John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear on The Eamonn Andrews Show

11.00pm, Thursday 3 April 1969 (45 years ago)

Two days after being interviewed by Eamonn Andrews for the Today programme, John Lennon and Yoko Ono made another television appeareance.

The host was the same, but this time the programme was The Eamonn Andrews Show. It was filmed at the Café Royal restaurant on Regent Street, London for Thames Television, and broadcast live from 11-11.45pm.

Lennon and Ono were joined by singer and entertainer Rolf Harrison, US comedian Jack Benny, violinist Yehudi Menuhin and singer Gaynor Jones.

There were people on the show and at the show who wondered what the hell John and Yoko thought they were doing in bed and who the hell they thought they were to do it and why the hell should any normal person put up with it and when would it stop and where it would lead us and how would it bring peace to the world…

Jack Benny was on the show with John and Yoko and there was one very fine dramatic moment when he stood up and said, ‘I wouldn’t get involved in this row for a million dollars’, all of this with that famous clasping of his hands which, in their splendid theatricality, almost, but only almost and not really, obscured Benny’s real commitment which ran right down the line faithfully from Bob Hope, hopeless in his emigrant-patriot paranoia, solid with the forces of Light Freedom and Truth against the Red Hordes, wheeling in from the East in Chariots of flaming shit. Still, Jack Benny is Jack Benny. John said he didn’t worry about Communism, later told a friend he would have said, better red than dead, but he had to think of the Beatles image! Communists, yet?

Yehudi Menuhin who is also there, pointed out that there were certain circumstances in which it was necessary to kill. John wondered what these circumstances might be. He wondered to himself if Yehudi Menuhin would be prepared to be killed right then and there if, as a result, world peace could be reached. He asked Yehudi if Jesus had said anything about certain circumstances when it was necessary to kill. Yehudi says that is not the point. John says ‘What did Jesus say? Did he say anything about killing?’ Yehudi coughs and says, ‘No, Jesus didn’t but he didn’t say anything about staying in bed at the Hilton in Amsterdam.’ It is then John’s cue to say that nowhere in the New Testament (nor, for that matter, in the Old) is there anything about violins, but he doesn’t say this because already the audience are applauding Yehudi Menuhin, the violinist, for his wit. It was a dumb daft nothing-solved evening on the Eamonn Andrews Show and it was not helped by the presence of a Rolf Harris who didn’t want no boats rocked either.

Derek Taylor
As Time Goes By

The interview was somewhat combative, with Lennon feeling defensive against audience hostility towards the peace campaigns he and Ono had been conducting. Only a 10-minute clip of the full 17-minute interview survives.

Andrews: In fact, I believe that, I heard that, after your seven days in bed, you felt so tired that you wanted to come home to bed.

Lennon: We talked to the press from 10 in the morning till 10 at night to try and get peace through their heads and so we didn’t have much rest really.

Andrews: Well, let me ask you, which you’ve been asked since you came back, what were you after? What was this all about? What were you trying to achieve by doing these extraordinary, bizarre things, you and Yoko?

Lennon: Well, everything we do is aimed at peace, you know. And we spent days trying to communicate through the communication media, press and TV , and to try and tell people, who are interested in protesting, to try and do something about it, instead of sitting at home talking about it.

Everyone can give up one week of their holiday, which is what we did. It was an event, or it was a happening. It was just like a stage show.

Ono: It was very good, because we got a very good response from people.

Andrews: Well, let me ask the audience. Are there any of you here, and please don’t feel afraid to put your hand up, who have thought more about peace because of any of the things that John and Yoko have done?

[A man in the front row puts his hand up]

Andrews: Just tell me how this made you think about peace?

Man: Well, I thought he was the biggest piece of rubbish that I’ve heard this year. [Laughter and applause] If I can add to it, when reading the story of them both being in the bag, I did actually wonder as to whether they were refugees from the Lambeth bus man’s strike.

Lennon: Did you have a laugh?

Man: Did I have a laugh? Er, I think the example you set to some of the children, and youngsters, was nothing to laugh at.

Lennon: What did you think was wrong in two people staying in bed?

Man: The fact of you staying in bed was nothing wrong with that. In fact, if you stayed there longer, I think it would better for everybody.

Lennon: OK, but don’t get insulting. Look in the mirror before you get insulting. But, what offended you about what we did?

Man: I’m sure I don’t mind looking in the mirror, because I see something better than looking at you!

Lennon: That’s a matter of opinion. That’s a matter of personal taste now, but what offended you basically, can you really tell me what bugs you?

Man: Well, not the one item alone, but your general attitude. Your general attitude to the youngsters in this country, by the way you lead them, or tend to lead them, and try to make out that you’re not trying to do anything about it. One, you tell us you’re trying to create peace in this world, and everybody should be happy and joking, and the next minute, you’re telling us it’s nothing.

Ono: Well, have you done anything for peace?

Man: Yes, I think I have.

Ono: What have you done?

Man: Well, during the last war…

Lennon: No, now!

Ono: Now, now.

Man: During the last war, we spent our times trying to get peace.

John: Did you volunteer?

Man “Did I volunteer? Yes, I did.

Lennon: Oh, well, congratulations. But what are you doing now?

[Another man shouts from the audience] John, I think you’re beautiful!

Lennon: Thank you!

Another man “What’s beautiful about acorns?

Lennon: The acorn is a symbol of growth and, if you plant it, the tree will grow. But, if you bomb it, it won’t.

Man: No, I think you’re a bit of nutter!

Lennon: Can’t you see anything beautiful in acorns? Do you like trees?

Man: Everyone likes trees.

Lennon: Well, what do you think they come from – Jam jars?

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