John Lennon may have penned peace-loving classics like "Imagine," but he wasn't always the conciliatory type.
In a number of letters excerpted by Vulture
from the forthcoming book The John Lennon Letters
, the late Beatle rails against critics of Yoko Ono and even lambasts Paul and Linda McCartney. The full letters -- available in scans on Vulture
-- are definitely worth a look, but here are five things Lennon actually wrote:
1. To a Lennon fan who disparaged Ono: "Yoko's been an artist before you were even a groupie."
2. To a critic who didn't like Ono's show: "I'd forgotten about people like you! Well, well -- you still exist, of course, in small towns across the world..."
3. To Linda and Paul McCartney: "I was reading your letter and wondering what middle aged cranky Beatle fan wrote it. I resisted looking at the last page to find out -- I kept thinking who is it … What the hell -- it's Linda!"
4. To Linda and Paul, continued: "I'm not ashamed of the Beatles -- we did start it all --but of some of the shit we took to make them so big -- I thought we all felt that way in varying degrees -- obviously not."
5. To George Martin, a producer: "Of course, George Martin was a great help in translating our music technically when we needed it, but for the cameraman to take credit from the director is a bit much."
"Love Me Do," the band's first single, turned 50 last week
, marking half a century of Beatlemania. The band has thus dominated entertainment headlines. A flurry of new texts on the group and its legacy are due out soon, including a collection of photos
taken by the Beatles' official photographer.