30 years after it premiered, Elliot Mintz, the host of The Lost Lennon Tapes syndicated series looked back on the groundbreaking show. Mintz — a former DJ and longtime confidente of Lennon and Yoko Ono's — is featured on the new six-disc Imagine — The Ultimate Collection box set — having contributed some of his vintage Lennon interviews as part of the set.
During his chat with Variety, he spoke candidly on how the series, which ran from 1988 to 1992, got off the ground, recalling, “Yoko suggested that I host the show because of my proximity to the two of them and my familiarity with the tapes. So the first thing I had to do was go to New York and locate as many actual tapes — cassettes or reel to reels — that I could find in the apartment to gather them and create an inventory (of the dozens of hours of tapes.) So I packed up the original recordings and we Fed Ex’ed them to Los Angeles to Westwood One, and their staff — obviously, very gently — took the original recordings and made transfers of them digitally and created their own inventory. They had to be listened to carefully — John had a way of hiding a song five minutes into a tape recording of a lecture by (British philosopher) Alan Watts.”
Mintz, who first met John and Yoko in 1972, spoke about hearing the new Lennon box set: “On an emotional level, it’s still a little difficult, especially that first demo recording (of the song 'Imagine') of just John on the piano. There were times that I was with John that he would pick up the guitar and just play, if I was in the living room with him or he was just bored or tired of talking. And a couple of times when he played a song or two or more for me on the piano, maybe in the white room of the Dakota building, and my mind drifted back to those times. It was a little emotional for me — still is. I put the emotion in my back pocket and took the ride.”
One of the highlights on the new Imagine – Ultimate Collection box set is the new remix of John Lennon's holiday standard “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” Lennon recalled the impetus to writing and recording the now-Christmas classic: “What we wanted to do was have something (laughs) besides 'White Christmas' being played every Christmas, y'know? And there's always a war, right? There's always someone gettin' shot. So, every year you can play it and there's always someone being tortured or shot somewhere, so the lyrics stands in that respect.”
Source: Pulse of Radio