The Beatles’ Press Officer Was ‘Nervous’ John Lennon Would Turn ‘Nasty’ on Journalists

Of all The Beatles, John Lennon had essentially the most caustic character. He ceaselessly bought into arguments and had little difficulty with talking badly about his group or his bandmates. Due to this, Beatles press officer Tony Barrow needed to be cautious concerning the interviews he scheduled for Lennon. He knew that if he didn’t choose the proper of reporter, Lennon would possibly flip on them.

The Beatles’ press officer needed to be cautious when sending John Lennon to interviews

Barrow knew that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr got here throughout as charming and likable. George Harrison, whereas much less chatty with the press, was all the time well mannered. Lennon was a unique story. He could possibly be outright impolite to folks he didn’t like, making Barrow fear about introducing him to strangers.

“I was sometimes nervous of what impression he would make upon third parties, rather in the same way one sent home sensitive aunts and uncles if John Lennon was due to drop in,” Barrow mentioned within the ebook Lennon: The Definitive Biography by Ray Coleman. 

Lennon didn’t thoughts doing interviews, so Barrow didn’t fear about dealing with his wrath when asking him. As a substitute, he anxious Lennon would possibly flip on the interviewer. Consequently, he needed to choose folks he knew Lennon would love.

John Lennon | Artwork Zelin/Getty Photos

“I wasn’t wary of asking him to do interviews,” he mentioned. “He was cooperative, although he’d grumble and curse if it wasn’t convenient. But I was selective about the journalists I sent to him. It had to be someone sufficiently worldly, or sophisticated, with a decent and preferably way-out sense of humour, to accept John as he was. The journalist didn’t have to be offended by the guy.”

He spoke concerning the forms of journalists Lennon notably disliked.

“John was always asked for someone who shared his outrageous sense of humour, who would come back at him with something as nasty and cynical as he gave them,” he mentioned. “Otherwise he might just turn a bit nasty on an ill-informed or inexperienced journalist. Or he’d particularly turn on one who thought he knew too much or knew all about the Beatles.”

The musician preferred arguing with folks

Barrow’s largest downside was that Lennon preferred arguing with folks. He fought bodily whereas rising up and loved verbal sparring as an grownup. He notably preferred moving into debates after just a few drinks.

“A favourite habit when he was lubricated was to seize one person for a verbal hammering and not let go until that person was utterly exhausted by the sheer persistence of John’s argument,” Coleman wrote. “There was a streak in John that could not bear to lose a battle.”

John Lennon generally bought The Beatles unhealthy press due to his interviews

Lennon’s acidity typically got here by in interviews. Sometimes, he focused it at The Beatles. Towards the tip of the Nineteen Sixties, Lennon complained to Coleman about their work with Apple Data. He believed the corporate was ill-run and burning by cash. His bandmates — particularly McCartney — had been horrified.

A black and white picture of Yoko Ono and John Lennon sitting in front of a microphone. Lennon speaks.
Yoko Ono and John Lennon | PA Photos through Getty Photos

“‘What did you want to go and use all that for?’ [McCartney] snapped. ‘You know this is a small and young company, just trying to get along. And you know John always shoots his mouth off. It’s not that bad. We’ve got a few problems but they’ll be sorted out. I’m surprised it was you — we thought we had a few friends in the press we could trust.”

After the band broke up, Lennon spoke with the reporters he preferred about his varied issues with The Beatles. 

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