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 John Lennon - In His Own Words

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For many, John Lennon was the Beatles. He was their driving force, he was the tough guy who was strangely vulnerable, the quick-witted Liverpudlian with all the answers. In the final year of his remarkable life, he talks with renewed confidence and vigor about his latest record, the '60s, and his own mortality.

John Lennonhe thing the '60s did was show us the possibility and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.

And in the '70s everybody's going nah, nah, nah. And possibly, in the '80s, everyone will say, well, okay, let's project the positive side of life again.

You have to give thanks to God or whatever it is up there for the fact that we all survived. We all survived Vietnam or Watergate or the tremendous upheaval of the whole world. It's changed. We (the Beatles) were the hits of the '60s, but the world is not like the '60s.

I am going into an unknown future, but we're still all here. We're still wild about life, there's hope!

I'm talking to guys and gals who had been through what we had been through together, the '60s group that survived...survived the war, the drugs, the politics, the violence on the street, the whole shabang. That we survived it, and we're here, and I'm talking to them, and the women's song is to Yoko, and it's to all women.

I'm more feminist now than I was when I sang 'Woman is the Nigger." I was intellectually feminist then, but now I feel as though at least I've put, not my own money, but my body where my mouth is, and am living up to my own preachings, as it were.

John Lennon's Seventies
Billboard Top 40 Singles

"Instant Karma (We All Shine On)"  3/70  #3
"Power To The People"  4/71  #11
"Imagine"  10/71  #3
"Mind Games"  12/73  #18
"Whatever Gets You Through The Night"  10/74  #1
"#9 Dream"  1/75  #9
"Stand By Me"  4/75  #20

You know, the words, 'All we are saying is give peace a chance,' literally came out of my mouth as a spoken word for a reporter, after being asked millions and millions of times, "What are you doing?"

Well, all I am saying is give peace a chance, not that I have the answer, or I have a new format for society because I don't, and I don't believe anybody else has.

It's like the channels on the radio were jammed. I wasn't getting clear signals. After 10, 15, almost 20 years of being under contract, and having to produce two albums a year and a single every three months, in the early days, regardless of what the hell else was doing, or what your family life was like or what your personal life was like, nothing counted you just had to get those songs up!

I don't want to have to sell my soul again, as it were, to have a hit record. I've discovered that I can live without it, and it makes it happier for me, but I'm not going to go back in and try to create a person who would not be myself.

I don't feel like 40. I feel like a kid. And I've got so many good years left ahead with Yoko and our son. At least, we're hoping so.

I hope the young kids like it as well but I'm really talking to the people who grew up with me. I'm saying "Here I am now. How are you? How's your relationship going? Did you get through it all? Wasn't the seventies a drag, you know? Well, here we are, let's make the eighties great because it's up to us to make what we can of it."

John Lennon

"It took me forty years to finally grow up. I see things now that I never knew existed before."

Why were people angry at me for not working? You know, if I was dead, they wouldn't be angry at me. If I'd conveniently died in the mid-'70s, after my Rock and Roll album or Walls and Bridges, they'd all be writing this worshipful stuff about what a great guy I was and all. But I didn't die, and it just infuriated people that I would live and just do what I wanted to do.

I'm going to have fun with it now, like I did when we first started. I never could have written 'Starting Over' in 1975. I'm finding myself writing like I first used to write; these past five years helped me liberate myself. So, I could write again without consciously thinking about it, which was a joy.

This is like our first album. It's to say hi, hello, here we are. The next one will verify it, and then we'll start work on the third. It's fun to be rocking and rolling now, but if it gets not to be fun, then I'll just walk away. Because I know I can walk away now.

It's called "Starting Over" because that's exactly what I am doing. It took me forty years to finally grow up. I see things now that I never knew existed before.

If I couldn't have worked with Yoko, I wouldn't have bothered. I wouldn't enjoy just putting an album out by myself, having to do this by myself, have to go to the studio by myself. After all, we're presenting ourselves as a couple, and to work with your best friend is a joy, and I don't intend to stop it.

John Lennon's Seventies
Billboard Top 10 Albums

The Plastic Ono Band - Live Peace In Toronto  1/70  #10
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band  12/70  #6
Imagine  9/71  #1
Mind Games  11/73  #9
Walls and Bridges  10/74  #1
Rock 'N' Roll  3/75  #6
Shaved Fish  11/75  #12

I started out doing rock and roll because I absolutely liked doing it. So that's why I ended up doing a track like 'Starting Over.' It's kinda tongue in cheek, it's kinda hoo-de-hoo-do-ho-ho...sort of a la Elvis. I went back to my roots. I've had the boyhood thing of being the 'Elvis' and doing my own thing and getting my spot on the show. Now I want to be with my best friend -- my best friend is my wife. Who cold ask for anything more?

We feel like this is just a start now. You see, 'Double Fantasy' -- this is our first album. I know we've worked together before, we've even made albums together before -- but this is our first album. We feel, I feel, like nothing has ever happened before today!

John Lennon Lyrics
John Lennon Videos

When I left England I still couldn't go on the street. i was still Carnaby Street and all that stuff was going on. We couldn't walk around the block and go to a restaurant unless you wanted to go with the business of 'the star going to the restaurant' garbage. Now, here, I've been walking the streets for the last seven years.

When we first moved to New York we actually lived in the village, Greenwich Village, the arty farty section of town where all the students and the would-be's live, and a few old poets. Yoko told me, "Yes, you can walk on the street!" but I would be walking all tense-like, waiting for someone to say something or jump on my. It took me two years to unwind.

I can go out of this door now and go to a restaurant. Do you want to know how great that is? Or go to the movies? People come up and ask for autographs or say "Hi!" but they won't bug you. They say "Howya doing? Like your record" or "Howya doing? How's the baby?..." 

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