On a snowy day in Toronto in December 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono sat down with renowned Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan to chat about their ‘War is Over!’ billboard campaign, which had seen huge proclamations of “War is over! If you want it. Happy Christmas from John & Yoko” erected in 12 different countries.
While John and Ono were undoubtably one of the most talked about pop culture figures of the time, McLuhan was no stranger to the spotlight either. He is known for coining the expression “the medium is the message” and for predicting the internet almost 30 years before it was invented.
Watch a long-lost interview where John Lennon and Yoko Ono discuss their War Is Over! campaign with renowned Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan.
In 1969, he had recently published War and Peace in the Global Village, a critical tome in 20th-century communication studies. So, when the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation paired him with John and Yoko at the pinnacle of their campaign for peace, it was sure that sparks would fly.
The whole chat was captured on camera. It’s an engrossing conversation, with John describing Yoko’s idea for the poster campaign and their reasoning behind it. As per usual, the Beatle does most of the talking, even getting roped into discussing his maturation since when Beatlemania first struck five years earlier.
Watch the interview below and read the full transcript here.