11 Things You May Not Know About John Lennon

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John Lennon was the leader and founding member of The Beatles. Let's take a look at a few facts you might not have known about him.

1. He was a choir boy and a Boy Scout.

Yes, John Lennon, the great rock 'n' roll rebel and iconoclast, was once a choir boy and a Boy Scout.

John started his singing career as a choir boy at St. Peter's Church and was a member of the 3rd Allerton Boy Scout troop.

2. He hated his own voice.

Incredibly, one of the greatest singers in the history of rock music hated his own voice.

John did not like the sound of his voice and loved to double-track his records. He would often ask the Beatles producer, George Martin, to cover the sound of his voice: "Can't you smother it with tomato ketchup or something?"

3. He was dissatisfied with all the Beatles records.

Dining with his former producer, George Martin, one night years after the band had split up, John revealed to Martin that he'd like to re-record every Beatles song.

Completely amazed, Martin asked him, "Even 'Strawberry Fields'?"

"Especially 'Strawberry Fields,'" answered Lennon.

4. He was the only Beatle who didn't become a full-time vegetarian.

George Harrison was the first Beatle to go vegetarian; according to most sources, he officially became a vegetarian in 1965. Paul McCartney joined the "veggie" ranks a few years later. Ringo became a vegetarian not so much for spiritual reasons, like Paul and George, but because of health problems.

John had toyed with vegetarianism in the sixties, but he always ended up eating meat, one way or another.

5. He loved to play Monopoly.

During his Beatles days, John was a devout Monopoly player.

He had his own Monopoly set and often played in his hotel room or on planes. He liked to stand up when he threw the dice, and he was crazy about the properties "Boardwalk" and "Park Place." He didn't even care if he lost the game, as long as he had Boardwalk and Park Place in his possession.

6. He was the last Beatle to learn how to drive.

John got his driver's license at the age of 24 (on February 15, 1965).

He was regarded as a terrible driver by all who knew him. He finally gave up driving after he totaled his Aston-Martin in 1969 on a trip to Scotland with his wife, Yoko Ono; his son, Julian; and Kyoko, Yoko's daughter. John needed 17 stitches after the accident.

When they returned to England, John and Yoko mounted the wrecked car on a pillar at their home. From then on, John always used a chauffeur or driver.

7. He used to sleep in a coffin.

According to Allan Williams, an early manager for the Beatles, John liked to sleep in an old coffin.

Williams had an old, abandoned coffin on the premises of his coffee bar, The Jacaranda. As a gag, John would sometimes nap in it.

8. The last time he saw Paul McCartney was on April 24, 1976.

Paul was visiting him at John's New York apartment. They were watching Saturday Night Live together when producer Lorne Michaels, as a gag, offered the Beatles $3,000 to come on the show.

John and Paul almost took a cab to the show as a joke, but decided against it, as they were just too tired. (Too bad! It would have been one of the great moments in television history.)

9. He was originally supposed to sing lead on the Beatles' first record, Love Me Do (1962).

John sang lead on a great majority of the early Beatles records, but Paul took the lead on their very first one.

The lead was originally supposed to be John, but because John had to play the harmonica, the lead was given to Paul instead.

10. "All you need is love" was the best lyric he ever wrote.

A friend once asked John what was the best lyric he ever wrote. "That's easy," replied John, "All you need is love."

11. The last photographer to snap his picture was Paul Goresh.

Ironically (and sadly), John was signing an album to the person who was to assassinate him a few hours later when he was snapped by amateur photographer Paul Goresh.

John obligingly signed a copy of his latest album, Double Fantasy, for Mark David Chapman. Later that same day, John returned from the recording studio and was gunned down by Chapman, the same person for whom John had so kindly signed his autograph.

Morbidly, a photographer sneaked into the morgue containing John's body and snapped a photo of the body before it was cremated. John's body was cremated the day after his assassination. Yoko Ono has never revealed the whereabouts of the ashes or what happened to them.


Eddie Deezen has appeared in over 30 motion pictures, including Grease, WarGames, 1941, and The Polar Express. He's also been featured in several TV shows, including Magnum PI, The Facts of Life, and The Gong Show. And he's done thousands of voice-overs for radio and cartoons, such as Dexter's Laboratory and Family Guy.

Read all Eddie's mental_floss stories.

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September 10, 2012 - 11:11pm
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