After a five-year hiatus, John Lennon was back in the studio. Lennon had famously walked away from the music business, the fame machine, everything. He baked bread, took care of his son Sean, spent his time “watching the wheels go ‘round and ‘round.” But now Lennon was back recording. He was, perhaps for the first time in his life, unreservedly happy.
It had been a long, difficult journey to this point. Lennon had been persecuted by the Nixon administration, who had used the FBI and the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) to tap his phone and put him and Yoko under 24-hour surveillance, all in an attempt to deport him for political purposes. Lennon had been consumed by drink, making, on more than one occasion, a public ass of himself. And, for eighteen months, he had been kicked out of the Dakota by Yoko Ono, the great love his life. (It was a period Lennon later referred to as his “lost weekend.”)
But, in early August, 1980, John Lennon was at The Hit Factory recording what would become Double Fantasy. The songs Lennon had written for the album didn’t speak to the pain of his past—he was done with that. They were about the life he had built with Yoko and Sean: Watching the Wheels; Woman; Beautiful Boy. Each song spoke to the newfound contentment Lennon had achieved.
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