it stayed around for a bit, then sailed off…….
Q. Did you check to see…….
A. Yeh, yeh, the next day Bob (is it in focus) Gruen rang the Daily News, Times, police to see if any one else reported any thing. Two other people and or groups of/ said they too saw something….. anyway I know what I saw…….
Q. Aren’t you afraid of people won’t believe you…. crazy Lennon/Maharishi/etc….
A. That’s just one of the many burdens I will have to bear in this day of waterbabies, inflation, generation crap, highly influential but not untidy….
Q. That’s very brave of you, John, talking of Marharishi, what is the concept behind your new album, “Walls And Bridges,” out now?
A. It’s an unconcept album….
Q. But it has to have one…….
A. No it doesn’t.
Q. Yes it does.. take the first track for instance “Going Down On Love,” that seems to be saying something….
A. Next you’ll be asking me who “Steel And Glass” is about (3rd track side 2..).. I can tell you who it isn’t about, for instance, it’s not about Jackie Kennedy, Mort Sahl, Sammy Davis, Better Midler… Eartha Kitt, it’s not about her either….
Q. It’s not Paul again… is it? I mean you two are like… I mean grow up…
A. Wrong again.
Q. Everyone’s saying this is your best album since Imagine… how do you feel?
A. I prefer the “Mother/Working Class Hero” then “Imagine” album myself.. Anyway, I suppose anything you do is either better or worse than something or other, I mean, that’s how we seem to categorize things….. it’s probably the way we remember…. it helps us remember… “this fish tastes as good as the fish we had in St. Tropez, but not as nice as the one Arthur caught off Long Island, do you remember that fish and chip shop in Blackpool…”
Q. I’m supposed to keep this up for a few more pages… when actually I’d finished the whole thing on “do you like glitter?”
Q. It’s so hard to think of questions to ask you, I mean, you must have been asked nearly everything over that last few year… is there anything you’d like to say, you know, instead of just answering these dumb… I mean you can say ANTYTHING YOU WANT…. I’m sure you mus have something to say that you haven’t said already…….
A. Not really…….
A. I’ll ask you one. Why does Roman Polansky always wear the same suit?
Q. I’m stumped.
A. To get to the other side! Silly!
Q. My turn… What happened between you and Klein?
A. He was unfaithful…….
Q. I mean, you always seem to get in so DEEP, with things, then the next minute…
A. To get to the other side! Silly!
Q. That’s deep… do you see much of the other ex Beatles? Or is it a sore point?
A. I love my little Beatles… I’ve seen a lot of Ringo… cause he comes to America a lot, as you know, I can’t leave here or they’d do a Charlie Chaplin on me and I don’t want an award at sixty, telling me how wonderful I used to be, but not quite wonderful enough to be allowed to live here now…. Paul, Ringo and I spent some nice afternoons in L.A. He (Paul and Linda) also came to visit in New York recently, and we had a great evening reminiscing.. in fact, it was two great evenings… which reminds me… only yesterday… to coin a phrase…. he and lovely Linda sent me a heartwarming telegram about my new album, “Walls And Bridges,” out now…
Q. Don’t you ever stop name dropping and plugging your album, “Walls And Bridges,” out now?
A. Not if I can help it!
Q. It is rather gross, John….
A. 20% in fact….
Q. How cute! I see you never mentioned George… is there something….
A. No it’s just that he hasn’t been here in such a long time.
Q. Is it true you and Ringo are going to appear with him on his upcoming tour?
A. Not on your nelly! Just another rumour Dr…..
Q. Why not? It sounds like fun…
A. No one ever asked… and he probably wants all the loot for himself…
Q. That’s a little bitter sounding, John, people might get the wrong idea….
A. No, it’s just a pleasant reality, my dear, nothing more nothing less..
Q. Todd Rundgren said you were a “fucking idiot” in an english rock paper, what do you have to say to that?
A. I appreciate his concern…
Q. Is that all you’re going to say.. I mean aren’t you going to be bitingly witty or something?
A. Well.. I did write a little something… I sent it to the Melody Maker.. the trouble it…. I quite like the little rabbit….
Q. Have you any plans to go on tour? Like it’s a long time since… what was it… Geraldo?..
A. I haven’t got a band. It’s not that easy without a band, I mean, you’ve got to start from scratch… I get a lot of offers to do benefits.. it makes me guilty to refuse… trouble is… the people that ask, don’t understand the business…
Q. That sounds like a copout, John, if you don’t mind me saying so…
A. Well, you’re entitled to your opinion… I also get BIG MONEY offers too… but that doesn’t make the job easier… slightly more interesting but…
Q. I HEAR YOU’VE BEEN DOING A LOT OF RADIO…….
A. In connection with my new album, “Walls And Bridges,” out now…
Q. How do you like being a d.j.?
A. Actually… I really enjoy it.. I was brought up on it… Radio, I mean,.. I’ve been thinking of doing something regular… for a few years now…I don’t mean just playing records… but like, making tapes and… I wouldn’t like to get stuck in there, you know, with formats and such… I thought the best thing to do would be to, you know, just make tapes and put them on W.B.A.I., Pacifica or whatever, they could have any money etc.. and I’d have fun… maybe I will…. I just never seem to get around to it…. tho I was talking to an old ex radio friend, Elliot (after dinner) Mintz, on the west coast, he said he’d love to help…. you know… well who knows….
Q. I’m sure a lot of people would love to….
A. Yes, yes quite.
Q. Talking of radio, I heard that you and… of all people… Howard Cosell… were going to do something together…
A. On radio, yes, I only heard about it today myself… hmmmm.. interesting..
Q. It’s your birthday soon and you will be 34.. doesn’t that worry you… you know ‘aging pacifist, rock star crinkles before our eyes’.. that kind of thing..
A. 9th of October… send presents to Lennon Music, 1370 Ave. of the Americas, 6th floor… I quite like feeling the way I do, since thirty etc., in fact, it feels better than say 24… it’s the sound of it, it SOUNDS sort of scary… you know.. life simply flashing by… and me still trying to get in the top ten and all… but it feels ok.
Q. Do you think you’ll make any more movies, I mean, appear in them, like that Dick Lester thing… “How I Won The War?”
A. The main thing I learned from that… when was it 66/67? was that it’s BORING, sitting ‘round waiting for the director.. he has all the fun… not that I’m actually inundated with offers… but the things that do come my way are sort of… I think shit is the word I’m looking for.
Q. How about writing music for movies?
A. Well obviously I get offered more of that kind of thing, but it would have to really interest me.
Q. Why are you typing this as if someone was here with you, asking all these things?
Q. It makes a change… anyway, I enjoy typing… I only learned it last year… but my neck IS beginning to hurt and it’s getting a bit boring..
Q. I’m sorry. Just a few more questions MR. LENNON, I’m sure you understand I have a deadline… my editor… etc..
A. Alright then, GET ON WITH IT!
Q. Have you ever fucked a guy?
A. Not yet, I thought I’d save it til I was 40, life begins at 40 you know, tho I never noticed it.
Q. It is trendy to be bisexual and you’re usually ‘keeping up with the Jones’, haven’t you ever… there was talk about you and PAUL…
A. Oh, I thought it was about me and Brian Epstein… anyway I’m saving all the juice for my own version of THE REAL FAB FOUR BEATLES STORY etc.. etc..
Q. It seems like you’re saving quite a lot for when you’re 40..
A. Yes, there might be nothing better to do, tho I don’t believe it.
Q. Your life must be so glamorous being a superstar and meeting people like Howard Cosell and Mayor Beame…
A. I havent met either of them…
Q. Well, you know what I mean… because of my association with you, people are always asking me ‘What’s he really like,’ how can I them you’re just a beautiful, shy, modest, amazingly creative, paranoid pop star?
A. Shucks! You dont have to do that, just listen to my new album, “Walls And Bridges,” out now..!
Q. Of course, on the other hand, you’re a fucking ego maniac…
A. Of course, but who isn’t?
Q. Off hand I can’t name one…
A. Well, if you find one let’s go and interview him/her/it…
Q. What a jolly idea. Perhaps we could get a commission.. you know a sort of wandering Jill Johnston.
A. I bought her a pair of shoes once, she’s never forgiven me! Didn’t somebody buy the Village Voice? It seems to have changed a litte, mainly in the way they squash the front page up… does Jan Wenner own it or what?
Q. No, it’s just keeping up…
A. With the Times… we all know that one… I don’t care what Lori Sebastian says, I’ve had enough of this… anyway it’s not as if I’m on the cover or anything, I mean jeeze, I love Andy and everything, but this is it!
With that Mr. Lennon showed me the door, which was white. He was wearing jeans and a Mick Jagger tee-shirt. I wore a certain look.