A 1970 tape of John Lennon singing a previously unreleased song called “Radio Peace” and expressing frustration at his Beatles image to a group of Danish schoolchildren went under the hammer Tuesday in Copenhagen.
The 33-minute tape was recorded on January 5, 1970 when the former Beatle wintered in a remote corner of Jutland in western Denmark with his wife Yoko Ono.
At the time, four enthusiastic boys, writing for their high school diary, braved a blizzard in hopes of interviewing their idol.
They got the interview. Topics ranged from the couple’s peace campaign, The Beatles, Lennon’s hair and his frustration with his image in the “Fab Four”.
Lennon and Ono were famous for staging lies and singing songs of peace as the Vietnam War raged.
“We went into the living room and saw John and Yoko sitting on the couch, it was fantastic. We sat down with them and were quite close to each other, ”Karsten Hojen, one of the tape’s owners, told AFP.
“I was sitting next to Yoko Ono and John Lennon was sitting next to Yoko and we talked, we had a great time,” said Hojen, who is now 68 years old.
Lennon and his wife arrived in Denmark in December 1969 to settle the future of Ono’s five-year-old daughter Kyoko, who lived with her father in North Jutland.
By this time the Beatles had recorded their last album, Abbey Road, and while it wasn’t official, the band had split up.
– For a museum or Yoko? –
Although Lennon and Ono spent their first week in Denmark incognito, the press found out and the singer held a press conference that coincided with the first day of the start of the school year.
Hojen and his friends convinced the principal to let them skip class to talk about peace and music with the singer, a few months before the Beatles officially disbanded.
Hojen and his friends said they decided to part with the audio tape because they couldn’t imagine sharing it with their many children.
“We would be happy if a museum was interested, or why not Yoko Ono herself? »Says the cultural consultant.
The recording is of good quality.
“You have to sit down and take the time to listen to it and hope for the best,” said Alexa Bruun Rasmussen, brand manager at Bruun Rasmussen Auction House which manages the sale.
“They’re actually playing ‘Give Peace a Chance’, but with different words,” she said.
The recording also includes the unreleased song “Radio Peace”, and is “heartfelt” and “unique,” said Bruun Rasmussen, adding that the tape and photos could fetch up to 40,000 euros ($ 46,000).
“John Lennon speaks to young school children, they share the passion for the message of peace. And it is clear that there is a link between them, ”she said.
Although Hojen has recounted this winter day in detail to his children and grandchildren, he will not have any trace of it after the sale because the owners did not digitize the recording.
© 2021 AFP