Andy Peebles & His Famous Interview of John Lennon

In 1973, at around the same time that 10cc had their first hits with Donna and Rubber Bullets, I had become aware of the talents of Andy Peebles, who began his DJ career at BBC Radio Manchester.

By 1974, he resurfaced as one of the founding DJ’s at Piccadilly Radio, Manchester’s new competing independent radio station. Contemplating the potential synergy with my stable of artistes after a series of meetings with him I ended up as his manager too.

It made sense to manage an up-and-coming radio DJ of Andy’s calibre and in 1978 he progressed to BBC Radio 1 where he was on hand to present many Top of the Pops shows from 1979 to 1984.

Famously, Andy Peebles interviewed John Lennon just 2 days before he was murdered outside his apartment in New York on 8th December 1980. At 1 hr 31 mins into the interview, John Lennon acknowledges Yoko Ono as co-writer of the massive iconic hit, ‘Imagine‘. In the interview he said “A lot of it, the lyric and the concept, came from Yoko . . . but those days I was a bit more macho and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution.”

John’s account was used as evidence in the official decision to give Yoko Ono a song writing credit for ‘Imagine‘ more than 40 years after release. From a legal perspective, since a song goes into the public domain 70 years after the death of its last living writer, the effect of adding Ono as composer is to greatly extend the period that it continues to generate royalties for all beneficiaries of the publishing rights in the song.

In the wake of John’s tragic murder just 2 days after his famous interview, Andy Peebles maintained a friendship with Yoko and agreed to interview her again in New York. The venue later changed to Los Angeles and was finally recorded in 1983 in their foothold penthouse apartment at the Okura Hotel in Tokyo, Japan: In 2015, some 35 years after John Lennon’s murder, Andy Peebles sensationally revealed his thoughts about Yoko Ono’s odd behaviour in the aftermath of John’s tragic death exclusively to the Daily Mail.

I have a big picture of John Lennon (see below) in my Rancho Mirage home by Nicky Douthwaite who is known for her mosaics or ‘dot-art’, using her refined form of pointillism. Check out more on her work – here.

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