Yoko Ono

jody denberg series: yoko ono 2000

 

These John Lennon quotes taken from several interviews with him are a part of the Starting Over promotional CD (Capitol) - these quotes are featured on this website with kind permission.


John Lennon & The '60s Revolution (from a 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."


The Jesus Apology (from a 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."


Love & Jealousy (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."


Sex & Love (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."


War & Violence (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."


Beatles Reunion (from a 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."


Immigration Woes (from a 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."


Househusbandry (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 Scheff: "Why were you able to see that and most people don't? Most people would have gone on and did the next album…"

Househusbandry (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 Scheff: "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."


1980 (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."


Famous Last Words (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."

 

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