Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Alamy)

Music

Why John Lennon hated being a part of The Beatles

Being a member of The Beatles provided John Lennon with everything he could ever want in life, but there was one aspect of being in the band which Lennon despised and one that sullied his overall experience.

While the positives outweighed the negatives of being in The Beatles, it was difficult for Lennon not to hone in on the one element which drove him to the brink. In the early years of their career, the Fab Four were making strides that no band had made before, and they were greatly overworked. Lennon was in his happy place in the studio, but touring was a task that he always struggled with.

There were many reasons why The Beatles stopped touring in 1966, and it wasn’t solely down to the band struggling to hear themselves on stage, as Paul McCartney once explained. However, the main reason they chose to take a step back from the road was that the joy of performing had dissipated, which could be put down to exhaustion. 

During the early days of Beatlemania, being met with adulation wherever they went was a novelty that they relished. After years of it happening, the band became numb to the sensation and touring became a chore rather than something they looked forward to.

Listen to the historic first recording by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison

Read More

Unlike now, even modestly sized artists could make a fortune from record sales alone and didn’t need to tour. In fact, it was far more lucrative for The Beatles to stay off the road and use that time to record another album in the studio.

In a 1975 interview, Lennon explained why he had no plans to return to touring and, more specifically, how his earlier experience with The Beatles put him off another spell on the road. “I think it would be a drag,” he explained. “I am sure I enjoyed parts of it, but not much of it.”

He added: “My decision was already made on touring a long time ago.”

It wasn’t just Lennon who was fed up touring with The Beatles, with the rest of the band following suit. “In 1966, the road was getting pretty boring,” Ringo Starr recalled in the Beatles Anthology documentary. “It was coming to the end for me. Nobody was listening at the shows. That was OK at the beginning, but we were playing really bad.”

Lennon stayed true to his promise and never toured as a solo artist, unlike his Beatles bandmates, although he made occasional sporadic appearances. He much preferred to be left to his own devices in the studio and never felt an urge to go out to perform the tracks live, even though it would have been a huge payday. For him, it was an anxiety-inducing experience that he didn’t need or want in his life.

Follow Far Out Magazine across our social channels, on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.