When a 14-year-old managed to sneak into John Lennon’s hotel room for the greatest interview of all time
In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatles superfan called Jerry Levitan managed to successfully sneak into John Lennon’s hotel room and secure an exclusive interview.
The meeting, which took place in Toronto’s King Edward Hotel, resulted in Levitan convincing the iconic Beatle to allow him to him record an interview much to the surprise to Lennon himself. The meeting remained trapped on an old tape recorder for 38 years until Levitan teamed up director Josh Raskin for a new project; I Met the Walrus.
Levitan, who had heard a rumour that Lennon had flown to Toronto, made his way into the hotel suite and recorded a 30-minute conversation which was later edited down to five minutes. Raskin, recruiting illustrators James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina, created an animated short film using the original interview recording as the soundtrack.
The film was later nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film by the Oscars and received critically acclaimed for its mix of hand and computer-generated illustrations.
Lennon, entertaining the child, responded with honest and sincere answers to all of the questions he was faced with, tackling themes of politics, human nature and marijuana.