A RECORDING of an interview with Beatle John Lennon conducted by an Otley man almost 60 years ago has been sold at auction for £3,100.

The eight-and-a-half minute tape features Lennon talking candidly about fame, whether he considered the Beatles musicians or entertainers, and his favourite books.

It was recorded in October 1964 by John Hill, then a student at Hull who went on to be a schoolteacher and university lecturer in Leeds and is now retired in Otley.

The tape sat in a drawer at the home of Mr Hill, now 75, until he sold it to a collector in 2014.

On Friday it was put up for auction by the current owner and after swift bidding at Hull in the sale organised by David Duggleby Auctioneers the lot realised £3,100.

Mr Hill had been tasked by the college magazine at Hull Art College to get an interview with the Beatles who were playing at the city’s ABC Cinema that night in 1964.

There was a press conference ahead of the gig and Mr Hill bought himself a ticket to see a film at the cinema and then bluffed his way into the press conference.

John Lennon — who died after being shot in New York in 1981 — spotted the huge tape recorder Mr Hill was lugging around and made a beeline for him.

Mr Hill said: “I couldn’t do shorthand so I had borrowed a Fi Cord, an early portable reel to reel tape recorder, from a friend and took that along. I was the youngest person in the room and the only one with a microphone.

“That got John Lennon’s attention. He was really interested in the machine and we ended up in a corner doing an interview with passing newsmen throwing in the odd question.”

The lot that went up for sale on Friday also included the actual tape recording machine, along with copies of the college magazine and some photographs of Mr Hill interviewing the legendary Liverpool musician.

In the interview, Mr Hill asks Lennon if he considers the Beatles musicians or entertainers, and he replies: “I’ve never thought about it really but I suppose . . . we don’t count ourselves as good musicians, so I suppose we’re entertainers . . . but we don’t entertain much ‘cos we just stand there, so I suppose we must be musicians. We’re in the Union anyway.”

Talking about the inspiration for what became some of the most well-known songs in the world, Lennon said: “Sometimes you get an idea… I dunno, my left leg… and then write about that.”

He also said that his favourite books were A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Auctioneer Graham Paddison said: “One of the most striking things about the recording is just how relaxed the two of them were together, just two art college students chatting.

“At one point the Beatle ended up holding the microphone whilst the student struggled with his kit. Lennon was as friendly as could be – not flippant or jokey or clever dick – treating his young interviewer’s questions with respect, which of course makes his answers interesting.”