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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

14 yr old Jerry Levitan interviewed John Lennon in 1969


“In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview. This was in the midst of Lennon’s ‘bed-in’ phase, during which John and Yoko were staying in hotel beds in an effort to promote peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it.”
[ via SVN ] [ via Derek Sivers ]

John Lennon: "It's convenient to have the rooms and the machinery."

Listen.

On the web:

EXCLUSIVE: Producer Jerry Levitan and Director Josh Raskin Tell Us How They Met the Walrus.
One last question for you. How do you think John Lennon's message about peace from forty years ago then reflects and resonates on the world around us today?

Jerry Levitan: First of all, he was talking to a fourteen year old kid. So he is talking in very honest and simple terms. He wasn't talking lofty. He was just giving me some wise words and guidance for my life. He was also talking at a time of great turbulence. We were at the height of the Vietnam war. And starvation in Africa. Then there were all of these things going on in the Middle East. It was so similar to all of these things that are still going on today. When he talked, he wouldn't talk about Vietnam. He just talked about the duty and the respect, and the responsibility of every individual to change the world. If we are unhappy with war, and what our governments are doing about it, we can change things in a very peaceful way. That was his basic message to me. When you hear him talk in our film and in my interview, it is as if he is talking about the world today. It was just so striking. One of the first calls I got after I got the nomination was from a member of the Academy. We'd never met before, or spoken before. This guy was in his late fifties or early sixties. And he called to tell me that when he saw the film, it was as if our old friend was talking to us today. The guy had tears in his voice. He was basically crying on the phone. For people around the world that are so unhappy with what is going on, to hear our old friend John Lennon talk so hopefully and positively about how the world could be is breathtaking. It certainly resonates today.
Nominated for Best animated short film Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2007.

Didn't win.

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