John Lennon is interviewed for South African radio

John Lennon gave dozens of interviews towards the end of 1969, to plug Plastic Ono Band’s various activities and to further his peace campaign with Yoko Ono. On this day he spoke to Harry Flower from South African radio.

The interview took place in Lennon’s office at Apple Corps. They discussed the state’s prior ban on Beatles recordings, by now lifted. Flower explained that one station was planning a 90 minute special on the Abbey Road album. Lennon responded positively, adding that they should also do one on the newly-released Live Peace In Toronto 1969.

Lennon also discussed The Beatles’ Get Back album and film, as they were both then known, to be released in the new year. He also spoke of a Plastic Ono Band, as yet unwritten, which would be out in January. This became Instant Karma!, recorded on 27 January 1970 and released the following month.

Mention of his forthcoming War Is Over campaign brought further ideas: a Toronto peace festival, and the recruitment of Bag Productions representatives in South Africa, for which Lennon invited applicants.

Music wise, The Beatles have a new album out in January, called Get Back, and the Plastic Ono Band will probably make a single around January. We haven’t recorded it yet and John and Yoko’s peace movement has got a few things lined up. No doubt, you’ve heard one or two things about it over here. We have a poster event that is happening in many cities at once, like New York, Toronto, Paris, Rome, Berlin, London, Athens, Amsterdam, a poster event for Christmas which, we hope, will happen simultaneously on Monday the 15th, and go on all over Christmas. We’re going to Toronto next week to set up a peace concert in July, a big gathering in Canada. So that’s our latest plans.
John Lennon

Lennon was also involved in a campaign to have convicted murderer James Hanratty posthumously pardoned by the British government; a weekly public protest in London’s Hyde Park had been filmed by the couple, but there were plans to recruit a more experienced director. However, they made little further effort to support the campaign beyond the occasional public statement.

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