Friday, June 16, 2006

Interview: John Lennon, Doncaster - December 10, 1963

This Lennon interview is interesting as John refuses to provide the nice “personality” piece that the interviewer seeks, and instead challenges most questions and dismisses the rest with one-liners. John does, however, oblige the interviewer in reading one of his new poems, which would become “Neville Club” in Lennon’s first book, In His Own Write, published three months later.

Q: It’s said, John Lennon, that you have the most Goon-type humor of the four Beatles.

Lennon: Who said that?

Q: I think I read it in one of the newspapers.

Lennon: You know what the newspapers are like.

Q: I don’t know. What are they like?

Lennon: Wrong.

Q: [laughs] This is going wrong…I want to get a nice “personality” bit.

Lennon: I haven’t got a nice personality.

Q: [laughs] Is this evidence of Goon-type humor?

Lennon: No, I don’t think I really have Goon-type humor. That’s just an expression people use.

Q: What has the success you’ve enjoyed with the Beatles meant to you personally?

Lennon: More money than I had before. That’s the good bit.

Q: Is it going to make any difference to your life the way you live it after, say, this calms down…the enormous excitement you’re generating at the moment?

Lennon: I don’t know, you know. Really.

Q: Do you think your career as a comic might open up to you?

Lennon: No. [laughs] I don’t stand a chance being a comic.

Q: Why not?

Lennon: I’m not funny enough.

Q: You were interested in poetry in school.

Lennon: Who said?

Q: It’s printed in a book compiled by the Beatles and entitled, The Beatles.

Lennon: [laughs] I haven’t read that book. We don’t normally write those things.

Q: Written any good comic poems lately?

Lennon: Yes.

Q: [laughs] I just happened to have it here by sheerest coincidence.

Lennon: “Dressed in my brown…” Oh no, I’ve lost it. Hold on. I can’t read it, you see. I’ve only just written it. Well, that’s how it starts, actually!

Q: [laughs]

Lennon: “Dressed in my teenold brown sweater I easily micked with crown at Neville Club, a seemy hole. Soon all but soon people accoustic me saying such thing as ‘where the charge man?’ ” I’m turning it over… “All too soon I noticed boys and girls sitting in a hubbeled lump, smoking Hernia and taking Odeon, and getting very high. Some were only 4 foot 3 high, but he had Indian Hump which he grew in his sleep.” But things like that just help me keep sane.

Q: Is this business enough to drive you insane?

Lennon: No, I’m quite normal really. If you read in the Beatle books…it says I’m quite normal.

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