John Lennon Once Revealed What He Hated Most About Being a Part of The Beatles: ‘It Would Be a Drag’

According to John Lennon, at least one big part of being in The Beatles was a job he hated having. Even though there were plenty of exciting opportunities, like meeting a fellow music star they all “worshipped,” he thought something about being a rock and roll idol was “a drag.”

John Lennon, pictured (back left) with The Beatles in 1967, said there was something he hated about being in the band
(Clockwise from back left) John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr | Potter/Express/Getty Images

‘Beatlemania’ was so big, even Elvis got the jitters before meeting The Beatles

The Beatles were a hit in Europe by 1963, playing sold-out shows and drawing millions of television viewers. And in 1964, they were greeted in startling numbers when they swept the United States. “Seeing thousands of kids there to meet us made us realize just how popular we were there,” George Harrison said of coming to the U.S. at the height of “Beatlemania (per History.)

Even American superstars were lost for words in the face of meeting them. For example, Lennon recalled to SPIN in 1975 that they met their “idol,” Elvis Presley, somewhere around 1965. And he later heard through a friend of a friend that Presley was nervous and “had been prancing around for hours in preparation, thinking of what to say.”

“… We worshipped him,” he added.

Lennon left the iconic quartet and went solo in 1969. And he later revealed one of his least favorite parts of being a Beatle was something he never wanted to do again.

John Lennon didn’t enjoy much of touring with The Beatles and hated to think of it after leaving the band

After leaving The Beatles, Lennon was asked what he thought about touring while talking to SPIN. “I think it would be a drag,” he answered. “I am sure I enjoyed parts of it, but not much of it.”

He added, “My decision was already made on touring, long time ago.”

Notably, The Beatles stopped touring in 1966. “I don’t know if I’ll ever tour again,” he offered. “I can’t say.”

According to him, the endeavor was too much work. For some examples, he said, “… You gotta pull a group together, invent a group. And then you gotta whip them into life, make them a real group, and not a bunch of guys. Then you gotta go around all those snotty little dressing rooms …”

“… And all you get is money,” he concluded. “That’s all you get from a tour: cash.”

John Lennon and The Beatles stopped touring after an infamous remark led to protests

According to Rolling Stone, Lennon’s decision to stop touring was likely based on more than the labor involved. It seemed to stem from protests that ignited over a comment he made about the state of Christianity.

Lennon eventually apologized for the remark, which he said was “flippant” and misinterpreted. But all four members feared someone might hurt him — especially in the United States.

“I didn’t want to tour again …” Lennon explained. “I couldn’t take any more.”

Unfortunately, despite Lennon’s apology, the 1966 comment was the first of many dominoes to fall in a tragic chain of events. Mark Chapman was a fan of The Beatles who was let down by the controversial take. After years of obsessive hate, he murdered the former Beatle in New York City in 1980.

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