In one of the posts here somebody brought up the question of this sort:
'He (John) was singing IMAGINE NO POSSESION', and he had a lot of
money...and that two things don't go together...' etc.
This is from a interview in Playboy in 1980. John talks about money (among another things).
PLAYBOY: Just to finish your favorite subject, what about the suggestion that the four of you put aside your personal feelings and regroup to give a mammoth concert for charity, some sort of giant benefit?
LENNON: I don't want to have anything to do with benefits. I have been benefited to death.
LENNON: Because they're always rip-offs. I haven't performed for personal gain since 1966, when the Beatles last performed. Every concert since then, Yoko and I did for specific charities, except for a Toronto thing that was a rock-'n'-roll revival. Every one of them was a mess or a rip-off. So now we give money to who we want. You've heard of tithing?
PLAYBOY: That's when you give away a fixed percentage of your income.
LENNON: Right. I am just going to do it privately. I am not going to get locked into that business of saving the world on stage. The show is always a mess and the artist always comes off badly.
PLAYBOY: What about the Bangladesh concert, in which George and other people such as Dylan performed?
LENNON: Bangladesh was caca.
PLAYBOY: You mean because of all the questions that were raised about where the money went?
LENNON: Yeah, right. I can't even talk about it, because it's still a problem. You'll have to check with Mother [Yoko], because she knows the ins and outs of it, I don't. But it's all a rip-off. So forget about it. All of you who are reading this, don't bother sending me all that garbage about, "Just come and save the Indians, come and save the blacks, come and save the war veterans," Anybody I want to save will be helped through our tithing, which is ten percent of whatever we earn.
PLAYBOY: But that doesn't compare with what one promoter, Sid Bernstein, said you could raise by giving a world-wide televised concert -- playing separately, as individuals, or together, as the Beatles. He estimated you could raise over $200,000,000 in one day.
LENNON: That was a commercial for Sid Bernstein written with Jewish schmaltz and showbiz and tears, dropping on one knee. It was Al Jolson. OK. So I don't buy that. OK.
PLAYBOY: But the fact is, $200,000,000 to a poverty-stricken country in South America----
LENNON: Where do people get off saying the Beatles should give $200,000,000 to South America? You know, America has poured billions into places like that. It doesn't mean a damn thing. After they've eaten that meal, then what? It lasts for only a day. After the $200,000,000 is gone, then what? It goes round and round in circles. You can pour money in forever. After Peru, then Harlem, then Britain. There is no one concert. We would have to dedicate the rest of our lives to one world concert tour, and I'm not ready for it. Not in this lifetime, anyway. [Ono rejoins the conversation.]
PLAYBOY: On the subject of your own wealth, the New York Post recently said you admitted to being worth over $150,000,000 and----
LENNON: We never admitted anything.
PLAYBOY: The Post said you had.
LENNON: What the Post says -- OK, so we are rich; so what?
PLAYBOY: The question is, How does that jibe with your political philosophies? You're supposed to be socialists, aren't you?
LENNON: In England, there are only two things to be, basically: You are either for the labor movement or for the capitalist movement. Either you become a right-wing Archie Bunker if you are in the class I am in, or you become an instinctive socialist, which I was. That meant I think people should get their false teeth and their health looked after, all the rest of it. But apart from that, I worked for money and I wanted to be rich. So what the hell -- if that's a paradox, then I'm a socialist. But I am not anything. What I used to be is guilty about money. That's why I lost it, either by giving it away or by allowing myself to be screwed by so-called managers.
PLAYBOY: John, do you really need all those houses around the country?
LENNON: They're good business.
PLAYBOY: Why does anyone need $150,000,000? Couldn't you be perfectly content with $100,000,000? Or $1,000,000?
LENNON: What would you suggest I do? Give everything away and walk the streets? The Buddhist says, "Get rid of the possessions of the mind." Walking away from all the money would not accomplish that. It's like the Beatles. I couldn't walk away from the Beatles. That's one possession that's still tagging along, right? If I walk away from one house or 400 houses, I'm not gonna escape it.
PLAYBOY: How do you escape it?
LENNON: It takes time to get rid of all this garbage that I've been carrying around that was influencing the way I thought and the way I lived. It had a lot to do with Yoko, showing me that I was still possessed. I left physically when I fell in love with Yoko, but mentally it took the last ten years of struggling. I learned everything from her.
PLAYBOY: You make it sound like a teacher-pupil relationship.
LENNON: It is a teacher-pupil relationship. That's what people don't understand. She's the teacher and I'm the pupil. I'm the famous one, the one who's supposed to know everything, but she's my teacher. She's taught me everything I f***ing know. She was there when I was nowhere, when I was the nowhere man. She's my Don Juan [a reference to Carlos Castaneda's Yaqui Indian teacher]. That's what people don't understand. I'm married to f***ing Don Juan, that's the hardship of it. Don Juan doesn't have to laugh; Don Juan doesn't have to be charming; Don Juan just is. And what goes on around Don Juan is irrelevant to Don Juan.http://beatlesnumber9.com/lennonplayboy.html
Also, there is a demo-song Watching The Wheels whre John sings that he is
happy with his 'wife and kids and 50 million $ home' and the giggles.
A conclusion. The song, 'Imagine', and everything that he says in it is
a poetry, art, making good lyrics or wahtever you want to call that, a song
probably written ih good hope that someday will come true. It's what John believes in.
You know, there are still countries with borders (John: 'imagine there's no Barclay Huntries...') and religion ('and no religion, too').
Is it so bad to be rich and give to the poore?
When John had a peace-protest 'In Bed', somebody there asked him about
the money, why is he doing that silly protest. John replied:
'Well, don't you think that I can't go to studio, record one or two songs and
I would make more money than laying here? I'm doing it for the PEACE, can
you understand that?!'