So today would’ve been John Lennon’s 74th birthday.
Allen, writing in 1984, in Rolling Stone
“I remember the precise moment, the precise night I went to this place in New York City called the Dom and they turned on “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and I heard that high, yodeling alto sound of the OOOH that went right through my skull, and I realized it was going to go through the skull of Western civilization. I began dancing in public the first time in my life complete delight and abandon, no self-conscious wallflower anxieties.
It was joyful rhythm, generosity, the openness, youthfulness and communality of their voices. They were four guys who were a gang and they loved and appreciated each other. I remember realizing that night at the Dom that black dancing had been brought back to the white West, people were going to return to their bodies, that Americans were going to shake their ass.
The Beatles changed American consciousness, they introduced a new note of complete masculinity allied with complete tenderness and vulnerability. And when that note was accepted in America, it did more than anything or anyone to prepare us for some kind of open-minded, open-hearted relationship with each other – and the rest of the world”
And, a decade earlier:
“Lennon/Ono is a conscious poet coherently adapting traditional poetic song devices to a new consciousness, new technology electronic mass ear education – one brilliant development of modern poetry, completely realized. If Lennon/Ono disappear tomorrow to heaven, they’d take an immortal laurel crown (traditional poetic gift of the muses) to the pearly gates, great work finished.”
Here’s another priceless one from the archives – Allen Meets The Beatles/The Beatles Meet Allen
“I sing my poetry, you know. I consider it poetry, I just sing it, that’s all – because, there’s no time for reading, but there is time for listening, just about..I’m like a writer, you know, I’m basically a writer who sings..”
Here’s more Lennon audio – Lennon on love
Here’s some Lennon video – in 1971 on the Dick Cavett Show
Here’s his 1975 appearance on Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow show
and from 1980, while the cameras are rolling, recording Double Fantasy