John Lennon Interview (I Met The Walrus)


[reel to reel tape recorder turning on] Jerry Levitan: Hey, John, could you
please tell us, what the situation is with you, when you’re entering the United States? John Lennon: A lot of people don’t want me in. They all think I’m gonna
cause a violent revolution, which I’m not. And they just don’t want me in cause
they don’t want me to cause peace, either. Because peace is big, war is big business and they like war
and cause it keeps them fat and happy. And I’m anti-war so they’re trying
to keep me out but I’ll get in, cause they’ll have to own up
in public that they’re against peace. Jerry Levitan: Um-hmm. What can we as, as the youth of,
of Toronto, like what can we do to try to help you? John Lennon: Help me by helping yourselves,
and the mlitant revolutionaries, ask them to show you one revolution that
turned out to be what it promised militantly. Let’s take Russia, France,
anywhere that had a– what they do is they smash the place down, then they build it up again and the people
that build it up hang on to it. And then they become the establishment. And you guys are gonna be
the establishment in a few years. It’s not worth knocking it down cause it’s convenient to have the rooms
and the machinery. The thing is to protest
but protest nonviolently. Cause violence begets violence. You know, if you run around wild, you get smacked and that’s it
and that’s the laws of the universe. And they’ve got all the weapons.
They’ve got all the money. And they know how to fight violence because they’ve been doing it
for how many years; suppressing us. And they only thing they don’t know
about is nonviolence and humor. And there’s many ways
of promoting peace. Do everything for peace. Kiss for peace or smile for peace or go to school for peace
or don’t go to school for peace; whatever you do,
just do it for peace. It’s up to the people. You can’t blame it on the government
and say, “They’re doing this. They’re, oh,
they’re gonna put us into war.” We put them there and we allow it. And we can change it. If we really want to change it, we can change it. Jerry Levitan: What about the Paul, Ringo,
let’s see– John Lennon: George.
Jerry Levitan: George, George? John Lennon: We’re all four individuals
and George is saying to me; George is doing it in his own way
with the way he goes about his life. There’s no point standing there shouting
on the street corner, “I want peace!” and then beating up your mate. You better try and work your own head out. And get nonviolent, and it’s pretty hard
because we’re all violent inside. We’re all Hitler inside
and we’re all Christ inside. And it’s just trying
work on the good bit of you. Jerry Levitan: Oh yeah, like I read
in the paper that everyone seems to feel that
George is the nice guitarist and stuff like that, like I’m not so keen on George. I like him a lot, but–
John Lennon: Yeah. Jerry Levitan: I have a feeling that
they’re just sort of drifting away from peoples he’s still like, sort of like a symbol. The Beatles, like God and stuff like that. but no one in school like if you ask them,
“Who is your favorite group?” they’ll say, “The Bee Gees.” I’ll ask them, “Why don’t you
like The Beatles? They’re, they’re fantastic, great.” etc. And they’ll say because, for example, “The marijuana charges, and they’re all hippies
and they’re gone from us. They’re dirty now.” John Lennon: Actually, well, those kids,
they sound like some are square. They just gotta get from
under their parents’ wings. Jerry Levitan: I know, they’re like robots. Like, once I just got this feeling
out of your double LP after I was listening to it for a long time. I started getting this feeling that
there’s a message in it, you know? John Lennon: Messages are there
on all levels, on all, in all music. On whatever level you get it on, I’ve had it too when I wrote it or sang it. But some of that stuff I write it, record it,
and play it. And I don’t hear it ’til a few months later
and I’m lying down, will say, “Hey, I think,
I’ll listen to The Beatle’s album.” And try to hear it in retrospect
and not objectively. And it’s about everything, so it’s about UK,
it’s about USSR, it’s about nothing,
it’s about USA. Anything you hear is there. It’s all there. Either, trigger or profound whatever; it’s all there. And the same is in a flower. Everything’s there. Just gaze and if you look long enough, all answers are in it
and the same with the music. Jerry Levitan: Right. John Lennon: Oh, keep the big box
and don’t know. I have no idea what it is.>>Big box, black jacket,
maybe from last night. John Lennon: Oh, okay. Well that’s, I just shoved that in the black hand case there. Yeah. No, not the black shiny case,
and me hand luggage in there. It was last night’s white jacket there. Jerry Levitan: Thank you very much. John Lennon: It’s a pleasure, man. Jerry Levitan: And your coat. John Lennon: Bye-bye.
Here’s your album. Play that, too. Peace.

99 Replies to “John Lennon Interview (I Met The Walrus)”

  1. But why even bring up something like that? It just looks like a contradiction. Instead of talking about positives and peace. You mention a negative. Calling out 14 year olds for acting immature is unwaranted. Anyway, I just feel like it's a bad comment on an otherwise positive video

  2. To poke fun at all the pompous under 18 year olds who think they're superior because they listen to music that isn't from their generation. I'm not mentioning negatives at all, I don't get how you take what I put as a negative.

  3. it's a distain for a particular group. I just don't see that as "positive" in any way. Look, not all 14 year olds in 1969 thought about peace. If you watched the video the 14 year old mentioned that people in his class called the Beatles "hippies" and didn't agree with their viewpoints. Can't generalize 14 year olds back then and now. There are 14 yr olds today who believe in peace. Point is, let's just love EVERYONE and not poke fun at someone who likes the Beatles today.

  4. Sometimes to get a message across, it isn't always going to be considered "positive". I'm not poking fun at the people who like the Beatles…just the ones who think they're special and so much better than all the other kids their age because they listen to this kind of music…that's all.

  5. I'm struck by the disconnect between Lennon's vacuous musings about peace, war, non-violence, music and the bits at the end where we hear about the keys to the big box, the white jacket that he wore last night and the Smothers Brothers getting on the tonight show. Don't get me wrong I liked Lennon as a musician, song writer, singer, what have you but basically he was a kid from Liverpool who hustled his way to the top in show business and that was he real expertise.

  6. Well, actually this video should be titled "I Met The Egg Man" because there was a lyric in… Glass Onion I think, "Here's a clue for you all: The Walrus was Paul". Yep

  7. Even though John Lennon was a woman-abusing/wifebeating ass, I still think he had a pretty good point here.

  8. This was GREAT! Way to honor a true man of honesty and PEACE! He wasn't always peaceful nor did he ever deny that he was violent-non violence is not the absence of violence-it is the enlightened struggle against the impulse to use physical force-or the mechanical militant force-to enforce your will or punish others who are against your will. This philosophical interview was John at his best responding to an honest and innocent admirer: intyelligent and sensitive and aware…a rarity for John with all the "Al Capps" and "Nixons" and "Chapmans" of the world trying to get at him! 

  9.  🐞 I Met the Walrus 🐝
    In 1969, 14-year-old Jerry Levitan, packed his reel-to-reel tape deck along w/ him prior to sneaking into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto where he convinced John to do an interview about peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon’s every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon’s boundless wit, and timeless message.

    Courtesy: Films for Action and I Am the Walrus
    Director: Josh Raskin Producer: Jerry Levitan
    http://youtu.be/jmR0V6s3NKk
    http://youtu.be/jmR0V6s3NKk
    http://www.citizenbrooklyn.com/topics/music/i-met-the-walrus/

  10. John lennon admitted that he hit cynthia,and he didnt have to admit that he did.He deeply regretted it.He was not a women beating or abusing guy.And if he hadnt publically admitted it you would never have known it slick.Lennon was an ok dude who tried to make a differenvce,he didnt just collect his millions and hide out.Fuck all you lennon bashers!

  11. "Violence begets violence" Thank you so much, young Jerry, for having the courage to ask questions and the creativity to record the moment. Thanks to today's Jerry and team for sharing this with the world. Does anyone have the transcript to share? #SeattlePeaceAlliance #MakingPeaceSeattle #AcrosstheBridge   #worldpeace  

  12. I think it's interesting how the kid mentions how many of his schoolmates don't like the Beatles…..because of their various marijuana charges. That's…hilarious. That actually illustrates a fact most people are unaware of about the 1960s. We imagine the 60s as this counter-culture revolution….but the truth is, that sea-change only affected a small minority of people…including a small minority of young people. In 1969 the large majority of young people were against marijuana legalization and against gay marriage.

    Yes, the 60s was definitely the kernel of change(or more accurately, the 50s Beat movement…or maybe even the roaring 20s before that)….but, it took several decades for those ideas to fully blossom within society. Many of the so-called "counter-culture ideals" didn't become the majority view within society(American society that is) until the past few years. It took that long for the majority of people to finally get with the program.

    So yeah….it fascinates me to realize that back in the late 60s, a time most of us think of as being overtly progressive and liberal, the large majority of young people….still subscribed to the ideals of their parent's generation. But….ever since then, those ideas have been slowly(and now quickly) gaining momentum.

    Now, in 2015, the majority of ALL Americans, young AND old believe that marijuana should be federally legal, that gay marriage should be federally legal, and that Climate Change is indeed a massive issue we must deal with. But, if you asked even young people back in 1969 if they supported those things….most of them would say no. These days, the inverse is true.

    So….I guess what I'm saying is, the ideals of Lennon and people like him back in the 60s, while they might have been a minority view back then….today, those ideals are the majority view…and still gaining momentum. The tipping point has been a long time coming…but we're allllmost there.

    Or, to put it another way, by way of quoting another thinker who was ahead of his time…..
    "The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
    – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  13. Parabéns pelo video achei muito útil vou dar um like, quando tiver um tempinho visita o meu site de que estou colocando no ar www.lelake.com, um grande abraço.

  14. How about subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing? I'm able to understand only a few words here and there. Disappointing.

  15. Great animation. Not just illustrating the words but also (one version of) the thoughts flowing fleetingly between the words. Never saw an animation quite like this before. Kudos on a novel and engaging approach.

  16. John Lennon had more profound things to say and thoughts to share than Paul ever had despite Paul being a good musician, it seems to me Paul just never was able to contain that fire that John Lennon continually contained since youth

  17. I am working on a video of the Paranoid Hoover vs. Rock N Roll, Peace Activists and Lennon. If he were alive today, i highly believe he would be protesting like i still am today. Those that don't stand for something will fall for anything. Love and Miss you John.

  18. 3:55 – He starts to degrade into universalist washout.
    But this visual accompaniment was fantastic – artistic, well-thought out. Nicely done.

  19. Animation is amazing 😉 and the interview also considering he's 14 but I got pissed off when didn't even know George's name and then said he didn't like him.😒

  20. Hello there. I have been searching for an animator to help develop some minor sketches for an animated interview on behalf of a website that I work for. I'd like to discuss it with you! It's nothing much: Just some assistance on tuning up previously drawn art pieces and then placing them into an animated format. If you'd like to chat about the prospect, please reply back, and we can get to work at your most convenient altercation. Thank you for your generous time and consideration.

  21. Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence – Thoreau.

  22. What he said Mathew Gonzales is so true even today it is a grinding wheel over and over it will never stop until we learn that peace is the only way to achieve true prosperity

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