John Lennon – The Walrus and Number 9

Dennis Elsas with John Lennon

Dennis Elsas with John Lennon

Without question my most memorable interview and on-air experience to date was on September 28, 1974, a Saturday afternoon I spent with John Lennon.

I had met him just a few weeks before at the Record Plant recording studio and casually asked him if he’d like to come up to the station to talk about his forthcoming album Walls and Bridges. I doubted anything would come of it, since none of the Beatles had ever visited our station before.  When he showed up eager to talk, bringing with him some obscure 45’s he wanted to share with the audience, I didn’t know what to expect.

What began as an opportunity to promote the new album, turned into two hours of rare Beatle stories, insights into his immigration struggles, and John as the DJ, introducing and commenting on all the music, commercials and weather.  Highlights from the interview were used in the Beatles Anthology and it is featured prominently in the award winning PBS American Masters film, LENNONYC.  The complete show is part of the permanent collection of the Paley Center For Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio).  Here are some favorite moments.