Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Live Peace In Toronto, part 1

The Lennons' last great push for peace took place in Canada the week before Christmas, 1969. On December 16th, they flew from London to Toronto and were driven to the home of Canadian rocker Ronnie Hawkins, who lent them his farmhouse as a base for their operations during the week.

The first event was a press conference on the 17th at the Ontario Science Center, where John and Yoko announced vague but ambitious plans for a three-day Peace Festival to be held at Mosport Park (a racetrack) in July 1970. Arguments with the promoter, John Brower, meant that the festival never took place, but the couple were optimistic about the prospects for "Year One A.P. (After Peace)". Here is a 55-minute composite recording of the press conference, from several sources.

That evening, John and Yoko welcomed Village Voice reporter Howard Smith to the farmhouse for a dinner-time interview covering dozens of topics: the "War Is Over" posters and peace festival, their recent trips to Greece and India, prospects for future Beatle tours, the MBE return, the Hanratty case, and more. The recording was broadcast on WABC radio in New York; as it lasts nearly 90 minutes, here it is in nine pieces:


  1. there is an errrrrror in the 55 mins first one

  2. Replies
    1. are going to Beatles Heaven!!!!!! (I hear it looks just like Pepperland!!) Here's your daily thank you: THANK YOU!

  3. Oh man, this Howard Smith interview is fantastic! Part 3!

  4. There was a festival at Mosport, August 7-9, 1970.
    It went under the name Strawberry Fields Festival... -
    "the Canadian security service began spying on ex-Beatle John and Yoko after they announced their plans for the Peace Festival"

    Keep up the great work John

  5. Very many thanks for sharing these fabulous recordings with us John. I've discreetly followed your web site for about a year and recently purchased Way Beyond Compare and That Magic Feeling.

    I take my hat off to you Sir. I've recommended your site to some very appreciative musician friends of mine, one of whom has also high praise for your two noted books as listed above.

    Best Wishes

    Michael ( Northern Ireland )