Charlotte Foster


Lost John Lennon interview recording up for auction

Lost John Lennon interview recording up for auction

In 1970, four Danish teenagers interviewed music legend John Lennon for their school paper. 

Now, half a century later, a recording of their 33-minute interview, which also includes an unpublished Beatles song, will be auctioned off in Denmark. 

The cassette tape is expected to sell for up to $42,000, as the unique item is in high demand from music memorabilia collectors. 

When the 16-year-old teens interviewed Lennon in northern Denmark on January 5th 1970, they said they weren’t starstruck. 

Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono had "a message of peace, and that was what was important to us," recalled Karsten Hoejen, who made the recording on a tape recorder borrowed from the local hi-fi shop.

The tape recording largely features Lennon and Ono speaking about their time in Denmark and world peace, as the interview took place at the height of the Vietnam War and the Cold War. 

"Their peace message was what we came for," Mr Hoejen told The Associated Press.

"There was a very relaxed atmosphere, a cozy atmosphere. Lennon and Ono had their feet on the (coffee) table."

The teenagers originally wanted to interview Lennon for their school newspaper, but turned up late for the official press conference. 

"We knocked on the door" and moments later they sat next to Lennon and Ono.

Mr Hoejen held the microphone, and his friend Jesper Jungersen photographed.

At some point, "someone ... I cannot recall who ... asked Lennon if could play the guitar for us." 

He played and sang with Ono "Give Peace a Chance" and then "Radio Peace".

According to Mr Hoejen, it was made for a radio station in The Netherlands but was never aired.

The items up for sale at the auction include the tape, 23 still photos and a copy of the school newspaper, and are expected to be worth at least $42,000.

Image credit: Getty Images

"What also makes (the tape) interesting is that it is a time pocket. It was recorded on an old-fashioned tape recorder," Alexa Bruun Rasmussen of Denmark's main auction house Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneer said.

"When listening to the tape, you realise that they talk straight from their hearts. This is not a staged press conference."

The four boys behind the interview eventually found out that they "were sitting on a treasure. So the cassette was put in a bank vault," Mr Hoejen said, and they wondered what to do with it.

"A collector or a museum would likely get more of it than us having it in a bank vault," he said.

"So we decided to sell it."

Image credits: Getty Images

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