Date: 2 May 1969
Time: 12:30 - 1:00 pm
Location: Studio G, Lime Grove Studios, London
Interviewer: Michael Wale
Broadcast: 2 May 1969, 10:55 - 11:35 pm
BBC1: How Late It Is
. . . are John Lennon and Yoko Ono, whose new film, The Rape . . . John and Yoko have come to the studio tonight to talk to Michael Wale and to show us part of their film.
YOKO: Well, this is a film about life. And so, you can just take ten minutes or twenty minutes, any time out of it and it works. But, it's about, especially about contemporary life, where people are constantly exposing each other and prying into each other's life and causing tension from that.
JOHN: It's also in a foreign language.
YOKO: Well, we're all talking foreign languages to each other, you know.
JOHN: The point is it doesn't matter what she says. All she's really saying, all the time 'Why me? Of all the people in the world?'
YOKO: But I'm saying that all the time it's the world, you know, we're always saying that 'Why me? Why me?' you know.
JOHN: You asked for it that's why.
YOKO: And our language is very foreign to other people's things, you know.
MICHAEL WALE: Can you tell me first of all how you set about making this film?
JOHN: Well, Yoko had what she calls a script, which is 'Let's make a film about . . .' you know, like that. And we were in hospital and I was having my miscarriage and we did it from the hospital, you know. And we got the cameraman Nick and said, 'Now you go out and chase somebody about, Nick'. So he went and he did about half a dozen test runs on different people, in Hyde Park, there's some good stuff, he never went on long enough because he was a kind guy, he didn't want to intrude, you know, but the idea was to intrude. And the whole bit is try not react to the camera, but after that half an hour, 'I think you have to give an explanation, old man'. But none of that went far enough, you know. So he went out, and I don't know how many days he went out, maybe about a week or two and he finally came up with the girl, you know.
MICHAEL WALE: Now this girl, was she an actress?
JOHN: Well, somebody in Montreux said, 'Did you know this girl had actually played . . ' you know, and it was probably something like Alice In Wonderland at school, I don't know what she's been doing. Whether she was an actress . . . we didn't know.
YOKO: She's modelling now.
JOHN: She's modelling now, so I think she'll turn into an actress, you know. But I don't think she was. But some guy said she was and she might have been, but if she's an actress, she gets an Oscar for that, she's not acting in that. That's real.
MICHAEL WALE: And this girl, she didn't really know why she was being followed?
JOHN: No, what she's saying all the time is 'What is this?' You know, everybody reacts the same at first, 'Is this the television, am I on?' you know and they're all a bit happy about it. And after about a half an hour they get a bit uncomfortable, you know, they go through all these changes. And they start saying, 'Well, what is it?' We told the cameraman and the soundman not to answer, because then they communicate and they become sort of friends, you know, something happens between them. So then say, 'What is it for? Please tell me what it's about' and it goes on and on like that. And all she ever says almost, is 'What is it? What is it?'
MICHAEL WALE: Now it is about intrusion, but who are the intruders?
JOHN: Well, we all intrude on each other, you know, always spying and looking through the curtains down the road and watching each other's lives, and everybody watches everybody and the press watch everybody and we watch the press, just everybody really.
YOKO: Well, we're all peeping Toms, you know.
MICHAEL WALE: Well, that in fact, on the back of your new LP.
JOHN: Out today, but tomorrow for the full special.
MICHAEL WALE: Shows you coming out court and police surrounding you, not exactly grinning. That was after you were on a drugs charge. Were they intruders?
JOHN: Well, I mean, it's their job, it's called to intrude, but at that time they were helping us get out. So that's how friendly they look when they're helping. But that really tells the whole story, you know.
MICHAEL WALE: When they arrived at your house, what happened? The cops would have knocked at the door. . .
JOHN: Oh, well, it was a bit strange, because we were lying a-bed, as is our wont, and there was a sort of knock, and Yoko opens the door, doesn't open it, it's one of those flat bits, she goes to the front door and says, 'Who is it?' and a voice says 'Uh, I'm the postman,' said a woman's voice. And Yoko says, 'A postman is a man!' And then, 'I have a special message for you,' and Yoko, we're panicking, because it's either the press or some mad fan, so anybody that knocks like that. So, this goes on for a bit, so she's too intrigued, . . . the fucker opens the door, excuse me, and I'm still in the bed but I can hear it going on, and I just stop in a peep and there's a few people at the door, all in plain clothes, so you couldn't tell what it was. So she runs back in, 'What is it? What is it?' And she's all panicking and pregnant and that, 'What is it? What is it?' People at the door and all that. And she's just sort of recovering on the floor, and there's this banging on the window, I thought, oh, they've got me, you know, not the police, but whoever it is that's trying to get me. And I open the curtains and this giant, like super-policeman is against the window, and we didn't have any clothes on, just sort of nighties, the guy is against the window, I'm trying to hold it down, 'What is it? What is it?' And he says, 'Huuuuuuh!' And I don't know whether he said 'I'm the police' I never heard it, but I'm saying, 'Ring, ring the police' you know. And it just went on, it was like Marx Brothers, but it didn't feel like that at the time.
MICHAEL WALE: But in fact, these were pressures on you, and do the pressures, have they affected your life, and in there, in fact that was during your miscarriage.
YOKO: Well, everything affects our life, you know. But life is pretty exciting.
MICHAEL WALE: Our program tonight is mainly about nostalgia, are you nostalgic about anything John?
JOHN: Each other and yesterday, you know.
MICHAEL WALE: Yoko?
YOKO: About us, you know. About John and Yoko meeting, and about today. About the future.
MICHAEL WALE: John and Yoko then, thank you very much.