Interviewer: Is Ringo the best drummer in the world?
John Lennon: Ringo isn’t even the best drummer in The Beatles.
Possession isn’t nine-tenths of the law its nine-tenths of the problem.
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.
My role in society, or any artist’s or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all.
If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.
If The Beatles or the 60′s had a message, it was ‘Learn to swim. And once you’ve learned – swim!
The basic thing nobody asks is why do people take drugs of any sort? Why do we have these accessories to normal living to live? I mean, is there something wrong with society that’s making us so pressurized, that we cannot live without guarding ourselves against it?
The whole Beatle thing was just beyond comprehension. When ‘Help’ came out, I was actually crying out for help. Most people think it’s just a fast rock ‘n roll song. I didn’t realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie. But later, I knew I really was crying out for help.
It was very exciting, we were all nervous as hell, and we met him in his big house in L.A. – probably as big as the one we were staying in, but it still felt like big house, big Elvis. He had lots of guys around him, all these guys that used to live near him (like we did from Liverpool, we always had thousands of Liverpool people around us, so I guess he was the same.) And he had pool tables! Maybe a lot of American houses are like that, but it seemed amazing to us. It was like a nightclub.
Love is the answer and you know that for sure; Love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow.
The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.
The dream is over. I gotta get down to reality. The good old days is garbage.
My defenses were so great. The cocky rock and roll hero who knows all the answers was actually a terrified guy who didn’t know how to cry. Simple.
It doesn’t matter how long my hair is or what colour my skin is or whether I’m a woman or a man.
We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation, a ship going to discover the New World. And the Beatles were in the crow’s nest of that ship.
That’s part of our policy, is not to be taken seriously, because I think our opposition, whoever they may be, in all their manifest forms, don’t know how to handle humor. You know, and we are humorous, we are, what are they, Laurel and Hardy. That’s John and Yoko, and we stand a better chance under that guise, because all the serious people, like Martin Luther King, and Kennedy, and Gandhi, got shot.
Lots of people who complained about us receiving the MBE received theirs for heroism in the war – -for killing people. We received ours for entertaining other people. I’d say we deserve ours more.
I’ve always considered my work one piece and I consider that my work won’t be finished until I am dead and buried and I hope that’s a long, long time.