[VIDEO] I Met the Walrus – John Lennon Interview

[VIDEO] I Met the Walrus – John Lennon Interview

[VIDEO] In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatles fan named Jerry Levitan sneaked into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced him to do an interview. MUST SEE!!

Picture yourself as the ultimate Beatles fan who managed to sneak into John Lennon’s hotel room. Instead of being kicked out, surprisingly, you’re invited to spend the entire day with your idol. This extraordinary scenario unfolded for Jerry Levitan, a fourteen-year-old fan, in 1969. Discovering that John was in Toronto for a “bed-in,” Jerry located him at the King Edward Hotel and successfully persuaded the world’s biggest rock star to engage in an exclusive forty-minute interview. During their conversation, John openly discussed topics such as war, politics, the controversial Two Virgins album, and the alleged subliminal messages in his music.

Fast forward 38 years, and Jerry Levitan, along with director Josh Raskin and illustrators James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina, collaborated to produce an animated short film. They utilized the original interview recording as the soundtrack for this captivating creation. Titled “I Met the Walrus,” the film serves as a mesmerizing vessel for Lennon’s limitless wit and timeless messages. Notably, the animated short received a nomination for the 2008 Academy Award for Animated Short and secured the 2009 Emmy for ‘New Approaches,’ marking it as the first film to win an Emmy for internet-based content.

[VIDEO] I Met the Walrus – John Lennon Interview
"I want peace" / Illustrated by James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina

Full Transcript:

[reel to reel tape recorder turning on]

Jerry Levitan: Hey, John, could you please tell us, what the situation is with you, when you’re entering the United States?

John Lennon: A lot of people don’t want me in. They all think I’m gonna cause a violent revolution, which I’m not. And they just don’t want me in cause they don’t want me to cause peace, either. Because peace is big, war is big business and they like war and cause it keeps them fat and happy. And I’m anti-war so they’re trying to keep me out but I’ll get in, cause they’ll have to own up in public that they’re against peace.

Jerry Levitan: Um-hmm. What can we as, as the youth of, of Toronto, like what can we do to try to help you?

John Lennon: Help me by helping yourselves, and the mlitant revolutionaries, ask them to show you one revolution that turned out to be what it promised militantly. Let’s take Russia, France, anywhere that had a– what they do is they smash the place down, then they build it up again and the people that build it up hang on to it. And then they become the establishment. And you guys are gonna be the establishment in a few years. It’s not worth knocking it down cause it’s convenient to have the rooms and the machinery. The thing is to protest but protest nonviolently. Cause violence begets violence. You know, if you run around wild, you get smacked and that’s it and that’s the laws of the universe. And they’ve got all the weapons. They’ve got all the money. And they know how to fight violence because they’ve been doing it for how many years; suppressing us. And they only thing they don’t know about is nonviolence and humor. And there’s many ways of promoting peace. Do everything for peace. Kiss for peace or smile for peace or go to school for peace or don’t go to school for peace; whatever you do, just do it for peace. It’s up to the people. You can’t blame it on the government and say, “They’re doing this. They’re, oh, they’re gonna put us into war.” We put them there and we allow it. And we can change it. If we really want to change it, we can change it.

Jerry Levitan: What about the Paul, Ringo, let’s see–

John Lennon: George.

Jerry Levitan: George, George?

John Lennon: We’re all four individuals and George is saying to me; George is doing it in his own way with the way he goes about his life. There’s no point standing there shouting on the street corner, “I want peace!” and then beating up your mate. You better try and work your own head out. And get nonviolent, and it’s pretty hard because we’re all violent inside. We’re all Hitler inside and we’re all Christ inside. And it’s just trying work on the good bit of you.

Jerry Levitan: Oh yeah, like I read in the paper that everyone seems to feel that George is the nice guitarist and stuff like that, like I’m not so keen on George. I like him a lot, but–

John Lennon: Yeah.

Jerry Levitan: I have a feeling that they’re just sort of drifting away from people. He’s still like, sort of like a symbol. The Beatles, like God and stuff like that. But no one in school like if you ask them, “Who is your favorite group?” they’ll say, “The Bee Gees.” I’ll ask them, “Why don’t you like The Beatles? They’re, they’re fantastic, great.” etc. And they’ll say because, for example, “The marijuana charges, and they’re all hippies and they’re gone from us. They’re dirty now.”

John Lennon: Oh, I see. Actually, well, those kids, they sound like some are square. They just gotta get from under their parents’ wings.

Jerry Levitan: I know, they’re like robots. Like, once I just got this feeling out of your double LP after I was listening to it for a long time. I started getting this feeling that there’s a message in it, you know?

John Lennon: Yeah, messages are there on all levels, on all, in all music. On whatever level you get it on, I’ve had it too when I wrote it or sang it. But some of that stuff I write it, record it, and play it. And I don’t hear it ’til a few months later and I’m lying down, will say, “Hey, I think, I’ll listen to The Beatle’s album. And try to hear it in retrospect and not objectively.” And it’s about everything, so it’s about UK, it’s about USSR, it’s about nothing, it’s about USA. Anything you hear is there. It’s all there. Either, trigger or profound whatever; it’s all there. And the same is in a flower. Everything’s there. Just gaze and if you look long enough, all answers are in it and the same with the music.

Jerry Levitan: Right.

John Lennon: Oh, keep the big box and don’t know. I have no idea what it is.
>> Big box, black jacket, maybe from last night.

John Lennon: Oh, okay. Well that’s, I just shoved that in the black hand case there. Yeah. No, not the black shiny case, and me hand luggage in there. It was last night’s white jacket there.

Jerry Levitan: Thank you very much.

John Lennon: It’s a pleasure, man.

Jerry Levitan: And your coat.

John Lennon: Bye-bye. Here’s your album. Play that, too. Peace.

I Met the Walrus - John Lennon Interview
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