What Did John Lennon Think About the United States of America?
John Lennon is one of England’s biggest rock stars — yet he lived in New York City for years. What did he think of America? Here’s a look at what John liked and didn’t like about the country he made his home.
The part of the United States John Lennon wished he was born in
In an interview with Jann S. Wenner of Rolling Stone, John discussed a number of places, including Japan, England, and Tahiti. In this interview, John also opened up about his feelings on the United States of America.
“I love it, and I hate it,” John said. “America is where it’s at. I should have been born in New York, I should have been born in the Village, that’s where I belong. Why wasn’t I born there? Paris was it in the Eighteenth Century, London I don’t think has ever been it except literary-wise when [Oscar] Wilde and [George Bernard] Shaw and all of them were there. New York was it.”
What John Lennon found ‘overpowering’ about America
John loved the United States even though he had some qualms about its environment. “I regret profoundly that I was not an American …. It might be dying and there might be a lot of dirt in the air that you breathe, but this is where it’s happening. You go to Europe to rest, like in the country. It’s so overpowering, America, and I’m such a f*ckin’ cripple, that I can’t take much of it, it’s too much for me.” John’s concern about the environment in America reflects the concerns of the 1960s counterculture.
John Lennon’s place in American culture
So John had some harsh critiques of America but still wished he was born there. John opened up about his feeling toward America, but what did America feel toward him? Of course, it would be ridiculous to say a all Americans view John the same way, but there’s definitely some aspects of America that reveal John’s importance in the eyes of many Americans.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an American institution. Though it honors artists of several nationalities, it primarily honors artists who became popular in the United States. According to Vulture, John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice — first as a member of the Fab Four and then as a solo artist. That speaks to John’s importance in America.
In addition, there’s a memorial to John in New York City called Strawberry Fields. Though it is named after the Beatles song “Strawberry Fields Forever,” it includes a mosaic that reads “Imagine” — a reference to the title of John’s most famous solo song. The fact that such a memorial was created in New York City and continues to be a popular attraction shows John mattered to a lot of Americans. John shared some very positive thoughts about America and America has honored him in some major ways.