The 1960s were a time of peace and love, but also a time of death, as several rock stars from that era met tragic ends. John Lennon knew one of them and was emotionally unaffected by his death. Furthermore, though John admired this rock star, he didn’t think he was brilliant.
John Lennon’s nightlife memories
In a famous 1971 interview with Rolling Stone’s Jann S. Wenner known as Lennon Remembers, John reminisced about going to discotheques with fellow musicians. John said he enjoyed doing so back when he didn’t get “mobbed” by fans as much as he did later in life. John hung around with two members of the Rolling Stones during this period.
Specifically, he’d pal around with Brian Jones and Mick Jagger. Jones is most famous for founding the Rolling Stones. He was also a legendary harmonica player. According to the book Brian Jones: The Untold Life and Mysterious Death of a Rock Legend, John deemed Jones better at playing the harmonica than himself. Because of his prowess as a harmonica player, John saw Jones as a musical hero.
“I spent a lot of time with Brian and Mick,” John said. “I admire them, you know. I dug them the first time I saw them in whatever that place is they came from, Richmond. I spent a lot of time with them, and it was great. We all used to just go around London in cars and meet each other and talk about music with the Animals and Eric [Burdon] and all that.”
John said he and Jones would often stay up all night and day during this period. The two of them would get drunk and argue. However, John still looked back on this time fondly. He compared his little clique in London to Parisian painters who would stay up all night discussing their art.
The death of Brian Jones and its aftermath
John’s feelings towards Jones changed as Jones became consumed with his personal problems. “Well, he was different over the years as he disintegrated. He ended up the kind of guy that you dread when he would come on the phone, because you knew it was trouble. He was really in a lot of pain. … He wasn’t sort of brilliant or anything, he was just a nice guy.”
According to AllMusic, Jones died in 1969 when he drowned in his swimming pool. His death may have been an accident caused by his use of drugs. Regardless, there are conspiracy theories claiming someone murdered Jones. Jones became one of the most well-known members of the so-called “27 Club” of musicians who died at 27.
What did John think of Jones’ untimely death? “By then I didn’t feel anything.” John just saw Jones’ passing as yet another drug death. However, this didn’t mean John didn’t have fond memories of their friendship.
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