Listen to John Lennon’s infamous 1980 Rolling Stone interview in full
In December 1970, just months after the break up of The Beatles was announced, John Lennon sat down with Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner alongside his wife, Yoko Ono, for an exclusive and wide-ranging interview.
The meeting, which was initially arranged as an attempt for Lennon to promote his primal therapy-inspired album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, originally resulted in an outpouring of emotion from the former Beatles member who openly discussed ex-bandmates, drug consumption, music, art, politics and more.
The interview, which Wenner had initially planned to run as a front-cover story for the Rolling Stone magazine, took on a whole new entity of its own and was re-published as the book Lennon Rememberswithout the Liverpudlian’s consent and remains a hugely influential turning point in the development of music journalism. “Initially published on the twentieth anniversary of his death, this candid book reveals new information on the breakup of the Beatles, fellow musicians such as Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, Lennon’s attitudes towards revolution and drugs, and his relationship with Yoko Ono,” the book synopsis reads.
In the interview, Lennon offers cutting comments about major figures of the music industry with the likes of George Martin, Mick Jagger, Derek Taylor and more coming in for criticism. “I was very incensed about that interview. I think everybody was. I think he slagged off everybody, including the Queen of England. I don’t think anyone escaped his attention,” Beatles producer Martin said later.
Lennon would also stab a dagger in the hearts of millions of Beatles fans when he confirmed that band were over for good: “I’m not going to record with another egomaniac,” he insisted. “There is only room for one on an album nowadays. There is no point, there is just no point at all. There was a reason to do it at one time, but there is no reason to do it anymore.”