Probably one of the biggest stories in the history of Rock and Roll. In March 1…

Written by on March 4, 2018

Probably one of the biggest stories in the history of Rock and Roll.

In March 1966, the London Evening Standard ran a weekly series of articles entitled “How Does a Beatle Live?” which featured John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney respectively. The articles were completed by journalist Maureen Cleave, who knew the group well and had interviewed them regularly since the start of Beatlemania in the UK. Three years previously she had written they were “the darlings of Merseyside”, and had accompanied them on the plane on the group’s first US tour in February 1964. For her lifestyle series in March 1966, she chose to interview the group individually, rather than all together, as was the norm.

Cleave interviewed Lennon on March 4, 1966 at his home, Kenwood, in Weybridge. Cleave’s article mentioned that Lennon was “reading extensively about religion”, and quoted a comment he made:

“Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.”

When the story ran in the UK, there was really no comment about the “We’re more popular than Jesus now” comment. But when it ran in the US a couple of months later…….

For those of you that remember when this happened, do remember how you felt about the comment when you first heard it? The interview took place 52 years ago today.

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