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Recording of Beatles icon John Lennon singing unheard track could fetch £36,000 at auction 

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A tape of John Lennon singing an unheard song called ‘Radio Peace’ with the help of a borrowed guitar and expressing frustration at his Beatles image to a group of Danish schoolboys has emerged for sale.  

The 33-minute recording, which goes under the hammer today in Copenhagen, was recorded on January 5, 1970 when the former Beatle spent winter in a remote corner of Jutland in western Denmark with his wife Yoko Ono.

Back then four eager boys, writing for their high school newspaper, braved a snowstorm in the hope of interviewing their idol.

After unexpectedly clinching the interview, topics of discussion ranged from Lennon and Ono’s peace campaign, Lennon’s hair and his frustration with his image as part of the ‘Fab Four’.

At one point, Lennon was asked by the students how they could echo his own campaigning, prompting the musician to tell them: ‘If you can’t think of any idea yourself, imitate what we do. Just sit down and think, what can I do locally?’  

Lennon and Ono were famous at the time for staging lie-ins and singing songs of peace as the Vietnam War raged.

The tape is expected to sell for between $32,000-50,000 (£23,000-£36,000).  

A tape of John Lennon singing a previously unheard song called ‘Radio Peace’ with the help of a borrowed guitar and expressing frustration at his Beatles image to a group of Danish schoolboys has emerged for sale. The 33-minute recording, which goes under the hammer today in Copenhagen, was recorded on January 5, 1970 when the former Beatle spent winter in a remote corner of Jutland in western Denmark with his wife Yoko Ono. Pictured: Lennon and Yoko were interviewed with Ono’s five-year-old daughter Kyoko sat next to them. The image is among several which also feature in the sale in Copenhagen today

Back then four eager boys, writing for their high school newspaper, braved a snowstorm in the hope of interviewing their idol. After unexpectedly clinching the interview, they asked Lennon to play a song using an 'old guitar' in the corner of the room. Pictured: Lennon playing the guitar

Back then four eager boys, writing for their high school newspaper, braved a snowstorm in the hope of interviewing their idol. After unexpectedly clinching the interview, they asked Lennon to play a song using an ‘old guitar’ in the corner of the room. Pictured: Lennon playing the guitar

Karsten Hojen, one of the tape’s owners, said: ‘We went into the living room and saw John and Yoko sitting on the sofa, it was fantastic. We sat down with them and were quite close to each other.’ 

‘I was sitting next to Yoko Ono and John Lennon was sitting next to Yoko and we talked, we had a good time,’ said Hojen, who is now 68.

He added: ‘I saw there was an old guitar in the corner and I asked John if he could play.

‘We later found out it was a song they made as a theme song for a radio station they were going to set up in Amsterdam. 

‘The radio station was never opened and the song was never released. To our knowledge, the only place where this song exists is on our tape.’

Lennon can be heard in the recording twice singing the words, ‘this is Radio Peace’. 

Lennon and his wife arrived in Denmark in December 1969 to sort out the future of Ono’s five-year-old daughter Kyoko, who was living with her father in northern Jutland.

By then, the Beatles had recorded their last album, Abbey Road, and even though it was not official, the group had parted ways. 

The tape (pictured above) is expected to sell for between $32,000-50,000 (£23,000-£36,000)

The tape (pictured above) is expected to sell for between $32,000-50,000 (£23,000-£36,000) 

Karsten Hojen, one of the tape's owners, said: 'We went into the living room and saw John and Yoko sitting on the sofa, it was fantastic. We sat down with them and were quite close to each other.' Above: The images which are included in the sale

Karsten Hojen, one of the tape’s owners, said: ‘We went into the living room and saw John and Yoko sitting on the sofa, it was fantastic. We sat down with them and were quite close to each other.’ Above: The images which are included in the sale

Mr Hojen said: 'I was sitting next to Yoko Ono and John Lennon was sitting next to Yoko and we talked, we had a good time,' said Hojen, who is now 68. He added: 'I saw there was an old guitar in the corner and I asked John if he could play. We later found out it was a song they made as a theme song for a radio station they were going to set up in Amsterdam. The radio station was never opened and the song was never released. To our knowledge, the only place where this song exists is on our tape'. Above: Lennon and Ono during the intimate event

Mr Hojen said: ‘I was sitting next to Yoko Ono and John Lennon was sitting next to Yoko and we talked, we had a good time,’ said Hojen, who is now 68. He added: ‘I saw there was an old guitar in the corner and I asked John if he could play. We later found out it was a song they made as a theme song for a radio station they were going to set up in Amsterdam. The radio station was never opened and the song was never released. To our knowledge, the only place where this song exists is on our tape’. Above: Lennon and Ono during the intimate event

Although Lennon and Ono spent their first week in Denmark away from the attention of the media, the press found out and the singer organised a news conference that coincided with the first day of the school term

Although Lennon and Ono spent their first week in Denmark away from the attention of the media, the press found out and the singer organised a news conference that coincided with the first day of the school term

Hojen and his friends convinced the headmaster to let them skip class to talk peace and music with the singer, a few months before the Beatles officially disbanded. Above: Lennon and Ono in Denmark on January 26, 1970

Hojen and his friends convinced the headmaster to let them skip class to talk peace and music with the singer, a few months before the Beatles officially disbanded. Above: Lennon and Ono in Denmark on January 26, 1970

Although Lennon and Ono spent their first week in Denmark away from the attention of the media, the press found out and the singer organised a news conference that coincided with the first day of the school term.

Hojen and his friends convinced the headmaster to let them skip class to talk peace and music with the singer, a few months before the Beatles officially disbanded.

But due to the severe weather conditions, the small group of young journalists turned up late for the press conference. However, Lennon and Ono agreed to talk to them anyway.  

Photos taken by one of Hojen’s fellow young journalists show Lennon and Ono lounging on a sofa with their feet resting on a coffee table, while in another, Lennon is seen with the borrowed guitar. 

Hojen and his friends said they decided to part with the audio cassette because they could not imagine sharing it among their numerous children.

Although Hojen has recounted that winter day in detail to his children and grandchildren, he will no longer have any trace of it after the sale because the owners have not digitised the recording

Although Hojen has recounted that winter day in detail to his children and grandchildren, he will no longer have any trace of it after the sale because the owners have not digitised the recording

Lennon and Ono first met at an art exhibition in London in 1966 and they married in 1969, months after she had divorced Anthony Cox. They remained together until he was shot dead in front of her by Mark David Chapman outside their New York apartment in December 1980. Above: The couple in 1968

Lennon and Ono first met at an art exhibition in London in 1966 and they married in 1969, months after she had divorced Anthony Cox. They remained together until he was shot dead in front of her by Mark David Chapman outside their New York apartment in December 1980. Above: The couple in 1968

Lennon and his wife arrived in Denmark in December 1969 to sort out the future of Ono's five-year-old daughter Kyoko, who was living with her father in northern Jutland. By then, the Beatles had recorded their last album, Abbey Road, and even though it was not official, the group had parted ways

Lennon and his wife arrived in Denmark in December 1969 to sort out the future of Ono’s five-year-old daughter Kyoko, who was living with her father in northern Jutland. By then, the Beatles had recorded their last album, Abbey Road, and even though it was not official, the group had parted ways 

‘We would be happy if a museum was interested, or why not Yoko Ono herself?’ the cultural consultant said. 

‘You have to sit back and take some time to listen to it and hope for the best,’ said Alexa Bruun Rasmussen, director of branding at Bruun Rasmussen Auction House which is handling the sale.

‘They actually play “Give Peace a Chance”, but with different words,’ she said.

The recording also includes the unreleased song ‘Radio Peace’, and is ‘heartfelt’ and ‘unique’, Bruun Rasmussen said, adding that the tape and photos could fetch up to 40,000 euros ($46,000).

‘John Lennon is talking to young schoolboys, they share the passion of the peace message. And it comes across clearly that there’s a connection between them,’ she said.

Although Hojen has recounted that winter day in detail to his children and grandchildren, he will no longer have any trace of it after the sale because the owners have not digitised the recording.

Lennon and Ono first met at an art exhibition in London in 1966 and they married in 1969, months after she had divorced Anthony Cox.

They remained together until he was shot dead in front of  her by Mark David Chapman outside their New York apartment in December 1980.  

Ono, who is now 88, lives in a nine-room apartment in New York and reportedly needs 24-hour care due to her frailty.   

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