December 6, 1980
Raw Sorce Tape used for broadcast
Part One 60:06
Part Two 59:29
I remember the summer of 1980. Rumours circulating that John was back in the studio after five, what felt like, very long years. Information was sparse, not like today. Basically supplied only through the speakers of radio. In my case 102.7 WNEW FM in NY. I remember first hearing "(Just Like) Starting Over" a few days before it's release date on October 9, 1980, John's 40th birthday. Working as a night manager of a gas station my kid brother John taped it off ofWNEW and played it back to me through the phone. That moment is still so clear in my mind as I tried to tune out the world and focus my attention to the tinny sound coming out of the pay phone pressed to my ear. I still hear it that way whenever it plays. I remember clearly waking up the morning of December 9th to the news. Sometimes I wish I didn't remember. I have a box in the attic filled with all the newspapers and magazines that hit the stands in the following months. Publications I bought out of habit rather then desire. Not reading them, just packing them away in that box. A box that's been sealed for 27 years that I have no desire to open.
One thing I don't recall is the lineage of this particular recording. I received the tape from a friend who made artwork for all his tapes. I couldn't find any record of this being bootlegged although something in the back of my mind tells me it was. There is some crackles at one point in the recording that sounds like this might be a needle drop.
This interview was published in book form and posted below is an excerpt from the forward which sets the scene.
Paul Williams' FOREWORD
The original reason Andy Peebles and I planned to visit New York was to record an interview with David Bowie. (Broadcast Radio One1 5 January 1981). Shortly before we set out I thought we should take the opportunity also to interview John Lennon and Yoke Ono. They had not spoken to anyone from to for some years but with their new album just released I thought it possible they might agree to see us. With the help of WEA Records in Britain and Geffen Records in New York it was ranged that we could talk to John and Yoke en' Saturday 6 December 1980 in the Hit Factory studio where they had recorded the new album.
If they had given us half an hour it would have been worthwhile, but in the event the interview lasted over three Hours and we continued talking long after that ever dinner! John was in good spirits, obviously enjoying life and keen to hear all the news from home.
We arrived back in London at breakfast time on Tuesday 9 December to be greeted with the awful news of John's murder. many of Radio One output that day were devoted to his including a special hour at eleven-thirty in the morning in which Andy Peebles introduced some short excerpts from the interview which had suddenly taken on a new poignancy. This book is transcribed from the whole interview, which was first broadcast on Radio One with appropriate record inserts in five parts on Sundays, starting on l8 January 1981.
All royalties from the sale of the book will go to charitiesnominated by Yoke One and Andy Peebles.
PAUL WILLIAMS Senior Producer, Radio One