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Posted at 7:28 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

♪♫ John Lennon final print interview; digital tributes flood the Internet (Audio)

By Melissa Bell
John Lennon Imagine
(Chip East/Reuters)

Three days before John Lennon died, he told Rolling Stone's Jonathan Cott, "Give peace a chance. Don't shoot people for peace. All we need is love. I believe it."

On December 8, 1980, Mark David Chapman walked up to Lennon outside his Dakota Apartment and shot him four times. His death shook the world. Digital tributes to the singer have flooded the Internet, 30 years later. On Twitter, a John Lennon emoticon has popped up: ((°J°)), and fans have been sharing their "#wherewereyou" moments, vividly recalling how they heard the news of his death.

Another tribute has risen up, Lennon's own voice, vibrantly alive on tapes recorded by Cott for an extended interview. Cott's tapes had remained in his closet for three decades until he recently came across the two cassette tapes marked, "John Lennon, December 5th, 1980."

The man on the tape seems fully aware of his place in time, noting he's too old to take up the battle cry of youth -- that's the duty of the new brand of "punks." But he still sees a long future for himself and his music. "We're born-again rockers, and we're starting over...There's plenty of time, right? Plenty of time."

"There were a lot of strange consideration of where he was and what he felt like sort of in the middle of his journey. I think it was like a mid-life meditation. I was struck by that," Cott told the Associated Press.

Hear excerpts from the tapes. Or clips from the interview can be downloaded from iTunes. The full print interview will be out in Rolling Stone this Friday.

Add your own memory of John Lennon's death here, or leave your favorite John Lennon quote in the comments.

All we are saying is give peace a chance! ((°J°))less than a minute ago via TweetDeck

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" John Lennon ((°J°))less than a minute ago via web

((°J°)) "I'm the walrus!!!! Goo goo g'joob" #JWLless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Correction: As Calliaume points out, this was John Lennon's final print interview. He gave a radio interview on December 8th.

More stories on John Lennon:

The Early Lead: How 'Monday Night Football' told world John Lennon had died.

Style: Thirty years later it's still hard to fathom Lennon's killing.

Photographs: The legacy of John Lennon.

Yoko Ono: The Tea Maker Op-ed column in the New York Times.

By Melissa Bell  | December 8, 2010; 7:28 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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According to Wikipedia, the last interview John Lennon did was with RKO radio on December 8, 1980. I know Wikipedia isn't always reliable, but they are here. I was a college radio newscaster for WVBR-AM, Cornell University's student radio station; we were affiliated with RKO and we were playing excerpts from the interview the following day, billing it as the last interview John had given.

Posted by: calliaume | December 8, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

The article is saying it is the final print interview. was rko over the radio?

Posted by: crawford1 | December 8, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

It says that now; I believe it said "final interview" earlier today. After entering "John Lennon" and "Rolling Stone" in the Post's search engine, the first two links (this one and a Celebritology link) both say "final interview."

The RKO interview was over the radio, audio only. RKO Radio was a short-lived network, probably best known for its New York anchor station, WOR-AM. The network was sold several times; the last sale was to Westwood One, so there's no longer any RKO Radio brand.

Posted by: calliaume | December 8, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, Calliaume. I added an update to the post with your information. Did you post some of your memories about that day? Would be really interesting to hear how it felt at your radio station during that time.

Posted by: MelissaBellPost | December 8, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Who cares

Posted by: Maddenguru24 | December 8, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

John was not a prophet, he was a business man. HIs business was selling his hippy BS. “Imagine no possession”………? It is easy to do John when you are sitting at a $50,000 piano in your Central Park West penthouse. And, please, John Lennon did not “give” the world anything, he sold it at market prices. See If Yoko doesn’t unleash her lawyers on anyone using John’s image, no matter the reason. The man was more the Bill Gates of Music; he was not the Dahli Llama, Martin Luther King, or Ghandi.

Posted by: hsr143 | December 8, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

What ignorant,hateful comments by hsr143 and Maddenguru24,(if you don't care then please don't care enough to post that you don't care!

This is what I posted on a Beatles fan site about the recent great PBS American Masters show LENNONYC which has Double Fantasy producer Jack Douglas,John's good friend for 9 years rock phographer Bob Gruen,Elton John,who says John was one of the most kind,funniest people he ever met,and he said the man was incredible and he still treasures every moment he spent with him,the musicians from John & Yoko's early 70's band Elephants Memory were interviewd,and other music engineers,a rock DJ Dennis Elsas,Yoko,May Pang,etc and they all liked him and knew him pretty well.

That is totally different from what I saw as the real John,(it only made me feel even sadder that he was taken away and so horribly! I felt this great documetary(have you seen it yet?) showed what I always understod,and what award winning music journalist and former editor of The Melody Maker for 20 years,and close friend of John's for 18 years from 1962-1980,Ray Coleman so empathetically wrote about John in his great thorough John biography,Lennon.John was emotionally scarred and messed up for most of his life and in a lot of pain because of the traumas he had in his childhood and teens,but I'm sure he was not a bad person for the most part,I think he was really a sensitive good person underneath all along,just mentally sick for most of his life,but he was definitely much more emotionally together and sweet at the end sadly.And that is who the *real* john really always was under all of the emotional pain and anger.

I love John *more* as a person(and artist) after seeing this show. I knew for years already about how he cheated on Yoko when she was right there,and yes that was terrible and it's not an excuse but this is an explaination which even Yoko herslef said she understood,he was in a bad emotional state and very drunk,and as Jack Douglas said(and Eliot Mintz says this in Lennon by Ray Coleman) that John and alcohol were a very bad combination he never could handle it well and it had a really bad effect on him,thank God he eventually cleaned up and got off of it during the last 5 years of his life.And he had a good conscious,he felt very guilty about the things he did including this which was made very clear in this program.At least he did have a concious and regretted and felt sorry for the wrong things he did and actually worked on himself and changed for the better,that is a lot more than a lot of men(and some women do),many wife beaters and rapists never feel any remorse and never try to work on themseles and change!

Paul McCartney for the most part isn't a bastard,but a sweet person,but after he and beautiful British red haired actress Jane Asher were lovers for five years from April 1963 when she was only 17 and a virgin,and Paul was 21( and far from a virgin since he lost his virginity at only age 15 in 1957 which w

Posted by: cmh4165 | December 8, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

which was not common then with a girl who was bigger and older than him) and she and Paul lived together in their own house from 1966-Spring 1968 when after they were engaged to be married for 7 months,Jane came home unexpectedly early from touring with her theatre company,she found Paul in their bed with another woman and she left Paul for good!

George cheated on Pattie including with Ringo's first wife Maureen,and John,George, and Ringo all also cheated on their first wives with tons of young women groupies,many who were teenage girls,when they were touring from 1963-1966 and this was a very common part of the rock and roll life style especially in the 1960's.

John said in his last interviews that he regretted being violent getting into fights with men and hitting women,and said that is why he felt so strongly about being peaceful and promoting peace.Yoko changed him for the better,because of their love,and great relationship and her feminism,John went into scream therapy with psychologist Dr.Arthur Janov and dealt with his traumas for the first time,and he made a brilliant album out of it,his first solo album,John Lennon Plastic Ono Band and he became a feminist,and a nurturing caring husband and father to Yoko and his son Sean.If you listen to the radio interviews he did hours before it happened,he sounded much more together,and happy and not angry and bitter any more.He talked about how he regretted not spending enough time with his first son Julian and that he was in his 20's like most men too involed with their careers to be a real involed father.He said that he regretted this and that he and Julian would have a relationship in the future.

And it was also very brave and great of John to co-write and sing on The Dick Cavet Show and in the Madison Square Garden concerts both in 1972 the powerful and sadly still true,feminist song,Woman Is The Ni***r of The World,and it was banned off of the radio,and on The Dick Cavet show,shown in LENNONYC he sweetly and clearly explained what this song was really about and why he and Yoko wrote it and performed it.Also he and Yoko played the August 1972 Madison Square Garden concert to help raise money for retarded children and aldults.

Just one year before John was cruelly,brutally,tragically shot and killed for no rational reason,he donated 1,000 $ (which in 1979 was a lot of money) to NYC cops for bullet proof vests.

As a poster on Paul said in discussing this great show,that Tom Hayden pointed out how John and Yoko worked hard on behalf of many different social injustices.And John's great performance of his song,John Sinclair helped get him out of jail 48 hours later!

And as many problems John had,he(and Paul McCartney) gave millions of people happiness with their musical brilliance,and John never would have shot and killed anyone!

Posted by: cmh4165 | December 8, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Out of the 5 Mike Douglas shows that John and Yoko co-hosted for a week that was taped in January 1972 and aired in Febuary,a young criminal lawyer Rena Uviller(she went on to become a Supreme Court Judge) who worked with juveniles, and she,Mike Douglas,John and Yoko were discussing the then very recent women's liberation movement. George Carlin was on too.

Rena said,she agrees with Yoko,that the idea of Women's lib is to liberate all of us,and she said ,I mean we could talk hours on the way men really suffer under the sex role definitions.Yoko agreed with what she said too. Rena said that men don't really realize they have only to gain from Women's Lib,and that she thinks that maybe with a little more propaganda we can convince them.

John then said,yeah there is a lot to gain from it,just the fact that you can relax and not have to play that male role,he said we can do that,and he said that I can be weak,( but notice how then in a male dominated gender divided,gender stereotyped,sexist society,and even unfortunately still now in a lot of ways,the "female" role was defined as the weak one,and the male role as the strong one) I don't have to protect her all the time and play you that super hero,I don't have to play that,she allows me to be weak sometimes and for me to cry,and for her to be the strong one,and for me to be the weak one. John then said,and it really is a great relief,after 28 years of trying to be tough,you know trying to show them,I don't give a da*n and I'm this and I'm that,to be able to relax.and just be able to say,OK I'm no tough guy forget it.

Rena then said,I think in some funny way,I think girls even as children,have a greater lattitude because a little girl can be sort of frilly and feminine or she can be a tomboy and it's acceptable,but a little boy if he's not tossing that football,there's a lot of pressure on him.John said,there's a lot of pressure,not to show emotion,and he said that there was a lot of pressure on me not to be an artist,to be a chemist and he said he discussed this on another Mike Douglas episode.

Rena said that unfortunately some of the leaders in the Women's Liberation movement fall victim to being spokesmen,for Women's Lib, and yet at least in public personality they seem to really have a certain amount of contempt for the hair curled housewife and there is a kind of sneering contempt,and she said I think it's a measure of their own lack of liberation.And Yoko said it's snobbery,and Rena said yeah,they really don't like other women,but I'm sympathetic,and Mike Douglas then said a sexist woman-hating statement,saying,well women don't like other women period.Rena said,no see that's very unliberated and Yoko said, in response to what Mike Douglas said,that's not true,that's not true.And John said,you see they are brought up to compete with men.

Yoko said that even though in Japan they say they don't have much of a woman problem and women already had some liberation,

Posted by: cmh4165 | December 8, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

there is still a long way to go that she really agrees with Rena that so many female liberation movement people basically hate women,and we have to first start to understand women and love them whether they are housewives or not,and she said that snobbery is very bad and we have to somehow find out a way to co-existing with men,and she asked Rena don't you think so and she said most definitely. George Carlin said,that actually many successful women are acting out male roles just like a lot of blacks think they escaped are acting out white roles.John also said that he thinks that women have to try twice as hard as to make it as men,and he said you know they have to be on their toes much more than a man.

On another Mike Douglas episode from the same week,former actress and acclaimed film maker Barbara Loden was on and Yoko had requested her as a guest.John asked her ,Did you have any problems working with the men,you know like giving them instructions and things like that and Barbara said,I did, but I think it was because I was afraid that they would not accept what I said,and I wasn't quite that authoritative in my own self.John said it's certainly a brave thing to do,and Yoko said it is.

Mike Douglas asked Yoko if John's attitude had changed much towards her since The Female Liberation Movement,and at first Yoko says John's attitude from the beginning was the same,and that they met on that level.John then says,twice, I was a male chauvinist and Yoko says,yes he was a male chauvinist but,and then John says,Can I say how you taught me,and Yoko says yes.John says,How I did it in my head was,would I ask Paul or George,or would I treat them the way I would treat a woman? John then said,it's a very simple thing maybe it's fetch that or do that ,and I started thinking if I said that to them,they'd say come on get it yourself,and if you put your wife or your girl friend in the position of your best friend,and say now would I say that to him,then you know when you're treading on some delicate feelings.

Mike Douglas said years later that after this week of John and Yoko co-hosting his show,many young people who had never watched his show before,(and his main audience was middle America and people older than their 20's and even mostly their 30's) told him they loved the show,and that it was great and his ratings went up high for those shows.Even if John didn't always live up to his feminist ideals and beliefs in his personal life,(although he did with Yoko because of her and this why and how he emotionally evolved into a caring,nurturing,house husband and father to Yoko and Sean),just the fact that he spoke out as a man in support of the feminist movement on a popular TV show back in early 1972 when most of the sexist male dominated woman-hating society looked down at it and considered it crazy which in some ways it's still unfortunately wrongly misunderstood(and it's really the male dominated,sexist,woman-hating society that has always been

Posted by: cmh4165 | December 8, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

so wrong and crazy!),and the fact that John was (and still is) greatly admired and influential to many young people male and female,he did *a lot* to legitimize it and show it was rational,reasonable,needed and right!

A few months later he was performing Woman Is The Ni**er Of The World on The Dick Cavett Show and then months after that live in Madison Square Garden.In his very last radio interview done by Dave Shollin etc from RKO Radio just hours before he was tragically shot and killed, John said I'm more feminist now than I was when I sang Woman Is The N**ger,I was intelectually feminist then but now I feel as though at least I've put not my own money,but my body where my mouth is and I'm living up to my own preachings as it were.

And Yoko keeps promoting John's great music and art not for money,(she doesn't need the money anyway,John was a millionaire and in addition she made her own money as she still does from her work as an artist)she does this because she still loves him deeply,and she wants him to be remembered for the truly great music artist and art artist he was who was killed for no rational reason at only age 40!

Posted by: cmh4165 | December 8, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Mike Douglas also said to John and Yoko,You're both so different,you had such different childhoods. John said,it's incredible isn't it?Yoko said,Yes! Mike asked,What do you think has attracted you to each other?Yoko said,We're very similar.John then said,She came from a Japanese upper-middle class family.Her parents were bankers and all that jazz,very straight.He said they were trying to get her off with an ambassador when she was 18.You know,now is the time you marry the ambassador and we get all settled.I come from a an upper-working class family in Liverpool,the other end of the world. John then said,we met but our minds are so similar,our ideas are so similar.It was incredible that we could be so alike from different enviornments,and I don't know what it is,but we're very similar in our heads.And we look alike too!

Mike also asked John about his painful childhood,and how his father left him when he was 5,and John said how he only came back into his life when he was successful and famous(20 years later!),and John said he knew that I was living all those years in the same house with my auntie,but he never visited him.He said when he came back into his life all those years later,he looked after his father for the same amount of time he looked after him,about 4 years.

He also talked about how his beloved mother Julia,who encouraged his music by teaching him to play the banjo,got hit and killed by a car driven by an off duty drunk cop when John was only 17 and just getting to have a realtionship with her after she had given him away to be raised by her older sister Mimi when he was 5.

And John also said,And in spite of all that,I still don't have a hate-the-pigs attitude or hate-cops attitude.He then said, I think everybody's human you know,but it was very hard for me at that time,and I really had a chip on my shoulder,and it still comes out now and then,because it's a strange life to lead .He then said,But in general ah,I've got my own family now ...I got Yoko and she made up for all that pain.

John's psychologist Dr. Arthur Janov told Mojo Magazine in 2000( parts of this interview is on a great UK John Lennon fan site,You Are The Plastic Ono Band) that John had as much pain as he had ever seen in his life,and he was a psychologist for at least 18 years when John and Yoko saw him in 1970! He said John was a very dedicated patient. He also said that John left therapy too early though and that they opened him up,but didn't get a chance to put him back together again and Dr.Janov told John he need to finish the therapy,he said because of the immigration services and he thought Nixon was after him,he said we have to get out of the country.John asked if he could send a therapist to Mexico with him,and Dr.Janov told him we can't do that because they had too many patients to take care of,and he said they cut the therapy off just as it started really,and we were just getting going.

Posted by: cmh4165 | December 8, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Who cares

Posted by: Maddenguru24

MILLIONS of people, Maddenguru24. 999,999 more than do for you.

Posted by: Quasi-Mofo | December 9, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

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