Lennon’s Last Interview: ‘The Sixties Showed Us the Possibility’

Lennon’s Last Interview: ‘The Sixties Showed Us the Possibility’

Lennon’s Last Interview: ‘The Sixties Showed Us the Possibility’

It was 30 years ago today.


It was thirty years ago today: December 8, 1980, on what would turn out to be the last day of John Lennon’s life, he did an interview promoting his new album, Double Fantasy. He talked about the sixties: "The thing the sixties did was show us the possibility and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility."

Interviewer Dave Sholin of RKO radio, who taped Lennon in his apartment at the Dakota in New York City, asked him about feminism. "I’m more feminist now than I was when I sang ‘Woman Is the Nigger of the World,’" he said. "Isn’t it time we destroyed the macho ethic?… Where has it gotten us all of these thousands of years? Are we still going to have to be clubbing each other to death? Do I have to arm-wrestle you to have a relationship with you as another male?… Can we not have a relationship on some other level?"

And he spoke about "the opening up of the sixties." "Maybe in the sixties we were naïve and like children and later everyone went back to their rooms and said, ‘We didn’t get a wonderful world of flowers and peace…. The world is a nasty horrible place because it didn’t give us everything we cried for.’ Right? Crying for it wasn’t enough."

Lennon also talked about his song "Power to the People," which had been released in 1971, nine years earlier. "In retrospect," he said, "if I were trying to say the same thing again, I would say the people have the power. I don’t mean the power of the gun. They have the power to make and create the society they want."


The RKO interview was his last. When he finished it, he did a photo shoot at the Dakota with Annie Liebowitz for Rolling Stone, then headed off to the Record Plant with Yoko to work on her song "Walking on Thin Ice." At 10:30 pm their limo took them back to the Dakota and dropped them off at the curb. That’s when he was killed.

Like this blog post? Read all Nation blogs on the Nation’s free iPhone App, NationNow.
NationNow iPhone App

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read, just one of the many incisive, deeply reported articles we publish daily. Now more than ever, we need fearless journalism that moves the needle on important issues, uncovers malfeasance and corruption, and uplifts voices and perspectives that often go unheard in mainstream media.

Donate right now and help us hold the powerful accountable, shine a light on issues that would otherwise be swept under the rug, and build a more just and equitable future.

For nearly 160 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and moral clarity. As a reader-supported publication, we are not beholden to the whims of advertisers or a corporate owner. But it does take financial resources to report on stories that may take weeks or months to investigate, thoroughly edit and fact-check articles, and get our stories to readers like you.

Donate today and stand with us for a better future. Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Thank you for your generosity.

Ad Policy