In 1972, sat alongside his wife Yoko Ono, John Lennon delivered an impromptu string of Buddy Holly cover songs which was filmed by Apple Records.
At the time of the recording, Lennon and Ono were heavily involved in the heavy anti-war protests and, as a result, became under threat from U.S. President Richard Nixon who as actively trying to have the former Beatle deported from the country.
Despite political issues and ongoing disputes with the US government, Lennon and Ono continued to write, record and release new music as prolifically as before and did so to moderate success—albeit if their material was delivered with a political edge.
Having just released Some Time in New York City, the part-studio and part-live double album, Ono and Lennon took a respite from the heavy political and social issues tackled on the record and decided to have a good ‘ol singalong to one of Lennon’s idols, Buddy Holly.
“Buddy Holly was the first one that we were really aware of in England who could play and sing at the same time—not just strum, but actually play the licks,” Lennon once said.
Lennon also said of Holly: “He was a great and innovative musician. He was a ‘master’. His influence continues, I often wonder what his music would be like now, had he lived…”
With Ono clapping along to Lennon’s electric guitar, the two sing renditions of ‘Rock Island Line’ and an experimental medley of ‘Maybe Baby’ and ‘Peggy Sue’.
See the clip, below.