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September 10, 2021 12 mins

Paul McCartney talks to his songwriting partner and friend in an honest, open letter to John Lennon. John’s widow Yoko Ono accepts the honor, with a brief, emotional speech about the honor of her husband’s solo work being recognized. John Lennon’s music and message resonate as the world continues to imagine peace- living together as one. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
M H Welcome to Induction Vault, a production of I
Heart Radio and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame MM.

(00:28):
A few partnerships in music have had the impact that
John Lennon and Paul McCartney had in their time together
as members of the Beatles. Emotions were high when Paul
inducted his songwriting partner and close his friend into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For Paul, this is
a moment to talk to his friend in a raw, honest,

(00:48):
open letter, despite John's death fifteen years earlier. He holds
back tears as he reminisces about meeting John and those
small yet meaningful moments between them which Paul holds dear
to his heart. As John's widow, Yoko Ono, accepts the honor,
she delivers a brief emotional speech about her husband, who

(01:09):
was not only a part of a band that was
quote bigger than Buddha, but whose solo career of political activism, experimentation,
and honest personal reflection put him ahead of his time.
His music and message resonates as the world continues to
imagine peace living together as one. Thank you, Thank you

(01:37):
New York, thank you. It's a privilege for me to
be able to do this to night and come here.
So I've got some random memories in the form of
a letter to John. Dear John, I remember when we

(02:00):
us met in Walton, the village Face. It was a
beautiful summer day and I walked in there and I
saw you on the stage and you were singing come
Go with Me by the del Vikings, but you didn't
know the words, so you made them up, come go
with Me to the Penitentiary. It's not in the lyrics,

(02:23):
remember right in our first songs together. We used to
go to my house, a dad's house, um, and we
used to smoke Tai Fu ti uh with this pipe
my dad kept in a drawer. Didn't do much for us,
but got us on the road. We wanted to be famous.

(02:47):
I remember the visits to your mom's house, Julia. It
was a very handsome woman, very beautiful woman. She had
long red hair and she played a uku lele. I've
never seen a woman and who could do that. I
remember having to tell you the guitar chords because he
used to play the ukulele chords. And then on your

(03:09):
twenty one birthday, you got a hundred pounds of one
of your rich relatives up in Edinburgh. Yeah, so we
we decided we go to Spain. So we hit chiked
out of Liverpool. We got as far as Paris. We
decided to stop there for a week and eventually got

(03:29):
a hair cut by fellow called Jurgen and that ended
up being the Beatle Haircup. Ah. Remember introducing you to
my inmate George, my schoolmates um and him getting into
the group by playing launchy on the top deck of
the bus. You were impressed. And when we met Ringo,

(03:54):
who had been working a whole season at Butland's holiday camp.
He was a season professional. But the beard had to
go and it did. Later on we we got to
get at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, which was officially
a blues club, and we didn't really know any blues numbers.

(04:17):
We love the blues, we didn't know any blues numbers,
so we had to do announcements like ladies, gentlemen, this
is a great big Bill Bruns number called wake up
Little Susie. They kept passing up little notes, this is
not the blues, this is not the blueness. This is
We kept going and then we ended up touring and

(04:39):
there's a blog called Larry Ponds who gave us our
first tour. Thank you Larry. And remember we all changed
our names for that tour and I changed mind to
Paul Ramont. George became Carl Harrison, and although people think

(05:02):
John didn't really change his name, I seem to remember
he was long John Silver for the duration of that tour.
Bengo is another miss Um and we'd be on the
van touring later and we'd have the kind of night
with the windscreen would break. Would be on the motorway
going up back up to Liverpool. It was freezing, so

(05:23):
we'd have to lie on top of each other in
the back of the van, creating a Beatles sandwich. We
got to know each other. These were the ways we
got to know each other. We got to Hamburg and
met the likes of little Richard Gene Vincent's. Yeah, I

(05:45):
remember a little Richard inviting us back to his hotel.
He was looking at ringos ring. He said, I love
that ring. He said, I've got a ring like that.
I could give you a ring like that. So we
all went back to the hotel with him and we
never got a ring. Yeah, we went back with Jean
Vincent to his hotel once and he it was all

(06:07):
going fine until he reached in his bedside drawing he
pulled out a gun. We said, well, we gotta go, Gene,
We've got to go, and we got out quick, and
then came the USA, New York City, where we met
up with Phil Spector, the Ronett's Supremes, AH Our Heroes

(06:31):
are Heroines. And then later in in l A we
met up with Elvis Presley Um for one great evening
we saw the boy, you know, we saw him on
his home territory and he was the first person I
ever saw with a remote control on a TV. Boy.
He was a hero man and then later Ed Sullivan.

(06:57):
By now we wanted to be famous. Now we were
getting really famous. I mean, I mean imagine meeting Mitzi
Gainer in Miami and later after that recording at Abbey Road.
I still remember doing I Love Me Do, because John
officially had the vocal love Me Do, but because he

(07:21):
played the harmonica. George Martin, in the middle of the
session suddenly said, will you sing the line love Me do?
Like the crucial line. I said, um, okay, and I
can still hear it to this day. John let me
do Um nerveus man. I remember doing the vocal to
Kansas City. Well, I couldn't quite get it because it's

(07:44):
hard to do all that stuff, you know, screaming out
the top of your head. And John come down from
the control room, he said, he took me to one side,
he said, he said, you can do it. You know,
you just gotta scream out to leave the top of
your head. You know you can do it. So thank you,
thank you for that. I did it. Um. Remember writing
Day in the Life with him, and the little look

(08:06):
we give each other as we wrote the line I'd
love to turn you on. We kind of knew what
we were doing, you know, sneaky little look, oh boy.
And after that there was this girl call Yoko Yoko Ono. Yeah.

(08:26):
I showed up at my house one day and it
was John Cage's birthday, and she said she wanted to
get hold of our manuscript to give to John Cage
of various composers, and she wanted one from me and John.
So I said, well, it's okay with me, but you'll
you'll have to go and see John. She did. After that,

(08:53):
I set up a couple of machines. We used to
have these Brunel recording machines that I set up a
couple of them and they s it up all night
and they recorded two virgins on that you took the
cover yourselves nothing to do with me. And then after
that there were the phone calls to you. The joy

(09:15):
for me of after all our business ship that we've
gone through, actually getting back together and communicating once again,
and the joy as you told me about how you
were baking bread now and how you were playing with
your little baby Sean. That was great for me because

(09:36):
it gave me something to hold onto. So now years on,
here we are, all these people here, we are assembled
to thank you for everything that you mean to all
of us. This letter comes with love from your friend
Paul John Lennon, you made it tonight. You're in the

(09:56):
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. God bless you. Kah.
After the break, we'll hear from Yoko Ono on the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Boult okay mm hm.

(10:23):
I first like to thank Paul for being here tonight.
I think John would have been very pleased. It's really Grandfaul,
thank you, and h being inducted as a Beatle for

(10:45):
John was to be expected, after all, the Liverpool band
was bigger than Buddha. M h m m m h.

(11:05):
But being inducted for his solar effort would have made
John very happy because it had a very special place
in his heart. So I'm very thankful on behalf of John.
I would like to thank all the people who voted

(11:28):
for him. Thank you, Kay, good ya. Thanks for joining

(11:57):
us on this week's episode of Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame in Duct and Vault. For more on your
favorite inductees, to shop inductee merch or to plan your
trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, visit
rock hall dot com. Plus view the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame Induction Special on demand on HBO Max.
Our executive producers are Noel Brown, Shelby Morrison, and Esa Gurkey.

(12:19):
Supervising producer is Taylor Shakoin Research and archival assistants from
Isabelle Keeper and Shannon Herb. Thanks again for joining us
on this week's episode of Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame Induction Vault. Induction Ball is a production of I
Heart Radio and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

(12:41):
For more podcasts from I heart Radio, visit the I
Heart Radio app. Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your
favorite podcasts.
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