Form and no substance" – Lennon on McCartney in first national broadcast of famous Wenner tapes
Category: Radio 4; Radio 2; 6 Music; Radio 1
November 17, 2005
http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressr ... nnon.shtml
BBC Radio 4 is to give the first UK broadcast of excerpts from the 1970 interview which John Lennon himself referred to as "definitive".
The interview, with Rolling Stone founder and editor Jan Wenner, took place shortly after the Beatles split.
In it, Lennon accuses former band-member Paul McCartney of being "form and no substance" and claims their song-writing relationship was over as early as 1962, after which "we did our best work apart".
The interview, to be broadcast on Radio 4 on Saturday 3 December at 7.00pm in the Archive Hour, is taken from tapes of Wenner's extensive interrogation of Lennon.
It documents the Beatles' career and split with painstaking emotion, and at times excruciating detail, and serves as a major and controversial point of exorcism for Lennon.
It was the last interview he ever gave with such candour.
In it, he speaks bitterly of his strained relationship with McCartney: "One of the main reasons the Beatles ended is because... I pretty damn well know, we got fed up with being sidemen for Paul."
"After Brian [Epstein] died we collapsed. Paul took over and supposedly led us. But what is leading us when we went round in circles?"
"Paul had the impression... that we should be thankful for what he did, for keeping the Beatles going... But he kept it going for his own sake. Not for my sake did Paul struggle."
Yoko Ono can be heard in the background and, of her, he says: "It seemed that I either had to be married to them or Yoko. I chose Yoko... And I was right."
"... They despised her. They insulted her and still do... they can go stuff themselves."
The Archive Hour: The Wenner Tapes is part of a major John Lennon season on BBC Radio to mark the 25th anniversary of his death.
BBC Radio 1
Previously unheard and unedited footage of a Lennon and McCartney interview is revealed on OneWorld on Monday 5 December at 1.00am.
The show also presents a re-worked version of The White Album with some of the show's favourite artists – including Bedouin Soundclash, Deerhoof and Animal Collective, adding their own personal touches to each track on the album.
BBC Radio 2
New interviews with Yoko Ono, Cynthia Lennon and Maureen Cleave alongside rarely heard archive material and a transatlantic broadcast feature in Radio 2's programming.
Bigger Than Jesus, on Saturday 3 December (8.00-9.00pm), presented by Paul McGann, tells of Lennon's interview with Maureen Cleave - in which he stated: "We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first - rock'n'roll or Christianity" - and its aftermath.
In Good Morning Sunday on Sunday 4 December (7.00-9.00am) Cynthia Lennon joins Don Maclean to talk about her life with and without John Lennon.
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of, arguably, the Beatles' folkiest album Rubber Soul, Mike Harding presents a musical tribute from the cream of the folk music community of the British Isles on Wednesday 7 December, 8.00-9.00pm.
Lennon Night, on Thursday 8 December from 7.00 to 11.00pm, is broadcast simultaneously on Radio 2 and across the USA on Sirius Satellite Radio.
The evening begins with Lennon, presented by Mark Radcliffe, which includes a new interview with Yoko Ono and, from the archives, rarely-heard interviews with Lennon, including the first Beatles radio interview from 1962.
At 8.00pm Lennon Live is three hours of music presented by Stuart Maconie, performed by a line-up of artists giving their interpretations of Lennon songs live, both in Abbey Road Studio 2, and in the studios of Sirius Satellite Radio in Manhattan.
BBC Radio 4
Monday 5 to Friday 9 December, at 3.30pm, Robert Sandall explores five songs written by Lennon about key relationships in his life.
Strawberry Fields describes his complex relationship with his home town, Liverpool; Julia looks at his complicated family background and reaction to the death of his mother; How Do You Sleep focuses on his relationship with Paul - the song was written after the break up of the Beatles at the point their relationship was at an all-time low; The Ballad of John And Yoko is followed by Beautiful Boy which is about his relationship with Sean Lennon.
British journalist Ray Connolly was a friend of Lennon and was due to interview him the day John was shot.
He has written a highly unusual and personal look at the murder that shook the world in Unimaginable, which is the Afternoon Play on Thursday 8 December at 2.15pm.
BBC 6 Music
BBC 6 Music has uncovered a long-lost recording of John Peel's Night Ride programme, dating back to 11 December 1968, when the young Radio 1 DJ was joined live in the studio by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
Clips will be available online - bbc.co.uk/6music - as part of the network's John Lennon Day on Thursday 8 December.
In Nemone's Dream Ticket there will another opportunity to hear the Beatles live, as captured in session for Radio 1 at The Playhouse Theatre, London, in November 1964.
6 Music will also be revisiting archive television footage when it takes over the BBC's Big Screen in Liverpool for the evening.
6 Music will also broadcast a new Yoko Ono interview, throughout the day, in which she shares her recollections of the first time she met John; her thoughts on what he would have been doing if alive today; and – from Iraq to the internet - what he would have thought of the 21st century world.
The new Lennon compilation, Working Class Hero, is album of the day and the network will play songs chosen by the man himself in John's Jukebox.
This feature will provide an insight into Lennon's musical tastes and inspirations, playing soul, R&B and rock'n'roll from amongst the 40 records discovered on his own portable jukebox.
Artists featured include Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, The Isley Brothers, Buddy Holly and Bob Dylan.
For more information about BBC Radio's Lennon coverage, please visit bbc.co.uk/lennon.