'You don't have to do this.' 'I don't?'

PLAYBOY: "You're talking about records, of course."

LENNON: "Yeah, to churn them out because I was expected to, like so many people who put out an album every six months because they're supposed to."

PLAYBOY: "Would you be referring to Paul McCartney?"

LENNON: "Not only Paul. But I had lost the initial freedom of the artist by becoming enslaved to the image of what the artist is supposed to do. A lot of artists kill themselves because of it, whether it is through drink, like Dylan Thomas, or through insanity, like Van Gogh, or through V.D., like Gauguin."

PLAYBOY: "Most people would have continued to churn out the product. How were you able to see a way out?"

LENNON: "Most people don't live with Yoko Ono."

PLAYBOY: "Which means?"

LENNON: "Most people don't have a companion who will tell the truth and refuse to live with a bullshit artist, which I am pretty good at. I can bullshit myself and everybody around. Yoko: That's my answer."

PLAYBOY: "What did she do for you?"

LENNON: "She showed me the possibility of the alternative. 'You don't have to do this.' 'I don't? Really? But-but-but-but-but...' Of course, it wasn't that simple and it didn't sink in overnight. It took constant reinforcement. Walking away is much harder than carrying on. I've done both. On demand and on schedule, I had turned out records from 1962 to 1975. Walking away seemed like what the guys go through at 65, when suddenly they're supposed to not exist anymore and they're sent out of the office..." (knocks on the desk three times) "'Your life is over. Time for golf.'"