The Only Authentic John Lennon Quotes Linked To Credible Sources

This is the only collection of authentic John Lennon quotes that linked to various credible sources.

There are many so-called John Lennon quotes found in those popular quotation sites which are actually fake or unverified.

As these websites, they do not cite the sources of their published quotations.

They merely copied from other unreliable and unverified websites, books, newspapers and magazines.

Do you know the popular quotation: “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time” is NOT by the late John Lennon.

On the Internet, you would find many sites attributed this line to Lennon.

It is also NOT by the the British philosopher Bertrand Russell.

This quote is from an old book titled “Phrynette Married” written by Marthe Troly-Curtin.

(Phrynette Married By Marthe Troly-Curtin, The McMillan Company, 1912, ch.XXIX, My Dear Old Medor; p.256)

Anyway, here you can find a good list of un-sourced John Lennon quotes.

Liverpool-born musician, singer and songwriter John Winston Lennon was the founder member of the world famous band The Beatles, aka The Fab Four.

Back in 1960, this controversial celebrated English pop icon started out with his first band called “The Quarrymen”; which was later renamed as The Beatles.

authentic John Lennon quotesAfter the band broke up, the late John Lennon went on his own solo career.

It was during this time, he came out with famous albums songs such as John “Lennon/Plastic Ono Band” and “Imagine“, and popular songs which include “Give Peace a Chance” and “Working Class Hero“.

On December 8th, 1980, three weeks after he released his last album “Double Fantasy“, John Lennon was shot to death by Mark David Chapman at the entrance to the building where he lived, The Dakota, in New York City.

In 1987, John Ono Lennon was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1994, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Authentic John Lennon Quotes

Now, let’s check out my list of authentic John Lennon quotations:


“I always wrote about me when I could. I didn’t really enjoy writing third person songs about people who lived in concrete flats and things like that. I like first person music.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and  here .)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“…the few true songs I ever wrote were like ‘Help’ and ‘Strawberry Fields.'” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and  here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“I always liked simple rock and nothing else.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and  here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“I was influenced by acid and got psychedelic, like the whole generation, but really, I like rock and roll and I express myself best in rock.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and  here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“…God is the concept by which we measure pain…” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and  here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found in John Lennon’s 1970 song “God” lyrics.)


“There is nothing conceptually better than rock and roll.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and  here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“…we always missed the club dates because that’s when we were playing music, and then later on we became technically, efficient recording artists.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and  here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“Like I said in the song, I’ve been through it all, and nothing works better than to have somebody you love hold you.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and  here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“Sometimes I felt as though you worked to justify your existence, but you don’t; you work to exist, and vice versa, and that’s it, really.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“…creating is a result of pain, too. I have to put it somewhere, and I write songs.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“Pain is what we are in most of the time, and I think that the bigger the pain, the more God you look for.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“Rock and roll will be whatever we make it.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview, Part One, The Working Class Hero By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; January 21, 1971)

(This quote is also found here and here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part One, The Working Class Hero” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #74; January 21, 1971)


“It’s no fun being an artist. You know what it’s like, writing, it’s torture.” – John Lennon

(Lennon Remembers, Part Two By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; February 4, 1971)

(This quote is also found here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part Two, Life With The Lions” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #75; February 4, 1971)


“I read about Van Gogh, Beethoven, any of the f***ers. If they had psychiatrists, we wouldn’t have had Gauguin’s great pictures.” – John Lennon

(Lennon Remembers, Part Two By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; February 4, 1971)

(This quote is also found here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part Two, Life With The Lions” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #75; February 4, 1971)


“I regret profoundly that I was not an American and not born in Greenwich Village. That’s where I should have been.” – John Lennon

(Lennon Remembers, Part Two By Jann S. Wenner, rollingstone.com; February 4, 1971)

(This quote is also found here.)

(This article is originally titled “The Rolling Stone Interview: John Lennon, Part Two, Life With The Lions” By Jann S. Wenner, published in Rolling Stone Magazine Issue #75; February 4, 1971)


“…I had lost the initial freedom of the artist by becoming enslaved to the image of what the artist is supposed to do.” –  John Lennon

(An Exclusive Interview: John Lennon And Yoko Ono on Love, Sex, Money, Fame and ALL ABOUT THE BEATLES By David Sheff, Playboy Magazine, January, 1981 Issue)

(This quote is also found here and here.)


“I never went to high school reunions. My thing is, Out of sight, out of mind. That’s my attitude toward life. So I don’t have any romanticism about any part of my past.” – John Lennon

(An Exclusive Interview: John Lennon And Yoko Ono on Love, Sex, Money, Fame and ALL ABOUT THE BEATLES By David Sheff, Playboy Magazine, January, 1981 Issue)

(This quote is also found here and here.)


“You know I don’t believe in yesterday. I am only interested in what I am doing now.” – John Lennon

(An Exclusive Interview: John Lennon And Yoko Ono on Love, Sex, Money, Fame and ALL ABOUT THE BEATLES By David Sheff, Playboy Magazine, January, 1981 Issue)

(This quote is also found here and here.)


“…to change society, there are two ways to go: through violence or the power of money within the system.” – John Lennon

(An Exclusive Interview: John Lennon And Yoko Ono on Love, Sex, Money, Fame and ALL ABOUT THE BEATLES By David Sheff, Playboy Magazine, January, 1981 Issue)

(This quote is also found here.)


“…We’re more popular than Jesus now – I don’t know which will go first, rock and roll or Christianity.” – John Lennon

(“How Does A Beatle Live? John Lennon Lives like This” By Maureen Cleave, London Evening Standard, March 4th 1966)

(This quote is also found in: “The John Lennon I knew” By Maureen Cleave, The Telegraph, 5 Oct 2005)


“Everybody loves you when you’re six foot in the ground.” – John Lennon

(From John Lennon’s 1974 song ‘Nobody Loves You (When You’re Down And Out)’ , Wall And Bridges Album)

(The song lyrics here.)


“Living is easy with eyes closed” – John Lennon

(From Lennon/McCartney’s 1967 song lyrics ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’)

(The song lyrics here.)


“When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind.” – John Lennon

(From Lennon/McCartney’s 1968 song lyrics ‘Julia’)

(The song lyrics here.)


“Everything is as important as everything else.” – John Lennon

(The Beatles Anthology By The Beatles, Chronicle Books, 2000; p.8)


“I wouldn’t say I was a born writer; I’m a born thinker.” – John Lennon

(The Beatles Anthology By The Beatles, Chronicle Books, 2000; p.9)


“Part of me suspects I’m a loser and part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.” –  John Lennon

(All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono Conducted By DavidSheff, Edited By G. Barry Golson, St. Martin’s Press, Part Three; p.195)


“Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it.” – John Lennon

(All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono Conducted By DavidSheff, Edited By G. Barry Golson, St. Martin’s Press, Part Three; p.217)


“…the so-called pain of the artist was always paid for by the freedom of the artist.” – John Lennon

(All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono Conducted By DavidSheff, Edited By G. Barry Golson, St. Martin’s Press, Part One; p.5)


“…religion was an outlet for my repression.” – John Lennon

(“Power To The People!” John Lennon & Yoko Ono Interviewed By Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn, The Red Mole, 8th Issue, Vol.2, March 22nd, 1971; p.7)

(This quote is also found in: Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography Of The Sixties By Tariq Ali, Verso, 2005, Power to the People John Lennon and Yoko Ono Talk To Robin Blackburn And Tariq Ali; p.361)

(Another two sources of this quote: 1, 2)


“…I don’t want to be king, I want to be real.” – John Lennon

(“Power To The People!” John Lennon & Yoko Ono Interviewed By Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn, The Red Mole, 8th Issue, Vol.2, March 22nd, 1971; p.7)

(This quote is also found in: Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography Of The Sixties By Tariq Ali, Verso, 2005, Power to the People John Lennon and Yoko Ono Talk To Robin Blackburn And Tariq Ali; p.363)

(Another two sources of this quote: 1, 2)


“The Beatles are bigger than Jesus.” – John Lennon

(“Power To The People!” John Lennon & Yoko Ono Interviewed By Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn, The Red Mole, 8th Issue, Vol.2, March 22nd, 1971; p.7)

(This quote is also found in: Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography Of The Sixties By Tariq Ali, Verso, 2005, Power to the People John Lennon and Yoko Ono Talk To Robin Blackburn And Tariq Ali; p.363)

(Another two sources of this quote: 1, 2)


“…you can’t take power without a struggle.” – John Lennon

(“Power To The People!” John Lennon & Yoko Ono Interviewed By Tariq Ali and Robin Blackburn, The Red Mole, 8th Issue, Vol.2, March 22nd, 1971; p.9)

(This quote is also found in: Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography Of The Sixties By Tariq Ali, Verso, 2005, Power to the People John Lennon and Yoko Ono Talk To Robin Blackburn And Tariq Ali; p.375)

(Another two sources of this quote: 1, 2)


“I think most schools are prisons – A child’s thing is wide open and to narrow it down and make him compete in the classroom is a joke.” – John Lennon

(The Real John Lennon By Barbara Graustark, Newsweek, September 29th 1980)

(This quote is also found here.)


“The king is always killed by his courtiers. He is overfed, overindulged, overdrunk to keep him tied to his throne. Most people in the position never wake up.” – John Lennon

(The Real John Lennon By Barbara Graustark, Newsweek, September 29th 1980)

(This quote is also found here.)


“…you move forward you must move something back.” – John Lennon

(Our London Interview.’ By Richard Robinson, Hit Parader, August 1970)


“…there’s a great woman behind every idiot.” – John Lennon

(The Solo Beatles Film & TV Chronicle 1971-1980 By Jörg Pieper, Lulu.com, 2009, 1976; p.214)


“…our society is run by insane people for insane objectives.” – John Lennon

(John Lennon chatted with Peter Lewis, about the new play, June 6th 1968)

(This quote can be heard on YouTube)


“…my role in society, or any artist or poet’s role, is to try and express what we all feel.” – John Lennon

(Lennon On Lennon: Conversations With John Lennon Edited By Jeff Burger, Omnibus Press, 2017, John Lennon, John Lennon: The Man, The Memory By Dave Sholin, December 14, 1980)


“I’ve always considered my work one piece and I consider that my work won’t be finished until I am dead and buried and I hope that’s a long, long time.” – John Lennon

(Lennon On Lennon: Conversations With John Lennon Edited By Jeff Burger, Omnibus Press, 2017, John Lennon, John Lennon: The Man, The Memory By Dave Sholin, December 14, 1980)


References:

You can read the full two-part Rolling Stone magazine interviews with John Lennon and Yoko Ono here .

This is a great site where you can find old newspaper clippings about The Beatles.

The full articles “The Beatles: Part 1 The Authentic Unexpurgated Biography” by Hunter Davies, LIFE Magazine, September 13, 1968.