The Lost Lennon Tapes – Rolling Stone Magazine

We’re a bit slow down here so pardon if you’ve got this info already – but the latest (February) Australian edition of Rolling Stone magazine has just hit news stands.

Don’t know if they waited  intentionally to release this into the Christmas/New Year holiday market here, or there was something more pressing to put on the front cover Down Under a few weeks ago. This content was seen in the US back in early December . It was timed to coincide with the anniversary of John Lennon’s death. Here’s the Australian cover:

As you can see, the feature article is the final print interview with Lennon, conducted by journalist and writer Jonathon Cott:

On December 5, 1980, three days before he was murdered, John Lennon sat down with Rolling Stone‘s Jonathan Cott for a nine-hour interview. Select excerpts from the interview ran in Rolling Stone‘s tribute to John Lennon the following month — but Cott never transcribed all of the tapes. For 30 years they sat in the back of his closet.

So, much of this content is seeing the light of day for the very first time, accompanied by some terrific photographs by Annie Leibovitz, Rolling Stone magazine chief photographer at the time. One of the most interesting, spread over two pages, is the Lennon’s at home in their Dakota apartment kitchen:

Its a great photo – one I’d not seen before and so homely and domestic. Clearly many of the photographs by Annie Leibovitz from this day’s shoot at the Dakota  have now been seen in many iterations, including the LP and CD cover for “The John Lennon Collection”, a best-of released in 1989:

The Rolling Stone “Last Interview” is accompanied by a lengthy piece called “John’s Last Days” written by Yoko Ono in London. It’s dated October 18th, 2010, and in it she says that one day during the recording of “Double Fantasy” they had some time to spare, and had some retail therapy:

“After being in the dark studio for ages, the outside made us squint. It was like spring! A beautiful, beautiful day. The sky was shining blue. We felt like two kids skipping class. John decided we would go into Saks Fifth Avenue. He went through a few counters and stopped at the glasses: “We should get one for you.” He picked a pair out – large black wraparound shades – and put them on me….”You should wear these all the time.” I thought that was silly and wanted to laugh, but stopped short. He was gazing. “Why?” I asked with my eyes. He just took my hand and we walked quickly toward the exit. It was time to get back to the studio. I immediately forgot the incident totally. Later, those were the glasses I used to face the world.”

I’m guessing that these are those same glasses – by Porsche Design – which Yoko was seen wearing in public frequently in the years after John’s murder. This is a cover from a 1981 edition of Rolling Stone. If you look closely you can see that she is also  wearing the same necklace that John is wearing in the “The John Lennon Collection” CD cover shot:

Rolling Stone have uploaded four audio extracts from the Jonathan Cott “Last Interview” here, and you can download an 18 minute podcast here. Also in this latest edition of the magazine Yoko Ono lists her ten best John Lennon songs.

3 thoughts on “The Lost Lennon Tapes – Rolling Stone Magazine

    • His eyes are not edited. If you’re talking about the pic of him with his eyes closed, that is actually the way it was taken on Dec. 8th.


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