"Music's all right John, but you'll
never make a living out of it."
John Lennon's Aunt Mimi Smith
"Music is everybody's possession. It's
only publishers who think that people own it."
"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you
might call it 'Chuck Berry'."
“I am like a chameleon, influenced by whatever’s
going on. If Elvis can do it, I can do it. If the Everly
Brothers can do it, me and Paul can. Same with Dylan.”
"Before Cliff (Richard) and The Shadows, there had been
nothing worth listening to in British music."
"Song writing is about getting the demon out of me.
It's like being possessed. You try to go to sleep, but the
song won't let you. So you have to get up and make it into
something, and then you're allowed to sleep."
"For a long time I wasn't listening to music, to the
rock and roll stuff on the radio, because it would cause
me to get sweaty. It would bring back memories I didn't want
to know about, or I would get that feeling that I'm not alive
'cause I'm not making it. And if it was good, I hated it
'cause I wasn't doing it. And if it was bad, I was furious
'cause I could've done it better..."
“I love commercial music! I can dissect it and criticize
it with any critic in the business. But without any thought,
I just enjoy it. It’s folk music. That’s what
I’m doing, folk music. I’m not intellectualizing
it . . . and making it into a phoney art form. I’m
just doing the music I enjoy.”
"When real music comes to me - the music of the spheres,
the music that surpasses understanding - that has nothing
to do with me, cause I'm just the channel. The only joy for
me is for it to be given to me, and to transcribe it like
a medium... those moments are what I live for."
Question: "What do you think of the Rolling Stones
John: "I think it's a lot of hype. I like 'Honky Tonk
Women,' but I think Mick's a joke with all that fag dancing;
I always did. I enjoy it; I'll probably go and see his films
and all like everybody else, but really, I think it's a joke."
"In Paris in 1964 was the first time I ever heard Dylan
at all. Paul got the record (The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan)
from a French DJ. For three weeks in Paris we didn't stop
playing it. We all went potty about Dylan."
“I started being me about the songs, not writing objectively,
but subjectively. I think it was Dylan who helped me realize
that — not by any discussion or anything, but by hearing
"If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do
and in my art or music, then in that respect you can call
me that... I believe in what I do, and I'll say it."
"If I had the capabilities of being something other than I am, I would. It’s no fun being an artist. You know what it’s like, writing, it’s torture."
"I think it's the best thing I've ever done. I think it's
realistic, and it's true to the me that has been developing
over the years. I like first-person music."
John Lennon referring to his
'Plastic Ono Band' album
"Everything I've ever done is out. I don't have boxes
of unreleased stuff. There's nothing in the files. I can
never keep anything unless I don't like the sound of it or
it didn't work. If I can sing it to an engineer, I can sing
it to anyone..."
Question: "What are your personal tastes?"
John Lennon:"Sounds like ``Wop Bop A Loo Bop.'' I like
rock & roll; I don't like much else."
Question: "Why rock & roll?"
John Lennon: "That's the music that inspired me to play
music. There is nothing conceptually better than rock & roll.
No group, be it Beatles, Dylan or Stones, have ever improved
on ``Whole Lot of Shaking,'' for my money. Or maybe I'm like
our parents: That's my period, and I dig it, and I'll never