Imagine: John Lennon (1988) Script

I always was a rebel. But, on the other hand, I want... to be loved and accepted by all facets of society... and not be this loudmouth, lunatic poet-musician.

But I cannot be what I'm not.

Good morning. Good morning.

People say, "Why are you recording your life like a diary?"

The thing is that, as a Beatle, every song and every album... and every record and every film was a diary of who we were at the time.

But we were in the dark about it till later.

So when I got with Yoko... we were able to turn a light on in the middle of the creation of it.

The back is going to be eyes with two sunsets in it.

Freaky, isn't it?

What's the tune of lmagine?

It just goes, "Imagine there's no heaven...

"it's easy if you try. No hell below us.

"Only sky. Imagine all the people.

"Living for today." Whatever.

You'll hear the record.

When I think of Ascot, I think of making Imagine... and also just being together, strolling around in the gardens.

And it was a very intense and beautiful time for us.

- I should do How? First. All right. Set up How?

We built a studio connected to the house... and we recorded some songs there, too.

I was raised by my auntie.

My father and my mother split when I was about 4.

I had spent some time with my mother up till about 4.

Then my father split. He was a merchant seaman.

You can imagine, it was the 1940s, in the war and all that.

And he left, and I was brought up by an auntie.

I had to be solid because I had a boy to bring up.

It was my job to be there. He never came into an empty house.

What he could not make out was how I knew... when he was up to something.

He was inventive and was always the leader.

Every time he sat down, he never wasted a minute.

And it was always either drawing or writing poetry... or reading. He was a great reader.

And he sang himself to sleep every night.

And then when I was 16...

I re-established a relationship with my mother for about four years.

She taught me music. She first of all taught me the banjo... and, from that, I progressed to guitar.

And then, unfortunately, she was run over by an off-duty policeman... who was drunk at the time.

I lost her twice. Once as a 5-year-old when I was moved in with my auntie... and once again when I was re-establishing a relationship with her.

That was really a hard time for me... and it just absolutely made me very, very bitter.

The underlying chip on my shoulder I had as a youth was really big then.

It was very traumatic for me.

I had no idea about doing music as a way of life... until the rock 'n'roll hit me.

Then when rock 'n'roll hit me that changed my whole life.

You know, you went to see those movies... with Elvis or somebody in it, when we were still in Liverpool.

And you'd see everybody waiting to see him. And I'd be waiting there, too.

And they'd all scream when he came on the screen.

So I thought, "That's a good job."

He was rough, ready... and not my type at all. To start off with.

But again, this enigmatic character... you couldn't resist.

He was like a Teddy boy. He walked around without his glasses... a guitar over his shoulder... and a look that said, "Kill."

Paul met me the first day I did Be Bop a Lula live onstage.

A mutual friend brought him to see my group, called The Quarry Men.

And we met and we talked after the show.

And I saw he had talent. He was playing guitar backstage... doing Twenty-Flight Rock, by Eddie Cochran.

And I turned around to him right then on first meeting and said:

"Do you want to join the group?" And I think he said "yes" the next day.

Now George came through Paul... but the person I actually picked as my partner was Paul.

Hamburg? That city of sin?

No, certainly not. You can't go there.

He said, "Oh, come on, Mimi. We'll get 100 pounds a week. "

So in the end, he went.

I can remember the time when one drunken Kraut... tried to get onstage and John Lennon was eating onstage... and he threw his knife at him.

And then, not deterring the fellow... he promptly kicked him in the face to boot him off the stage.

And so you had this town full of gangsters... who used to love the Beatles... and used to send them crates of ale onstage.

And they'd be legless. Absolutely legless onstage.

Everywhere they played, they would finish up in a fight.

In actual fact, one place that I sent them to play... they used to have to hide behind the piano... because the popular thing was to throw the chairs at the group.

Then we went back to Liverpool, and there were quite a few bookings.

You know, they all thought we were German.

Anyway, Bill was from Hamburg, and they all said, "You speak good English."

I was told that he was playing in a place called The Cavern.

It was an old wine cellar... that had been turned into a sort of lunch club.

It was Brian that went there.

And he was only at the back of the hall... listening to those four boys, but whatever he saw... he saw that little spark.

And he went right around and offered himself as their manager.

I was immediately struck by their music, their beat... and their sense of humor, actually, onstage.

And even afterwards, when I met them...

I was struck again by their personal charm.

And it was there that, really, it all started.

It took about eight months to... get to the stage where we had a recording contract... and we were having the first record issued.

That was Love Me Do.

I think it was a very fortunate coming together... that we seemed to hit it off very well.

When we were in the studio, we did really collaborate as a team.

There weren't any egos protruding through.

But I was very, very lucky to have met up with them.

George had done no rock 'n'roll when we met him... and we'd never been in the studio, so we did a lot of learning together.

He had a very great musical knowledge and background.

So he could translate for us and suggest a lot of things. Which he did.

And he'd come up with amazing technical things.

When the Beatles were depressed, thinking the group was going nowhere... and this is a shitty deal, and we're in a shitty dressing room...

I'd say, "Where are we going, fellas?"

And they'd go, "To the top, Johnny!"

And I'd say, "Where's that, fellas?"

And they'd say, "To the toppermost of the poppermost!"

And I'd say, "Right!" Then we'd all sort of cheer up.

When I was a Beatle...

I thought, "We're the best fucking group in the goddamn world. "

And believing that is what made us what we were.

It was just a matter of time before everybody else caught on.

Thank you.

For our last number, I'd like to ask your help.

For the people in the cheaper seats, clap your hands.

And the rest of you, if you'd just rattle your jewelry.

We'd like to sing a song called, Twist and Shout.

Maybe we should just go on and do lmagine, then.

What's this one, a ballad?

Yeah, go on. I'll teach you it.

Imagine was one facet of him.

It crystallized his dream for the world.

It crystallized his idealism.

And it was something that he wanted to really say to the world.

That's a nice one.


That's the one I like best... What if there's another piano?

Because if we get the same kind of piano, and do an octave higher or something... it would be beautiful. We can always use this...

Instead of the electric guitar. It's a delicate song.

He could do it on the top half of the piano, maybe.

We could get a mike through to the front...

That's it.

The white piano? Yeah.

I'll go on the white one 'cause that's what I wanted to do, use that one.

Yeah. Yeah.

Because we want to do the house.

When Dad moved to Tittenhurst... it was the first time that he actually called me in quite a long time.

It was an exciting thing for me to go and see him again... after not seeing him for such a while.

And at the time, I was living in...

I won't say a small house, but it was a completely different situation.

It was on a street with lots of houses, lots of friends.

And Tittenhurst was this enormous... palace-like place with 99 acres... golf-cart buggies, a lake, a little island in the middle of the lake...

It was like a house of fun.

It was a completely different experience.

It was wonderful. I loved the place.

I don't remember seeing him as a child.

It was the height of the Beatle thing so I was working all the time.

I never considered what it was doing to him. I didn't even count it.

The mother was at home. I was away.

Like most guys at 24 or 25, they're too intent on their career really, you know.

John, as a father, was forced, I'm afraid, to be a part-time dad.

He wrote to me saying that...

"I'm so sad and I'm so sorry that I've missed the fact...

"that Julian has been growing up...

"that he is now a little man and I miss him dreadfully.

"And I've been a right bastard...

"because I've taken no notice of him...

"and I've read the papers and pushed him out of the room...

"because he's been making noises."

That was the point when he suddenly realized that he was a father...

Julian was a special little person... not just a figment of his imagination when he came home in the early days.

You're going over to the States early in the new year... and you're going to top the bill on the Ed Sullivan coast-to-coast show.

John, so far, all British pop stars have not made a tremendous impact on the States.

How do you think you're gonna fare?

Well, I can't really say, can I? I mean, is it up to me? No.

I mean, I just hope we go all right.

Are you going to vary your act at all for the American audience?

No. We haven't really got an act, so we'll just do what we do.

The journey to America was exciting but I had to keep a low profile... because it wouldn't do for the frenzied fans... to know that John had a wife and a baby at home.

What do you think of the comment... that you're nothing but a bunch of British Elvis Presleys?

It's not true!

Are you going to get a haircut while you're here?

No, thanks. I had one yesterday.

That's no lie. It's true. It's true.

You know, I think he missed some.

No, he didn't. You should have seen him the day before.

What do you think your music does to these people?

It pleases them, I think. It must do, 'cause they're buying it.

Why does it excite them so much? We don't know, really.

If we knew, we'd form another group and be managers.

We came here at 6:00 in the morning, 5:30, to see them.

And all they did was push us farther and farther away.

Then they don't even let you see them.

I got every Beatle record at home and we didn't get to see them.

What kind of police protection? I'd really like to get a piece of them...

It was like being in the eye of a hurricane.

You thought, "What's going on?" And, "How did I get here?"

The last thing I remember was playing music in a club, and the next minute, this.

Did you ever have a chance, John, to just get away, on your own... without anybody recognizing you?

We borrowed a couple of millionaires' houses.

Sure we did.

You could afford to buy a couple of millionaires' houses, couldn't you?

We'd sooner borrow them. It's cheaper.

We did a bit of water skiing. Well, sort of, anyway.

Did your wife enjoy it over there?

She loved it. Who? Who?

Don't tell them he's married. It's a secret.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

There was no sort of particular security... and one of our assistants told us that there was this strange guy... that was just staying in our gardens almost every night.

John always felt responsible for these people... because they were the result of his songs.

That's how he felt.

Don't confuse the songs with your own life.

I mean, they might have relevance to your own life, but a lot of things do.

So we met, you know. I'm just a guy. I write songs.

I figured that if we met. I'd know, just by meeting you.

Know what?

That it all fits.

Anything fits, if you're tripping off on some trip.

Anything fits, you know.

Like when you said:

"Boy, you're going to carry that weight for a long time." That was just...

That's Paul who sang that. Paul sang that?

But that belongs to all of us. He's singing about all of us.

Remember that one:

"You can radiate everything you are. You can penetrate anywhere you go?"

Yeah, I was just having fun with words. It was literally a nonsense song.

I mean, Dylan does that. Anybody does that, you know.

You just take words, and you stick them together... and see if they have any meaning. Some of them do, some of them don't.

See, that last album of mine was me coming out of my dream.

You can last your whole life on that dream, you know... and then it's all over.

You weren't thinking of anyone in particular when you were singing all that?

How could I be? How could I be thinking of you?

I don't know, maybe, I don't care, me. But it's just all... It's all somebody.

I'm thinking about me or, at best, Yoko, if it's a love song.

I'm saying, "I had a good shit today and this is what I thought this morning...

"and I love you Yoko," or whatever.

I'm singing about me and my life... and if it's relevant for other people's lives, that's all right.

You hungry?


Let's get him something to drink.

Finally, I've got it.

It's great working with you, Phil. Really great.

I've worked with a lot of cats in my time... and I want to say, really great. Sincerely, really great.

Don't you think the Beatles gave every sodden thing they've got... to be the Beatles?

That took a whole section of our youth, that whole period.

When everybody else was just goofing off... we were working 24 hours a day.

The whole Beatle thing was just beyond comprehension.

And I was eating and drinking like a pig... and subconsciously was crying for help.

Shea Stadium was a happening. You couldn't hear any music at all.

But then it just became like lip-syncing, miming.

Sometimes things would break down and nobody'd know.

Last month, 75 teenagers from Pennsylvania... petitioned Her Majesty, the Queen, to have the Beatles knighted.

Well, this hasn't happened.

But today, I'm pleased to say that they have been made members... of the most honorable Order of the British Empire.

Congratulations, John, George, Ringo, and Paul.

How did you all react to this?

Well, I went...

Which means in sound?


You all live in, well, good domestic splendor.

Has this affected your writing, Paul and John?

No, it's easier to write with cushions, I'm sure... than on pieces of hard bench.

But you know we were on hard benches before we met... a known terror of Liverpool. It's much easier on a nice cushion.

From obscurity in a cellar in Liverpool four years ago... and now to Buckingham Palace.

We're all delighted.

Thank you very much. Congratulations.

The Beatles arrived in Japan today, as their tour of the Far East continues.

Across the Pacific, in the United States, a furor is developing over comments...

John Lennon made: "Christianity will go.

"It will vanish and shrink. We are more popular than Jesus. "

Here in Tokyo, violence broke out when right-wing fanatics... demonstrated against the Beatles and their effect on Japanese youth.

This is Tommy Charles.

If you, as an American teenager, are offended by statements... from a group of foreign singers, which strike... at the very basis of our existence as God-fearing, patriotic citizens... then we urge you to take your Beatles records... pictures and souvenirs to the pick-up points about to be named.

And on the night of the Beatles' appearance in Memphis, August 19... they will be destroyed in a huge public bonfire... at a place to be named soon. Stay tuned to Rocky for further developments.

Now this religious controversy...

I know that you don't want to say too much about it... does it worry you it's gonna boil up when you get to the States?

It worries me, yes, but I hope everything will be all right in the end, as they say.

I think the Beatles are a real talented group... but I think they need to watch what they say because... they're in such a position that a lot of teenagers... really think of them as something really big.

When they say things like that... some teenagers are gonna just believe anything they say.

I'm not saying that we're better or greater... or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person... or God as a thing, or whatever it is.

I just said what I said, and it was wrong, or was taken wrong. And now it's all this.

Did you mean that the Beatles are more popular than Christ?

When I was talking about him, it was very close and intimate with this person... that I know, who happens to be a reporter.

And I was using expressions on things that I'd just read, and derived... about Christianity, only I was saying it in the simplest form that I know... which is the natural way I talk.

What's the most enjoyable thing for you four about this adulation... this almost godhood on earth that you've achieved?

Don't say that.

It was him. He said it. You all saw that.

The Ku Klux Klan, being a religious order... is going to come out here the night that they appear at the Coliseum here.

And we're gonna demonstrate with... different ways, tactics, to stop this performance.

We are known as a terror organization and I think we have...

A terror organization?

We have ways and means to stop this, if this is going to be the case.

What ways and means?

I don't want to say this, but there will be a lot of surprises...

Monday night, I believe, when they get here.

You officers that are stationed... in front of the stage, behind the barricade... you will go to Mr. Morris Shapiro, the first-aid man... and he will furnish you with earplugs... so as to keep you from having a headache.

If he runs out of earplugs, he has got some cotton.

Is that understood? Yes, sir.

The music wasn't being heard. It was just... a sort of freak show.

The Beatles were the show, and the music had nothing to do with it.

The only reason to be a Beatle was to make music... and not just to, sort of, be in a circus.

After the Beatles'last tour... which was the one where the Ku Klux Klan were burning...

Beatle records, and I was held up as a Satanist or something... then we decided, no more touring. That's enough of that.

But I was really too scared to walk away.

I was thinking, this is like the end, really.

There's no more touring. That's when I started considering:

"What the hell do you do all day?"

So I said yes to Dick Lester... that I would make this movie with him and went to Altamira, Spain for six weeks.

At a studio in London... the Beatles have just come together for the first time in four months... to record some songs.

The songwriting team, they will keep going on, whatever happens, will it?

Yeah, we'll probably carry on writing music forever... whatever else we're doing, 'cause you just can't stop.

You find yourself doing it whether you want to or not.

Do you think the tours, like the American tours and the English one...

It stands in England?

There must be a point where they don't work anymore... because they're not to do with what we're doing... record-wise or film-wise.

Before we did Sergeant Pepper, we were given a license to kill, so to speak... because we were already successful.

And I knew that I could do in the studio just what I wanted.

And I knew that they wanted to experiment a bit more.

So we just let our hair down and went for broke.

In fact, when I say Pepper, I mean I'm starting off with Strawberry Fields... which was the beginning ofPepper, although it wasn't on the album.

That was one of the great songs he did.

I really wasn't aware of their taking drugs much before that.

I was aware of them smoking pot.

And even during the Sergeant Pepper bit...

I wasn't too sure about what they were doing.

I didn't really want to know, 'cause I didn't approve of it.

And they were rather like school kids. They used to keep it away from me.

If they wanted to go and have a drag of a smoke... they wouldn't do it in the studio.

They would nip into the canteen and lock the door... like naughty boys in the lavatory.

They would go away and hide, away from the schoolmaster.

Surrealism had a great effect on me 'cause then I realized that... my imagery in my mind wasn't insanity.

Psychedelic vision is reality to me.

Some newspaperman came up and he said, "Have you had LSD?"

So I thought, "I'll either be cagey here or be honest."

So I said, "Yes."

And it was his responsibility, reporting it.

So they had him on TV saying, "Why did you say this?"

Very much like that statement...

They kept asking him, "Did you take it?" So he says, "Yeah."

But on TV, he says, "You don't print this bit of film.

"I don't want to tell anybody about that. It's private"...

Almost like the situation with the Christ statement.

But see, they just asked me a question. I gave them an answer.

And then it was blown up.

I mean, you know, I just spoke the truth and it's sometimes painful.

This is the truth. My son came home with a drawing... and showed me this strange-Iooking woman flying around.

I said, "What is it?" He said, "It's Lucy in the sky with diamonds."

I thought, "That's beautiful." I immediately wrote a song about it.

The song had gone out, the whole album had been published... when somebody noticed that the letters spelled out "LSD."

And I had no idea about it.

And, of course, after that I was checking... all the songs to see what the letters spelled out.

They didn't spell out anything. None of the others.

It wasn't about that at all, you know.

The terrible news came that Brian had died.

Apparently, he'd taken an overdose.

We were so shocked because Brian was such a kingpin... of what was going on in our lives. He was the father figure.

And, all of a sudden, that had finished.

That really sent things into chaos.

Tickets, please. Thanks very much.

Following a lecture that everybody had been to, to see the Maharishi... they were invited to go to Bangor for a weekend... to do meditation and to feel the experience of meditation.

I think they needed a break from the madness.

So we all ended up getting on a train to Bangor, for this trip.

And I, as usual, was trailing behind with the hand baggage.

And a massive policeman put his arm out and stopped me.

I couldn't get on the train. And the last thing that I saw was John's head.

I can't imagine what he was saying, but it was probably pretty rude about...

"For Christ's sake, Cyn, you're too slow again. Why couldn't you run with us?"

And at that point I just felt, "That's it."

Somehow, I can't explain it.

And normally I would not have broken down.

I would have been pretty cool and calm... and I knew that I would get there anyway.

But at that point, I just felt so sad... that this is symbolic of our life now.

It's like, "I'm getting off at this station."

And it was pretty true after that.

Yoko was having an art show in London at a gallery called Indica Gallery.

And I heard this was going to be a happening.

So I went down the night before the opening.

And the first thing that was in the gallery... as you went in there was a white stepladder... and a painting on the ceiling and a spyglass hanging down.

I walked up this ladder and I picked up the spyglass.

It was balancing there.

And in teeny little writing it just said "yes."If it had said "no"... or something nasty... Something nasty.

Like "rip-off," or whatever, I would have left the gallery... but because it was positive, it said, "Yes"...

I thought, "This is the first show I've been to that said something warm to me."

Then I decided to see the rest of the show, and that's when we met.

We didn't really get together till 18 months later.

She came over for a date, as it were...

I had a little studio, which was really just a lot of tape recorders.

And we made Two Virgins and I was showing her... all my different tape recordings, and all that.

I thought, "This is great." And I was going... on the tapes, and she was going...

And we did, we made a tape all night.

And in the morning we made love as the sun came up.

"Surprise, surprise."

We shot the cover ourselves, privately, and put out Two Virgins.

And it was a kind of statement as well, an awakening for me, too.

This is me, naked, with the woman I love.

When you were with the Beatles... you didn't express yourself politically at all, did you?

On our first tour... there was a sort of unspoken thing... that Mr. Epstein was preventing us talking about the Vietnam War.

And before we came back the second time to America...

George and I said to him:

"We don't go unless we answer what we feel about the war."

'Cause you were being asked?

'Cause we were asked about it all the time... it was just silly, and we had to pretend to be like in the old days... when artists weren't meant to say anything about anything.

"When you talk about destruction, count me out... in."

What did you mean by that, John?

That means I'm not sure. I really think... if it gets to destruction, you can count me out, but I'm not sure.

I'm human and I'm liable to change, or depending on the situation.

I prefer nonviolence.

Yesterday, John Lennon and his girlfriend, the Japanese actress, Yoko Ono... were arrested and charged with the use of marijuana.

And today they were arraigned here, at Magistrate's Court, in London.

He's the one who's known as the most "way out" of the Beatles.

Right now, John Lennon is looking very hard for his car... because if he doesn't get to his car, he's likely to be mobbed.

John, Cynthia is better than her!

That girl next to me just a moment ago said, "Cynthia is better than her."

Initially, when we met...

I think there was a feeling of... not really wanting to get together.

Because... we knew this was a big one, both of us... and we didn't want to get in.

And, then, when we got together...

I think we basically knew that it was going to be it.

And after that, it took about a year, I think... before we finally got married.

Yes, fortunately... we both agree.

Unfortunately, not always.

But in the end... we get into something and forget that we ever disagreed.

Fortunately, I met you at the right time.

Unfortunately, that's right.

But... in the end...

I wonder what's going to happen?

Fortunately, we don't know.


I'm in love with you.

Unfortunately, I'm in love with you, too.

This is another peace protest, by the way.

Why the bag?

Because we believe in total communication.

That means, if we have something to say, or anybody has something to say... they can communicate and not confuse you... with what color your skin is, or how long your hair's grown, or...

How long is your hair?

You have to guess!

It is not important. It's only what I say, that's what we're here for.

All we're saying is give peace a chance.

Or if the least we can do is give somebody a laugh... we're willing to be the world's clowns... because we think it's a bit serious at the moment and a bit intellectual.

John Lennon, Man of the Decade. Take one.

How hopeful are you about the future, John?

I'm full of optimism, knowing that there's other people around... who...

I can get on, agree with.

I'm not insane. I'm not alone. That's just on a personal level.

Of course, the Woodstock, Isle of Wight, all the mass meetings of the youth... is completely positive for me.

And when I'm negative, I've got Yoko.

The '60s were just waking up in the morning.

And we haven't even got to dinnertime yet.

I can't wait. I just can't wait. I'm so glad to be around.

And it's just going to be great, and there's gonna be...

You're driving it, too. I see.

Sorry. This is for love, I'm doing this, you understand. And for art.

He just wanted to... For the sake of art.

If you think you know me or you have some part of me because of the music... and then you think that I'm being controlled like a dog on a leash... because I do things with her... then screw you, brother, or sister. You don't know what's happening.

I'm not here for you. I'm here for me and her.

Is that the audience you're keeping out there?

I'll try and get them to let you in.

This way.

Can I put something to both of you... about this creative phase that you're both going through at present?

I think you've got to accept, John and Yoko, that, particularly you, John... that it's alienated you from the people who originally loved you in this country.

A lot of them. They don't understand you anymore.

The alienation started was when I met Yoko.

And people do not seem to like people getting a divorce.

It's all right to do it quietly, but we can't do it quietly.

So everyone has this impression that John's gone crazy.

But all I did was fall in love, like a lot of people do... who are already married, who married somebody very young.

We're not superhuman and we really get hurt by abuse.

We don't mind criticism of our work at all.

But the British press actually called Yoko ugly in the papers.

I've never seen that about any woman or man... even if it was that the person is ugly.

You don't normally say it in the paper.

"That ugly woman." And she's not ugly.

And if she was, you wouldn't be so mean.

They even say "attractive" about the most awful-Iooking people, just to be kind.

That's the kind of treatment we were getting at that time... and it really hurt us.



You're sending us the "in the middle of the night" verse.

We don't want that one. We want the one on clouds.

We're going to do the harmonies to "in the middle of a cloud" bit.

What's the matter with you, Philip? It's the last fucking verse.

"In the middle of the cloud I called your name.

"Oh, Yoko." We stopped here once, remember?

That's the one you're playing now. We don't want that one.

We want the one that he recorded afterwards.

"All new and free." That was from "In the middle of a cloud," after the end.

He did a new version, remember?

That's the one we want. Okay. We're just there. All right.

The end of the song is just like the fucking rest of it.

We're going to sing the harmonies to "Oh, Yoko." Come on!

Why don't you just forget about this, darling?

Relax until we say, "okay."

John, why don't you just sing it for him once?

Okay, now we'll deal with it.

Okay, let's go on to the next track.

Yoko and I... when we got together... decided that whatever... We knew... whatever we did was going be in the papers.

Whether it's Richard or Liz... or so-and-so gets married... or whatever people like us do is gonna be in the papers.

So we decided to utilize the space... we would occupy anyway, by getting married... with a commercial for peace.

And also a theatrical event.

And what we basically had was a seven-day... press conference in bed.

It's a bed-in, folks.

The first day they fought at the door to get in... thinking there was something sexy going on.

And they found two people talking about peace.

Even if you can beat the establishment at their own game...

I don't believe in that game. I think the only way to do it is Gandhi's way.

That's nonviolent, passive, positive or whatever they call it these old days.

Is there not a more positive way of demonstrating in favor of peace... than sitting in bed eating three square meals a day...

Now, it's a different age.

It's gimmicks and salesmanship.

And if that's what'll put it across, that's the way to do it.

Whether you're protesting against the conditions you live in... or the conditions you work in, or the conditions of the whole world.

Can I talk to you? Yeah, sure.

Okay. Okay Rog.

I think we got the message over, Roger.

I think the message is catching on. The peace message.

Chuck, don't you think so, the peace message is catching on?

Right, he thinks so. We met a lot of groovy people, made some good contacts.

Right? For tomorrow?

For tomorrow? Who knows?

I'm a dreadful Neanderthal fascist. How do you do?

John and Yoko, meet cartoonist Al Capp.

We've had all sorts in here.

I'm sure you have.

One of the things that had... interested me was that you said that you were very shy people.

Yes, we are.

And yet, these are...

Does that prove you're not shy? Certainly not.

Only the shyest people in the world would take pictures like this.

Do shy people... Do they ever become naked or not?

You think that people that are shy...

Am I quarreling with your description of yourselves?

If that isn't a picture of two shy people...

I'd like to know what shyness is.

What filth! Do you think that's filth?

Certainly not. I'm denouncing people who think it is.

I think that everybody owes it to the world to prove they have pubic hair.

And you've done it.

You've done it and I tell you that I applaud you for it.

If you want to prove it, you can prove it.

Why don't you prove it now...

I don't feel that there's any great interest in it.

Clearly, you must have felt the world wanted to know... what your private parts looked like.

And now the world knows.

I tell you that's one of the greatest contributions... to enlightenment and culture of our time.

I'm glad you noticed.

I wanna thank...

I wanna tell you it's hard not to notice.

Now you have a song and one of the lines, and correct me if it isn't:

"Christ, it ain't easy. Everywhere I go, they're gonna crucify me."

Rubbish. I didn't say it. The lyric goes:

"Christ, you know it ain't easy. You know how hard it can be.

"The way things are going, they're gonna crucify me." And you, baby.

This isn't my song. These don't express my...

We are all together in this world.

Let's face it. You and I are married together in this world.

You see, it's like being stuck in...

That is a very unkind thought to plant in my mind.

I want to tell you that this may stay with me... and I'll wake up screaming.

This is not true. You say that to him, not to me.

That's your paranoia. Everybody's married in this world...

No, it's just a matter of taste.

What do you want to know?

In the lyric, you said they were going to crucify you.

Yeah. If you take it literally. How did you mean it?

It means everything you want it to mean. What did you want it to mean?

They're gonna crucify me and you and everyone else.

But you said, "They're going to crucify me."

Lf you're gonna take it literally... Me is you.

Me... And I say that we're all one.

I didn't permit you to speak for me. Who are you speaking for?

I took that liberty, Mr. Capp.

It's too much of a liberty...

I was speaking on behalf of the people in general... in a poetic sense. You're speaking for yourselves...

As a representative of the human race...

I'm speaking for us all whether you like it or not.

Whatever race you're the representative of, I ain't part of it.

Maybe yours is the human race and mine is something less hirsute.

But whatever race, it's your race.

You belong to a race on your own. Everybody in this room... represents humanity. Everybody in this room.

No, you don't represent me, though. You don't write songs for me.

I want to make that clear to all of Canada.

Especially for you.

I'll let Kate Smith sing my songs.

Who do you write your cartoons for?

I write my cartoons for money. Just as you sing your songs.

Exactly the same reason.

And exactly the same reason much of this is happening, too... if the truth be told.

You think I couldn't earn money by some other way... by sitting in bed for seven days, taking shit from people like you?

I could write a song in an hour and earn more money.

Now look here, don't say this.

You got into bed so people like me could come and see you.

But not for money, that's what you're saying.

It won't do you any real harm... except you might get some bedsores.

But I could earn money in more easier ways than doing this.

I tell you what would do you harm. So could I.

I could make a lot more drawing people like you, than confronting you.

And I must say it's much more appetizing drawing them... because I can leave them.

I prefer singing to doing this but I'm doing this for a good reason.

What you've just done is when you said:

"Taking shit from people like you."

Now, I was invited here. You knew I was coming.

Yeah, sure. That's right.

So we're not doing it for money.

You indicated... You haven't any manners at all.

And you have manners?

I'm your guest. And, really even if... And I'm yours.

No, you're not! This is your bedroom!

Mr. Capp, may I say one thing?

I'd be delighted with any conversation.

Okay. I'd like to add to that...

Good God, you've gotta live with that?

It's good to just...

Nice guy.

I can see why you want peace. God knows you can't have much.

I'm delighted to have met you, Madame Nu.

You are our answer to Madame Nu...

It was great meeting you, Barabbas.

But I'm sure the other three guys... the other three fellows are Englishmen.

What does that mean?

You think about it. Get out.

I'll try to work it. Now, Derek.

Oh, really, come on!

But I'm not having these people insulting you.

Leave it. We asked him here. He's right.

Forgive me.

Look, Derek, it's not for me to forgive you, it's for your psychiatrist.

Christ, you know it ain't easy You know how hard it can be The way things are going they're gonna crucify Capp Okay. A one, two. A one, two, three, four.

When John hitched up with Yoko... he said, "Yoko is now a part of me.

"In other words, as I have a right and left hand, so I have Yoko. That's me.

"And wherever I am, she is."

That was a bit difficult to deal with.

Suddenly, she would appear in the control room.

Nobody would say anything to me.

I wasn't even introduced to her, but she would just sit there... and her influence would be felt.

To begin with, everyone was irritated by it.

By the time we got to Let it Be, we couldn't play the game anymore.

We could see through each other... and therefore we felt uncomfortable.

Because up till then, we really believed intensely in what we were doing... and the product we put out. Everything had to be just right.

And we believed. Suddenly, we didn't believe.

I don't mind. I'll play whatever you want me to play.

Or I won't play at all, if you don't want me to play.

Whatever it is that will please you, I'll do it.

So we couldn't do it anymore.

It came to a point where it was no longer creating magic.

And the camera sort of being in the room with us made us aware of that.

That it was a phony situation and that was the end of it.

Out of that frustration came the crazy idea... to do a concert on the roof above the Apple offices.

Of course, none of us had the vaguest idea... that would be the last time the Beatles would ever perform together in public.

Now, does this mean a business or emotional split... within the Beatles?

Actually I think a bit of both. But I think it's more of a break.

He asks this himself... but doesn't know if it's temporary or permanent. That's the truth.

I think none of us know that.

His financial interests in Apple and the organizations will stay?

Yes. Contractually they have to... and I think emotionally they'd all want it to.

They never argued about money.

What are the personal differences that he refers to in...

I don't know. It's probably to do with growing up.

There was a time when there were just four of them.

But now they're married and there are children.

Will anyone ever replace the Beatles for you?

No. No.

It's just one Beatles group. That's it. There could never be another.

What is it about them? We grew up with them.

They started when they were younger, and we were younger.

And all through these years we've just developed with them... and grown up with them.

They, like, belong to us, you know?

But there could never be another Beatles. Never.

Yoko, is that a fresh pot of tea?

Yes. It's fairly fresh.

This is actually a Beatle wife fixing the tea... for one of the fab four ex-Beatles.

Fab three. Fab three.

I see Beatle Phil making a pig of himself.

You see much of the Beatles these days, other Beatles?

I saw a Beatle. Beatle Ed.

Beatle Ed. How is he? He was all right.

But he was just going off on a tour.

Beatle Ed's not doing too well these days, is he?

He's number five in Sweden. In Sweden, I see.

Paul wrote some song that was... like a private message. So to speak.

John was upset about those songs. And so that's how it happened.

It was, like, a reply to Paul, rather than a message to Paul.

Okay. Stop.

I wrote a sort of song of How Do You Sleep? On Walls and Bridges.

I can't remember the name.

Steel and Glass, which I thought was about a few people.

But then I realized, no, it's me again.

It's not about Paul. It's about me. I'm really attacking myself.

But I regret the association. Well, not really regret.

He lived through it.

The only thing that matters is how he and I feel about those things.

And not what the writer or the commentator thinks about it.

Him and me are okay.


I am a very busy housewife, to put it mildly.

Oh, no! They have to say that it was all a hoax.

What was?

"Lennon lie-in."

"Dear Mr. Lennon. From information I received while using a Ouija board...

"I believe that there will be an attempt to assassinate you.

"The spirit that gave me this information was Brian Epstein.

"He said the attempt will be made in place on March 6...

"Mr. Epstein also said that Paul McCartney was alive in London."

"John Lennon doesn't affront the queen by sending back his MBE.

"He doesn't make ha'penny's worth of difference...

"to attitudes on Biafra or Vietnam.

"Or to the place of his drug-orientated record in the charts.

"He makes an ass of himself."

We waited for hours. Remember me?

If I'm going to get on the front page...

I might as well get on the front page with the word "peace."

But you've made yourself ridiculous.

To some people. I don't care...

You're too good for what you're doing. Lf it saves lives...

You don't think... My dear boy, you're living in a never-never land.

You talked to a...

You don't think you've saved a single life?

What do you know about a protest movement, anyway?

I know a lot about it.

It consists of a lot more than... sending your chauffeur in your car back to Buckingham Palace.

You're just a snob about it! The only way you can make...

You're a fake!

Can't give up something that means a little more?

It was no sacrifice to get rid of the MBE, it was an embarrassment...

Then what kind of protest did you make?

You said I don't know what this... It is an advertising campaign for peace.

Can you understand that? No, I can't.

A very big ad campaign for peace.

I think it's vulgar and self-aggrandizing.

Are you advertising John Lennon or peace?

Do you want nice, middle-class gestures for peace?

And intellectual manifestos... written by a lot half-witted intellectuals?

And nobody reads them. That's the trouble with the peace movement.

I'm someone who admired you very much.

I'm sorry you liked the old mop-tops, dear... and you thought I was very satirical and witty.

And you liked Hard Day's Night, love, but I've grown up.

But you obviously haven't. Have you?

Yes, folks.

John Lennon stopped during his busy peace campaign today... to give an interview in which he spoke candidly about drugs.

It's no good us preaching at people and saying:

"Don't take them," because that doesn't work.

It's like the church telling you not to drink or not to have sex... when you're a kid. There's nothing on earth that's going to do it.

But if people take any notice of what we say... we say we've been through the drug scene, man... and there is nothing like being straight.

But you need hope, and hope is something... that you have to build up within yourself.

London police today confiscated a number of erotic lithographs... by pop musician and artist, John Lennon.

A local district court will rule... as to whether the art is pornographic... and whether or not it can displayed publicly.

But even with drawings and things. I have been talking to Yoko.

And she convinced me that anything I draw or write... is just as important communication-wise.

I shouldn't just show it to friends.

I should put everything out.

While we were living in New York... we started to see the resemblance between New York and Liverpool.

And the docks, the piers, you know.

I said, "This is like going back to Liverpool. It's a big Liverpool. "

I've met a lot of New Yorkers who complain about it, but nobody moves out.

It's the greatest place on earth.

Documents released today reveal that a massive FBI investigation... in the early 1970s... was part of a government effort to deport John Lennon.

You don't think there's any possibility that... the government is trying to harass the Lennons?

Absolutely not. This is the kind of treatment we would dish out... to anybody convicted of a narcotics offense.

When it first started, I was followed in a car.

And my phone was tapped.

And people thought I was crazy then.

They do anyway, but I mean more so.

"Lennon, you big-headed maniac, who's going to follow you?

"What do they want?"

That's what I'm saying. What do they want? I'm not going to... cause them any problem.

Everywhere John went, people asked him that question... the one about the Beatles getting back together.

And even though we were friends...

I was a reporter at that time and the question was almost obligatory.

Will they ever team up again?

It's quite possible, yes. I don't know why the hell we'd do it, but it's possible.

Would you like that to happen? Lf it happens, I'll enjoy it.

Would you want to initiate that happening?

I don't know, Elliot. 'Cause you know me. I go on instinct.

If the idea hit me tomorrow...

I might call them and say, "Come on, let's do something."

I couldn't really tell you. If it happens, it will happen.

So, it is not something you'd totally rule out as never taking place again?

No. My memories are now all fond and the wounds are healed.

If we do it, we do it. If we record, we record. I don't know.

As long as we make music, you know.

Crowds have been gathering all day... in anticipation of John Lennon's appearance... here tonight for a charity concert.

John has rarely been seen onstage... since the Beatles' final tour six years ago.

Ladies and gentlemen, John Lennon!

By then it was getting very obvious... that the world didn't want us to really work together.

So, it was 1973. I just felt like saying to John:

"Look, why don't you just go to L.A. And have fun?

"Leave me alone."

I just wanted to think straight, because I couldn't think straight anymore.

She had literally said, "Get out."

And I said, "Okay, I'm going."

I had been married before Yoko, and I immediately married Yoko... so I've never been a bachelor since I was 20 or something.

So I thought, "Woo-hoo!"

The lost weekend was a combination of a remarkable party... an exercise into the depths of foolishness... and, I think, John's last effort to assert his manhood.

I think it was his departure... from his innocence and from his youth... to becoming a man, to becoming serious... to wanting to be with Yoko, to having a child.

And this is... Some people have bachelor parties.

John had a lost weekend... that went on for 14 months or however long it went on.

Clearly it was necessary for somebody to be with John... and Miss Pang seemed like a logical choice.

Nothing gets done with John unless there's somebody there.

And Yoko suggested that she would be the ideal companion... for John for this mission.

That lost weekend that everybody keeps talking about, it wasn't so lost.

People saw more of John than they had in the previous years.

And he was out and about a lot.

He had recorded several albums... starting with Mind Games to Rock 'n'Roll to Walls and Bridges.

And he worked with Ringo on his album.

There's also David Bowie... when they collaborated on...

David Bowie's first number one hit song, Fame.

And also Elton John, when we went to Caribou. So there was a lot going on.

We had a lot of fun.

There was Keith Moon, Harry, me, Ringo all living together in the house.

We had some moments, folks. But it got a little near the knuckle.

I hit the bottle like I was 18 and 19... and I was acting like I was still at college.

The only terrible thing... that I can say about John Lennon is he was an absolutely miserable drunk.

He could not stop once he started.

Two Brandy Alexanders, and he was absolutely charming, delightful... told the old stories, was witty and lovely.

By the third... he started to snarl, and after that, he was uncontrollable.

It was the first night I had drank Brandy Alexanders... which is brandy and milk, folks.

And I was with Harry Nilsson, who didn't quite get as much coverage as me.

They just sort of said, "Okay...

"you better leave, Mr. Lennon." And then they took me out.

It was a mistake but, hell, I'm human.

I was drunk in Liverpool and smashed phone boxes... it didn't get in the papers then.

Fred Astaire and Ginger Beer!

All right, dancing over with.

We've done the dancing one. Let's make the commercial now.

I'm gonna impound all those photos till I get my green card.

I was out of control and nobody was looking after me.

I needed somebody to love me.

There was nobody there to support me and I fell apart.

The worst was being separated from Yoko... and realizing that I really, really needed to be with her... and wanted to be with her... and could not, literally, survive without her.

Sean was born on October the ninth... which I was, so we're almost like twins.

It's a pleasure for me to hang around the house.

I was always a homebody. But I think a lot of musicians are.

I've been so locked in the home environment... and completely switched my way of thinking... that I didn't really think about music at all.

My guitar was hung up behind the bed, literally.

I don't think I took it down in five years.

The fact that my father... almost completely stopped his musical career to raise me.

It makes me feel good. I know that.

He would play music around me.

I never really registered that he was a Beatle... until I saw a movie called Yellow Submarine.

And I just put it together.

I would ask about it. He would say, "Yeah, this is the Beatles.

"I was a Beatle, but that's over now."

"That's over now and I'm spending time with you."

What's your favorite part of the circus?

I like the clowns and the little dogs.

Would you give it all up to run away and join the circus?

I've already given it up, but I haven't decided where to run, though.

Say hello.

Hello. We're having lunch on Sunday, April the 12th.

Hello, we're having lunch on TV!

I'd go through periods of panic because I was not in the Billboard... or being seen at Studio 54 with Mick and Bianca.

I didn't exist anymore. And I realized there was a life without it.

I thought, "This reminds me of being 15."

"I didn't have to write songs at 15. I wrote it if I wanted to. "

That's when I suddenly could do it again with ease.

All the songs that are on Double Fantasy all came within a period of three weeks.

When I was singing and writing this and working with her...

I was visualizing all the people of my age group.

I'm singing to them. I'm saying, "Here I am now. How are you?

"How's your relationship going?

"Did you get through it all?

"Wasn't the '70s a drag?"

"Here we are. Let's try and make the '80s good. "

John Lennon, can I have your autograph? Yeah.

I got to shake your hand, man!

What's up, man? I can't believe I met you. I swear to God.

When are the Beatles getting back together?


You're full of it. When are you getting back together?

I love your album. I like your blue album.

Hey, who's that guy? John Lennon, from the Beatles.

I can't believe it.

It's not out of our control. I still believe in love... peace, I still believe in positive thinking.

While there's life, there's hope.

Because I always considered my work one piece... and I consider that my work won't be finished... until I'm dead and buried. I hope that's a long, long time.

There was a lot of feeling of premonition, when you look back at it now.

But I was very worried about him.


in fact, I told John:

"It's getting very busy.

"And it's a strain on us.

"The schedule is a strain on us and I think you need a rest.

"And you and Sean should go back to Bermuda."

And... he said, "Not this time.

"I'm going to be with you, no matter what."


that's how it was.

John Lennon shot yesterday in front of his New York apartment building...

Residents say a man in his late thirties had been waiting for hours...

He died in the emergency room at Roosevelt Hospital...

... once called the guiding spirit of the Beatles, dead tonight at the age of 40.

There was no... there was no wall facing us anymore.

There was always something in between us... but it had been knocked down.

We could actually...

"Hi, Dad, I'd like to come see you. Is that okay?" "Yeah."

It's hard to explain emotions... in dealing with... that situation especially... especially when we were... getting so close.

His music...

will live on forever in my heart and in many people's hearts.

Because it was so vulnerable. It showed such a vulnerable man... who cared so much about people and expressed himself so well.

The first few years after his death...

I would always cry when I heard the music.

But now I got over it.

The thing I miss most about him is just him being around... taking me places, doing things with me, talking with me.

He tried to show me how to play the guitar once. It didn't really work out.

Just his presence was all I needed.

He was my husband, he was my lover.

He was my friend.

He was my partner.