John Lennon's best quotes

9 October 2018, 14:13 | Updated: 6 December 2018, 14:18

John Lennon in 1971
John Lennon in 1971. Picture: Michael Putland/Getty Images

John Lennon, 1940-1980. He was a musician, singer, guitarist, campaigner and one of the biggest artists of the 20th Century. Here's his philosophy, in his own words.

  1. “Life is what happens to you, While you're busy making other plans.”

    Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy), 1980

    John Lennon with son Sean in New York, 1977
    John Lennon with son Sean in New York, 1977. Picture: Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
  2. "I've always been politically minded and against the status quo.”

    Red Mole, 1971

    John Lennon marches in 1971
    John Lennon marches in 1971. Picture: Rowland Scherman/Getty Images
  3. “The only way to deal with critics is to go over their heads direct to the public.”

    Rolling Stone, December 1980

    John Lennon and Yoko Ono in New York, 1980
    John Lennon and Yoko Ono in New York, 1980. Picture: avid Mcgough/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
  4. “God is a concept by which we measure our pain.”

    God, 1970

    John Lennon in 1970
    John Lennon in 1970. Picture: Penny Tweedie/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
  5. "I was a working-class macho guy who was used to being served and Yoko didn't buy that.”

    Newsweek, September 1980

    Yoko Ono and John Lennon in December 1968
    Yoko Ono and John Lennon in December 1968. Picture: Susan Wood/Getty Images
  6. “The Beatles music died then, as musicians. That’s why we never improved as musicians; we killed ourselves then to make it. And that was the end of it.”

    Rolling Stone, December 1970

    The Beatles in 1963
    The Beatles in 1963. Picture: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images
  7. "Part of me suspects that I'm a loser and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty.”

    Playboy, 1980

    A young John Lennon in 1961
    A young John Lennon in 1961. Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
  8. “It just seemed natural for us, if we made an album together, for both of us to be naked.”

    Rolling Stone, September 1968

    The back cover of Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
    The back cover of Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Picture: Blank Archives/Getty Images
  9. “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink.”

    “I needn't argue about 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.” Evening Standard, 1966

    John Lennon at a press conference in 1966
    John Lennon at a press conference in 1966. Picture: George Stroud/Express/Getty Images
  10. “It's better to fade away like an old soldier than to burn out.”

    Playboy, 1980

    John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1980
    John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1980. Picture: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images
  11. “I no longer believe in myth, and Beatles is another myth. The dream is over.”

    Rolling Stone, December 1970

    The Beatles, April 1969
    The Beatles, April 1969. Picture: Hans J. Hoffmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images
  12. “I like rock and roll, man, I don’t like much else.”

    Rolling Stone, December 1970

    John Lennon, live in 1974
    John Lennon, live in 1974. Picture: New York Times Co./Larry C. Morris/Getty Images
  13. “A genius is a form of madness, and we’re all that way, you know.”

    Rolling Stone, 1970

    John Lennon, recording in New York, 1980
    John Lennon, recording in New York, 1980. Picture: Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
  14. “There's no other time but the present. Anything else is a waste of time.”

    Melody Maker, October 1971

    John and Yoko at a book signing in 1971
    John and Yoko at a book signing in 1971. Picture: Jack Kay/Daily Express/Getty Images
  15. “The Beatles gave everything they had to give, and more. Going back to the Beatles would be like going back to school.”

    Newsweek, September 1980

    The Beatles 1965
    The Beatles 1965. Picture: Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
  16. “THEY, whoever they are, don't stand a chance because they can't beat love.”

    Man Of The Decade, ITV, December 1969

    John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their "Acorns For Peace" event, April 1969
    John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their "Acorns For Peace" event, April 1969. Picture: Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
  17. “Paul rang me up. He said he was putting out an album. So I said, 'Good luck to yer.'"

    Penthouse, 1971

    John Lennon and Paul McCartney, May 1968
    John Lennon and Paul McCartney, May 1968. Picture: Bettman/Getty Images
  18. “Before Elvis there was nothing.”

    The Beatles at The Cavern in Liverpool, February 1961
    The Beatles at The Cavern in Liverpool, February 1961. Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
  19. “If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

    John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their peace "bed-in", Amsterdam, March 1969
    John Lennon and Yoko Ono at their peace "bed-in", Amsterdam, March 1969. Picture: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
  20. "Art is only a way of expressing pain.”

    Red Mole, 1971

    John Lennon at home in 1971
    John Lennon at home in 1971. Picture: Michael Putland/Getty Images

The Beatles Songs