John Lennon thought The Beatles were a 'fad' – 'Won't last forever'

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The Beatles took over Britain with ease. In just a few years they became the number one rock and roll band in the country. So it made sense for the Fab Four to cross the pond and venture to the USA to “take on America” – a feat not yet achieved by any other rock act at the time – but The Beatles managed it. In fact, when they arrived in the USA they were greeted by an almost violent fervour known as Beatlemania.

But despite how popular The Beatles were when they touched down, John Lennon was never convinced it would last very long.

Lennon was wrong, of course. The cultural impact of The Beatles’ success in the USA was not something to be shrugged at. 

The Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger praised the band’s work in the USA. And when he inducted the band into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, Jagger attributed his own success in America to the Fab Four.

He said: “Their success in America broke down a lot of doors that helped everyone else from England that followed. And I thank them very much for all those things.”

But on February 12, 1964, Lennon confessed his fears for the band’s dwindling fame. 

The Beatles were due to play Carnegie Hall in New York City and spoke to journalist Ed Rudy beforehand. Lennon said of their furious American welcome: “Publicity can do a lot, but you can’t sell anything if the kids don’t want it.”

Rudy asked him: “The whole reaction has been fantastic. Do you feel that it’s a fad? Would you call it a fad?”

Lennon replied without skipping a beat: “Oh, obviously. Anything in this business is a fad.” He then went on to add that he didn’t think the band was “going to last forever”.

He noted: “We’re just gonna have a good time while we last, you know?”

READ MORE: John Lennon ‘hated’ Elvis Presley’s new single – ‘Don’t like him’

Lennon was murdered outside his home, The Dakota Hotel, on December 8, 1980. His murderer, Mark David Chapman, pointed the finger at Lennon’s music as the reason for the heinous act of vengeance.

Later in the 1964 interview, Paul McCartney also chimed in to talk about the band’s goals going forward. At the time, they had already achieved eight number one singles and had travelled the globe.

But McCartney wasn’t sure what he wanted next.

McCartney was quizzed over what his next “ambitions” were.

He replied: “We used to have lots of ambitions. You know like, number one records, Sunday Night At The Palladium, Ed Sullivan Show, go to America, you know. All kinds of ambitions like that.”

But after a beat, he added: “I can’t really think of anymore. We’ve done an awful lot of them at the moment.”

Eventually, after a moment of thinking about what he wanted for the band, McCartney gave a thoughtful answer. McCartney said the band want “to be having a laugh. To be happy”.

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