John Lennon Tapes
January 1970

Auctioned by Cooper-Owen in
November 2002.


Two previously unheard and undiscovered cassette tapes of recordings made by John Lennon and Yoko Ono with Yoko's daughter Kyoko…


Two original, undiscovered and never before heard John Lennon tapes. These home recordings were made of John Lennon in 1970, while staying at the home of Yoko Ono’s ex-husband – Tony Cox – in Denmark. These extraordinarily candid tapes are remarkable in that John was obviously bonding with the very young Kyoko (Yoko’s daughter by Tony Cox), while they were laughing, singing, talking and playing together in a family atmosphere.

Listening to John, Yoko, Kyoko and Cox on these tapes is like being a familiar guest at a once-in-a-lifetime family gathering of these famous and complex people, as they make no effort to conceal their emotions.

These tapes are an absolute necessity for any true historian, student or collector of that complicated genius, John Lennon .

Two tape recordings of John and Yoko Lennon, Denmark, 1970

Two previously undiscovered, unheard cassette tapes of recordings made by John Lennon and Yoko Ono with Yoko's daughter Kyoko, at the home of Yoko's ex husband Tony Cox in Denmark during a visit there in January 1970.

The extraordinarily candid tapes feature Kyoko encouraged by her step dad, John Lennon, as well as John Lennon himself who either accompanies her or sings and chats with her. Kyoko shows an incredible ability to improvise which works well with her stepfather's love of the nonsensical and surreal, he seems to genuinely relish this interplay. This burgeoning relationship is underpinned by the everyday goings on of family life including Yoko calling the pair to dinner. The poignancy of the tapes cannot be underestimated, soon after they were made the Lennon's became estranged from Kyoko whilst fighting an increasingly bitter custody battle. This was in fact the one and only time John and Kyoko had a chance to really bond.

The first tape entitled Denmark III comprises approx. sixteen minutes and begins with Kyoko strumming Johns guitar, beginning to sing Dear Prudence Tony, Yoko and John try to coax her to let John play and listen to him (they are all feeling a little delicate and the noise is possibly getting to them), Kyoko continues creating little songs, John accompanies her, all the while bantering away. Yoko interrupts to say dinner is ready, John obviously approves of-and possibly relates to-the child's very active imagination saying to Yoko Said the Queen…You interrupted a magnificent twirl of rhetoric! The tape ends with mother and daughter sing together.

The other tape, Denmark IV, contains a thirteen minute intro, featuring Tony Cox playing the Jew's harp, with barely audible banter in the background from John, Yoko and Kyoko. A further twenty-six minutes features Kyoko singing with John in very jovial mood, making jokes with her, for example she announces the song she will sing is called The Radiant Bird, John quips The Radiant Beard! and adds other nonsensical elements to her apparently impromptu ditties. Kyoko continues to sing with humorous interjections from John and the occasional comical melody on the guitar. The tape ends with Kyoko muttering the Rolling Stones, the Rolling Stones…that one about the Rolling Stones John says hmm, to whom it may concern! (An obvious reference to the Stones song) at which point he and Tony laugh. Not sold with copyright. (2)

The vendor obtained the recordings directly from Tony Cox and these tapes are the final part of the previously unknown archive which reached record prices at Christies last year. the lot is accompanied by a letter from Cox regarding the tapes (which he refers to as 'Denmark Music # 3')

These tapes are offered for sale without copyright, broadcast rights, performers consents, and other reproduction rights. The Buyer must apply to the relevant parties to obtain such clearance and consents as may be necessary.