The auction bids were projected to soar after it was announced that a cassette tape housing an unreleased song by John Lennon from 1970 was about to make collectors’ wildest dreams come true.
Where did the tape come from? Why wasn’t the song ever released? And how is it that four 16-year old Danish teenagers were the ones involved in the recording’s making?
The year was 1970. Karsten Hoejen, the maker of the recording and his three friends were “just a bunch of hippies” in his words, as per the BBC, that time.
The Beatles hadn’t disbanded yet, in fact, it was just a few months before that. And John Lennon and Yoko Ono had come to an isolated farming area in Denmark.
The teenagers, catching wind of the news that Lennon and Ono were staying in the area, set out a plan to meet the icons – and potentially interview them for their school magazine.
The youngsters were particularly interested in Lennon and Ono’s peace campaigns.
However, the boys were delayed in their arrival to the occasion where other journalists had been invited, but this delay would prove to give them an even more personal experience with the legends.
The cassette recorder was borrowed, the microphone was at the ready, and Karsten Hoejen from the moment he pushed record, was making history.
His pal Jesper Jungersen took photographs that 50 years later would be auctioned for mass sums of Danish krones.
The recorder alongside the boys would listen to Lennon answering questions like “how do you think that people like me can help you with making peace around the world?” to which the proponent of peace would answer: “imitate what we do.. think what can I do locally?”
Apart from the interview, the 33-minute recording included three ‘performances’ from Lennon and Ono. One entailed him and Ono humming as part of a Danish tradition wherein which one dances around a Christmas tree. The second heard Lennon perform Give Peace A Chance. The third would be a song – short and unreleased.
It was meant to be a theme song for a radio station, according to Hoejen.
“The radio station was never opened and the song was never released,” he adds. “To our knowledge the only place where this song exists is on our tape.”
The tape sat in a bank vault for a long time before being auctioned on Tuesday, September 28.
The collective sold for 370 000 Danish krones, or roughly R874 191,78 to an undisclosed bidder.
Picture: Yoko Ono Lennon/NME