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Glass Onion: On John Lennon

Welcome to 'Glass Onion: On John Lennon', a podcast deep dive into the music and complex psychology of an icon who lived many lifetimes within his 40 years. The show also looks a contextual look at the time in which he lived and includes discussions with people who knew him and many who have written about him.

By Antony Rotunno

Mar 18, 2023

John Lennon’s series of interviews for Playboy magazine in September 1980, which also included Yoko Ono, are not only a fascinating and multi-layered study of a highly eccentric artist but also form an integral part of the official narrative of John and Yoko’s relationship in 1980 before his death and of the genesis of the songs for their joint album ‘Double Fantasy’.

This episode is the first of a 3-parter that picks out some interesting extracts from the book ‘All We Are Saying’, based on the transcripts of the interviews.

A lot of the narrative promoted by John & Yoko in these interviews has been reasonably debunked, including the obvious and provable point that John's songs for 'Double Fantasy' were worked on for years rather than being the product of pure inspiration. The overall contention over what the truth is has helped form the Coleman-Goldman continuum that has been a almost frequent topic of study on this podcast

Before the main topic, there is also a recommendation and critique of Madeline Bocaro’s epic new 500-page book on Yoko Ono, whose narrative fits neatly with the interviews being studied in this episode.

There are numerous audio clips to complement the conversation, including some of John from the interviews themselves.




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episode links

The Playboy Interviews (more than 3 hours of audio clips)

link to Madeline Bocaro’s new book on Yoko Ono

Madeline and Dan Richter on the ‘Things We Said Today’ podcast

‘John Lennon’s Original Lost Weekend’ (episode of ‘The Beatles Naked’)

Double Fantasy Revisited (‘Something About The Beatles’ podcast)

Kirby Ferguson’s ‘Everything Is A Remix’ website, documentary and TED talk

Huxley vs Orwell (dystopia and modern reality)

‘Amusing Ourselves To Death’ audiobook

‘Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah’ by Richard Bach audiobook