John and Yoko's Year of Peace, directed by Paul McGrath

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John and Yoko's Year of Peace, directed by Paul McGrath

Postby admin » Thu May 16, 2019 1:57 am

John and Yoko's Year of Peace
directed by Paul McGrath
© 2000 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
[transcribed from the movie by Tara Carreon]

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[Ritchie Yorke] I think it was a very positive thing. I mean, cynics, and so on, have, over the years, given it a bit of caning, and say, you know, how stupid and naive all these people were: John and Yoko were, and the people that supported them. But I didn't see it that way. I see it as a valiant attempt by a bunch of young people who felt hopeless, trying to, you know, paint some sort of a picture of optimism in the world.

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[John Brower] What is naive is in the mind of the beholder. It's like beauty. We lived for that truth in those years. History may have shown us that it was a little naive, but nonetheless it was intense, and it was real, and it was the truth of the times.

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[Allan Rock] I think it gave us something to get behind, and also some reason for hope that there was in fact going to be a different approach to things in public life, a different ethic that would prevail, that there was someone out there speaking for things we all believed so deeply in.

-- John and Yoko's Year of Peace, directed by Paul McGrath
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Re: John and Yoko's Year of Peace, directed by Paul McGrath

Postby admin » Thu May 16, 2019 1:59 am

Part 1 of 4

John and Yoko's Year of Peace -- Screenplay

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[John Lennon] Hi. I'm John Lennon, and this is Peace Weekend.

A CBC Color Presentation

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[John Lennon] [Singing] A one ...
two, one, two ...
three ...
four ...

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John & Yoko's Year of Peace

***

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[Narrator] They were rich and famous ...
loved and respected ...
and then they decided to risk it all for a Cause.

***

[John Lennon] [Singing] Everybody's talking about ...
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism ...
Ragism, Tagism, this-ism, that-ism ...
Ism ism ism ...

***

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[Narrator] Peace was not a new concept in 1969 ...
but in March, John Lennon and Yoko Ono ...
suddenly had good reason to want a safer world. The Beatle and his avant-garde lover got married.

***

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[John Lennon] We started to pool our resources, and sort of say, "What do we have in common besides being in love?"
We decided it was love and peace.
You know, so what are we going to do about it? And then we got this letter from this guy, it was sort of like the [inaudible] paper in reverse, saying "All you people with access to the communication media, it's your duty to do something about it, and try and change the world." And I said, "Well, I've sang 'All You Need is Love,' to 20 million people on live TV," you know? And the Beatles were always for love.
And Yoko said, "Well I was [inaudible] a square in a black bag," and all that. And, you know, we tried to rationalize, "Well, what can you do about it?" You know, we're only [inaudible] no matter how much publicity we could get. And all that: "What can you do? What's the point? It's been going on for millions of years." But then we decided it's better to do something than nothing.

***

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[Narrator] Promoting peace was an uphill battle in 1969.
It was a cruel and angry year.
Several large wars took their daily toll.

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It was no longer possible to avoid the graphic images of violence.
Rock musicians could end their careers by commenting on even so obvious an issue.

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But the outspoken Beatle ...
the dangerous one ...
couldn't keep quiet.

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So what did John Lennon and Yoko Ono do?
They laid down.

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For peace.
Nobody was quite sure what to think ...
but just about everyone ...
paid attention.

***

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[John Lennon] [Reading a letter] "You're just two dirty, filthy creeps, completely nuts. We judge junkies as the lowest creeps on this earth, and you two are the lowest.
We spit on filth such as you."

[Yoko Ono] [Laughs]

[John Lennon] Charming, isn't it?

***

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[Yoko Ono] John and I were pretty naive in the sense that we thought it was a great idea. And so we just did it, you know?
That was kind of an artistic decision. We're both artists, you know. So it was that.
And when people ridiculed us, and all that, they were a little bit put off, you know: "Oh, really?" I didn't know I'd be so ridiculed, and all that.
But well, you know, of course, we immediately realized that well, it was to be expected.

***

[Narrator] The United States did NOT want John and Yoko to continue the bed-in there.
And his year-old marijuana conviction kept him out. Canada looked good.

***

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[John Lennon] Can you get us into Toronto? Yeah, yeah, we're one of them: the Beatles. And Elizabeth Taylor and Burton usually stay there.

[Derek Taylor] Thank you very much. Alright. Bye, bye.

[John Lennon] What was it?

[Derek Taylor] It's the direct light from Freeport to Toronto at 9:00 today on Canada Jet.

[Yoko Ono] Great!

[John Lennon] [Singing] Good old Canada.

***

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[Yoko Ono] If we said anything in Canada ...
we just knew that it would go right away to the United States.
And also, they were very kind of liberal people.
We just knew that Canada would accept us.

***

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[Narrator] After two hours of negotiation, Canada did let them in.
They set up camp in the best hotel the city had to offer.
By morning, pandemonium.

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Security was no match for Jerry Levitan, now a lawyer ...
then just a 14-year-old fan.

***

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[Jerry Levitan] I went to the King Edward Hotel at about 7:00 in the morning, skipped school ...
and I knocked on every door starting from the top floor. I woke up a lot of people.
And then at one point, a cleaning lady said, "Are you looking for the Beatle?" And I said, "Yes, I am." She said, "He's in Room" -- whatever -- "don't tell anybody I told you."
I went down to whatever floor it was. I walked down a corridor. There was a suite at the end of the hall.

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And I saw Kyoko --
Yoko's daughter from her first marriage -- who I recognized instantly, sitting on the floor in front of a closed door, drawing in a coloring book.
And my heart stopped, because I knew I found them.
I had stolen my brother's Super 8 camera without telling him.
I didn't even know there was film in it.
And I started taking film.

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And I would go right up to Lennon's face ...
and like zoom in and out.

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And I said, "John, can I come later and do an interview with you about peace, and the Beatles and stuff? And take it to my school?"
And he said, "Yeah, that's great. Yoko, Yoko, Derek --" and he calls them both in and he says, "This lad will come back later, and he'll do an interview about peace and stuff. And he'll take it to school. That's what we want to do."
I walked in, and there was a long row of reporters sitting in front of each other down the hall in front of this closed door. And there was American press -- you name it! They were all there. Because it was the first time Lennon was on North American soil in a year and a half, or two years or so.
I wanted to go right to the door, because it was about 6:00. And I remember one reporter grabbing me and saying, "Where are you going?" And I said, "I have an interview at 6:00."
And he says, "Yeah, you and the rest of us." The door opened up -- it was Derek Taylor -- and he said, "Where's the kid?"

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***

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[Narrator] Levitan's feelings for another pop star, Pierre Trudeau, would affect Lennon's travel plans twice over the next eight months.

***

[Jerry Levitan] When I asked him about how his peace campaign was going, whether he's making any effort to meet Prime Minister Trudeau ..
and he said, well, he heard that he was cool, and he said ...

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"We saw him swinging in London with his leather coat on, and dancing behind the queen," or whatever.
And I said to him in my fourteen-year-old way, "Oh, you know, like he's really, really cool. And you really should meet him. And he's really good."
And he said, "Well, you know, if kids like you think he's cool, then maybe we should meet him."

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[Kids] [Shouting] Trudeau! Trudeau! Trudeau!

***

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[Narrator] The media was already speculating on just how far John and Yoko would go to meet Trudeau.

***

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[John Lennon] I'd like to know when and where I said that I invited Mr. Trudeau into bed with us ...

[Yoko Ono] And I never said ...

[John Lennon] And when and where Yoko said she thought that was a good idea.
It's a complete pack of lies!

***

[Narrator] Among the parade of media was broadcaster Mark Starowicz, reporting then for the Toronto Star.

***

[Mark Starowicz] Camera crews would come in and ...

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"Oh, can we get this shot here?"
"Can we get you two together?"

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And "bzzzt" -- and that, and another one.
It's still in my memory.
It was an unprecedented journalistic event.
I can't think of the precedents in journalistic history before it, and I can't think of one since.

***

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[Narrator] If the Toronto bed-in was strange ...
Montreal would see stranger things yet.
This one made history.
It was one of the most curious and celebrated public events of the last 50 years.
It was a media circus with a purpose.

***

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[John Lennon] We're here as a protest against violence.

***

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[Narrator] This time it seemed like the entire world came to call.

***

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[Yoko Ono] [Shaking hands] Thank you very much for coming.

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[Derek Taylor] Okay, then. Of course we do. Come on out there.
No messing about. Yes, you too. And you, too. It doesn't matter who you are with.

[Narrator] Some of that media never left, like Montreal DJ Chuck Chandler.

***

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[Chuck Chandler] 712 with Charles P. Rodney Chandler as the Beatle beat goes on. From the John and Yoko Lie-In right here on the 17th floor, Charles P. Rodney Chandler's gettin' things together with the Beatles baby in the bed of John and Yoko Ono.

***

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[Chuck Chandler] We thought it would be a fabulous idea if we could do some kind of a remote.
Because we were the only rock and roll radio station in Montreal at the time.
And after a couple of phone calls to the management of CFox, who had no problem at all saying ...
"Well, why don't you just do your radio show from the bedside of John and Yoko?"
And within a few hours, that was all set up, and I was on the air.
And the rest is history.

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There was a lot of horseplay. I mean, there was an awful lot of horseplay that was going on at the same time.
As we said, it wasn't all serious. The cause was serious, but John, he kept it nice and light.

***

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[Narrator] Ritchie Yorke, Canada's leading rock reporter ...
came to Montreal for a story.
He was so impressed, that he attached himself to the Cause for the next year.

***

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[Ritchie Yorke] This guy, who could just hide away in his castle like most big rock stars, is actually out there on the front line, you know, talking about peace. They really thought it was fabulous.
I mean, he gave them the leadership, even though he never wanted to be a leader.

***

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[John Lennon] So what's happening?
There seems to be a lack of coordination, I believe.

***

[Narrator] Sometimes things got a little dull.

***

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[John Lennon] Would you like a cup of tea?

***

[Narrator] So the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation invited some other celebrities into the room.

***

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[Patrick Watson] We went down with a film crew. We brought along Al Capp, and Tommy Smothers, and Dick Gregory, and some other friends to meet the Lennons. I'm Patrick Watson. This is, "The Way It Is," Edition 68.

***

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[Patrick Watson] The first I heard about it, John and Yoko are going to meet a whole bunch of celebrities in a bed ...
in a hotel room in Montreal.
And you're going to get in bed with them and interview them there. Let's go!

***

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[Patrick Watson] Have you detected in the development of his mind a particular point when this concern for peace began to crystallize?

[Yoko Ono] No! Because, you see, the thing is that he's been for peace before he met me, you know.
And I was too. But, I mean, it's the kind of thing that we were always very concerned about.

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[Patrick Watson] If we say "peace" often enough ...
if I, John Lennon, say "peace," it's going to make all those people who love me say "peace." And they're going to think about it.

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At least they're going to think about it. Which is the most you can count on.

***

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[Patrick Watson] I don't have the sense that we felt we were doing something brilliant or consequential.
It was more goofy, and a lot of fun ...
and a chance to see these people up close, and see if they were worth taking seriously or not.

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***
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Re: John and Yoko's Year of Peace, directed by Paul McGrath

Postby admin » Thu May 16, 2019 1:59 am

Part 2 of 4

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[John Lennon] I mean, if people want to think of us as "freaks," we'll be freaks for them.
If they want to think of us as musicians, we'll be musicians for them.
It's like your lyrics: "What do they mean?"
Anything you like, you know. We'll be Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Or Jesus and Mary.
Or anything anybody wants us to be, if we can get the message over.
We'll play the part. Or we don't have to play the part. We'll be ourselves.
And people project this, "They must be freaks.
They must be hippies. They must be squares."

***

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[Patrick Watson] One of the first people to catch my eye --
and I knew his face -- was Timothy Leary ...
who was over by the window looking down over that great church ...
next to the Queen Elizabeth that has all those lovely saintly figures across the facade.

***

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[Timothy Leary] What a green trip, huh?

[John Lennon] Yeah, yeah.

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***

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[Patrick Watson] He was leaning down saying, "Oh, what a lovely church! What a lovely --

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oh my --

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isn't that a lovely church?"
And that went on for some time ...

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and set a mood in THAT part of the room!

***

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[Narrator] Also in the mix, Toronto Rabbi Abraham Feinberg.
He had two good reasons to be there: First, he was already a famous pacifist ...
second, he too had been a pop singer. He attached himself to the campaign.

***

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[Rabbi Abraham Feinberg] The love that the two of them have for each other extends itself to all humanity. It really does!
I had already heard from leaders of the movement in the United States and Canada ...
how happy they are that John and Yoko have undertaken to be the spearhead.
They don't like to be referred to as "leaders" ...
but they ARE leaders, because of what they are.

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And there's no couple in the world behind whom the young people will organize themselves more enthusiastically than behind John and Yoko.
Not only because of their fame, and their acclaim, and their prestige and their influence ...
but because of their personal qualities of character.

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***

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[Ritchie Yorke] John and Yoko were trying to upturn the apple cart, and when anyone came along, like a Rabbi Feinberg, they loved it! They thought it was great.

***

[Narrator] Lennon liked the Rabbi singing ...
and asked him to help record a song he had been rehearsing all week.

***

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[John Lennon] [Singing] All we are saying ...
is give peace a chance
All we are saying ...
is give peace a chance

[Yoko Ono] Good morning, Kyoko. Good morning dear Kyoko.

***

[Narrator] Sometimes it could have been mistaken for normal life.

***

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[Yoko Ono] Say something for Peace, Kyoko!

[Kyoko] I don't know anything for peace, yet!

[Yoko Ono] You're still asleep, are you?

[Kyoko] Yeah, till I find some nice and peaceful voice.

***

[Narrator] But things turned nasty when right-wing cartoonist, Al Capp, entered the room.

***

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[Al Capp] I'm a dreadful, neanderthal fascist! How do you do?

***

[Narrator] Capp knew where he stood, and he knew the two people in bed were the enemy.

***

[Al Capp] I want to sit on something hard. For instance, this is too seductive.

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Yeah, that chair.

[John Lennon] Yeah, well, we're those famous "freaks."

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[Al Capp] Yeah, the method you've chosen -- [sarcastically] this is to inspire peace, clearly. Yeah.
What about during World War II, if Hitler and Churchill had gotten into bed -- which Hitler would have clearly enjoyed -- do you think that we would have been spared --?

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[John Lennon] I think that if Churchill and Hitler had gotten into bed, a lot of people would be alive today.

[Yoko Ono] Yeah, yeah.

***

[Narrator] Just as Capp arrived, a potential riot was building at People's Park in Berkeley, California.
One person had already died there.

***

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[John Lennon] [To Berkeley] You should keep up a constant, day to day, solid advertising campaign, as they do to us.

***

[Narrator] John and Yoko were broadcasting live every day to calm the crowd.

***

[John Lennon] We must do the same.
Violence begets violence, and you know, I don't believe in anything else. And I don't think there's any park, or anything else, worth getting shot for. And you can do better by moving on to another city, or going to Canada. Or go anywhere! And then they've got nothing to attack, and nobody to point their finger at.

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[Al Capp] But you, you, you, you, you -- I do hope that you plan to make them as peaceful as you've made these blood-crazed Canadians!

[John Lennon] The best thing we've done so far is talk to the people of Berkeley, and we think we've had some influence in holding back any violence that was going to come out of that. And we believe that. And we talked to them solid every hour before the march --

[Al Capp] You haven't talked to them during this last week.

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[Yoko Ono] Yes, we have.

[John Lennon] We talk to them, every day we talk on the phone. And on the radio station, live.

[Al Capp] I saw them throwing rocks at cops just a couple of days ago. You'd better talk to them a little more.

[John Lennon] Well, nobody got shot this time, did they?

[Yoko Ono] No, not this time.

[Al Capp] No, nobody got shot.

[John Lennon] What are you doing about it?

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[Al Capp] What am I doing about it? I'm cheering the police!

[Yoko Ono] [Sarcastically] Ha ha ha!

[Al Capp] That's precisely what I'm doing about it.
You people have a home in London! Are you permitting people to come in and defecate on the rugs, smash the furniture --?

[John Lennon] We don't agree with violence in --

[Yoko Ono] The Berkeley park is a public park for people.

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[Al Capp] Then why do you want them to do it at Berkeley?

[John Lennon] We don't want them to do it at Berkeley.

[Al Capp] AHHHHHH?!

[John Lennon] We're telling them to protest [inaudible] and that, if they had stayed in bed in Berkeley, they wouldn't have gotten killed.

SYNOPSIS: Cartoonist Al Capp, creator of "Li'l Abner," charged by [delete] [delete]. Background information on Capp reflects contact in 1930's and 40's with communist groups but since the 60's a strong personal effort to support law, order and patriotism and expose "far left" radical elements. [Delete] was Communist Party member in Louisiana and Pennsylvania, but testified before Senate Subcommittee that such relations were severed in the 1940's. Wisconsin school official recalled rumor that Capp involved in similar moral incidents in Colorado last year, and a Jack Anderson column alleges similar behavior by Capp in Alabama three years ago. [Delete] Detailed police reports regarding alleged crimes suggest good possibility Capp so involved but also suggest good possibility of entrapment to publicly embarrass Capp and neutralize his effective anti-liberal speaking campaign. Details follow.

-- FBI Documents Responsive to FOIOPA Request for Cartoonist Al Capp


***

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[Ritchie Yorke] I couldn't believe Al Capp tried to get John to punch him in the head. He just totally and openly insulted Yoko. You may well have film footage of it. It was just an amazing thing to see him calling her awful names, and just being totally belligerent to Yoko, obviously suckering John into trying to throw a punch at him or something.

***

[Al Capp] I'd be delighted with any conversation!

[Yoko Ono] I'd like to ask about what you said about Joan Baez --

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[Al Capp] [Interrupting by laughing loudly]
I can see why you want peace!
God knows you can't have much from my own observation.

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But anyway, I'm delighted to have met you, Madame Nu.

***

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[Patrick Watson] He kept calling her "Madame Nu," and insulting her.
And John's face was working very hard.
And it was a real test of the peaceable intentions of the whole summer.

***

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[John Lennon] Who did you write a cartoon for?

[Al Capp] I write my cartoons for money, just as you sing your songs. Exactly the same reason! And exactly the same reason much of this is happening, too, if the truth be told.

OBSERVATION: That despite Capp's previous background, inasmuch as he has in recent years shown a tendency toward a more conservative point of view and since his letter to the Globe does contain favorable comments regarding the Director and the Bureau, it would seem appropriate to write him a letter expressing appreciation for these kind comments.

-- FBI Documents Responsive to FOIOPA Request for Cartoonist Al Capp


[John Lennon] Do you think I took any money by sitting in bed for seven days, taking shit from people like you?! I could write the song in an hour and --

[Al Capp] [Interrupting] Now, look here! Now, don't say this! You got into bed so people like me would come and see you!

***

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[Ritchie Yorke] The tension in the room certainly built with the people, you know, that were involved with this. Especially Derek Taylor, who was over there sort of looking after John and Yoko. And he just got madder and madder.
He was, you know, ready to kill him. [Laughs]

***

[Patrick Watson] I wasn't so sure that John wasn't going to go after him. And it may very well be that because Derek broke first, John saw what his responsibility was --

***

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[Al Capp] [To Derek Taylor] You are our answer to Madame Nu.
But I'm sure the other three guys, the other three fellas, are Englishmen.

[John Lennon] Ha! What does that mean?

[Al Capp] Think about it!

[Derek Taylor] Get out!

[John Lennon] I'll try and work it out.

[To Derek] Now, Derek.

[Al Capp] [To Derek] Oh, really! Come on!!!

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[Derek Taylor] But I'm not having these people insult you.

[John Lennon] Leave it. We have to be right.

[Al Capp] Poor Derek, it's not for me to forgive you, it's for your psychiatrist!!!

[Person] [Clapping]

Exodus from Town: The next morning, reports of the four incidents had [illegible] the university administration and Dr. Rose sent [illegible] to Capp's room. "He [illegible] to get out and he [illegible] out and went to Bir [illegible]," Lee told us.

[Illegible] why no charges were brought against Capp, Dean [illegible] explained: "The young girls were not physically [illegible] and we felt that the [illegible] and notoriety should [illegible]."

-- FBI Documents Responsive to FOIOPA Request for Cartoonist Al Capp


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[Al Capp] [Shaking his sadistic fan-club member's hands] Hi. Hi. Hi.

Al Capp, whom many of us had supposed was the permanent Peter Pan but who is now the Fearless Fosdick of the youth-baiting right ... But let me get back to my theme. Any matter on which Strom Thurmond, John McClellan, Joe Alsop, Al Capp, Spiro Agnew, J. Edgar Hoover and Walter Annenberg are in solemn agreement obviously has another side. That tells us something.

-- FBI Documents Responsive to FOIOPA Request for Cartoonist Al Capp


***

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[Yoko Ono] I think that that incident, at the time we were very surprised, and very upset about it. But, um ... but seen in hindsight, it was part of the game, you know? It was okay.

***

[John Lennon] And you, too. Spread the word, like butter.

***

[Narrator] And finally, in that Montreal hotel room, they recorded a landmark, the song still heard around the world today.

***

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[John Lennon] [Singing] One, two, a one two three four
Everybody's talking about
Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism
Ragism, Tagism, this-ism, that-ism
Ism ism ism

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All we are saying is give peace a chance
All we are saying ...
is give peace a chance
Everybody's talkin' 'bout ministers, sinisters
Banisters and canisters, bishops and fishops
Rabbis and pop eyes, bye bye, bye byes

***

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[Narrator] On the last day of John and Yoko's Montreal bed-in, the city began to respond.
A crowd gathered on Mount Royal ...
looking for a love-in, Canadian style.
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Re: John and Yoko's Year of Peace, directed by Paul McGrath

Postby admin » Thu May 16, 2019 2:00 am

Part 3 of 4

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[Chuck Chandler] Charles P. Rodney Chandler from the bedside of John and Yoko, here at their lie-in at the Queen Elizabeth hotel, with a reminder from all the good guys, and also John, why not get up to the mountain today, and do your bit for world peace, and join the live-in love-in lie-in that's happening on top of Mount Royal right now?
What is the idea of all the kites? Oh, you want kites up there, too?

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[John Lennon] Oh, kites are beautiful. Yeah, fly kites, man. Kites for peace.

[Chuck Chandler] Yeah, so John just said that the kites are for peace.

[John Lennon] Kites, and balloons, and feathers.

[Chuck Chandler] Anything at all, as long as it makes [inaudible]

[John Lennon] Yeah. Do your thang.

***

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[Ritchie Yorke] I actually went up to the top of Mount Royal myself, you know, to check out all the activity. And it just showed how the young people of Canada rallied behind this.
They felt the spirit of it, too. And you know, not just English-Canadians, but French-Canadians as well.

***

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[Narrator] As if drawn by a magnet ...
the love-in moved down off the mountain ...
and headed for the hotel.

***

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[John Lennon] Okay, hey listen you lot. Now, don't come marching down here. Because you're only going to cause confusion. And the Establishment will say, "Ha ha, that's the result of John and Yoko's peace movement." Now, get back on the hill and play. Or go back to bed. Because you're only going to ruin the Cause if you do it, you know? It's nice of you to come and be with us, but be with us in concept only. And stay on the hill, because it's going to cause confusion. Now we really want you to do that.
[To Yoko] Lay it on them.

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[Yoko Ono] It's much nicer on the hill, you know, because it's peaceful and all that. You get the vibration.

***

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[Chuck Chandler] Well, I think people were concerned as to what might happen.
It's just that the sheer numbers is, I think, what frightened the people ...
more than the mindset.

***

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[Narrator] The crowd kept moving, until it was in the hallway outside their door.

***

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[Derek Taylor] Will you all promise to go back to the mountain?

[Crowd] Yeah!

[Derek Taylor] You promise?

[Boy] A promise is a promise.

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[John Lennon] Now, get out there, and get them back. Or go home. It's better than this.

[Girl] You see, it's hard. They are a mob, and they are hard to control. But if you promise that you'll speak to us over the radio --

[John Lennon] Sure we will. That's why we're here. Okay? That's a promise. Now get out, and get back on the hill. We'll call you in half an hour, okay?

[Yoko Ono] Peace to you!

[John Lennon] Peace to you! Now, really tell them that. Otherwise, we lose.

[Girl] Alright. We promise!

[John Lennon] Okay.

[Yoko Ono] Alright. Okay. Thank you!

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[John Lennon] Here! Here!

[Yoko Ono] Flowers.

[Girl] Thanks. They'll really appreciate it.

[John Lennon] Okay. Here, take some more then.

[Girl] [In the hallway] He wants us all to go back to the hill.

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[Distributes the flowers]

***

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[Derek Taylor] Tomorrow we leave. We cannot believe it. We'll never meet again in these circumstances. We'll never meet you again like this. But it's been great. And I will ask for Dylan to be played later. A fine song called, "Don't Look Back."

Don't Look Back, by Bob Dylan

[Chuck Chandler] "Don't Look Back," by Bob Dylan. That's the one you want to hear, huh?

[Derek Taylor] Sure.

[Chuck Chandler] Frank Gould is back there. He is listening to you. Derek, where are you going tomorrow, by the way?

[Derek Taylor] We're just leaving town.

[Chuck Chandler] You're not going to say where you're going?

[Derek Taylor] You seem to know already, you know? We're going to Ottawa.

[Chuck Chandler] Yeah, we knew that! That's what we heard. But I just wanted to get it confirmed from you, because I didn't think you were going to go. Are you going to see the Prime Minister?

[Derek Taylor] Yes. See you at the airport.

***

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[Narrator] Although they didn't know it, John and Yoko had been hoodwinked into coming to Ottawa.
It was a daring move from a future cabinet minister, then a student leader named Allan Rock.

***

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[Allan Rock] And we'd read of course in the papers that John Lennon and Yoko Ono were in Montreal at the famous bed-in for peace at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.
And so we thought: "How can we get John Lennon and Yoko Ono to come to Ottawa?"

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We had, at that time, a young, glamorous, new Prime Minister -- Pierre Trudeau had only been in office for a year --
and so what we thought we'd do is suggest to John Lennon to come, that he come to the University of Ottawa for a conference on world peace --
which didn't exist of course, except in our minds -- but we'd tell him that if he came, we'd try to get Mr. Trudeau to come as well, and the two of them could use the University of Ottawa in this nation's capital as a platform to talk about peace in the world.
We had this crazy afternoon when Lennon arrived. Of course there was a huge crowd outside.

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And this white Rolls Royce pulled up outside the Arts building.
We ushered him inside through the crowd ...

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and put him at the table, for what amounted to about an hour and a half press conference. And after that, we did take him over to the Administration building on Lori Avenue ...
which is a lovely big building, with the columns and the stairs in front, and then a big lawn in front of that.
So we had a huge crowd there to see John and Yoko.
And he came out and waved, and said a few words. He got a rousing welcome.

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***

[John Lennon] All we've come here to say to you is peace to you.

***

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[Allan Rock] And then he wanted to see some of the city.
So I pulled around my volkswagen, and we put him and Yoko Ono in the back. And we drove him around Ottawa.
We took him up to Parliament Hill, through the official buildings in downtown Ottawa, and along the canal.

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And then we went to 24 Sussex, because he wanted to see if the Prime Minister was in. He wanted to know where the Prime Minister lived.
And in those days you could drive right into that circular drive ...
in front of the Prime Minister's residence on Sussex Drive.
And so we took him in there. And we parked and walked up to the front door and knocked.
And a woman came to the door, and we said, "Is Mr. Trudeau here? John Lennon is here to say 'hello'."
And she said, "No." She said, "He's not here at the moment."
And so we said, "Can we leave a message?" And she said, "Yes."

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And I have a great picture of John Lennon leaning up against the door at 24 Sussex, writing a note out to Pierre Trudeau, which we left.
My deep impression of him is of a man who was kind and gentle, thoughtful ...
with deep, deep convictions, which he expressed sometimes in a very naive way, or an oversimplified way.
But it was all so positive, and all so humanitarian ...
that you really couldn't find fault with the energy that he put into this Cause that he believed so deeply in.

***

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[John Lennon] You'll be well soon. It only lasts a few days.

***

[Allan Rock] We got back in the car and drove around Ottawa. And I recall during the drive -- we were listening to the radio -- and a Beatles song came on. I think it was "Get Back."

And Lennon said "Turn it up!" So I turned up the radio, and he started to sing along in the back. And I thought to myself -- and imagine yourself as a 21-year-old kid driving your Volkswagen, and there's a Beatles song on the radio, and John Lennon's in the back seat singing along --

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I mean, you have to ask yourself, "Is this real?"

[John and Yoko running to the taxi]

***

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[Narrator] When John Lennon and Yoko Ono finished their Montreal bed-in in June, 1969, no one ever expected them to come back.
But two months later a concert promoter named John Brower
was having trouble filling Toronto's Varsity Stadium ...
for a concert featuring old time rockers.
Brower thought a Beatle on board would sell some tickets.

***

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[John Brower] I made the call, and the receptionist at Apple answered ...
and I said, you know, "This is John Brower calling from Toronto. This is very important."
We're calling to invite he and Yoko to be the emcees."
You know, a few seconds later the phone gets picked up, and it's John Lennon.
He said that, "You know, well, we wouldn't want to come over unless we could play."
And I said, "You know, well, of course, you know, we'll find your spot on the bill. We'll squeeze you in." [Laughs]

***

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[Ritchie Yorke] I happened to be in London on the Friday afternoon before the rock and roll revival, and in the course of the afternoon I was hoping to speak to John and Yoko. And suddenly they called me. And they had this guy from Toronto on the phone with the idea of them playing a concert the next day.
And any chance for a Canadian appearance by John and Yoko, and anybody else, I thought was just fabulous.
So I pushed it on, got on the phone to Brower, told him that there was a really good chance, and we all started pushing for the happening.

***

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[Narrator] Just the rumor of a performance by a Beatle filled the stadium.
Lennon arrived to find himself surrounded by motorcycles.

***

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[John Brower] So we get -- finally -- John and Yoko into the limo, and everybody else into other cars, and we come down the service road. And the limo starts slowing. And John looks, and sees all these bikes up in the distance.
And he reaches over and pushes down the two door locks on the limousine.
And he kind of looks at me like, you know, like, "Okay, we're covered." And I said to him, "Well," I said, "John, I didn't want to tell you about this until we got here. But this is your escort into Toronto." And he looked at me and broke out in a huge smile.
And like [makes a horrible sound] 80 bikes fire up in this thunderous cloud and blue smoke. And off we go! And they just drove through the city. And the police were alerted. They shut intersections, because there was no way these guys were stopping for anything. They knew how to get to Varsity Stadium. And that was it. You better not be in the way.

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***

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[Yoko Ono] That was the first time that I met Little Richard, for instance. And it was great.
And John was explaining to me how important Little Richard was.
And [I was like] "okay," and everything. And I come from the avant-garde music [world]. And in that music world, it's a little bit like the classic world, you know. Um, when you do a concert, you kind of recite a whole something. Something like that. They have a nice waiting room, you know, called the "Green Room." And all that, you know. And here we come in, and it's like the stadium, you know. And the waiting room was a concrete place that was like bare, you know, and everything.

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And I just couldn't believe it. Well, now rock and roll, these days, you know, it's a full-carpeted waiting room kind of thing, you know. But it wasn't like that in those days. And John was saying, "Well, this is how it is! This is rock and roll." You know? So it was a very interesting experience for me.

***

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[Ritchie Yorke] Overall I think it was a great event. And I think the album really captures the feeling. And it was history. I mean, this is the first time a member of the Beatles had played a gig with a band of any kind since the Beatles phenomenon had happened.

***

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[Narrator] There was more history being made.
On that day, John Lennon realized he no longer needed the Beatles. Two weeks later he told them.
After John and Yoko's Toronto performance ...
a group of Canadians hatched a bold plan.
Their goal? To host the biggest crowd ever gathered in the planet's history ...

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a festival for peace that would make Woodstock seem like a coffee klatch.
The Canadians went to London to sell the idea ...
led by rock promoter John Brower.

***

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[John Brower] We had it rehearsed. We had gone through it for days. "You say this; I'll say this. We'll answer this. Da, da, da, da, da." And after literally a minute, John just says, "Well, great then. What do we have to do? How do we start?"
And we just kept, you know, pitching, like we didn't even hear that it was: "You sold it. Don't buy it back." He was ready to, "Alright, let's plan it! Alright, what do we do here?"

***

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[WAR IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT Happy Christmas from John & Yoko]

[Narrator] It all started with one simple statement in bold letters.

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[DER KRIEG IST AUS!]

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[LA GUERRE EST FINIE!]

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[E FINITA LA GUERRA!]

The message seemed to be everywhere.

***

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[John Lennon] This poster is in 11 cities throughout the world:
that's New York, L.A., Montreal, Toronto, Paris, Berlin, Rome, London, Athens and Tokyo.

***

[Narrator] In Toronto, you couldn't escape it.

***

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[Mark Starowicz] There were all these billboards all over town that nobody knew what they meant.
Huge black letters on white: "War Is Over If You Want It."
I cannot emphasize enough the scale of the billboards.
I'm not talking one billboard on Front Street.
I'm talking, this was as big as if you were launching a new Nike product, or something.
I have no idea how it was paid for.

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There was an army, surely, of coordination that must have gone behind it.
There's some genius behind it. I wonder who it is. Because you don't get billboards like that out of a little machine.

***

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[John Brower] They came from Yorkville. And they were all volunteers. And there were more than we could even handle.
I mean, the word spread so fast. Everybody wanted to do it.

***

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[John Lennon] People can do war posters. For instance, locally. Everybody says, "Well, it's alright for you two. You have all the facilities." But we're saying, "If some housewife is against war, just put it in the window. Just to let her neighbors know, and her husband know."
You know, you've got to start on the home ground. Like, convert your parents!

***

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[Narrator] These volunteers were itching to pull off the biggest rock festival of all time.
They were out in force, as John and Yoko returned to Canada in December to announce the festival.

***

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[John Lennon] We came for a number of reasons. The main reason has to do with peace.
The main reason was to set up, with the help of some friends we have here, a Peace Festival in July, in Mosport Park --
July 3rd, 4th and 5th, all being well.
And it will be peace, poetry, and whatever.
We're going to try and invite everyone who is anyone -- whoever that is, you know. We'll try and get everyone we know to come and donate their time, or whatever. But people will be paid for performance. But we'll try and get some cream off the top to set up a Peace Fund, you know? Because I can just see all the performers thinking, "Oh, no, he's going to come and hussle us to do something for nothing," you know? So we've got to give them something to get them interested, you know? And to pull them away from whatever work they're doing.
And we hope to set up such a good scene that we could take it to Russia, say, like somebody suggested in one of your papers. You know?
And in fact, take it around the world.

***

[Narrator] Canadians, again, wanted to know, "Why here?"

***

[John Lennon] Some ideas come to us from Canada. Normally, it's the other way around, you know? Sort of like, "Have you got any ideas?" It's a young country. It's right next door to the other place. [Laughter] And you know, you haven't been converted!

***
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Re: John and Yoko's Year of Peace, directed by Paul McGrath

Postby admin » Thu May 16, 2019 2:01 am

Page 4 of 4

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[Allan Rock] The fact that we were Canada, that we were sort of -- as we've always been --
that middle ground between the old world, and the excess of America, made it an attractive place for him to be.

***

[John Lennon] So it seems that whatever we think about it, we keep coming back here, without even having to think. You know?

***

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[Yoko Ono] I just remember that the people in Canada were so great. I mean, they were sending us such warm vibrations. And it was just beautiful.
It's just a very nice, warm memory.
And of course, you know, they were so good to us, that we probably wouldn't have been inspired to do all that like, "Give Peace a Chance," etcetera. You know?

***

[Narrator] Over the next week, they appeared in so many living rooms, it was hard to think of them as "dangerous."

***

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[CBC WEEKEND]

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[Lloyd Robertson] I'm Lloyd Robertson, and this is CBC Weekend.
John Lennon is here in Canada selling peace. He is here in our studio tonight ...
along with Yoko ...
and Rabbi Abraham Feinberg from Holy Blossom Temple.
John, you've been terribly flattering to Canada since you've been around this week. What is it about Canada? Why is this Peace Movement being held here?

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[John Lennon] Canada is the first place that has given us something.
For instance, the media and the press treat us as human beings ...

[Rabbi Abraham Feinberg] Right.

[Yoko Ono] Yes.

[John Lennon] which is -- I'm astonished!

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[Lloyd Robertson] I would like to know why you wouldn't choose a place where war is going on right now ...
or where there is a dispute in progress. Vietnam? The Middle East?

[John Lennon] A, because Canada chose us as much as we chose Canada. B, we had an offer to go to Biafra.
And then we have to consider the pros and cons of risssking -- I know it's a risk to go across the road -- but risking going through an area like that -- Biafra, Israel or Hanoi, whatever it is -- how much can we do aliiiive, or dead?! I don't want to be Mr. and Mrs. Dead Saint of 1970.

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[Lloyd Robertson] [Interrupting Rabbi Feinberg's agreement with John] Rabbi Feinberg, you know, there were some comments made yesterday from people in this country about this being a naive project. And some Canadians say it's a waste of time. What's your feeling about that?

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[Rabbi Abraham Feinberg] Quite the contrary. I think this project of the Pop Peace Festival is very realistic. Because it's intended to leap over the politicians and reach the people.

***

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[John Brower] They risked their reputation. They risked their credibility for peace. They put everything on the line. They declared themselves to be for peace.
And that was not a popular theme in those days ...
with the Establishment.

***

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[John Lennon] We want to make peace economically viable. And so therefore, if there's money in it, the Establishment will come along with it.

[Yoko Ono] Yes.

[John Lennon] Let them earn money out of it. Let them do what they like. But we don't believe there's such a generation gap. There are peace-lovers of all ages, and of all walks of life. We haven't particularly had more help from, say, hippies, or whatever, than we have from adults. Or like Rabbi Feinberg and people like that.
There are plenty of adults that are just as worried, and want to do just as much as the youth.

***

[Narrator] John and Yoko wanted no pandemonium this time.
So they chose to hide out on the country estate of singer Ronnie Hawkins.

***

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[Ronnie Hawkins] I didn't know that much about the Beatles at the time. My world was brass knuckles and combat boots. And everybody was still, you know, ruining their livers.
[Laughs] You know, we didn't know nobody was into that love and peace in my crew down there. I mean, it's still, you know, rocking.

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When they pulled in, I'm standing there, you know, waving, saying "Where's the Beatles? Where's John?"

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And he opens the door and he says, "I'm going to give you 40 days to get back home."
And he knew all the words to every song, better than I did for some of them.

***

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[Reporter] This is the house that Rock built. It belongs to romping Ronnie Hawkins.
It's in a sort of a secluded area out on the side of the road on a fringe of Montreal.
And inside today are John and Yoko Lennon ...
here to talk about their "War is Over" campaign.

***

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[Yoko Ono] We stayed at Ronnie Hawkins's place.
And it was very nice, because it was a controlled situation ...

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where we had some journalists come ...
but the ones that we wanted to speak to, etcetera. You know?

***

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[Ronnie Hawkins] I think they had 40 telephone lines in there. And I mean, they were going all the time. Whether they were making [or getting] phone calls: Princess Margaret, Peter Sellers, you know. The Ambassador to Japan. And a million people over there that was big shots. I never even knew who they were.

***

[Narrator] John and Yoko once again headed to Ottawa, and the goal that had eluded them eight months earlier.
This time plans were firming up to bring them together with Pierre Trudeau.

***

[John Lennon] I can only judge by second and third-hand reports in papers, and the impression he made in England. And he seems good, you know.

[Reporter] Do you think he represents a sort of New Age --

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[John Lennon] Well, he does seem to be this side of the Stone Age. Like, he seems to be youth-oriented. Just the way he looks, for a kickoff, now and then.
When he was in London, he went to the Alatoozie[?] I mean, that's like "In!"

***

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[Ritchie Yorke] Even though they were anti-political in many ways, they'd never had the opportunity to meet with a world leader. The English leaders, Harold Wilson's own, just didn't want to know. They just considered them to be, you know, rock and roll crazies, you know? People you wouldn't associate with. Pierre Trudeau, however, had a bit more perceptive view on things. And his office embraced the possibility of meeting with John. He felt he had a lot he wanted to talk over with them. And this was a very important thing to John and Yoko, to be able to meet with a world leader, to be able to get him on their side, or at least sympathetic to their Cause.
And he was, ultimately.

***

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[Narrator] They had a little warm-up with then-Health Minister John Monroe, as Lennon became increasingly nervous.

***

[Ritchie Yorke] Just the thought of liaising, meeting with, and talking with a prime minister ...
especially a guy that had this hip, cool image like Trudeau.

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[Pierre Trudeau] [Doing a pirouette in front of the reporters]

[Ritchie Yorke] He wasn't like other prime ministers.

***

[Yoko Ono] We were waiting. And it was so exciting that we were kind of like holding hands. And we were nervous.

***

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[Ritchie Yorke] You almost laughed, except you were afraid they'd be annoyed. That's how nervous I got.
And then John was biting his nails, chain-smoking, and carrying on.
He was so gracious and warm, and came out ...

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and extended a very warm welcome to them.
And the meeting went on for like 45 or 50 minutes.
It had only been scheduled for 15. And they just got into a whole lot of topics.

***

[Reporter] What took so long in there?

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[John Lennon] [Laughing] Well, I don't know. How long was it?

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[Yoko Ono] It was an agreeable conversation, that's why.

[John Lennon] Well, let me say that we achieved something by communication and talk, even old-fashioned as it is. As a communication method, it is still the method we use. And talk is the basic start to any communication.

[Yoko Ono] [Camera never shows her face] And also, we got great incentive by just meeting him, and seeing that there are such people like him in the Establishment.

***

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[Yoko Ono] He was a very kind of sensitive, almost like an artist, kind of delicate, sensitive kind of person.
And the first thing he told us was the fact that, you know, he'd read John's book, which made John relax a little, you know.
And it was great! Yeah.

***

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[John Lennon] If all politicians were like Mr. Trudeau, there would be world peace.

***

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[Allan Rock] And it was great to have those two together. Because, you know, I've thought the world of Pierre Trudeau, too. And you know how we felt about him in '68 and '69, the expectations we had for Trudeau, and a different approach to public office and public life. And seeing those two together was somehow fitting.

***

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[Yoko Ono] Well, isn't it amazing that at the time -- I think it was very important that people like Pierre Trudeau and John Lennon existed.
But at the time, John and I kept saying that, "We're not the leaders. Don't follow us. You know, you have to do your own thing."

***

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[Narrator] After meeting with Trudeau, John and Yoko's Peace Campaign was building up steam.

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Ritchie Yorke and Ronnie Hawkins flew off to tell the world.

***

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[Ritchie Yorke] We took off early in January, and went to 15 countries, sort of representing John and Yoko. We were getting contacts from each of these countries so that when we did the Peace Festival, we could do a tel-style linkup. We could satellite it all around the world. And we needed people in each country that could do that.

***

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[Narrator] In Hong Kong, they took the message to the Chinese border ...
and then, accidentally, over it! They were arrested.

***

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[Ronnie Hawkins] And I wouldn't have gone if I'd known that the only thing that separates Hong Kong County from Mainland China ...
is a barrier in the middle of a highway that just keeps on going.

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Well, boy, all of a sudden we were surrounded by Red Guard.
But I would have jumped out if I'd known I was going in there and not having a permit.

***

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[Narrator] John and Yoko had returned to England ...
but already the Canadian festival was in trouble.
The problem was money.

***

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[Ritchie Yorke] Everything looked good. The plan was to charge, because John and Yoko often expressed the thing that you can't expect people to do something for nothing. But the idea was to pay people a salary for the job they did. And then the profits of the entire event to go to the Peace Campaign.

***

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[John Lennon] If I can get paid for a performance, I'll take it.
But if it's a case of it can't be afforded, or it would be better if I didn't get paid, I won't get paid. We've done the Plastic Ono Band, and that's also whoever else is around, have only appeared three so far. If I get the Beatles, I might have to pay them!

***

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[Yoko Ono] When you want to organize something like that ...
then we have to become like organizers.
And we were not very good at that.
John and I felt that we were good in expressing our feelings for peace, and any import for world peace, and all that, in our own way. In an artistic way, such as maybe doing a bed-in, which we did, you know? But when we start to become an organizer to try to collect people, collect other artists and all that, and make something out of that ...
we weren't the kind of people who can do that.

***

[Ritchie Yorke] Later on, John suddenly had the idea that he had a plan for the festival to be free. And of course, Brower was not thrilled at that prospect, because having to put on a free festival --

***

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[John Brower] Obviously, saying that it had to be free ...
for a dollar was the death knell to us.
You know, that was the end.

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***

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[Yoko Ono] Well, we thought we can do it. But then, the world was not ready for it. it seems like.
And, you know, these days, you know, you can get a sponsor to sponsor and make a real great concert, or something like that. But in those days, I don't think these big corporations were, I mean, they didn't think of an idea like that.
And also, if they had thought of it, I don't think they would have gone for it because, well ...
they would have been scared to sponsor something like a Peace Festival.


***

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[Narrator] The gulf was too wide.
The split inevitable.
The newspapers told the story: the festival to end all festivals was dead.

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John and Yoko's campaign never stopped. There were many rallies, protests, and manifestos still to come.

***

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[Reporter] At ten to 11 last night, John Lennon, wife his wife Yoko Ono ...
returned in a limousine from a recording session ...
to The Dakota, a luxury apartment building ...
on Manhattan's upper west side.
Thirty seconds later, on his way into the building ...
Lennon was shot at least four times.
John Lennon was taken in the backseat of a police car to a hospital near his home ...
and was pronounced dead on arrival.

***

[Yoko Ono] Everything we did was, in a way, connected with promoting world peace. And you know, fate would have it that -- I don't know, I don't know if it was connected with that or not, but John's not here anymore.

***

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[John Lennon] We've been on our peace gig, as we call it, for a year solid. And people say, "Well, do you think it's having any effect?" Or "Will it catch on?" And all that. I can't answer that. It's like asking me in the cavern, "Are you going to make it?" In the back of my mind I thought, "I'm going to make it." But I couldn't lay it on the line about when and how. I just knew we had something. It's like we've all just woken up one morning and thought, "Was it a dream? Is it a nightmare? What's been going on?" And we're all just trying to make the next day a bit better.

***

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[Yoko Ono] At the time we thought that probably we were going to have world peace in a year.
[Laughs] No, that's a joke, you know. But yes, we were kind of impatient people. We thought we did a great thing, and this is going to affect the world, or something like that. And then we realized that it wasn't happening that quickly. And I think we had to learn patience.

***

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[Ritchie Yorke] I think it was a very positive thing. I mean, cynics, and so on, have, over the years, given it a bit of caning, and say, you know, how stupid and naive all these people were, John and Yoko were, and the people that supported them. But I didn't see it that way. I see it as a valiant attempt by a bunch of young people who felt hopeless, trying to, you know, paint some sort of a picture of optimism in the world.

***

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[John Brower] What is naive is in the mind of the beholder. It's like beauty. We lived for that truth in those years. History may have shown us that it was a little naive ...
but nonetheless it was intense and it was real. And it was the truth of the times.

***

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[Allan Rock] I think it gave us something to get behind. And also some reason for hope that there was in fact going to be a different approach to things in public life ...
a different ethic that would prevail, that there was someone out there speaking for things we all believed so deeply in.

***

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[Yoko Ono] I hope that there will be a time when the world will really be so peaceful that they forget the word "peace." And they would, of course, forget about all the people who did anything for it, probably. And that's fine.

***

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[John Lennon] Because we haven't gotten peace in these seven days doesn't make it a waste of time, though.

[Patrick Watson] No, I don't mean that. Because we never have peace while we're alive together.

[John Lennon] Oh, yes we will!

[Yoko Ono] We will, yeah!

[Patrick Watson] You really think so?

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[John Lennon] Yeah, sure! I believe -- sincerely -- as soon as people want peace, and know where they can have it, they will have it!

***

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[Times Square, New York, December 2000. Commissioned by Yoko Ono.] Over 676,000 people have been killed by guns in the U.S.A. since John Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980.

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IMAGINE

Director: Paul McGrath
Producer: Alan Lysaght
Editor: Liz Rosch
Associate Producer: Doug Thompson
Narrator: Laurie Brown
Audio Post: Jody Ellis
Cameras: David Donnelly, Maurice Chabot, Brian Shephard, Jeff Cole, Hiroyuki Ishigaki (Japan Satellite Broadcasting)
Visual Research: Francis Litzinger
Archive Images: Yoko Ono, The Lenono Photo Archives; Gibraltar Wedding Photographs, by David Nutter; The National Library of Canada; Ritchie Yorke; Health Canada; CP Picture Archive; Toronto Daily Star, reproduced by permission of the Toronto Star Syndicate; Jerry Levitan; ITN; Peter Miniaci-Beatlemania Shoppe; The Town Dump Retro Fun; Showtime Music Archive; Sarah Jane Growe; Some "Bed In" Footage taken from the film, "Bed Peace", © 1969 Yoko Ono, all rights reserved.
Original Music: Rick Whitelaw
Music: "Give Peace a Chance," written by John Lennon, (p) 1969. The copyright in this sound recording is owned by Yoko Ono Lennon under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd. Appearing Courtesy of EMI Music Canada Inc. Lennon Music Administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
CBC Newsworld: Tassie Notar
CBC News: Penny Essex
Produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, © MM
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