John Lennon Said The Beatles Weren't as 'Open or Truthful' as They Wanted to Be

Monday, February 12, 2024

John Lennon said The Beatles had to change in order to become famous. He shared why they felt this was necessary.

After The Beatles broke up, John Lennon had no fear of speaking his mind. He gave lengthy interviews in which he spoke poorly about his bandmates and their music. While Lennon spoke his mind in The Beatles — he notably caused a stir when he said The Beatles were bigger than Jesus — he said he wasn’t as honest as he wanted to be. He shared why they had to compromise in order to achieve success.

In the early years of The Beatles, the band received criticism for their clothing and long hair. According to Lennon, their style was already a compromise. They had to change themselves in order to seem palatable to the public.

“We weren’t as open and as truthful when we didn’t have the power to be,” Lennon said in The Beatles Anthology. “We had to take it easy. We had to shorten our hair to leave Liverpool. We had to wear suits to get on TV. We had to compromise.”

He said they didn’t necessarily realize they weren’t being truthful. They were just doing what it took to get their music career off the ground.

“We had to get hooked to get in, and then get a bit of power and say, ‘This is what we’re like,’” he said. “We had to falsify a bit, even if we didn’t realize it at the time.”

Source: Emma McKee/


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