Back in 1980, John Lennon gave his final interview to Playboy Magazine. This was a mere two weeks before he was murdered by disturbed J.D. Salinger fan Mark David Chapman, who, according to this chat with Larry King, is all better now. Isn’t that just great?
Anyway, my dad used to keep his Playboy collection in a not-so-hidden location, and I’d occasionally sneak peeks at the soft-focus boobies. Being an unusually literate 6 year-old, I also read the articles.
The Lennon piece was one I’d return to regularly over the years. In fact, I ended up stealing the issue and dragging it around with me for most of my adult life. By then, I’d seen real boobies.
The interview is one of music journalism’s finest hours. Lennon is remarkably and uncharacteristically candid throughout, as is Yoko Ono, who sits in on most of the conversation. Towards the end, he offers in-depth commentary on a bunch of Beatles tracks. It’s as if he unconsciously knew it would be his last public statement. I get damp-eyed every time I read it.
My physical copy was irreparably damaged in a move, but I recently stumbled across a link to the story. Hooray for internets!
In other music news, I watched several hours of of Live Earth the other day. Most of the performances were weak, with the exception of The Police, who owned. I’m prepared to argue this point with all comers.
The new Nels Cline Singers album, Draw Breath, is tops. I’ve been a fan of Nels for more than a decade, and, while I’m psyched he’s in Wilco, I’m glad he still puts aside time for his own excellent music. Here’s a taste: