Tittenhurst Park

This Tittenhurst Park blog is dedicated to John Lennon's home in Sunningdale, near Ascot, Berkshire between 1969 and 1971. The aim is to gather as much material relating to the estate as possible - obviously with the emphasis on the Lennon-era, but also concerning Tittenhurst Park as it was before and after John Lennon's ownership. In addition, there will be posts about and associated with the Beatles, plus any other rubbish I feel like. The blog is purely meant for the entertainment of anyone (assuming there is actually anyone) who, like me, has an unhealthy interest in one particular Georgian mansion. Those with anything interesting to contribute in the way of links, photos, scans, stories etc. please do contact me: tittenhurstlennon@gmail.com
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Elliot Mintz Interviews John Lennon - 9th October 1971

Elliot Mintz Interviews John Lennon

This interview appeared in the Los Angeles Free Press, October 15-21, 1971 Edition/Volume 8/No.42. (Article submitted by Harry Bluebond)

On Saturday, October 9, 1971, John Lennon became 31 years old. The following interview with John was aired on Sunday, October 10 on the Elliot Mintz program and broadcast first over radio station KABC (95.5) FM.


J: Hello, Elliot.
E: How are you?
J: I'm fine, how are you?
E: It's so good to be talking to you at long last.
J: Yes, same to you. You did some good stuff with Yoko.
E: I appreciate that.
J: I read your interview with her in the L.A. Free Press.
E: Yes, they put the transcript in.
J: It was very good.
E: She is such an incredible woman, such a complex woman, that it was a delight to be able to communicate with her.
J: She enjoyed it very much and I appreciate your doing it and playing the record. Normally I keep butting in and she never gets a word in, so she has to do things on her own occasionally, right?
E: (laughter) Are you comfortable now for a few minutes?
J: Yes, I'm fine.
E: Great. Yesterday, John, you became 31 years old. Do you have any thoughts or reflections about growing older?
J: The first thing I think of is Yoko and I as a nice old couple, right off the coast of Ireland or somethin' like that. That's the initial dream. I don't have any fear of age. I am looking forward to it. Maybe I won't be so frantic when I'm older or both of us will be less frantic or we'll be taking life easy. I like thinking of what I might be doing then. I certainly don't wish I was any younger. My Auntie Mimi used to always say to me that 30 is a right age for a man. I always figured it was a line of bull. But in a way, she was right. It's a good age because you're sort of not old and you've had some experience and it's like they used to say: you've become a man of the world, and you don't have to travel the world to do that. I keep hearing Dennis Hopper call it moment to moment realities and that's what it is all about;just this minute. I don't think that age really matters. It's like a weather report.
E: Looking back, is there anything you regret during those first 30 years? Do you think it was all valid and worthwhile? Or would you now like to have changed some of those trips?
J: Well, the only way I can look at it is that now I think I'm the happiest I've ever been. I have Yoko and that's all that really matters to me. I feel as though if I'd been or done anything else, I would not have met her. And so all the pain and whatever life entailed for all of us, seems so far to make that worthwhile. Although, even before meeting her I felt life was worth living. But now it's certainly the most happy period of my life. I really don't regret anything, although I would have liked to have had a normal childhood and things like that. But maybe I wouldn't have met Yoko if that had been the way.
E: Are you more aware or more frightened of the world now than you were, say, five years ago? Does age make you accept it and understand it more, or fear it?
J: The new generation, those younger than me, the 20's and the teenagers, they actually do seem hipper than we were, so I don't know. The only thing age does is that bit about: you've spent that much more time but some people can get it in quicker. I've forgotten what your question was now.
E: Basically, I'm curious if you have become more frightened of the world?
J: Oh, age has made me dribble off and I'd forgotten what you were talking about. I'm always sort of frightened of the world, that's for sure, but I'm not struggling with it so much and not puzzling about it so much. I'm just getting on with it.
E: John, is there anything in the world of a material nature that you would like to own but can't afford?
J: I can't really think of anything. No, because I went through that whole trip when I was a bug or I wouldn't have made myself so rich again. I don't really know. I don't think about it. I only think whether I've got enough money or too much or whatever it is or I haven't got it. I don't know any different, you know.
E: Do you think you have enough money?
J: I'm sure I have. I mean, sometimes I feel as though, Yes, I have got money; other times I feel as though I haven't. It's just a basic insecurity of people like me, I guess, who go out and get money. I'm aware of it in myself and therefore that's helpful. Let's say I'm more insecure about being poor than Yoko, although she's very insecure, as well..but maybe she's not insecure about being poor. She just has crazy dreams about -
E: Hello?
J: Hello?
E: We were just disconnected. Did you say that Yoko is insecure about the possibility of being poor?
J: I don't think she is really in the way I am; she has less of a possession thing than I do, I think. I don't know if it's her upbringing or just where her head is at. I think everybody has crazy dreams. Some people are frightened of rats, that kind of thing. I think her thing is this vision of being a defenseless woman kind of dream.
E: One other question about the money situation, then I'll pass on, because it is a matter of curiosity to people.
J: Sure, money is a big thing in most people's lives, so it's an important thing to talk about.
E: You are probably one of the most wealthy recording artists, if not one of the most wealthy people around. Does that amount of bread, those millions and millions of dollars..
J: ..it isn't millions and millions of dollars. I'm not exactly sure, but the most I could possibly have is a million pounds.
E: About three million dollars?
J: Well, that's right. So I don't know what somebody like Sinatra or Presley has, but I'm sure they have much more money than I have. Maybe I'll have that later on in life. I've got no idea whether I'll continue earning it or decide to do something else or make myself not earn it. I don't know. I don't have an urge to earn it; I just think I'm getting enough out of records so what's the point of trying to earn any more any other way.
E: That's interesting. What you just said will come as a tremendous surprise to an awful lot of people.
J: Why?
E: Well, one would assume that the Beatles collectively made 300, 400 or 500 million dollars.
J: Well, they did, you see, I don't know why you seem surprised, because I've said it in many different interviews. The fact is most of this money I've only just gotten in the last two years and that since Klein came in. Before, everybody else was the millionaire. You know, all these million-dollar companies that were set up. I mean, it was the Beatles that were ripped off completely. It's a known fact; I don't know why you are surprised. No doubt there will be books and articles that will come out showing that financial scene. That's what the whole Apple Corporation battle scene has been about. A lot of dirt was dug up and we found out a lot about what was going on in the past. We had a feeling we were being ripped off, but we didn't know that much about it.
We couldn't understand business and taxes and people would come up and say this has to be done for the tax and they'd be ripping us off right, left and center. I don't own half of my songs. I don't know how they did it; they tricked us and somebody else owns them. And that's what the whole shebang's about.
I don't think it's an abnormal situation. I don't think that there's an artist, from a singer in a nightclub to Picasso or Dali who isn't ripped off. (I mean Dali is surrounded by leeches). There isn't anyone who isn't! I think a legitimate businessman who looks after your interest should earn money from you, but in the past we've been ripped to shreds. That's why I probably feel insecure.
The most money we've got is in the last two years. Klein got it for us, so I don't care how people go on about him. And Ringo! You can imagine the state of Ringo and George before George had these big hits. Their bank balance was less than Paul and mine because we got it all from the songwriting. So you can imagine that they weren't too well off at all.
The danger for people like us, especially, is finding out the taxes weren't paid and getting hit with a massive tax bill because we earned a fortune. That's what happens to people like Joe Louis. I heard it happened to Micky Rooney, I keep saying that but maybe I'm saying something about him that's not true.
E: No, it did happen to Micky Rooney.
J: Now I think we're OK.

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