John Lennon says recording The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ was ‘hell’ in decades-old lost interview

'It's torture every time we produce anything,' said singer

A lost, decades-old interview with John Lennon sees the singer reveal that recording the final Beatles’ album ‘Let It Be’ was “hell”.

As the Telegraph reports, the audio interview – with Village Voice journalist Howard Smith – was recorded shortly after the Fab Four had finished work on the 1969 studio album. However, it lay forgotten in Smith’s attic for nearly four decades but will now be put up for sale by RR Auction.

In the interview, Lennon – who was speaking to Smith along with his wife, Yoko Ono – says of working on the record: “We were going through hell. We often do. It’s torture every time we produce anything. The Beatles haven’t got any magic you haven’t got. We suffer like hell anytime we make anything, and we got each other to contend with. Imagine working with The Beatles, it’s tough.”


He added: “There’s just tension. It’s tense every time the red light goes on.” The singer, who also described the LP as a “strange album”, continued: “We never really finished it. We didn’t really want to do it. Paul was hustling for us to do it. It’s The Beatles with their suits off.”

RR Auction vice president Bobby Livingston said that the tape had a minimum bid price of $300, but estimated that it could reach between $5,000 and $10,000. It is just one of 100 Beatles-related items that will go under the hammer of their Marvels Of Modern Music memorabilia sale. “It’s a frank and honest interview from one of the most revered musicians and activists of all time,” he said.

Last month (August) it was reported that The Beatles will release a second volume of recordings from their sessions at the BBC. A new collection featuring previously unreleased songs from the Fab Four’s sessions with BBC radio in the mid-’60s is set to be released: a follow-up to their 1994 compilation ‘Live At The BBC’.

Plans for the new set of recordings were revealed by a Beatles fansite which spotted a Facebook page from MCA Music in the Philippines, which is part of Universal Music, promising the new collection was on its way. The claims have not yet been confirmed by either The Beatles’ official website or by Universal’s representatives in the UK or US.

Meanwhile, dentist and Beatles fan Daniel Zuk has revealed that he plans to clone John Lennon using the DNA from one of the late musician’s teeth. Zuk, who bought Lennon’s tooth for £20,000 at auction in 2011, said: “If scientists think they can clone mammoths, then John Lennon could be next. To say I had a small part in bringing back one of rock’s greatest stars would be mind-blowing.”