John Lennon interview in New Zealand, 1964

Hear John Lennon talking at the St George Hotel, Wellington on 21 June 1964 – the day The Beatles arrived in New Zealand from Australia. (Note the announcer calls him 'John Lemon'.)


Announcer: The interviewer then spoke with John Lemon.

Interviewer: You do have fans from all age groups, don’t you?

John: Yes. Some people say it’s a when you get older fans the kids don’t like you. It’s true; there’s a pocket of kids, but it’s much more satisfying to have a good, you know, sort of, I can’t think of the word, coverage of, and y’know, what’s the word? I can’t, y'know … Oh, it’s doesn’t matter anyway, more different types than just one packet of, pocket of, sort of [laughs] one packet of little fans in one corner, y’know.

Interviewer: Ah, your book, In my own write, what’s it all about John?

John: It’s about nothing. If you like it, you like it; if you don’t, you don’t. That’s all there is to it. There’s nothing deep or anything in it. It’s just meant to be funny.

Interviewer: Entertainment.

John: I hope.

Interviewer: What about the next one you’re writing?

John: I don’t know. I’m just, y’know, I don’t know if I’ll ever write one if I get, it just depends how I feel. I’m just writing now when I feel like it. I only do it when I feel in a funny mood.

Interviewer: You mentioned art school. Were you going to be an artist of some kind?

John: Ah, I went to art school because there didn’t seem to be any hope for me in any other field. It was about the only thing I could do, possibly, but I didn’t do very well there either 'cos I’m lazy, you see, so that’s the way it goes.

Interviewer: Did you use your art at all? Have you done any drawings?

John: I did the drawings for the book. That’s the most amount of drawing I’ve done since I left college.

Interviewer: John, what was your group called originally?

John: We had one or two names. I had a group before I met the others called The Quarrymen, and then Paul joined it, and then George joined it then we began to change the names for different bookings, and then we finally hit upon The Beatles.

Interviewer: And what about the haircut?

John: That just, ah, it’s so long ago we can hardly remember. It was something to do with Paris and something to do with Hamburg, and we were not quite sure now 'cos there’s so much been written about it even we’ve forgotten; that’s true.

Interviewer: Have to read it up to find out.

John: Yeah, well, you know, they just make it up about the hair now, but it was something sort of happened between Hamburg and Paris.

Interviewer: What do you feel about all the manufacturers sort of jumping on the bandwagon with all the Beatles shoes and bags and clothes?

John: Well, most of them spelling it B E A T L E S. We’ve got some sort of thing in it. I don’t know how it works; our accountants do it, so I don’t mind as long as we’re in on it. And the ones that aren’t are usually tracked down, if you’re listening, and the clever ones try to use B double E, but it doesn’t often help, you know.

Interviewer: Is there anything you want to do and see while you’re in New Zealand?

John: I want to see this stuff steaming out of the ground.

Interviewer: Rotorua. Will you get up there?

John: I don’t know. We’ll try.

Community contributions

1 comment has been posted about John Lennon interview in New Zealand, 1964

What do you know?

Reed Pigman

Posted: 01 Sep 2015

The interviewer is Doreen Kelso.