Lennon: Gimme Some Truth (live vocal out-take)

John: Side Two (of the Imagine album) starts with “Give Me Some Truth” which is one I started a year or two back – probably in India. We wrote a lot there. It was an old lick that I had around a long time but I again changed the lyrics. I like the track because it sounds good but it didn’t get much attention, so it’s a personal track that I like the sound of. The guitars are good and the voice sounds nice and, you know, and it says whatever it says. George does a sharp solo with his steel finger (he’s not to proud of it – but I like it).

It’s about politicians, newspaper men and all the hypocrites of the world. And male chauvinists, it’s about them too. I think that music reflects the state that the society is in. There is nothing to hide. Not really. I mean, we all like to shit in private and we certainly have things we prefer to do in private, privately. But in general what is there to hide? I mean, what is the big secret?

I think it’s like this whole game of the press. When the whole drug thing came out about the Beatles, what actually happened was the press cornered Paul one day with the TV cameras and all the press and asked him, “have you taken LSD?” And he said “yes”. And they said, “don’t you think that you have a responsibility to society?” And he said, “yes I do, and so do you, so please don’t publish this or print it.” And they had it on every newscast that night with him saying, “please dont publish it.” Now what the hypocrisy of the press is like, what I was saying about the News Of The World is they’re always going on about other people’s responsibilities and pop stars selling sex to people when they’re the ones keeping the whole mill rolling. They have as much responsibility as us so called ‘stars’ and that was a prime example.

There was a famous picture of me in one of the Beatle Books and it said, ‘No phoney politician is ever going to get through to me.” That still stands, although I dabbled in so called “politics” in the late 60’s and 70’s. More out of guilt for being rich and guilty, thinking that maybe perhaps love and peace isn’t enough, that to have to go and get shot or something, or get punched in the face, to prove I’m one of the people.

I think our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. And I think that’s what I sussed when I was 16 and 12, way down the line. But I expressed it differently all through my life. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends. If anybody can put on paper what our government and the American government etcetera and the Russian, Chinese – what they are actually trying to do, and what they think they’re doing, I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing. I think they’re all insane but I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.

Somebody comes along with a good piece of truth and instead of the truth being looked at, they look at the person that brought it. It’s like when the bad news comes, they shoot the messenger. When the good news comes, they worship the messenger and they don’t listen to the message – whether it be Christianity, Mohammadism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Marxism, Maoism, everything. It’s always about the person and never about what they said.

My function in society is to be an artist. The artist’s function is to be as true to himself (and therefore the people he communicates with through his art) as he can, and survive. Art is a functional part of society. If you don’t have artists, you don’t have society. We’re not some kind of decadent strip show that appears on the side. We’re as important as prime ministers or policemen.

Register to Vote. If you register to vote, it doesn’t mean you have to vote. At least you have it. And then if there’s somebody around that you can believe in, you’ve got that vote. But if you don’t register and it comes, and you wanna do something, you’ve missed it. Because there’s one inch in which we breathe differently between the two parties. And everybody’s saying they’re all the same. They are all the same, but there’s one inch in which they let you breathe.

John Lennon: Electric guitars and vocals
George Harrison: Lead electric slide guitar
Nicky Hopkins: Electric piano
John Tout: Steinway Upright Piano
Klaus Voormann: Bass
Alan White: Drums
Rod Lynton & Andy Davis: Acoustic guitars

Produced by John & Yoko and Phil Spector
Engineers: Phil McDonald and Eddie Klein, Ascot Sound Studios
Recorded 25 May 1971
Master Vocal and slide guitar solo recorded 28 May 1971
Get IMAGINE (The Ultimate Collection) at Amazon
Watch ‘1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything’ on Apple TV+
Find out more: http://johnlennon.com

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