Monday, May 11, 2009

August 11, 1966 - ITN

Taped: Thursday 11 August 1966

The press and all three television networks were waiting in Chicago and talked of nothing but John's remarks about Jesus. The Beatles had to do a live press conference from the 27th floor of the Astor Towers Hotel where they were staying. John was obviously very uncomfortable, being forced to apologise for something which the Americans had taken out of context.

John: "Look, I wasn't saying The Beatles are better than God or Jesus. I said 'Beatles' because it's easy for me to talk about Beatles. I could have said 'TV' or 'the cinema', 'motorcars' or anything popular and I would have got away with it...

"I'm not anti-God, anti-Christ or anti-religion. I was not saying we are greater or better. I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and all the rest said was right. Ifs just the translations have gone wrong.

"I wasn't saying whatever they're saying I was saying. I'm sorry I said it, really. I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing. From what I've read, or observed, Christianity just seems to me to be shrinking, to be losing contact."

Reporter: "A disc jockey in Birmingham, Alabama, who actually started most of the repercussions, has demanded an apology from you."

John: "He can have it, I apologise to him."

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