This Lennon interview was used as the basis for a cover story in the March 1974 issue of the rock magazine Crawdaddy: Sometime In L.A.: Lennon Plays It As It Lays by Jack Breschard & Patrick Snyder-Scumpy. The interview was conducted during the period in which Lennon was beginning to record an album of rock'n'roll oldies with the producer Phil Spector. It's like a dream . . . of a symphony orchestra of rock, he said of the sessions. "There's been a basic unit of fifteen or twenty musicians. A lot of them are old pals of mine or of Phil's.
Lennon described his songwriting process in some detail during the interview. I've never got the lyrics done until I've sung them, he admitted. I often just have half a [song] or bits and pieces in my head. But it seems that when I book the [session] and I realise that I have a week . . . it suddenly starts coming out . . . I try to sneak up on myself so I'm not too conscious of what I'm doing. He explained that he had always tried to approach his sessions with the Beatles in the same spontaneous spirit, but there were other people to deal with, right? So everybody wants to do a little perfection here and a little perfection there. I'm all for perfection as long as it doesn't take more than eight weeks, because then it's a bore.
Elsewhere in the interview, he looked back at the disappointing reception of his Some Time In New York City album (I can't remember what I felt, but I must not have been too happy about it, because who likes to get crapped on?). He also recalled the difficulties surrounding his August 1972 One To One concerts in New York: Nobody knew anything. I ended up doing so much work on it that I was almost worn out before I got on. Asked about his allegations that he was being persecuted by President Nixon's administration for his political views, Lennon explained that his phone had been tapped and that he had been kept under surveillance: I don't want to mention names, because then my lawyer will jump on me, but there were directions coming from Washington, quite high up, from one of those people always in the news. They were following me around in cars and all that, but I think they wanted me to see that I was being followed. I was getting quite paranoid.
Inevitably, Lennon was quizzed about his future plans, including the possibility that he might tour again (I would, yeah), make a TV special (I would love to take the band from Mind Games on) or write another book (When I learned [to type], I was sending weird letters to everybody I knew . . . I've got them all in a drawer, and someday I'll shuffle them out and it'll be a book, I suppose). The final question concerned a familiar topic: the prospect of a Beatles reunion: Anything's possible, he admitted, but I imagine they'd slate us.
Besides the material that was featured in the printed Crawdaddy interview, the tapes include fascinating discussions of an array of other subjects, including UFOs, the idea of Lennon pursuing a Hollywood film career, the Beatles' promotional films in the 1960s, the private jokes that the group placed on their records, his use of pseudonyms, recent drug casualties, and the Biblical significance of the number '666'.