"Unheard" 1964 John Lennon Interview Up for Auction

From Hull Live:

...The remarkable interview, taped as Beatlemania swept Britain, reveals how the band did not consider themselves good musicians but hoped they could get rich quick before their fame subsided. The recording has come to light almost 60 years after a student blagged his way into a press conference before a gig in Hull in October 1964.

Tasked to report for his student magazine, 18-year-old John Hill paid to get into the ABC cinema, where the concert was taking place. He then bluffed his way into the room where members of the band were talking to the press and found himself interviewing John Lennon.

“I couldn’t do shorthand so I had borrowed a Fi-Cord, an early portable reel to reel tape recorder, from a friend and took that along," he recalled. “I was the youngest person in the room and the only one with a microphone. That got John Lennon’s attention – he was really interested in the machine – and we ended up in a corner doing an interview with passing newsmen throwing in the odd question.”

Now, the recording of the eight-and-a-half minute interview, which has never been broadcast, plus the recording machine, photographs taken while they were talking and student magazine articles, are to be sold when a spectacular collection of Hull memorabilia goes under the hammer in a History & Memories Auction, at Yorkshire auctioneers David Duggleby, on Friday, June 24.

Auctioneer Graham Paddison said: “One of the most striking things about the recording is just how relaxed the two of them were together, just two art college students chatting. At one point the Beatle ended up holding the microphone while the student struggled with his kit. Lennon was as friendly as could be – not flippant or jokey or a clever dick – treating his young interviewer’s questions with respect, which of course makes his answers interesting.”

Asked if the Beatles regarded themselves primarily as musicians or entertainers, Lennon mused: “I’ve never thought about it really but I suppose … we don’t count ourselves as good musicians, so I suppose we’re entertainers … but we don’t entertain much ’cos we just stand there, so I suppose we must be musicians. We’re in the Union anyway.”

“He says that he wanted to be rich; joked that he would probably have become just a layabout had the Beatles not taken off; disclosed that he had friends do his art college exams for him when he was away touring with the group in Scotland; revealed that he never told the college he was going to Germany [to play in clubs in Hamburg in the early 60s] because he ‘wanted his grant’, and declined to send a message to the art students of Hull to keep working because ‘I never did much myself’.”

The extraordinary recording lay, unplayed, in a drawer for the next 50 years. Then in 2014, John Hill, who had retired after a career as a schoolteacher and lecturer at Leeds University, was having a clear-out. He sold it to the current owner, a collector of Hull antiquities and memorabilia, whose collection has been entered in this Friday’s auction.