Recording of ‘unheard’ John Lennon song up for auction

Sep 28, 2021, 6:55 AM
JUTLAND, DENMARK - JANUARY 22: 1st appearance of John Lennon and Yoko Ono with short hair at Vust P...
JUTLAND, DENMARK - JANUARY 22: 1st appearance of John Lennon and Yoko Ono with short hair at Vust Peace Center, where the couple is living in meditation on January 22, 1970 in Jutland, Denmark. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
(Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

    (CNN) — Amid more than 100 paintings and sculptures up for sale at an auction in Copenhagen, Denmark, there lies an unlikely item of pop memorabilia: a long-lost tape containing an unreleased John Lennon song.

Expected to fetch up to 300,000 Danish krone ($47,000) at Tuesday’s sale, the white cassette tape also features interviews with the Beatles singer and his wife Yoko Ono, and is accompanied by a series photographs dating back to 1970.

The four interviewers, then 16-year-old schoolboys, have put the tape up for sale over 50 years after it was recorded, according to auction house Bruun Rasmussen. At the time, Lennon and Ono were visiting Thy in Jutland, Denmark, in order to resolve a custody dispute between Ono and her ex-husband over their daughter Kyoko, who is also featured in the photographs.

The four boys, who used to help produce their school magazine, were granted permission to skip class in the hope of securing an interview with Lennon and Ono, the auction house said. On January 5, 1970, they were granted access to a small press conference, alongside a small group of journalists, where they asked about the peace movement and Lennon’s music career. (At the time, Lennon was pursuing a solo career following the release of The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” the year before.)

The 33-minute recording also includes an impromptu performance, after one of the boys asked Lennon if he could play something for them. The Beatle sang “Give Peace a Chance,” first performed at the pair’s famous “Bed-in” protest in Montreal in 1969, before playing an unreleased song, “Radio Peace.”

Written to accompany a proposed Amsterdam radio station of the same name, “Radio Peace” can be “considered a kind of younger sibling” to “Give Peace a Chance,” the auction house said. But the radio station never made it to air and the song was never released.

Elsewhere in the recording, one of the four young interviewers, Karsten Højen, can be heard asking about what young people can do to champion the anti-war movement, to which Lennon and Ono suggested using posters and happenings promoting messages of peace. At one point, Lennon and Ono were also convinced to dance around the Christmas tree while everyone sang a Danish carol.

A cassette with the recording of four Danish schoolboys’ interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono during the famous couple’s winter stay in Thy, in Jutland, Denmark, in 1970, along with polaroid photos, are pictured at Bruun Rasmussen Auction House in Copenhagen on September 24, 2021. – The cassette and polaroid pictures from the visit will be auctioned on September 28, and is valued at between 25, 000 and 40, 000 euros. – Denmark OUT (Photo by Ida Marie Odgaard / Ritzau Scanpix / AFP) / Denmark OUT (Photo by IDA MARIE ODGAARD/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

In photographs taken by Højen’s schoolmate, Jesper Jungersen, Lennon is seen wearing his iconic round glasses and long tresses alongside Ono, who is dressed in all black. In another, the pair are crammed onto a red sofa alongside Kyoko in front of Christmas decorations.

“The experience had a great impact on our lives,” Højen is quoted as saying in the auction catalog: “Back then, we were not as preoccupied with famous people as young people are today. Instead, we saw John Lennon and Yoko Ono as some kind of political prophets and symbols of peace.

“We shared a common destiny with them in relation to music and the progressive ideology of peace. The two celebrities shaped our generation and the entire counter-culture movement.”

In an apparent coincidence, another series of rare interview tapes featuring Lennon and Ono are also up for auction on Tuesday. Recorded in 1969 and 1970, the interviews — conducted by Canadian celebrity interviewer Ken Zeilig rather than bright-eyed Danish teenagers — could fetch to £30,000 ($41,000) when they go on sale in the UK.

Spanning 12 tapes and over 90 minutes, the recordings delve into behind-the-scenes details of “Abbey Road,” the War is Over movement and Lennon’s protests against the execution of convicted murderer James Hanratty.

Most of the interviews are “previously unheard,” according to auction house Omega Auctions, which described the collection as a “truly unique and inspiring archive of interviews (that) deserve to be heard by all who love The Beatles and John Lennon.”

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

garland unseal Trump...
Tierney Sneed, CNN

Merrick Garland says FBI files motion to unseal Trump Mar-a-Lago warrant

The move comes after days of silence from the Justice Department regarding the search, as is the department's practice for ongoing investigations.
15 hours ago
A Utah lawmaker is considering proposing an amendment to the state's constitution if the trigger la...
Simone Seikaly

Utah Attorney General asks for permission to appeal trigger law injunction

The injunction bars enforcement of SB 174, Utah's abortion "trigger law" until a lawsuit in district court is resolved.
15 hours ago
By Evan Perez, Gabby Orr and Pamela Brown, CNN

Feds removed documents from Mar-a-Lago in June with grand jury subpoena

(CNN) — The FBI search at Mar-a-Lago this week came months after federal investigators served an earlier grand jury subpoena and took away sensitive national security documents from former President Donald Trump’s property during a June meeting, people familiar with the matter tell CNN. Investigators executed Monday’s search in part because they had developed evidence, […]
15 hours ago
The Canyons School District is pictured. Its starting the year with a teacher shortage...
Adam Small

Canyons School District starting the year with a teacher and staff shortage

Canyons School District will start of the school year with a teacher and staff shortage. The district has over 150 openings.
15 hours ago
A lightning strike is pictured....
Samantha Herrera

Two Tooele houses struck by lightning in yesterday’s storm

TOOELE, Utah — Two houses were struck by lightning Wednesday night during a thunderstorm. Officials said there were no injuries, but some damage. Deputy Fire Chief Jed Colovich from the Tooele City Fire Department said one house had damage to its electrical outlets. The other house had damage to its sprinkler timer. Colovich said the […]
15 hours ago
draper shooting...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

One man dead after shooting in Draper early Thursday morning

The suspect is still at large after a shooting in Draper, and one man is dead after being shot with a gun. Police are still investigating.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Recording of ‘unheard’ John Lennon song up for auction