Releasing on 8 December, being the 40th anniversary of the death of John Lennon, Working Class Hero is not just a cover, but a heartfelt tribute to a deeply revered musical hero. Featuring Leona Palmer on vocals, the track was recorded in Stratford and at SweetArts Studios in Kapiti in April during the Covid-19 lockdown.
As a young apprentice, I remember buying and listening to John’s album ‘Double Fantasy’ which marked his return to recording after a 5-year break. Then, just a week or so later, he was gone. I still have the record. It was so shocking at the time, and it still is. I don’t think anyone can deny the waste to the world of not just his musical talent but the courage of his political convictions.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, like many people I re-visited my record collection. In particular my Lennon vinyl albums and singles. I kept on playing his 1970 album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. My god it still sounds raw and so intensely personal.
Working Class Hero from side 1 has always grabbed me and resonates just as much today. So, I thought I would have a crack at covering it.
Leona Palmer, who I have recorded with on Manzo’s Outsider album was my one and only choice for the vocal. We worked on the track remotely, Leona in Stratford and me in my studio in Kapiti. As the track came to life, we just knew we had to share it.
The video was shot in an old railway shed in Stratford.
The overalls, welding helmet and steel rule are all authentic – a hint to my early career around the time of Johns death.
- Alan Hodgetts