In 1969, when he was 14 years old, Jerry Levitan sauntered past a row of reporters lined outside John Lennon's Toronto hotel room, knocked on the door, and convinced his favorite Beatle to give him a short interview. Mr. Lennon was about to swaddle himself in bedsheets and conduct his Montreal Bed-In for Peace with Yoko, and the press was eager for him to settle rumors about a possible Beatles break-up and make a public comment about the Vietnam War.
In his 40-minute interview with Mr. Levitan, Mr. Lennon said peace was in the hands of the people and they had the power to overturn government warmongering. Mr. Levitan recorded the conversation on an old reel-to-reel tape machine and showed it off to friends at school and the local news station. But he mostly kept it to himself.