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Andy Peebles discloses his last dinner with John Lennon after BBC interview

by Katie Hickox, Beatles News Liverpool reporter

Former BBC radio host Andy Peebles recently shared new unpublished information from his time spent with John Lennon over dinner on December 6th, 1980, with Beatles fans at last Sunday's Liverpool International BeatleWeek.

Andy broke new ground by revealing some new information about the story leading up to the historic interview, and what John's future plans were as discussed during dinner with Andy after their interview. After the groundbreaking interview, Andy went out to dinner with John and Yoko during which John discussed his plans for the new year.

Andy briefly mentioned to the audience some of John's future plans that his plans to start a 1981 tour of rock concerts, that John was quite homesick and wanted to come back to Liverpool in grand style by renting the QE2, and how John worried that no rock concert promoter in Europe would be interested in working with him.

Andy Peebles with Spencer Leigh

Andy spoke during an hour long question and answer session with noted Beatles author and BBC Merseyside radio host Spencer Leigh, before a large audience at the Liverpool based Adelphi Hotel's ballroom. Andy provided more information not only about the interview with John Lennon and how the interview came about, but also his extended discussion with John over dinner held after their interview. Spencer Leigh has been producing his "On the Beat" BBC Merseyside radioshow for over 30 years.

No longer working for the BBC, Andy has finally been able to speak out about the restrictions that were placed on the interview by Yoko Ono, that the interview was limited to 60 minutes and that it had to be focused 50-50 on both John and Yoko, much to Andy's consternation.

Andy Peeble's historic interview with John Lennon was John's first (and last) BBC interview held in 10 years, after John moved to New York City in 1971. While Andy Peebles' interview on Dec 6th, 1980, was the last interview that John did with the BBC, the very last interview with John Lennon took place on Dec 8, 1980, a few hours before his death, conducted by Dave Sholin of RKO.

Fortunately John didn't limit himself to the 60 minute time limit and he continued talking for over 3 hours, 22 minutes, but the final edited version that was aired by the BBC a few days after John's death was organized into 5 parts and is just over 2 hours. Regardless, John surprised Andy by speaking out on a variety of subjects during the interview and dinner.

Moreover, John joked about singing "pi**ed with gout" instead of "Twist and Shout" during their concert at the legendary Shea Stadium Beatles concert, because of the volume of noise from the fans screaming.

Andy expressed great disappointment because the BBC has not re-released the original BBC interview. Andy has been lobbying the BBC for many years and says, "it doesn't make any sense why they won't re-release the interview". He declined to discuss issues relating to John's security because he found it difficult to discuss with Spencer and had covered it in previous interviews.

Andy discussed how to this day he is still traumatized by having interviewed and spent time with John just a few days before his death. He hopes that BBC will finally re-release the full BBC interview.

You can listen to a copy of the original BBC version online and can also find an out of print 90-page transcript of the original edited BBC interview in the booklet "The Lennon Tapes" on Amazon and Ebay ranging in price from $20 to $45.

Published September 2, 2016

This article is Copyright © 2016, Katie Hickox, and may not be reproduced on other web sites or in print, in whole or in part, without expressed permission

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