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Monday, August 11, 2014
This day in HISTOROCK !! The Beatles or Jesus !!
This day in HISTOROCK !!
In 1966, at a press conference at The Astor Towers Hotel in Chicago, John Lennon publicly apologized for his remarks that The Beatles were "more popular than Jesus" !! Lennon told reporters "Look, I wasn’t saying The Beatles are better than God or Jesus, I said ‘Beatles’ because it’s easy for me to talk about The Beatles. I could have said TV or Cinema, Cars or anything popular and would have got away with it’’ !! Lennon had originally made the remark in March 1966 during an interview with Maureen Cleave of the London Evening Standard in the UK, which drew no public reaction !! It wasn't until 5 months later when the quote was republished in a US teen magazine, that the US, primarily in the southern states held protests against The Beatles !! There were threats made, press conferences cancelled and Beatles records were banned from radio and even publicly burned !! Some Beatles shows were picketed by the KKK !! Lennon was asked about his comment three years later during a trip to Canada, in 1969. He repeated his opinion that the Beatles were more influential on young people than Christ, adding that some ministers had even agreed with him. He called the protesters in the US "fascist Christians" and added "I'm very big on Christ. I've always fancied him. He was right" !! In 1978, he thanked Jesus for an end to the Beatles' touring, saying "if I hadn't said that and upset the very Christian Ku Klux Klan, well, Lord, I might still be up there with all the other performing fleas! God bless America. Thank you, Jesus." !! The times have changed and The Beatles music has withstood the test of time and is still more popular today than Jesus !! The popularity of religion has plummeted !! John Lennon was right, although I'm sure he didn't think it would carry on this long !! Even in 2008, the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, issued the statement: "The remark by John Lennon, which triggered deep indignation, mainly in the United States, after many years sounds only like a 'boast' by a young working-class Englishman faced with unexpected success, after growing up in the legend of Elvis and rock and roll. The fact remains that 38 years after breaking up, the songs of the Lennon-McCartney brand have shown an extraordinary resistance to the passage of time, becoming a source of inspiration for more than one generation of pop musicians." Very well said !! Did you know that in 1969, John Lennon was asked by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice to play the part of Christ in the stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar but declined. The part ended up being played by Ian Gillan of Deep Purple. Check out this video of The Ballad Of John And Yoko with Lennon singing the lines, "Christ, you know it ain't easy, You know how hard it can be, The way things are going, They're gonna crucify me"