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The media often portrayed classic rock stars in misleading ways. Ringo Starr said that the public impression of John Lennon was incorrect. He felt the public didn’t understand him either. However, Ringo didn’t let inaccurate perceptions of him get him down.

Ringo Starr said John Lennon had a reputation for being ‘nasty’ because he was witty

During a 1981 interview with Rolling Stone, Ringo said people had a false impression of him. “It was the same with John,” he opined. “Because he had this rapier wit, they said he was nasty and things like that. 

“But John was the kindest person I ever knew,” he added. “He was the only one of the four of us who would give his soul. The three of us would hesitate, but John would give you anything without hesitation. And I loved the man dearly. We were friends all the time.” Ringo said he was friends with the other Beatles as well.

Ringo Starr felt like the world saw him as a ‘downtrodden dummy’ for almost 20 years

Ringo compared his image as an idiot to John’s image as a jerk. “You see, what I have to combat is the original image of me as the downtrodden dummy,” he said. “It’s still in everybody’s minds. You don’t know how hard it is to fight that tag. I’ve been caught in this trap for almost 20 years now. 

“But it hasn’t ruined my life,” the “You’re Sixteen” singer revealed. “I know what I am, I know what I can do. But what am I going to do, take out a newspaper ad or a billboard and say, ‘I’m not really like that?’ People always latch on to the first image and refuse to let go.”


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George Harrison had some criticisms of John Lennon and he wrote a song about John

George Harrison had his own take on the “Instant Karma!” singer. The book George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters features an interview from 1989. In it, he offered a mixed appraisal of his former bandmate. 

George said John was a good man who sometimes aspired to find the truth. On the other hand, he could be erratic and unstable. In John’s defense, George said that the “Imagine” singer would apologize if he crossed a line. He felt that John was essentially an honest person. 

George compared John to other stars like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. He said that people who died young were often put on a pedestal. In George’s opinion, it was much harder to live than to die. George didn’t want his comments to make John sound “pathetic,” he just felt that his remarks reflected reality. Regardless, George still called John “special.” The All Thing Must Pass star paid tribute to John in his hit “All Those Years Ago,” which includes references to “Imagine” and “All You Need Is Love.” “All Those Years Ago” remains one of George’s most famous tunes.

Ringo and George had different assessments of John, but they still had some kind words for him.