Lennon: The Working-Class Hero Turns Red.
I enjoyed it when football crowds in the early days would sing “All Together Now.” I was also pleased when the movement in America took up “Give Peace a Chance,” because I had written it with that in mind really. I hoped that instead of singing “We Shall Overcome” from 1800 or something, they would have something contemporary. I felt an obligation even then to write a song that people would sing in the pub or on a demonstration. That is why I would like to compose songs for the revolution now…
Click here to read the extensive interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono by Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn that originally ran in The Red Mole, and is reprinted here in Ramparts (1971).
Majority Report (1972)
John Lennon says that his new album ‘Woman is the Nigger of the World’ is an honest statement in support of women’s liberation. But in New York City, no radio stations except listener-sponsored WBAI-fm will air the record, most giving as their excuse that ‘black listeners’ don’t like to hear the word ‘nigger’ used by a white singer.
WABC got together what the station calls a ‘mixed advisory committee’ which turned the album down unanimously. Program director Rick Sklar says they were ‘infuriated, incensed and highly charged.’
Yet, according to an article in MORE, a journalism review, when the record was played for a talk show on WMCA, it was white rather than the black listeners who were offended.
The offending line was the idea of Yoko Ono, who is married to Lennon. She wrote the song with her husband.
Apple Records, which put out the album, is trying to buy commercial time from the stations, and plans to use it to play the whole album on the air.
Here’s a video of Lennon and Yoko on the Dick Cavett show talking about and then performing the song. This is a master class in the art of trolling.
The following exchange of letters between Beatle John Lennon and John Hoyland, a young British radical, should help settle a lot of questions about the Beatles’ relationship to the cultural revolution and the movement. The dialogue appeared originally in the Black Dwarf, a revolutionary socialist biweekly published in England, shortly after the Beatles’ “Revolution” came out.