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John Lennon: Audio Diary September 5 1979 (Restored)


Fifth of September, 1979. Take 1… in the… ongoing life story of John Winston… Ono Lennon. Talk about 9 Newcastle Road, because that’s the first place I remember. And it’s a good way to start. Red brick. Front room. Never used. Always
curtains drawn. Picture of a horse and carriage on the wall, which ended up at nanny’s place. Aunt Ann, who’s still living in Rockferry, Cheshire. Then she sold it. The first thing I remember is a nightmare. There was only three bedrooms upstairs, one in the front on the street, one in the back, and one teeny little room in the middle. This is boring, I can’t be bothered doing it. Let’s think of something else. Well, I was listening to the radio and Dylan’s
new single or album, whatever the hell it is, came on… about “everybody’s got to get
served”? I mean, what was it? Every… “You’ve Got to Serve Someone”…”You’ve Got to Serve Somebody.” Hmm… So, he wants to be a waiter now. He wants to be a waiter for Christ. The backing was mediocre by Jerry Wexler, and the singing was really pathetic, and the words were just embarrassing. So, here we sit, watching the mighty Dylan,
and the mighty McCartney, and the mighty Jagger… slide down the mountain, blood and mud in
their nails! Well, that’s the way the world is! Heh, heh, heh, ha, ha! that’s the way the world is,
oh yes. The difference between now and a couple of years back is that whenever there was a
new thing out by any of the aforesaid, I used to feel a sense of panic and competition. And now, I just feel like, even in the last few months it’s changed. Oddly I would send out for their albums or something just to hear it. There doesn’t seem any point now. Let’s take a break. How do we break? Just
put it off. Still… even, talking about them or, thinking about them is still really being involved in it. Because… the ultimate, disassociation would
be, not even to know they had an album out! But now at least I get pleasure in it instead
of panic. The main pleasure being of course that it’s all a load of shit. So I suppose I’ll always feel competitive with them, because they were from that same generation, but when I hear something like, pop music… by Robin Scott or the Blondie single, I really enjoy it, you know. I don’t feel competitive about it. Well, he who laughs, laughs, laughs, laughs,
laughs, laughs… I read Truman Capote’s interview with himself
in this week’s or month’s, whatever, Interview magazine. And it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t any better than the one I did two years ago. Although at the time I thought I had originated
it… but somebody told me Bernard Shaw had done it. I liked that remark some woman made
about Bernard Shaw, that his brains had gone to his head. What’s that? Sounds like birds. Well, of course the bagpipes got me right
back to Edinburgh, which is one of my favorite… dreams. And Edinburgh Festival and the Tattoo… in the castle and all these bands of the world’s armies would come and march and play. And the favorites… I think they were usually the Americans ‘cus they swung like shit, apart from actually the Scots, who were really the favorites. And I always remember feeling very emotional
about it. Especially where they did the bit at the end where they put all the lights out and there’s just one guy playing the bagpipes. Lit by a lone spotlight! Och Aye! Well, in
1981 I’ll take Sean there, ‘cus that’s a good year to go. I always felt free in Scotland. It’s probably the same feeling I get in Japan actually. It’s the feeling of being in a foreign
country and therefore you’re not… You don’t belong to the… You don’t have to deal with
the social mores so much. Free from everything… It’s easier to be yourself in a foreign country. I think that’s why so many people go crackers! And they get on holidays in those places.
The freedom’s too much for them. Well, it’s easier to think than talk. Just, I was just remembering the time I had my hand on my mother’s tit in Number 1 Blomfield Road, in… off Mather Avenue, near Garston. It’s
when I was about 14… I took the day off school, I was always doing that and hanging out in
her house. We were lying on the bed and I was thinking, I wonder if I should be doing anything
else, you know? And it was a strange moment, because I actually had the hots, as they say,
for some… rather lower-class female that lived on the opposite side of the road. But, I always think whether I should have done it, presuming she would have allowed it. The thing I wanted to add about McCartney,
Dylan, Jagger, et al., is that they’re all company men… in various disguises. But basically
company men. Forgetting the singing dwarf, Mr. Simon. Oh, by the way, mother was wearing a black
angora short-sleeved, round-necked sweater. Not too fluffy, maybe it was the other stuff,
Cashmere. That’s it, black Cashmere. Soft wool anyway. And I believe that tight, dark, green, yellow, mottled skirt. Hey ho… I also remember seeing her going down on Twitchy, or otherwise known as Robert Dykins. Dykins… D-Y-K-I-N-S. Her Bobby Dykins, her second husband. I don’t know if she ever married him or not. She was under the bedsheets and I wandered into the room, because I was staying there. The same period, 14 on, 13 on, whatever. And I can’t remember exactly what I felt… Shock I know that. But because I was already probably into it myself, I probably wasn’t that shocked. It was the idea of going down on him I think. Sleazy little waiter, with the nervous cough, and the thinning margarine-coated hair. He
used to always push his hand in the margarine or the butter, it was usually margarine, and grease his hair with it before he left. He used to keep his tips in a big tin on top
of a cupboard in the kitchen, where I used to always steal them. And I believe mother got the blame. That’s the least they could do for me. I’m sitting here waiting… to be taken out to
view yet another group of houses for our country retreat. This endless search for Scotland outside of New York, within an hour of New York. Well now I’ve given up Scotland and the ocean, I’m settling for some grass and a tree. I read… somewhere, about some guy saying that, you know… about the sexual fantasies and urges that he had over his life, when he was twenty, and then when he was thirty he thought they’d cool down a bit. And then when he got in his forties, he thought they’d cool down and they didn’t. And he went on, sixties, seventies, until he was still dribbling on in his mind, when he couldn’t possibly do anything
about it, apparently. So that rather… well not depressed, but I mean, I just thought, Shit… Because I was always waiting for them to lessen. But I suppose it’s going to go on forever. Well forever is a bit too strong a word there. Let’s say, go on until you leave this body
anyway. It’s hope. Maybe the game is to get… conquer it, as they say, before you leave, otherwise, you come back for more and then who wants to come back just to come? Or maybe I read it in the Capote thing, I’ll check that out. Well, here we are. Aged thirty-nine,
looking out of my hotel window… Wondering whether to jump out or, get back in bed. So, I got back in bed.

Glenn Chapman

100 Comments

  1. This is sad, my childhood hero is a jealous snob, who makes rude comments about his peers because he is no longer able to compete with them. He's like the old grouchy man who's life sucked. Yet in public he pretended he wanted to be a house husband……this is very sad..!

  2. Fame can lead you to wealth and take you to many beautiful places that you had never seen before, but your deep down feelings will always remain a constant.

  3. I recorded a tape once while in my parents' garden on acid and it sounded a lot like this (non-sequitur city) so I'm gonna guess he wasn't so much depressed as on something. That's my take on it.

  4. He had a bit of a inferiority complex toward the very few people he thought were better, or on par with him,.!? Although as a fan of his, Dylan,Macartney,and on.! I would never like to meet them I just love their music/art (impression they give off),.!? peace.

  5. A lot of harsh comments… John's just sorting through his feelings…. if you can't be honest in your diary entries where can you be?

  6. Any true fan would know he was talking about his real mother. Doesn't make him a horrible person. We all have secret thoughts… Some worse than others…

  7. He was depressed about the music scene, for sure. The late seventies were pretty bad. Remember the Stones' LP "Sucking in the 70's"? Elton John's "Empty Garden" said it well.

  8. I didn't know he was so competitive.I thought Dylans albumn was great. And it won a grammy too I believe.This recording shows John as a competitive, hyper critical selfish adolescent  person, so far different from what we all saw.Strange indeed! Is this the real him?  Come on John, wake up

  9. Sean just outlived his amazing father. What a day December 9th must have been for him.
    And I must say – I love this photo of John, and how it resembles Sean perhaps more than any I have seen.
    God Bless this man forever.

  10. I saw a documentary about how mothers and sons or sisters and brothers who have been separated by adoption, then reunited when the children are grown to sexual maturity, will have an overpowering urge to have sex. Sounds like John Lennon was experiencing that same sort of syndrome with his mother.

  11. And so other reason to Love John… Feelings and experiences affecting his life as he became one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century…. Rest in peace John….until we all sing again.

  12. well the man accomplished the most one could here as far as fame, but he probably had to come back as some sort of factory worker

  13. I think John would have LOVED youtube and the whole idea of being able to put himself out there from the comfort of his home and say whatever he wants to the world!

  14. well, atleast he now knows that "you've gotta serve somebody" wasn't such a silly belief after all. It certainly doesn't sound like he found the Answer in fantasizing about his mother, jumping off of a hotel, or planning a trip to Scotland that never happened. Very sad. 🙁

  15. Show the guy some humanity. Nobody was supposed to hear this and that we do is interesting. Yet it is private scary thoughts he is talking about. Some with great humor but still being real. He had problems so what, he was great to be able to speak about them so lucidity

  16. I could listen to John's thoughts for hours. I find myself agreeing with a lot of his philosophy.

  17. John Lennon was bitter and unhappy. Yoko Ono and New York sapped away his strength and talent and only left an empty shell of a man. It's ironic, because when he left England for the United States he said his country too boring and provincial. He wanted to be in this new Rome, the center of the empire. Eight years later we have him rambling nostalgically about his holidays in Scotland when he was a teenager. Paul McCartney and George Harrison were wiser. They chose to stay in their country right in touch with their old friends and relatives, where they belonged. Too bad that Paul's newyorker wife died too soon. Something inside of him died with her. He's never been the same again. He has turned weird since, as John did before.

  18. Anyone interested in this should read the book "Nowhere Man" about his last 5 years in relative seclusion by the man who was given Lennon's personal diaries which John had everyday kept religiously writing everything he thought, ate, crapped, etc. until his death. But while the author began transcribing the diaries from Johns scrawl he was advised (by Yoko?) to go somewhere to take a break from his work, during which his apartment was broken into and the diaries and his work stolen. He was devastated as John had said to him that if anything happened to him he wanted the world to know "everything". He began re-writing from memory everything he could recall but by now it was apparent Yoko had the diaries and his work and (as a very powerful business woman) was blocking him from publishing anything. Eventually, decades later, he was "allowed" to publish a very watered down document called "Nowhere Man" which is so interesting and far removed from most folks memory of John it begs the question "What the hell was in those diaries?". John's occult practise with Yoko, never going anywhere without first consulting there own personal astrologer, numerology (his obsession with the number 9), and generally strange beliefs and business dealings. I recommend it to anyone interested in the truth behind the legend.

  19. This is what 4 years of being a stay-at-home dad does to you…

  20. Poor John. I can't listen to all of this. He was so envious – he always was an "insecure" and "jealous" guy. Much as I love him.

  21. The last things he said…hit me like a truck. I guess John never actually found the happiness he longed for. I feel so horrible that John always carried so much pain.

  22. is it weird that this is like asmr to me? i just think John's voice is so soothing. but i feel bad for him. such a tortured soul 😔

  23. Everyone seems to miss the point. Mark Rothko, the painter, once said the greatest compliment he could pay someone was to call them "human." This is what all the greats are; human. This is very human. A real person feeling a lot of things. This is not something to disparage or look down on but to celebrate. All the greats were profoundly human; Oscar Wilde, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Emily Dickinson… It is beautiful. It is real. And the greatness of Jesus was his profound humanity. It isn't about being perfect. Or floating in the air. Trying to make him something other than human is missing the point. It is easy to give up in life. To hate. To feel nothing. The artists, unfortunately, do not have that lazy luxury.

  24. Fascinating! I would never expect to hear a recording like this by any of the other three.

  25. I think he was quite traumatized by the beatlemania/touring years, and then he took way too much LSD in 67/68. The others were much more moderate about it. I think it damaged his sensitive brain. Such a massive personality shift post 68- no longer the energetic, positive leader that he had always been. By then he was even more vulnerable than before and Yoko took full advantage. She is repulsive, cold and evil. Paul and George hated her from the start and tried to warn John off her. The book by his assistant Fred tells the story from an up close observer. Re Scotland: I believe some of his favorite relatives live/d there.

  26. there is insecurity,this fear of not having done enough despite of the enormity of musical,philosophical contribtution from him…

    there's this huge desire to leave the body and the entire circus of life…he calls it a "game"…and says maybe the point is to transcend the sexual instincts while you are alive..to get past it in your life time…it matches with views of hindus and buddhists…and he was surely surely thinking and pondering of life and its meaning all this while at home…

    i also feel he is really uncertain,uncomfortable about sex…when he saw his mother do it..it must have just made his mind crack a bit..he has had a lot of jolts in his life…julia's death,acid trips,paranoia within beatles,death of his uncle and manager…but despite of it all,the great thing about him was his reinvention in his art and music in every phase of his life..

    hearing the bagpipes i wonder if he would have gone in the cultural direction next..he did that with "beautiful boy"..those japanese sounds you know…but,in all,what counts is his commitment to express all he felt,in its purity…whether it was confusion or affirmation he felt in love….

    the only thing i really didn't like was his way of dealing with cynthia….he was young and foolish,arrogant and egoisitc..for all that he did with her…i wished he reconciled with her..

  27. just because john opens his mouth doesn't mean its worth listening to…this was not worth recording for a diary.

  28. "Yoko Ono and New York sapped away
    his strength and talent and only left an empty shell of a man"…sounds right ..good quote

  29. I love the bit at the end where he talks about maybe jumping out his hotel window. Now, I don't know if it was a joke or not, but if it was serious, can anybody tell me why he would want to do that? At this point in his life he was successful, rich, financially secure, and did not have to do a fucking thing for anybody unless he wanted to. He had a four year old kid, and a wife he claimed he loved, so what exactly was the fucking problem here? You know, sometimes success and talent is wasted on some people. They get everything a person can have in life, and they are still morbidly unhappy. Kurt Cobain, Elvis, Marilyn Monroe. I struggle to understand why people who were in the positions they were in, were having such a hard time with it all. Now, if you don't have enough money to pay your rent and you can't find a job, then I would understand this emotional state, but these people were at the fucking top of the food chain, so what the fuck was the problem? Are they just bored or something?

  30. He was rather depressed, and had no high esteem. But he was right, they are company men in disguise', and all very alive today.

  31. 5:02 So I'll start a revolution from my bed
    Cause you said the brains I had went to my head, that's where Noel pinched that from.

  32. I can't understand why he lived in the dekota in the middle of New York city when he could have lived anywhere he wanted.

  33. The honesty that 99 percent of everyone doesnt have, thats what made him great.

  34. I have loved John since I was a child (I am 43)…. I love finding new videos and sound recordings that have come to light thanks to YouTube…. but this one is just eerie for me and uncomfortable………

  35. I found this very disturbing. Apart from the comment about Paul Simon being a 'singing dwarf,' that was funny

  36. I met him and Yoko a month before this in Tokyo on Aug 6, 1979. He was much happier then. Yoko said he was in the best mood ever. He looked just exactly like the pic on this vid. I was playing music and did my impression of him singing "Twist and Shout"… He shouted "Bravo"… good times. So sad when he died. He was always my biggest musical influence.

  37. Like Lennon's our ids are dark. How does Jeremiah say it? The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked; who can know it.

  38. These diary excerpts turned up on the "Lost Lennon Tapes" bootleg LPs. I assume the tapes were stolen by JL's assistant Fred Seaman?

  39. First time hearing this. Weird, first time I went to Edinburgh was in early August for Fringe Festival…and I'm pretty sure he's talking about Blondie's "Heart of Glass" when talking about liking it, not jealous. Definitely a timeless song!!!

  40. 1. Happier memories from the past…
    2. He was jealous, but he was right about Dylan, McCartney and Jagger being more businessmen than artists…
    3. Putting his hands on his mother's tit…
    4. Thinking about suicide in the Dakota…

  41. interesting how he 'can't go there' with taking about his first memory being a nightmare, and diverts (escapes) to talking about Dylan and music. Wonder what the impetus was for this tape? Started off as psychotherapy in tone, then become about music. Feel for him here x

  42. https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.3910036,-2.9137953,3a,75y,353.96h,87.11t/data=!3m10!1e1!3m8!1sUvgljU5wMuOsivjWBQKv_Q!2e0!5s20080801T000000!7i13312!8i6656!9m2!1b1!2i40?dcr=0

  43. in the middle of a cloud i call your name! he was deeply in love with yoko.

  44. "in 1981 I'll take Sean there" as if this tape couldn't make me feel any more depressed

  45. https://youtu.be/OtsPXB-mrds

    This isn't his voice, compare it with his last interview. Good impression though.

  46. was this recorded outside? I hear crickets, must have been a nice cool evening.

  47. One day there will be a movie that will reveal the truth of Lennon's life , specially last 5 years ! Maybe can be called " hide your love away " the last 5 years !

  48. This is the voice of a seriously depressed man.He sounds bored,bitter,sad and angry.

  49. "In 1981 I'll take Sean there, because that's a good year to go."

    No you won't unfortunately…

  50. sounds depressed and bitter. Not the happy house husband he and Yoko portrayed him to be.

  51. What a great youtuber, facebook, twitter, instagramer we missed, apart from a great songwriter, singer and a Beatles reunion…imagine….Lennon with a smartphone.

  52. I miss you, John. I wish you were here to be a husband, a father, a brother, a friend, to be alive and making music, living out your dreams. You should be here looking back on your whole life by the sea saying that was cool right. You may be gone, but never forgotten Thank you for the memories. RIP, John.

  53. nice try, this is not Lennon! 70% alike but if you have watched all Lennon's intwrview with visual, you can tell that this is fake!!

  54. Dear God why did this have to happen to John nothing but pain and suffering, his wife and son's and all of his fans. John you are are missedbut definitely not forgotten

  55. I wonder when he talked about an hr from NY and country homes if he was talking about Westchester ny . People around the globe may have heard of Yonkers or bronxville scarsdale its richest county in the USA and its bc it's very beautiful picture perfect neighborhoods and it's only a 15 min drive maybe 20 to nyc so s lot of city people move there to raise families in house and it's a quick.train ride to wall street big money CEO jobs u know nyc . Also the hand on his moms boob I guess it's just an oedipal thing but she didnt raise him.and treated him like a younger brother hr obviously had mom issues bc she let her sister raise him while she lived close and had kids with another man. I cant believe she didnt just have her son live with her blended family but in Europe people did that stuff in the 40s . My grandma had a child at 17 and her sister raised her then 8 years later she met a man had 5 kids with him and moved to America. I didnt know about her til I was a young adult. It was a very painful.subject for her . I think john s mom who was 25 I read when she had him not sure her excuse at least my grandma was a teen . I think she may have been wild for the times . Anyway he def has a love hate for the 4 guys he mentions McCartney Jagger dylan and I think George I forget who the 4th is.

  56. julian … once more forgotten …so sad John was so much depressed and never understood the present in his life, a part of him little Julian, may him rest in peace, he lives in our hearts by his songs and his band the beatles,…. Goodnight John Winston Lennon

  57. This is fascinating. Many hear say he sounds depressed. He sounds like a regular guy to me being introspective and honest.

  58. You guys dont understand that this was before his sailing trip in 1980. He was tired and sad, but Bermuda and that storm he sailed in helped him CONQUER ALL THAT. You have to know the whole arc he went through to understand this.

  59. Why is no one talking about the fact that he said he wanted to get with his mom??? I really felt bad for him at times. His childhood was very rough, as he said he would walk in on his mom and her husband hooking up, and he never had a dad. He was SO incredibly insecure, per the part where he talked about the “mighty dylan, might McCartney, and the mighty Jagger”. I think that his feud with Paul after the Beatles broke up was because he was jealous of him for becoming popular. In almost every thing I see/hear him in he puts down other artists of the time because he’s not content with himself and the music he was making.

  60. I just can’t believe John is dead I feel deep down somewhere he’s still with us?
    But I assume John now lives among us fans and ppl who loved him

  61. John was always searching for 'something' Yoko wasn't IT either. At the time they met, he was gobbling acid down like crazy. She is a leech, a control freak and a sociopath. She wormed her way into his head (which interested her more so than his heart). She stalked him while he was married to Cynthia and she was married to a grifter named Tony Cox. That first night that they were supposedly taking acid together for the first time, it's doubtful that she dropped the acid…she wanted John to so she can work her way inside of him, which she did. She wanted fame and money…He did nothing for those 5 years inside the dark fortress Dakota except get stoned and watched TV. He was no househusband, that's just a good story Yoko invented for his absence in music. John wasn't happy and it showed. A good friend of mine did a lot of studio work with John throughout the years and he said that he never saw John as happy as he was when he was with May Pang. Don't just dwell on that 1 drunken night with Harry Nilsson…John put out more music during his time away from Yoko than he did before or after being with May. I personally dislike her for a number of reasons and one of them is her telling Julian over the phone that his Mother Cynthia cannot accompany him on the flight over to NYC after John's murder! WTF? She's a witch…pure evil…

  62. Gracias for the audio log, Góòd stuff to hear and good memories tóò. Gratitude for this :+}}}}

  63. I don't think he sounds depressed at all. He sounds like an artist reflecting on his life.

  64. This should not be online. This is private. This was stolen from him. He's dead and this is just like we're picking at his bones. I wish that this could be erased somehow. He deserves privacy.

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