Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Banning the Beatles

Thirty-four years ago today began the ban of all Beatles music on U.S. radio stations. Just as the group was to begin its U.S. tour in August, radio station after radio station joined the growing ban on playing their music.

America was not alone; banning the Beatles was a very popular thing to do. At least one radio station in South Africa, Spain, Holland, and Israel, to name a few, joined in at different times and because of different songs. The BBC even got into the act, banning songs for supposedly promoting drug culture and including the name of a brand. Israel also banned the fab four from playing there until 2008 - the "unbanning" and apology coming a bit late in the day!

The ban in the U.S. resulted , mostly, from John Lennon's statement to the London Evening Standard, on Mar 4/66.

Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.
John  was largely misunderstood, and many reacted in knee-jerk fashion. John defends himself and explains:

The passage of time changes all things. The Beatles' popularity has faded from its days of glory. Is anyone that popular today?


Ciss B said...

People who are full of themselves sometimes feel they have all the answers. Money and power tends to do that.

ChrisJ said...


Yes, money and power do tend to do that, and to the Beatles no less than to anyone else.

I do believe, though, that John's comment was taken out of context, and that he was commenting on the way young people ran after the Beatles, more than they ran after religion.

cooper said...

It sure looks like they were taking things out of context - even back them.

askcherlock said...

I liked the Beatles back then. I love them today. Sins of youth should be forgiven, but the genius of their work will long live on.

ChrisJ said...


Probably the same thing would happen if a big name artist said it today, too.

ChrisJ said...


I still love them too.