THE PLAYBOY INTERVIEWS WITH JOHN LENNON AND YOKO ONO by David Sheff

THE PLAYBOY INTERVIEWS WITH JOHN LENNON AND YOKO ONO

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Edited transcripts of interviews taped during three weeks in September 1980--portions of which appeared in Playboy magazine. Most of the material is in the fan-worship mode (Sheff is a particularly fawning interviewer) and strictly for those who saw Lennon--or the Lennon/Ono lifestyle--as a more-than-musical phenomenon. John (humorous) and Yoko (intense) chat about: his being a ""househusband""; her being a businesswoman; feminism (""We never had penis envy. But men do have womb envy. . .""); drugs and drink; their mid-'70s separation; their ""teacher-pupil"" relationship (Yoko as teacher); their children by previous marriages; their son; their wealth (""I'm over the conflict that says you can't be awake and have money""); their primal-scream therapy; their ""bed-ins"" and their albums. John is pressed to also talk about The Beatles, of course--especially in response to Sheff's obnoxious nagging about a possible Beatles reunion. (""Do we have to do the walking on water again because a whole pile of dummies didn't see it the first time or didn't believe it when they saw it?"") But the last section here is of firmer, broader interest: having spoiled Playboy's exclusive by giving an interview to Newsweek, John agreed to make it up to Shelf and Golson by talking through a song-by-song rundown of the Lennon/McCartney and Lennon songbooks. And, though many of the commentaries are merely a sentence--often Lennon just says ""That's Paul"" when discussing the ""Lennon/McCartney"" tunes written solely by McCartney--there are fascinating bits on musical influences (Bing Crosby, Vivaldi), on the John/Paul collaboration (""Eleanor Rigby"" especially), and on specific songs. Strangely, too, John's passing flickers of bittersweet reminiscence while discussing the songs are the most affecting moments in this volume. Obvious appeal to cultish fans, then, but of some value also to those more concerned with the music itself.

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1981
Publisher: Playboy--dist. by Haper & Row