John Lennon argues with Al Capp in Montreal

12.00pm, Sunday 1 June 1969 (44 years ago)

Hours before the recording of Give Peace A Chance at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada, John Lennon and Yoko Ono clashed with satirical cartoonist Al Capp.

If you watch some of the great footage in Imagine you see the cartoonist Al Capp. He comes into the bed-in and he’s really bitter. He’s a wicked old git, but John’s brilliant with him. John really wants to deck him but you can see he controls himself. I think John behaved very well there, because the guy is actually slagging off Yoko – and that’s one thing you don’t do. You don’t slag off someone’s missus – that’s tribal time, isn’t it? I think John was very good. It was: ‘Let’s not sink to his level.’
Paul McCartney
Anthology

The exchange later appeared in the documentary film Imagine. Capp introduced himself with the words “I’m a dreadful Neanderthal fascist. How do you do?”, and later sarcastically congratulated Lennon and Ono on their Two Virgins album cover.

I think that everybody owes it to the world to prove they have pubic hair. You’ve done it, and I tell you that I applaud you for it.
Al Capp

Lennon referred to the incident in The Ballad Of John And Yoko, his account of his early years with Ono, written in 1978 and published posthumously in the Skywriting By Word Of Mouth collection.

Many big egos came to see us there: Al Crapp, Dick Gregory, Tim Leary and Rosemary, Tommy Smothers (all except Crapp sang on Give Peace A Chance).

4 Responses to “John Lennon argues with Al Capp in Montreal”

  1. McLerristarr

    Is it a typo or is John insulting Al Capp by calling him Al Crapp. Being John, I’m assuming it’s the latter.

    Reply
      • Ted

        I just watched Imagine again last night…I love the Beatles and John Lennon but Capp makes some interesting points on the album artwork…

        Reply
  2. Joseph Brush

    I remember Al Capp.
    One day he drew the Beatles in his comic strip wearing colonial uniforms crossing the Delaware like George Washington and the Revolutionary army.
    He got into trouble with an adultery charge brought forth by a University or College student and he subsequently pleaded no contest.
    What a shame Al Capp turned into a reactionary in those last few years but there was severe public consequences to his adultery scandal.
    After enduring his sermonizing attitude the public turned against him because of the scandal and he had to fold his column.
    I was so saddened by his fall from grace as his column and wit was remarkable for years prior to his decline.

    Reply

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