Liverpool Newspaper Revisits John Lennon ‘Jesus’ Comment

The Beatles album Revolver was released 50 years ago today.

Consistently ranked as one of the greatest albums of all time, the Beatles LP Revolver was released on this date in 1966. To mark the 50th anniversary, it seems only fitting to point to a celebratory article published in the lads’ hometown daily, the Liverpool Echo.

Capitol Records

Music writer Peter Guy runs down over a dozen highlights, including a controversial comment made by John Lennon. The observation was shared in March, 1966, during an interview with Maureen Cleave of the London Evening Standard, but the remark only blew up later, around Revolver’s Aug. 5 release:

It was only when Datebook, a U.S. teen magazine, quoted Lennon’s comments five months later that extensive protests broke out in the Southern United States, leading to some radio stations banning Beatles songs, their records publicly burned, threats were made – plus picketing by the Ku Klux Klan.

The Vatican issued a public denouncement of Lennon’s comments.

Lennon’s comment in full reads: “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first – rock and roll or Christianity.”

We hate to disagree with Lennon, but in 2016, it looks like Christianity has the clear edge. Meanwhile, tonight, at Liverpool tea house Leaf, a group of local musicians led by Roxanne de Bastion will deliver an acoustic performance of the entire Revolver song catalog.