Unreleased John Lennon, Yoko Ono Song Sells at Auction for Almost $60,000
A cassette containing what’s believed to be a previously unreleased John Lennon and Yoko Ono song, “Radio Peace,” has sold for $58,300 at an auction in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The cassette was made in 1970 by four Danish teenagers, who got the chance to interview Lennon at the New Experimental College in Skyum Bjerge, Denmark. Lennon is the primary speaker on the cassette, though Ono chimes in occasionally, and Ono’s daughter Kyoko was also on-hand.
Per a description on the Bruun Rasmussen auction house website, the cassette is 33 minutes long, and during the interview Lennon touches on everything from art, peace and performing with the Beatles, to the length of his hair and the micro-macro diet he and Ono were on at the time. At one point, per the description, one of the interviewers suggests they “dance around the Christmas tree whilst singing a Danish Christmas carol (Lennon partly tunes in although not knowing the lyrics).” And when a student asks Lennon to play a song, he obliges with “Radio Peace” and “Give Peace a Chance,” after which the tape concludes.
It appears the recording of “Radio Peace” from the tape has already made it to YouTube, in a clip uploaded Monday, September 28th. Clocking in at under 30 seconds, the tune has a cheery jingle quality, with Lennon plucking his guitar and singing, “This is radio peace,” while Ono sings back-up.
The circumstances surrounding the interview are unique, too. Lennon and Ono had arrived quietly in Denmark in late December 1969 because Ono’s ex-husband, Anthony Cox, had moved to rural area in the north, and he and Ono still needed to sort out the custody rights for Kyoko, who was then five years old. Perhaps inevitably, the media discovered Lennon and Ono were in the country and a press conference was organized. On a mission to interview Lennon, the four students trekked through inclement weather to make the press conference, and even though they turned up late, Lennon and Ono agreed to talk to them anyway.
Along with the cassette, the auction lot included 19 photographs from the event, as well as a copy of the student’s school magazine, where parts of the interview were published. The lot was put up for sale by the four students who recorded the interview.