“When I was singing about ‘all you need is love,’ I was singing about something I hadn’t experienced,” John Lennon said in a revealing interview animated by PBS’ Blank on Blank series. “I’d experienced love for people in gusts, and love for things, trees, things like that, but I hadn’t experienced what I was singing about.”
The episode, “John Lennon and Yoko Ono on Love,” comes from interviews conducted between 1969 and 1972 by Howard Smith, and features the voices of the Beatle and his spouse explaining their relationship a few years after they had met. The interview has been whimsically animated by Patrick Smith.
Ono, who was 32 when she met Lennon, revealed that she had given up hope on finding real love and had become cynical before meeting the Beatle. For his part, Lennon said that for all his singing about love, he felt like he really experienced it after he met Ono.
He also said that one of the things he loved about her was that she had “a ticking mind,” adding that the “best part of being with the Beatles when they were ticking was they were ticking, but they began to slow down.” He said that with Yoko, it’s like living with four or five people.
The reason they got married, he said, was because they “turned out to be romantics.” Speaking about their closeness as a couple, Lennon said, “If you love somebody, you can’t be with them enough. There’s no such thing. We don’t want to be apart.”
More than just human love, Lennon and Ono also talked about their love of television. “We don’t to go to India anymore,” she said. “We don’t have to go anywhere.”
In recent months, Blank on Blank has animated interviews with a wide range of musicians who have passed on: Tupac Shakur discussed life and death, Jerry Garcia tripped out on acid, Kurt Cobain condemned sexism, Johnny Cash talked haircuts and Jim Morrison explained why “fat is beautiful.” The series also animated Jimi Hendrix’s final interview.