Celebrate John Lennon Day w/ these Little Known Facts
John Lennon needs no introduction, but he definitely needs celebration. The iconic ex-Beatle, revolutionary pacifist, and music hero might have died before his time but his legacy lives on forever. After decades of being associated with New York City (even having a section of Central Park named after him), the Big Apple has finally deemed July 29th as the Official John Lennon Day. The celebration commemorates the 40th year anniversary of Lennon getting his green card, which allowed him to be able to reside in NYC until his death. In order to keep the celebrations going we’ve pulled together a list of five things you probably didn’t know about the beloved singer. Click here and read on!
The B-52s’ ‘Rock Lobster’ inspired him to return to the studio
It was the spring of 1980 – John was in Bermuda with his son Sean when his friend Fred Seaman played a cassette of the eponymous B-52s album. In an interview with [Rolling Stone]( https://web.archive.org/web/20101203164709/http://www.rollingstone.com/music/reviews/album/7480/37147) Lennon said, "It sounds just like Ono’s music, so I said to meself, ‘It’s time to get out the old axe and wake the wife up!’" After a 5 year hiatus Lennon was back!
Lennon claimed to see a UFO
In 1974 Lennon was chilling in his bedroom at The Dakota when he stepped out onto the balcony (from an urge) and saw “hovering over the next building, no more than a hundred feet away was this thing…with ordinary electric light bulbs flashing on and off round the bottom, one non blinking red light on top…what the Nixon is that! I says to myself (for no one else was there),” as he told Andy Warhol’s Interview. He continued to say that he called his friend to come over and they started to take pictures, which “We [then] gave…to Bob Gruen to develop, he brought back a blank film…said it looked like it had been thru the radar at customs…well, it stayed around for a bit, then sailed off.” Although obviously there is no way to confirm whether what he saw was a UFO or not, we’ll choose to believe Johnny. After all, as he said in ‘Nobody Told Me’, “There’s a UFO over New York and I ain’t too surprised.”
Bob Dylan was the first to smoke up the Beatles
It’s funny to think that a band that’s associated with LSD and a good smoke sesh didn’t try weed until 1964. What’s even funnier is to think that it was none other than Bob Dylan (who else, really?) to have introduced them to the drug. As Peter Brown, assistant to the band’s old manager Brian Epstein shared in his book The Love You Make, “Brian and the Beatles looked at each other apprehensively. "We’ve never smoked marijuana before," Brian finally admitted. Dylan looked disbelievingly from face to face. "But what about your song?" he asked. The one about getting high?" The Beatles were stupefied. "Which song?" John managed to ask. Dylan said, "You know…" and then he sang, "and when I touch you I get high, I get high…" John flushed with embarrassment. "Those aren’t the words," he admitted. "The words are, ‘I can’t hide, I can’t hide, I can’t hide…’"
Lennon would have rather been a member of Monty Python than the Beatles
Even though Lennon might be best known as a writer and singer for the world’s most famous band, in [a radio interview]( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAe4BXblMwA) Lennon praised the iconic comedy troupe Monty Python, saying Fawlty Towers was the best show. He even goes so far to say, “I’d love to be in the Monty Python rather than The Beatles, in a way.” Odd to think of a world where John Cleese and John Lennon would’ve swapped places.
John and Paul almost pranked Lorne Michael the last time they saw each other
Even though the former band-mates had a notorious on-and-off friendship for years, on April 24th, 1976 (6 years after the band’s breakup), John and Paul McCartney were watching Saturday Night Live in Lennon’s apartment. During this particular show Lorne Michaels (the creator and producer) made an announcement straight into the camera saying he would be willing to pay $3,000 for the Beatles to reunite on his stage, knowing that this was something that [had been denied]( http://www.beatlesbible.com/1976/04/24/john-lennon-paul-mccartney-saturday-night-live-lorne-michaels/) by the Brits time and time again. As Lennon shared in his last interview to David Sheff in 1980 (published as the book All We Are Saying), “Paul and I were together watching that show. He was visiting us at our place in the Dakota. We were watching it and almost went down to the studio, just as a gag. We nearly got into a cab, but we were actually too tired… He and Linda walked in and he and I were just sitting there watching the show, and we went, Ha-ha, wouldn’t it be funny if we went down, but we didn’t.” Imagine!
Keep celebrating John Lennon by commenting your favorite of his songs!
Read our interview with Kate Pierson of The B-52’s here
Read our interview with Bob Gruen here