1968 interview sees Lennon take on Tariq Ali

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A never-before-published interview with John Lennon dating back to 1968 has been published for the first time.

Lennon spoke to Keele University student Maurice Hindle for over six hours in 1968 at his mansion in Weybridge, Surry, after Hindle had written to him via the Beatles Monthly fanzine. Although a small part of the interview was published in the Keele University magazine UNIT, much of it has lain dormant until appearing in the latest issue of the New Statesman.

Hindle explained that he was met by Lennon himself at the Beatle‘s local train station.

“Outside Weybridge station, a Mini Cooper with smoked-glass windows skidded to a halt, like something out of ‘The Italian Job‘,” he explained. “In the driver’s seat was Lennon. We students crammed into the back of the Mini and John drove us up the bumpy private road that led to his house, Kenwood.”

The interview sees Lennon address criticism levelled at him and The Beatles by political commentator Tariq Ali in his Black Dwarf publication.

“He says ‘Revolution’ was no more revolutionary than ‘Mrs Dale’s Diary‘,” Lennon said to Hindle of Ali. “So it mightn’t have been. But the point is to change your head – it’s no good knocking down a few old bloody Tories!

“What does he think he’s gonna change? The system’s what he says it is: a load of crap. But just smashing it up isn’t gonna do it.”

See Newstatesman.com for more from the interview.

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