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John Lennon interview describes 'torture' of recording 'Let It Be'


Audio footage of an old interview with John Lennon, in which he describes the recording of The Beatles' final album as "torture," is set to be auctioned off nearly four decades after it was presumed lost.

Related: Owner of John Lennon’s tooth plans to clone the late Beatle

Lennon conducted the candid chat with Village Voice journalist Howard Smith in Toronto shortly after the legendary rockers had completed work on their 1969 release "Let It Be," and Lennon did not hold back on how torturous the whole experience with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison had been.

In the interview, which also featured his wife Yoko Ono, he said, "We were going through hell. We often do. It's torture every time we produce anything. The Beatles haven't got any magic you haven't got. We suffer like hell anytime we make anything, and we 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 (recording) light goes on."

Lennon says the Fab Four "didn't really want to" record the album "Let It Be," but adds, "Paul was hustling for us to do it."

The tape was recently found buried among the items in Smith's attic at his New York home and it is now set to go under the hammer as part of an upcoming sale by bosses at RR Auction. The lot will be among more than 100 other Beatles-related items up for grabs at the Marvels of Modern Music auction, which takes place online from Sept. 19-26.

The 'lost' interview has a minimum bid of $300, but is expected to fetch up to $10,000.

Sep 18, 2013 2:05PM
Watching the film "Let It Be" anyone can see that the band members weren't getting along at all.  But when they gathered together on the rooftop of the Abbey Road Studios to play some live music at the end of the movie, the band was still very tight musically.  The bottom line:  they could still play.  Lennon's statements about how tortuous the process had become was just his own honest assessment regarding their final days as a band.  As some have commented, Paul, Ringo and George must have felt equally tortured to have to be around Yoko Ono.
Sep 16, 2013 6:26PM
who cares? so sick of hearing how great these guys were and sir paul the left wing liberal ahole!
Sep 9, 2013 9:59AM

Although there's more than a couple memorable tracks on "Let It Be," "Abbey Road(released 10/69, I think)" was probably their best, most cohesive work since "Sgt. Pepper." It summed up all the phases of their career, their roots, pop classics, music hall("Paul's granny music" according to Lennon), and their later esoteric works(for lack of a better word). Those chords on "The End" bring out their collarless jackets one more time.  But that album also drops more than a hint of the hell that Lennon recalled, especially in the songs("You Never Give Me Your Money"). The promo clip for "Something" shows the four with their significant others separtely, never together.  But "Abbey Road," at least as far as us fans are concerned, was worth the trouble. It's been  ranked on all-time album lists ever since. Thank G-d they held out a while longer.

Sep 9, 2013 9:04AM

First, technically speaking "Abbey Road" was their final album as a recording group although McCartney, Harrison and Starr got together to record "I Me Mine" for "Let It Be".


"Let It Be" was released AFTER "Abbey Road" but as most fans know it was recorded before it and it wasn't released in 1969 but 1970 after Phil Spector did his overdubs, pruned the material, etc.

Sep 7, 2013 11:14PM
But the bottom line is thank god for all four of them!
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