Taped “Diary” of John Lennon Unearthed - Rolling Stone
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Taped “Diary” of John Lennon Unearthed

An extraordinary tape of former Beatle John Lennon was reportedly unearthed in the garage of a fan last month.| The thirteen-minute recording, labeled “Lennon Voice Diary,” may be a portion of an audio journal that Lennon was said to be keeping sixteen months before his murder, according to U.K.’s News Of The World. But this is no mundane record of what Lennon had for breakfast. On the tape, Lennon blows the lid off of some of his more prurient fantasies, as well as slagging some of his better known contemporaries, such as Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and, to no one’s surprise, Paul McCartney.

Mindful of the hoax potential, the paper sent the tape to voice analysis expert Dr. Phil Harrison of the Department of Phonetics and Linguistics at University College London, who pronounced it as close to authentic as it could be outside a court of law.

“News of The World got in touch with me and asked if I could actually verify that this was the voice of John Lennon,” confirms Dr. Harrison. “I said, ‘No,’ because nobody can actually do that on tape. All you can do in terms of forensic phonetics is to say there are similarities. And there were. It appeared to be dead-on everywhere I looked. I’m personally sure that it is the right voice, but it’s not something I would say as a legally binding statement. But I can’t see how it couldn’t be the voice of John Lennon. I would be very surprised if this was a forgery.”

As for the Lennon’s alleged bitchy musings, this is what he said about Dylan — specifically, religious Dylan: “I was listening to the radio and Dylan’s new single or album or whatever the hell it is came on. ‘Everybody’s got to be served.’ I mean, what was it? ‘You’ve got to serve someone’ … ‘You’ve got to serve somebody.’ So he wants to be a waiter now? A waiter for Christ.” Speaking of the 1979 Dylan hit “Gotta Serve Somebody,” Lennon goes on to say the “Backing was mediocre … the singing really pathetic and the words were just embarrassing.”

Some of this might sound familiar, since Lennon’s riff on Dylan was included in the scathing “Serve Yourself” on last year’s box set, The John Lennon Anthology. But the invective didn’t stop there: “So here we sit, watching the mighty Dylan and the mighty McCartney and the mighty Jagger slide down the mountain, blood and mud in their nails … [They’re] all company men in various disguises, but basically company men.”

On another Lennon note, the late legend will have his wedding to Yoko Ono commemorated on three stamps issued by Gibraltar, where the two tied the knot thirty years ago on March 20, 1969. Interestingly, Yoko won’t be featured, since the Crown Agent’s Stamp Bureau only allows the deceased to bedeck their stamps. The stamps can only be used in the colony, but can be obtained at the Bureau’s website at www.casb.co.uk.

In This Article: Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Lost Tapes


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