What John Lennon Did When Someone Played The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ for Him at a Restaurant

TL;DR:

  • John Lennon often heard The Beatles’ “Yesterday” in a specific setting.
  • John and Yoko Ono did the same thing when someone played “Yesterday” for them on the violin.
  • “Yesterday” appeared on the soundtrack of one of The Beatles’ classic movies.
The Beatles' George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon at a table during the "Yesterday" era
The Beatles’ George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon | Barham/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

John Lennon revealed he kept hearing The Beatles’ “Yesterday” in a specific setting. In addition, he revealed what he did when someone played “Yesterday” on the violin in front of him. Notably, audiences in different countries had significantly different reactions to the song.

John Lennon dismissed the idea that The Beatles had a huge influence on other musicians

The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono features an interview from 1980. In the interview, John was asked about his influence on other musicians. “It wasn’t really me or us,” he opined. “It was the times.”

Subsequently, John discussed his influences. “It happened to me when I heard rock ‘n’ roll in the ’50s,” he added. “I had no idea about doing music as a way of life until rock ‘n’ roll hit me.”

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John Lennon and Yoko Ono did the thing when someone played The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ for them on the violin at a restaurant

John was also asked what he thought when other musicians covered his songs. “I’m always proud and pleased when people do my songs,” he replied. “It gives me pleasure that they even attempt to do them, because a lot of my songs aren’t that doable.”

John recalled musicians playing a certain Beatles song for him at restaurants. “I go to restaurants and the groups always play ‘Yesterday,'” he said. “Yoko and I even signed a guy’s violin in Spain after he played us ‘Yesterday.’ He couldn’t understand that I didn’t write the song. But I guess he couldn’t have gone from table to table playing ‘I Am the Walrus.'” 

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How ‘Yesterday’ and its parent album performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Yesterday” became a huge hit in the United States. For four weeks, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100. “Yesterday” stayed on the chart for 11 weeks. “Yesterday” appeared on the soundtrack of The Beatles’ movie Help! The soundtrack topped the Billboard 200 for nine of its 46 weeks on the chart.

“Yesterday” became a more modest hit in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the song was not released as a single there until 1976. It reached No. 8 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for nine weeks. Meanwhile, Help! was a much bigger hit there. The soundtrack topped the chart for nine weeks in the U.K. It lasted on the chart for 39 weeks in total.

“Yesterday” became a huge hit on the pop charts and at restaurants as well.

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