John Lennon's no religion
"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first -- rock and roll or Christianity. Jesus was alright but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me."
I was aware at the time that a Beatle had said something like "we're more popular than Jesus" -- but I was not aware that the above statement would cause a furor. The IDG.com article continues,
The comments -- which apparently arose because Lennon was reading up on religion at the time of the original interview -- went largely unnoticed in the U.K., but in the United States them, apparently, are fighting words. When the quote was picked up months later in a teen mag called Datebook, the reaction was, shall we say, not the finest example of turning the other cheek . . .
. . . .Something of a witch-hunt did develop. Apparently spearheaded by disc jockey Tommy Charles of WAQY in Birmingham, Alabama, a "Ban the Beatles" crusade got underway, mostly in the American South. A group of radio stations refused to play The Beatles, and albums and other Beatles merchandise were destroyed in public displays of what some might describe as religious zealotry . . .
. . . on August 11, 1966, The Beatles held a press conference in Chicago and Lennon apologized. Sort of . .
Of course, things returned to normal for The Beatles shortly thereafter, and certainly their records were back in heavy rotation soon enough on the radio of the South -- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was just a year away. But something had changed for the band, who would never tour again . . . "Yeah, I didn't want to tour because I thought they'd kill me," he said of the fracas years later. . . ."One night on a show in the South somewhere, somebody lit off a firecracker while we were onstage. And there'd been threats to shoot us, the Klan were burning Beatles records outside, and a lot of Klu Klux kids were joining in with them."
Labels: Yoko Ono lawsuit