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John Lennon and Yoko Ono are interviewed by WABC-AM radio

During their late-1969 peace campaign in Toronto, Canada, John Lennon and Yoko Ono stayed at the farm owned by fellow musician Ronnie Hawkins, on Mississauga Road, Ontario.

On this evening Lennon gave an interview to New York City’s WABC-AM radio. He had invited the Village Voice reporter Howard Smith to Hawkins’ home to conduct the interview, which was recorded as Lennon and Ono ate stir fried vegetables and shrimp tempura.

The couple had given a great many interviews in recent weeks, and this touched upon many of the familiar themes: the peace campaign, the future of The Beatles, the Hanratty case, the return of Lennon’s MBE and the concept of Bagism.

Other details that emerged during the interview included: the stage for the proposed peace festival in 1970 would be a giant bed; a single person had been employed to preview the ‘War is over’ slogan on a sandwich board in New York before the campaign began; George Harrison and Ringo Starr had both briefly left The Beatles; the odds of the group ever touring again were 90-1.

Other information included a 10-day rice-only diet in Greece that had ended with a curry and milkshake in Bombay, India. Lennon described it as “like having every drug I’ve ever touched”. He said he and Ono planned to attend the Midem festival in Cannes in January 1970 as representatives of Apple.

Lennon also mentioned that he had a fake fur coat made out of human hair, which resembled “hundreds of Yoko’s heads”. Asked by Smith what music he was listening to, Lennon mentioned recent releases by Johnny Winer and Lee Dorsey.

The recording of the interview, which lasts for 86 minutes, is in circulation among bootleg collectors.

Last updated: 29 January 2012
John Lennon and Yoko Ono give a press conference in Toronto, Canada
Mixing: Plastic Ono Band live: Lyceum Ballroom, London
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