Contact Us

John Lennon Shares Beatles ‘Hell’ in Recently Unearthed Interview

John Lennon
Keystone, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

A long-lost interview with John Lennon, conducted around the time of the Beatles‘ ‘Let It Be’ album, but only recently unearthed, delves into the difficulties the band experienced during its final days in the recording studio together.

As Classic Rock Magazine reports, the interview finds Lennon speaking with characteristic bluntness where the Beatles are concerned, referring to the experience of recording ‘Let It Be’ as “torture” and saying on behalf of the band, “We were going through hell … We never really finished it. We didn’t really want to do it. Paul [McCartney] was hustling for us to do it. It’s the Beatles with their suits off.”

The Beatles’ difficulties during the ‘Let It Be’ sessions are well known by now, but according to Lennon, they were nothing new. “It’s torture every time we produce anything,” he told Village Voice columnist Howard Smith. “The Beatles haven’t got any magic you haven’t got. We suffer like hell anytime we make anything. We’ve got each other to contend with. Imagine working with the Beatles — it’s tough. There’s just tension. It’s tense every time the red light goes on.”

Part of the problem, admitted Lennon, was a clash of songwriting egos. “In the old days Paul and I wrote most of the songs because George [Harrison] wasn’t prolific,” he recalled. “We encouraged him to an extent. Subconsciously we would have just made sure we got the LP for ourselves. Now there’s three of us all trying to squash ourselves onto 14 tracks. Do we make a double album every time? That’s why I broke out with the Plastic Ono Band.”

At this point, rumors of a Beatles split were already rampant, and although Lennon stopped short of coming out and saying they were true, he more or less admitted the band’s days as a unit were over. “I don’t know if there will ever be another Beatles product with the four of us on again … Ringo [Starr]’s left once; George has left once for a couple of days. It’s an anti-climax to the build-up of the myth. The myth is bigger than the three guitarists and a drummer. I’m inclined to leave them with the myth. If the Beatles would split open the group a bit and have Yoko [Ono], Billy Preston, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Elvis Presley in the group I might be interested. But as the Fab Four, I’m not personally interested in going out like that.”

Next: Top 10 John Lennon Beatles Songs

More from 107.9 The River

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://theriver1079.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 107.9 The River quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on 107.9 The River quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!