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On John Lennon's 80 birthday, Badfinger's Joey Molland recalls "great" experience recording with the late Beatle

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Jim Vasquez Photography; Michael Putland/Getty Images

Had he lived, John Lennon would have celebrated his 80th birthday today.

Badfinger‘s Joey Molland tells ABC Audio that one of his career highlights was being recruited by Lennon to play on a couple of tracks on the Imagine album — “Jealous Guy” and “I Don’t Want to Be a Soldier, Mama, I Don’t Wanna Die.”

“John was great,” Molland recalls. “He was everything that I thought he was. When I went to his house that night, and he came walking in the room…in his blue jeans and his argyle sweater…looking like some regular bloke, and talking like a regular guy…[H]e was just totally real.”

Molland remembers being told, “John said, would you do him a favor and come and bring your guitar to his house?,” adding, incredulously, “Would you do him a favor?!”

Reflecting on the experience, Joey marvels while laughing, “This is a guy [who did] ‘Strawberry Fields Forever,’ ‘Come Together,’…’Help!’ It’s astounding what he did. He changed the world when he wrote those songs, you know?”

Continuing to gush about the Fab Four, Molland says, “For me, they were the best band in the world. They wrote the best songs in the world. They played them the best.”

Molland maintains that, beyond the band’s music, The Beatles were “a magnificent influence on the world,” adding, “All the different aspects of life…peace, relating to each other, telling the truth, responding immediately to something…The world was evolving as they spoke. Look at the peace generation, the love generation, even the civil rights matters.”

The Beatles’ influence can be heard on Molland’s new solo album, Be True to Yourself, which will be released on October 16. The record features a guest appearance by Lennon’s son Julian, who also took the cover photo.

By Matt Friedlander
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