AVC: You come from a punk background. That seems to fit in with the anti-nationalism, anti-corporate, and anti-religious messages of “Imagine,” no?
FT: Yes, but that’s one of the things that’s so fucking annoying about it. Compared to, say, “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” or indeed anything by Crass or The Clash or Propagandhi, it’s so utterly vacuous. It’s a Hallmark card set to music. There’s a pretty high dose of hypocrisy in here as well. For a man who had a dedicated, refrigerated room in his New York penthouse apartment for storing his fur-coat collection to sing “Imagine no possessions” takes a fair amount of chutzpah. I mean, I have no problem with the man collecting fur coats. Whatever floats your boat. But there’s a certain strain of material disdain that can only result from being really fucking rich, which is intensely patronizing. Aside from that, well, the ’60s revolutionaries had some interesting things to say and valid criticisms to make, but it’s an insult, in my opinion, to boil it all down to this soupy mush. Listen to Phil Ochs instead.