John Lennon, Julian & Yoko Ono - Robert Bassanini,
Julian & Cynthia Lennon
You are - also part of your strategy - in every
country, signed on different companies with your new album. For what
reasons did you make a contract with "Rough Trade Records"
which is meant to be an independent company.
"That's a question on which you
could give ten answers. The fact is I swore to myself after the last
album that I would never work with famous companies again. So I decided
to work independently in future. I set up my own label, to underline
that I mean it serious with my new start and my self-control, I called
the label "Music From Another Room". Till this time the
public never had the chance to hear me as I wanted to be heard; the
control through my managers and producer made me a marionette. I trusted
them too much. So the German establishment Rough Trade fits
very much into my master plan. I've only heard good things about this
So your motto is ' learning by doing'?
"Exactly! Because 50% of your deals with managers
and record companies are handled like the motto ' let's see, maybe,
it could be', I thought ' okay, let's see, it really could be'. Besides
that I've been in the business for 15 years now, I have seen what
has happened with some 'promising' colleagues."
Every normal person would ask the same question at the
sight of your enormous heritage: Why the hell is he still working? Even
if music is his subject, so he, as a multi-millionaire, has to fight
with the critics, answer to silly questions, escape from fans who go
mad or give autographs. Why doesn't he buy himself a villa in the Caribbean
and just bask in the sun on the beach?
"(Laughs) For me it isn't just the
search for self- confirmation. Look, I've wrote songs for years now,
I love writing songs, and that's why I see my part as a musician more
like a personal challenge: I want to figure out what's still in me,
what else am I able to do. For me there is nothing more exciting than
to take up a challenge. And since I know that a lot of people have
liked the work I have done so far, yet I found myself wrongly interpreted
- bingo, new start, new team."
You didn't have a personal manager over the last years
"I had, unfortunately, and that
became one of the important aspects of my later enlightenment: in
this business you better not trust anybody blindly. I had two or three
managers. One of them worked for Phil Collins and Genesis as well.
Now I know that nobody with such a full plate could become my Brian
Epstein. Okay, for Collins he probably does a great job, but I rank
under 'and also ran'. Of course, my own stupidity was implicated in
that, too: to believe that these people know a hundred percent what
they were doing. So, this time, if anything goes wrong, only one person
is responsible for that: me !"
© 1998 Rolling Stone Magazine