Previously Unpublished John Lennon & Yoko Ono 1969 Interview

Source: Paste Magazine

As a member of the Wolfgang’s Vault family, Paste has access to a rich archive of historic audio interviews from a variety of sources. Many of these interviews have never existed in text form. Our new From the Vault series will publish a different interview each week from our favorite rock ’n’ roll icons. We begin with John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous Bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel on May 26, 1969.

Knowing that there would be a huge amount of publicity surrounding their wedding on March 20, John Lennon and Yoko Ono decided to use the opportunity to promote a cause close to their hearts. Their first Bed-In for Peace took place in late March during their honeymoon in Amsterdam, where they sat in a hotel bed and allowed members of the media to swing by during the day to discuss their ideas for achieving world peace. Hoping to reach a larger audience, a second Bed-In was scheduled for late May in New York, but because of John’s conviction for possession of marijuana and resultant inability to enter the U.S., it ended up taking place in Montreal.

This interview was recorded over the phone during this second Bed-In with a friend of the couple, journalist (and Oscar-winning filmmaker a few years later) Howard Smith. In keeping with the spirit of the occasion, the focus is largely on the message of peace that the two were trying to spread. While Smith was most likely supportive of their intentions, it is hard to tell here, as he asks whether or not their methods are effective. It is a healthy balance, with Smith’s skepticism prodding John and Yoko to explain the philosophy behind their acts in detail, and his familiarity allowing the tape to capture two individuals in the center of an historical event.

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