Yoko Ono discusses PBS ‘American Masters’ documentary ‘LennonNYC’


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John Lennon gets a new nationality -- for a night -- on Nov. 22 when PBS umbrellas the ex-Beatle into its ‘American Masters’ series with a new two-hour documentary focusing on the final years of his life when he and Yoko Ono lived in New York.

‘LennonNYC’ includes in-studio film and audio recordings never previously made public as well as interviews with Ono, music mogul David Geffen, producer Jack Douglas and many of the musicians who played with him on ‘Double Fantasy.’ That Grammy-winning 1980 album brought Lennon back into the public eye following his five-year ‘house-husband’ period during which he devoted himself to helping raise his and Ono’s son, Sean.


‘It seems like you already know everything about us, but they got film footage that I didn’t know about,’ Ono, 77, told members of the Television Critics Assn. who were shown three clips from the film Thursday in Beverly Hills.

She said Lennon on occasion said ‘He wished he had been born in New York,’ and described it as both ‘the city he loved so much, but also the city that killed him.’

To a question about the upcoming parole hearing for her husband’s killer, Mark David Chapman, Ono said she opposes his release. ‘I think he could still be a danger -- to other people, not just to me, Sean and Julian,’ referring to Lennon’s son from his first marriage.

‘American Masters’ creator Susan Lacy told the TCA audience, ‘I’ve never been prouder of a film we have produced that this one.’

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: John Lennon and Yoko Ono in New York City in 1973. Credit: Associated Press