JOHN: I was looking to I was too scared to break away from the Beatles, but I'd been looking to it since '65 when we stopped touring and, I'm - maybe Paul had too, I don't know. I can't speak for the others. - But, I made a movie "How I Won the War" with Dick Lester which never got much seen, but it did me a lot of good. Well, it did me a lot of good to get away, and it was a withdrawal. I was in Almira, Spain. I wrote "Strawberry Fields" there by the way. But I was there 6 weeks, and it gave me time to think and sort of and to be separate from the others but still be working and not left in the house alone. And I used to think, well, you know, like a lot of people do: "Well, what can I do? If I don't do that and, so, from '65 on I was sort of vaguely looking for somewhere to go but didn't have the nerve to really step out in the boat by myself, push the boat off. So I sort of hung around and when I met and fell in love, "My GOD! this is different from anything before this is something other you know, this is well I don't know what it is, but this is fine [chuckle] this is Thank you, thank you!" you know. It's more than a hit record. It's more than gold, it's more than everything it's more than. This is something indescribable! And so that's what happened, you know, we just got so self-involved that I did free myself physically from the Beatles but not mentally. Mentally, I was still carrying them around. In the back, back, back of the head, although the initial love thing blinds everything. Everything is under shining lights, and you want everybody to be happy just like you, and it's you know, it's rather dizzying. Later on the love is different and one can slow down a little. It's not less it's just different and so therefore I could lift out all this garbage that was still being carried around which was influencing the way I thought and the way I lived, and all the rest of it. And then finally free myself from the, the mental, let's call it, Beatles, or '60's, or whatever it was. So the first one was a physical escape. and The second one was a mental escape. You know, "When are they coming back?" and "When are they going to do this?" and "What do you think of Paul?" and "What do you think of George?" I don't think!
"That old gang of mine..." That's all over, you know. When I met Yoko is when you meet your first woman, and you leave the guys at the bar, and you don't go play football anymore, and you don't go play snooker or billiards. Maybe some guys like to do it every Friday night, or something, and continue that relationship with the boys, but once I found the woman, the boys became of no interest whatsoever other than they were like old school friends, you know, "Hi, how are you? Nice to see you. How's your wife?" You know. That's it. That old gang of mine, it's all over. You know that song, "Those wedding bells are breaking up that old gang of mine." Well, it didn't hit me 'til whatever age I was when I met Yoko, which was 26. 1966 I met but the full impact didn't we didn't get married 'til '68, was it? It all blends into one big movie, but whatever, that was it! The old gang was over the moment I met her, I didn't consciously know it at the time but that's what was going on. As soon as I met her, that was the end of the boys! And it just so happened the boys were well known and weren't just the local guys at the bar. These were guys that everybody else knew, but it was the same thing. That's all over for that but then everybody got so upset about it and angry! But we were so involved in each other we just went and made the records and did sort of Bed-ins and we blasted our way through it!
YOKO: I just sort of you know, went to bed with this guy that I liked and suddenly the next morning I see these three guys standing with these resentful eyes, you know, I mean three relatives, suddenly appeared, you know. So it was inconvenient for me too.
JOHN: Not the bloody Beatles. Let's have no more Beatles, Christianity or Bob Dylan, okay? Let's make that a, because it all becomes the same thing, right.
Her Indica Gallery show was like meeting Don Juan, you know. At first I didn't realize who I was meeting but because I got the initial game, I played the initial game right, is the reason we connected, about the breathing and the apple and the "Yes" and the conceptual money and the nails and all that. Because I said the right answers, I got in. Whatever the right - like you know, the Zen Koan? Well it's the same thing, you know. There're many answers.
DAVID: You make it sound almost like a teacher-pupil relationship.
LENNON: It is a teacher-pupil relationship. That's what people don't understand. She's the teacher and I'm the pupil. I'm the famous one. I'm the one that's supposed to know everything, but she's my teacher. She's taught me everything I fucking know. The lessons are damned hard and I can't take it sometimes because those lessons are hard and that's why I'm the one that freaked out. When we were separate it was me making an asshole of myself in the clubs and in the newspapers. It wasn't her. Her life was ordered. She missed me as a human being and she loved me, but her life was ordered. I went back to her life, it wasn't the other way around.
YOKO: I think that love will never die. I mean once you know somebody you can never unknow the person. If they are not afraid of love then they are always going to love. It's alright to be afraid. That's what I am saying in this song "don't be afraid to be afraid". Don't be shy, don't be scared, you know, it's all that.
JOHN: Your asking me why we met? You know, I mean, I don't know, it's like asking why were you born? You know, I mean, I can give you theories of Karmic pasts and things like that, but I've no idea why but why it continues because is we wanted it to continue and worked hard to continue and what I was getting to, the point where, there seems to be certain cycles that relationships go through, and the critical points are at different parts of the, different cycle, you now, different points if there's a straight line, at different points, you know? And the sort of bit, the new way of talking is like, well, you know, why have a relationship, we just stop and get another one. But the Karmic joke about that is, that, any new relationship - presuming you're lucky enough to find a new relationship of anywhere near the relationship that you're giving up, or exchanging, or walking away from, or have destroyed by inattention or inadvertence or selfishness or whatever it is, that you have to go through the same thing again, anyway you reach the same point, and that's why some of the poor dingbats in, in my business or in so called "show business", go through it over and over and over again, right up 'til they're 70 because they can never grasp onto the fact that they're going to have to go through the same thing again, and they get to the sort of, the 5-year stretch, or the 7-year stretch, or whatever these tension points are that seem to be organic. Built in, like the tide coming in and out. When I was kicked out on a raft in the middle of the universe, I realised where I was, which was on a raft in the middle of the universe, and that whatever happened presuming I could have started another relationship, would have ended up in the same place if I was lucky. If, big If!
DAVID: Yeah, to get to that point.
JOHN: To get to the same point again. It's like they say about karma, You have to come back and go through that thing again if you don't get it right this lifetime. Well, those laws that are sort of "cosmically" talked about accepted or not accepted, but you know the ones they all talk about they're all referring to they apply down to the minutest detail of life, too. It's like, Instant Karma, which is my way of saying it's right. You know, it happens about a cup of coffee or anything. It's not just some big cosmic thing, it's that as well, but it's also the small things like your life here and your relationship with the with the person you want to live with and be with there are laws governing that relationship, too. And you can either give up halfway up the hill, and say "I don't want to climb this mountain. It's too tough or I'm going to go back to the bottom and start again." And well, we were lucky enough to go through that, and come back and pick up where we left off although. It took us some kind of energy to blend in again, and get in the same sync again.
YOKO: We're not always smiling. We have arguments and all that too.
JOHN: No we don't! [Everyone laughs]
YOKO: It’s natural. We're very fiery kind of people, you know. John is such a hot tempered person.
JOHN: No, I'm not! [laughter]
I have a few moments do you mind if I - I want to come in for a rest.
YOKO: No, no, please join, it's great because we're talking how beautiful the world is, and it's true.
JOHN: Well, today it is. Yesterday it was terrible. So what the hell, you know. You know, it's...
YOKO: But if it's a terrible day, it's not. You know I think life
JOHN: If it was really bad, we'd kill ourselves. So it can never be that bad.
JOHN: Yoko steals my lyrics for what reason, I’ve no idea.
YOKO: I don't steal it, I'm just.
JOHN: Well, I mean, I had a complete set all neatly.
YOKO: If they're not with you, you have it there and I.
JOHN: No, no they were all in my bag, you just took them.
YOKO: You want me to look for it? Which one do you want?
JOHN: I want Beautiful Boy, that’s all. I know them by heart, but I feel better if I can see it, you know, when I open my eyes and sing, I just see the words in front of me.
Nobody controls me. I'm uncontrollable. The only one that can control me is me and that's just barely possible but that's what life is about. And that's the lesson I'm learning.
If somebody's gonna impress me, whether it be a Maharishi or a Janov or a Yoko, then there comes a point where the emperor has no clothes because I'm - I do stupid things, I've done stupid things, I'm naive but I'm also not stupid. So there comes a point where I will see, you know, nobody can pull the wool that long. So for all you folks out there who think that I'm having the wool pulled over my eyes, well that's an insult to me. Not that you think less of Yoko, because that's your problem what you think of Yoko. What I think of her is what counts. But if you think you know me or your 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! Because you know fuck you brother or sister, you don't know what's happening. I'm not here for you, I'm here for me and her and now the baby.
YOKO: You see another thing is, of course it's a total insult to me because....
JOHN: Well you're always insulted my dear, It's natural.
YOKO: You know, I don't even bother to control anybody because I mean, why should I? You know
JOHN: She doesn't need me.
YOKO: You know, I have my own life, right.
JOHN: She doesn't need a Beatle.
YOKO: And also if I'm a con....
JOHN: [laughter] Who needs a Beatle...
YOKO: I mean nobody can be that much of a con because, I mean look, Maharishi lasted, what? two months or something, you know, right? So then I must be the biggest con in the world because I was with him 13 years, you know, right?
JOHN: I don't think anybody should be that interested in every detail of my life from Beatles to now, but anybody who claims to have some interest in me as an individual artist or even as part of the Beatles has absolutely misunderstood everything I ever said if they can't see why I'm with Yoko and if they can’t see that they don't see anything. They’re just jacking off to, it could be anybody Mick Jagger or somebody else. Let them go and Jerk off to Mick Jagger Okay? I don’t need it.
DAVID: He’ll appreciate that…
JOHN: I absolutely don’t need it. Let them chase Wings, you know. Just forget about me. If that’s what you want, go after Paul and Mick. I ain’t here for that. Go play with the rolling wings. But no, can we get back to this other stuff just a second like you do sometimes I can't let go of it? Because nobody ever said anything about what Paul having a spell over me when I was with him for a long time or me having a spell over Paul. They didn’t think that was abnormal, two guys together, or four guys together, in those days, why didn't anybody ever say, "How come those guys don't split up, I mean what's going on backstage? I mean what is that, you know, Paul and John business? You know, how can they be together so long." We spent more time together than John and Yoko in the early days, the four of us sleeping in the same room, practically in the same bed, in the same truck, alright? Doing everything together nobody said a damn thing about being under the spell. Maybe they said we were under the spell of Brian Epstein or George Martin. There's always somebody that has to be doing something to you. We're the ones that cast the spells.
YOKO: The guys are alright somehow, you know.
JOHN: Yeah, the boys alright, but you go with a woman, its something abnormal
DAVID: It is a twist, boy.
YOKO: It's a twist and a half isn't it?
DAVID: How funny.
JOHN: So, you know, I just wanted to finish that one off with that because, Jesus, nobody ever says it, you know.
DAVID: That’s true, that’s so strange
JOHN: You know they’re congratulating the stones on being together 112 years, Whoopee! [laughs] Whoopee! At least Charlie and Bill have still got their fans.
That seems to be the karmic trick, or cosmic joke #9 that we can't just sit back and say,"Will of Allah" because we know the Universe is breathing in and out, therefore we're gonna get Hitler then Christ, then Hitler then Christ to use those two again, which because they're just convenient. It's not a matter of sitting back and waiting for Christ or accepting Hitler. We have to do something. But whatever's gonna happen is gonna happen anyway as well. Both at the same time.
YOKO: Well, whatever is gonna happen is an amalgamation of all of us.
JOHN: Yeah, right. Que sera, sera but we're responsible.
YOKO: We are, exactly.
JOHN: The future is ours to see. You see, that's the only line I'd change in the beautiful song. Yeah, if we can't see it, ain't nobody gonna see it for us. [exaggerated]
The idea of leadership is a false god. If you want to use the Beatles or John and Yoko, people are expecting us to do something for them for them. That's not what's going to happen because they are the ones that didn't understand any message that came before anyway. And they are the ones that will follow Hitler or follow the Rev. Moon or whatever. Following is not what it's about, but leaving messages of "this is what's happening to us. Hey, what's happening to you?" Sending postcards and letters is what we do. And that's different. You see? I think the idea of leadership is the old Judeo-Christian idea of the separateness of God/It/Her/She from us, as being outside us, the Other. We are the Other, there is only one. So therefore people kind of expect more from us than they expect from themselves. And that message was pretty apparent in the Beatles positive "All You Need Is Love" period, through the "Give Peace A Chance", "Bed-in", "War Is Over If You Want It", "Hard Times Are Over For A While". It's the same thread is there. But it is not somebody standing up saying "Follow me because this is how it is." It ain't like that. I am, and she is, only part of, we're all in the same boat. And therefore
YOKO: We're just a reflection of each other.
JOHN: We don't feel the responsibility and we don't take the responsibility for other people's lives. We take responsibility for the whole thing because we are all responsible for the whole thing.
Somebody comes along with a good piece of truth and instead of the truth being looked at, the person that brought it - it's like when the bad news comes, they shoot the messenger. When the good news comes, they worship the messenger and they don't listen to the message, whether it be Christianity, Mohammadism, Buddhism, Confusciousism, Marxism, Maoism, everything. It's always about the person and never about what they said.
YOKO: You see people like to personalise things, you know people even personalise God. When you say God. Most people think about this old man with white beard or something, they don’t think god is an essence or anything.
JOHN: They don't know it's an old woman with a beard do they? [Laughter]
Well, you make your own dream [laughs]. That's the Beatles' story, isn't it? That's Yoko's story. That's what I'm saying now. Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go and save Peru. It's quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on leaders and parking meters. Don't expect Carter or Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself. That's what the great Masters and Mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave sign posts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not what it says. But the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There's nothing new under the sun. All roads lead to Rome and people cannot provide it for you. I can't wake you up. You wake you up. I can't cure you. You cure you.
YOKO: Well, I like to daydream a lot you know. I mean, that's what I do anyway, and that that takes me to places where I want to go. So, John and I will probably daydream a lot and then think of the next project.
JOHN: Ghandi and Martin Luther King are great examples of fantastic non violents who died violently. I can't ever work that out. We're pacifists, but I'm not sure it's always that... but What does it mean when you're such a pacifist that you get shot. I can never understand that.
YOKO: Well, we had let's say that despite it all, we had a good life.
YOKO: And I think life is beautiful, and I enjoyed it. And I am enjoying it. And I think he would, too. So there's that feeling. In that sense, maybe I'm an endless optimist, but I don't think of those - well people thinking, "oh well, you know, the world is going to end very soon, in 1984, so don't have children," I think that through optimism, a lot of children are going to just maybe stop 1984.