The front page of the Liverpool Echo reads:
FURY OVER LENNON SONG SLUR – BAND’S TASTELESS ATTACK ON JOHN & PAUL
A SICK re-recording of the late John Lennon’s chart hit Imagine – which mocks his murder – was today branded “tasteless and beneath contempt.” The shocking version of the number one single carries the lines: “John Lennon got a bullet in the chest. If I had my way Paul McCartney would be next.” It appears on a tape cassette called “Imagine a Dead Hippy” by a North wales pop band calling itself 4Q.
Copies of the tape, which feature an array of tasteless subjects including VD, are distributed through adverts in specialist music magazine and pop fanzines. But one of the tapes was bought last week by Paul Matthews, 15, whose father, Mr. Allan Matthews was furious when he discovered its contents.
“I have taken it from him and I’m not going to let him play it again,” said architect Mr.Matthews, from Colwyn Bay in North Wales. John was murdered in New York by gunman Mark Chapman in December, 1980. Added Mr. Matthews: “I’m appalled. The whole thing is tasteless and beyond contempt. “A tape that mocks death in this way should not be available for sale,” said Mr. Matthews. His son had bought the tape from the band’s Crud Records ‘headquarters’ in Mostyn Road, Colwyn Bay.
The five-strong band – with names like Neil Crud, Robin Reliant and Gumption Liquid – also distribute the tapes at concerts. Record dealers on Merseyside say they haven’t seen any copies of the cassette – but they wouldn’t sell them under any circumstances. A spokesman for Our Price records said: “It is easy for bands to record this sort of sick these days and then sell it themselves in various ways. “We wouldn’t have it in our shops under any circumstances.”
But today Neil Crud, who works as a chef in St.Asaph, when he’s not playing with the band was unrepentant.
He said: “It isn’t meant to be an insult to John Lennon or the Beatles. We had to make an impact with the recording, and let’s face it not many people would bat an eyelid if we’d sung ‘Mrs. Elsie Jones from Darwen, Lancashire, got a bullet in the chest.’ “As for Paul McCartney, we wouldn’t wish him any harm – but it is really time he packed it in. He’s past it.
And a spokesman for Paul McCartney said: “We prefer to ignore garbage like this.”