“……We’re more popular than Jesus now…….”It wasn’t the first and it was…

Written by on July 29, 2018


“……We’re more popular than Jesus now…….”

It wasn’t the first and it wasn’t the last, but it was one of the most famous ‘shit storms’ ever to hit Rock and Roll.

On July 29. 1966, the US teen magazine “Datebook” reprinted a John Lennon quote from an interview, conducted by Maureen Cleave, which had been published in the London Evening Standard newspaper. Here is the quote:

“Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with 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 ‘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.”

The resulting uproar caused the Beatles’ records to be burned in America, especially the South, and death threats to be issued against the band on their upcoming US tour. The band put together a press conference in Chicago, at which John explained:

“If I had said television is more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it, but I just happened to be talking to a friend and I used the words “Beatles” as a remote thing, not as what I think – as Beatles, as those other Beatles like other people see us… I’m not saying that we’re better or greater, or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing or whatever it is. I just said what I said and it was wrong. Or it was taken wrong. And now it’s all this… I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing. I apologize if that will make you happy. I still don’t know quite what I’ve done. I’ve tried to tell you what I did do but if you want me to apologize, if that will make you happy, then OK, I’m sorry.”

Were any of you caught up in this, 52 years ago? It’s OK to talk about it now, the statute of limitations is up.




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