Forty years ago today, the Beatles star was assassinated – and has since held a god-like status around the world. David Barnett looks at the many manifestations of him in popular culture.
John Lennon has been dead as long as he was alive – it was 40 years today that he was shot on the steps of the Dakota apartments in New York. And since his death, Lennon has achieved, as is typical for musicians who die young or in their prime, legendary status.
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But perhaps that's not right – or at least that’s not the whole story. As well as earning the tag "legend", which has perhaps lost some of its power because of its sheer ubiquity, Lennon has been elevated to something equally nebulous and folklorish; a myth.
In Prague, a wall devoted to John Lennon is a major tourist attraction (Credit: Alamy)
Legends are for heroes. Myths are for figures even greater than that; gods. And John Lennon has indeed achieved a kind of deific immortality – thanks in part to the appropriation of his persona in works of fiction and drama. With portrayals of him that have cast him as everything from unemployed layabout to Labour Party leader, wise old fisherman to actual psychedelic godhead, Lennon's life has been romanticised, rehashed and rewritten since his death, to the point where the myth is often more real than the man. But more real doesn't necessarily mean more true. And the re-imagining of John Lennon began almost as soon as his life ended.
A misconceived saint
“Soon after Lennon's death – within hours, really – he was portrayed in this really sanctimonious, sanitised way that doesn't do justice to his personality, his sense of humour, or his fellow Beatles,” says Rob Sheffield, a writer for Rolling Stone magazine and the author of the 2017 book Dreaming The Beatles. "I always loved what Paul said in the 80s: 'Since his death he's become Martin Luther Lennon.'"
Naturally, the Dakota building became a focal point for fans in the days after the shooting, transformed into a sea of flowers and grief-stricken notes. Hundreds of people held a silent tribute on the steps of Washington DC's Lincoln Memorial. Radio stations played nothing but Lennon and Beatles songs for days, and record stores sold out of the Lennon-Ono album Double Fantasy. Meanwhile further afield, there was similar beatification going on: within days of his death, too, a mural appeared on a wall in a hidden side-street in Prague, which has been added to and embellished over the years to become a shrine. Despite efforts to remove it or have it covered over, it is now a major tourist attraction and regular stop on guided tours of the Czech capital.
He was the most caustic, sarcastic, withering wit in the music world. So it sells him short to portray him as a simple-minded optimist – Rob Sheffield
"It's understandable that in the first flush of grief, people wanted to pretend he was a saint, but that's the last claim Lennon ever would have made for himself," says Sheffield. "In addition to everything else he was, he was the most caustic, sarcastic, withering wit in the music world. So it sells him short to portray him as a simple-minded optimist."
Lennon certainly wasn't a saint by any stretch of the imagination. Five years ago, a legal document emerged featuring a statement from Dorothy Jarlett, Lennon's housekeeper when he was married to his first wife Cynthia, which painted the star as a serial philanderer who was aggressive and violent to their young son Julian. In an interview with Playboy, published just two days before he died, Lennon admitted, "I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically... any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself, and I hit."
Yet this is a Lennon we rarely see in popular culture. In Danny Boyle’s 2019 movie Yesterday, Himesh Patel's struggling songwriter Jack Malik wakes after an accident in a world where the Beatles never existed. Finding fame performing the classic songs that nobody in this alternative reality has ever heard before, Malik eventually tracks down Lennon, living a simple life – in a hut, with a fishing boat called Imagine – away from the spotlight he never had shone upon him, and dispensing nuggets of homespun wisdom. Which is not a portrayal Sheffield has much truck with.
Lennon admitted to hitting women, including his first wife Cynthia, in an interview published two days before his death (Credit: Alamy)
"Can you imagine John operating a boat by himself?" says Sheffield. “Or getting up at four in the morning to go fishing? John never stopped complaining about having to get up at 8am for the Get Back sessions, where all he had to do was plug in a guitar. How could John live alone in that hut, without any roadies or chauffeurs? He couldn’t cook, couldn't drive, couldn't fix anything around the house. As George Martin said, 'John couldn't change a lightbulb.' He wouldn’t have lasted a week as a fisherman. But he would have laughed his ass off at that movie."
Speculative Lennon fictions
Perhaps a more satisfying parallel-universe portrayal can be found in Ian R MacLeod's 2013 novella Snodgrass, which finds Lennon aged 50, a scruffy, unemployed loser. Like Yesterday it’s a "what if…?" story, this time the central conceit being that Lennon walked out on the Beatles in 1962 because he wanted to release Love Me Do as their debut single (as they did in reality) but they went with a different track. However, in MacLeod's vision, It's not just a case of Lennon watching from afar at the life he could have had. Instead, the Beatles never quite achieve the fame they did in reality, such was his influence and integral role in the band.
Snodgrass was subsequently adapted into a TV film, with the script written by former NME journalist and now novelist and screenwriter, David Quantick. "The interesting thing as a writer about Snodgrass was that it liberated you from all the clichés about John Lennon, because you could do what you liked with him. There was no official legend of the Beatles to have to fit into," says Quantick, who also wrote a book in 2002, Revolution, which was a deep-dive into the band’s White Album.
It’s the massive contradictions which make him interesting – he was a violent man but he was into peace. He was a rich man who told us to imagine no possessions – David Quantick
"The Beatles have all sort of been whitewashed over time, with Lennon being whitewashed into this kind of slightly cheeky guy who loved peace. And he wasn’t like that at all. He’d had a fairly terrible childhood and a very confused life, he’d used drugs and alcohol quite freely and he was a pretty terrible parent and husband the first time round.
"But it’s these massive contradictions which make him interesting – not [the false idea] that he was a bland, peace-loving, bread-baking dad. He was a violent man but he was into peace. He was a rich man who told us to imagine no possessions. He was always portrayed as this working-class hero but he was brought up in this rather nice house and surroundings. And all those contradictions are what make him interesting to me, not the fact he was some cardboard character who never did anything wrong."
Snodgrass starred Liverpudlian actor Ian Hart as Lennon – the third time he had played him, following on from 1994 feature film Backbeat, which charted the band’s early days and focused on the relationship between Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe, the band's original bassist, who left the nascent band to pursue his passion for art, and died tragically young in 1962, aged just 21, of a brain haemorrhage. Hart also portrayed Lennon in the 1991 movie The Hours and the Days, which didn’t quite present an alternate-universe John but rather speculated on some of the gaps in the real story.
The 1994 film Backbeat focused on the relationship between John Lennon (Ian Hart, front left) and ‘fifth Beatle’ Stuart Sutcliffe (Credit: Alamy)
In this case, it explored what might have happened when Lennon and the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein spent a weekend in Barcelona in 1963, and presented the episode as a story of tender yet forbidden love between the two. Was it grounded in any reality? In 2015, Yoko Ono said in an interview that Lennon saw bisexuality as natural while Lennon himself said that his relationship with Epstein was "almost a love affair, but not quite. It was never consummated".
Kevin Barry’s 2015 novel Beatlebone treads a similar speculative path, looking at Lennon’s actual trip to the West coast of Ireland in 1978, and highly fictionalising it into a story about him taking part in primal screaming therapy to "at last be over himself". Beatlebone takes place two years before Lennon’s death, and Sheffield says the premise is emotionally convincing in that he might have had a lot to get over at that point in time. "A theme of his final interviews is how hard John was struggling in his adult life to purge the misogyny that he’d inherited, and to learn a way of being an adult male that wasn’t rooted in misogyny," he says. "He wasn’t trying to excuse his past behaviour; he was trying to understand it so he could leave it behind. And he was talking about it in public so (male) kids like me could understand we didn’t have to grow up making the same mistakes he did. I was just a little kid when he died, but John was one of the only adult males I saw out there talking openly about feminism. It’s a huge reason I looked up to him."
More evidently factual, and the most high-profile among the various Lennon narratives, is Sam Taylor-Wood’s 2009 film Nowhere Boy, which chronicles his younger life and his relationship with his mother Julia and aunt Mimi. Like scholars picking over the childhood of Buddha, we want to understand how Lennon became the man he did, but there’s also a purity to this portrayal because it presents Lennon before the prism of fame split him into his kaleidoscopic multitude of facets that allowed artists to imprint their own ideas of what John Lennon was or should have been.
Lennon as fantasy figure
Not all portrayals of Lennon in fiction have aimed for a realistic examination of his life with or without the Beatles. In author and film critic Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula novels, which posit a world where the vampiric count marries Queen Victoria and supernatural creatures live openly alongside mortals, Lennon is referenced as being the leader of the Labour Party (and a vampire, to boot). He can even be found in the Marvel comic book universe, via the character of John The Skrull a member of the shapeshifting alien race created by writer Paul Cornell, who routinely takes the appearance of Lennon.
Both foreground different aspects of the multi-faceted Lennon persona. With Newman’s books, he’s literally turned into the ultimate incarnation of his own 1970 song Working Class Hero. Meanwhile Cornell tells BBC Culture he “wanted someone who’d look at super heroes and couldn’t quite join in, but instead stood back and made sarcastic and not always helpful comments. Lennon would be the most likely to do that.”
That’s not his only appearance in comics: Scottish writer Grant Morrison’s cult 1990s Vertigo series The Invisibles presented Lennon as an actual pop cultural, god-like manifestation (possibly of the Hindu god Ganesh), as well as a time-slip moment in which the young Scouse protagonist Dane McGowan, sees Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe talking about Sutcliffe leaving the Beatles.
“Morrison’s making an interesting point that Lennon has actually become a mystical character now,” says Quantick. “He’s achieved that level where people are using him in magical rituals because of who they think he was.”
Nor was that the first time Morrison had referenced Lennon’s impact on the collective psyche of humanity. In his 1990 comic St Swithin’s Day, a disaffected youth sets out to assassinate Margaret Thatcher. He buys a copy of JD Salinger’s The Catcher In the Rye for them to find in his pocket afterwards – just like Lennon’s killer Mark Chapman did. In the end, the character disposes of his book, not wanting his plot to be over-analysed.
Elton John is one of a number of musicians who have paid tribute to Lennon in song, with his 1982 track Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny) (Credit: Alamy)
And as for the impact the Lennon myth has had on the surviving Beatles? Sheffield says that the posthumous canonisation of Lennon after his death was to the detriment of Paul, Ringo, and George. "The view of Lennon that developed sold the other Beatles short, because they were the ones who knew and loved the real John," he says. "After his death people took their grief out on Paul in a really vicious and unfair way. Nobody had a kind word for Paul for years after, and it’s just because people wanted to make a saint out of his bandmate."
Understandably, Lennon's bandmates – and the wider pop community – paid their own musical tributes to him in the decades after his death, largely with ruminations on the loss of a friend and great talent rather than any serious attempts to portray him as one thing or another. George Harrison did it with All Those Years Ago in 1981, McCartney with Here Today a year later; Bob Dylan sang about Lennon's death on 2012's Roll On John, while Elton John – a close friend of Lennon – recorded Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny) in 1982.
Whether as a saint, a god or a folksy old nobody, Lennon's portrayal in popular culture has taken on a life of its own far removed from the reality of the man himself. But, says David Quantick, all that might pale against the biggest romanticiser of John Lennon – himself. “Lennon was a self-mythologist,” he says. “I mean, look at [1969 Beatles song] The Ballad of John and Yoko. He’s basically writing his own legend there, the testament according to John. He was self-obsessed to an extraordinary degree. He was massively into mythologising himself, so it’s hardly surprising if other people do that too.”
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Although their intimate conversations remained private, Paul's wife Linda McCartney once revealed John Lennon's last words to his former band mate. As Ultimate Classic Rock reveal, they were: “Think about me every now and then, old friend.”What were Aunt Mimi's last words? ›
According to Varcoe, her last words were, "Hello, John". Although the oldest of the Stanley sisters, Smith was the last to die.What makes John Lennon unique? ›
Lennon was famous for making meaningful music, but he also stood out in the minds of people everywhere due to the fact that he was vocal on a number of political issues during his lifetime. He used both his music and actions to voice his opinions.What makes John Lennon a hero? ›
His determination for peace truly shows how he can be classified as a hero. John Lennon truly is a hero because he used his iconic music status to spread what he believed in, he was driven on spreading and making peace, and he is an inspiration to others and myself.What was John Lennon's biggest fear? ›
Despite being revered as a songwriting genius, Lennon was deeply worried about what his legacy would look like and how people would remember him after he was gone. “I remember John was a bit insecure,” McCartney said during a revealing interview on the CBS programme 60 Minutes.Did John Lennon ever apologize? ›
When the band arrived in Chicago in August 1966, Lennon held a press conference to publicly apologize. “I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing,” Lennon said. “I apologize if that will make you happy. I still don't know quite what I've done.Why did John live with his aunt Mimi? ›
John Lennon was raised strictly by his aunt, Mimi Smith, after being rejected by his own parents at the age of 5.Was Aunt Mimi strict? ›
Aunt Mimi's 'fake' accent showed how she wanted to be perceived by Yoko after John's death, which is indicative of their relationship. However, Mimi was always believed to be very strict with John, so likely this carried through to her views of his wives.How old was Mimi Smith when she died? › Is John Lennon A Vegan? ›
Though experimenting with vegetarianism in the sixties, John was the only Beatle who didn't become a full-time vegetarian and always ended up eating meat.
John Lennon, in full John Winston Ono Lennon, (born October 9, 1940, Liverpool, England—died December 8, 1980, New York, New York, U.S.), leader or coleader of the British rock group the Beatles, author and graphic artist, solo recording artist, and collaborator with Yoko Ono on recordings and other art projects.Why was John Lennon so rich? ›
One of the most famous musicians of all time, late legend John Lennon amassed his huge fortune by sharing songwriting credit or singing on Beatles songs including “Yesterday”, “Let It Be” and “Help!”, as well as having solo hits like “Imagine” and “Give Peace a Chance”.What kind of personality did John Lennon have? ›
Which personality type was John Lennon? John Lennon was an ENFP personality type. Warm and outgoing, he had an active social life, but he had a deeper side too that wasn't always obvious at first. As an ENFP, John was a unique mixture of being people-oriented but also introspective.Is John Lennon a martyr? ›
After John Lennon died, people around the world mourned and treated him like a martyr. He made mistakes during his life, but his sudden, shocking death wiped the slate clean. He became a figure of saint-like proportions.Who grow up with John Lennon? ›
Lennon grew up with his aunt Mimi and uncle George in a house called Mendips, at 251 Menlove Avenue, Liverpool. He kept in close contact with his mother Julia Lennon until her death in 1958, but had little contact with his father Alf.Which Beatle had anxiety? ›
Many of The Beatles' most iconic songs, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, “Hey Jude”, and more, were written and composed by both John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Their hit song “Help!”, however, was written solely by Lennon himself after experiencing high levels of anxiety throughout the band's rise to fame.What controversial things did John Lennon say? ›
"More popular than Jesus" is part of a remark made by John Lennon of the Beatles in a March 1966 interview in which he argued that the public were more infatuated with the band than with Jesus and that Christian faith was declining to the extent that it might be outlasted by rock music.What is John Lennon disability? ›
John Lennon's beautiful music with the Beatles would not have existed without his perseverance through dyslexia. Lennon excelled at art and music while attending high school, but his grades were poor and he had trouble spelling.Did the Beatles believe in God? ›
In February 1965, the band gave an interview to Playboy magazine, in which they defended themselves against claims that they were anti-religious, while at the same time emphatically declaring themselves to be agnostic. McCartney: "We probably seem antireligious because of the fact that none of us believe in God."Did John Lennon think he was Jesus? ›
The late John Lennon is well known for causing huge controversy in 1966 when he said that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus”. And according to Tony Bramwell, who grew up with the Fab Four in Liverpool, the singer-songwriter once got high on LSD and actually believe he was the Son of God.
Paul McCartney says his bitter rift with Beatles bandmate John Lennon may have drawn headlines, but their real story at the end was one of forgiveness, as the two put aside differences to bond over fatherhood and “bread-making recipes.”Why was John Lennon's mother's house called the house of Sin? ›
BBC reports that though the famous Beatle never lived in the three-bedroom home (he lived down the street with his aunt Mimi), he regularly visited his mother and would practice guitar at the house. His aunt referred to the place as the “house of sin” due to Julia's refusal to marry her live-in partner.What did John Lennon say about his mother? ›
By then, Mimi was Lennon's mother in all but name. When an American magazine offered to publish her memoirs, Mimi rang and asked for his advice. "Take the money, Mimi," he said, "and tell them I was a juvenile delinquent who used to knock down old ladies." There was more than a grain of truth in that description.Did John Lennon have a relationship with his father? ›
John Lennon always had a frosty relationship with his father, Alf, who abandoned him as a child. Understandably, things were never the same following his father's initial departure from his life, and their final meeting also left things on a sour note.How did Mimi react to John's death? ›
After Lennon's death, Mimi was furious to find out that he had never transferred the ownership of the house over to her, which meant that Ono owned the house, and could sell it at any time.Which was the only member of the Beatles to be raised by both of his biological parents? ›
Each member of the band had a difference experience of growing up, Paul and George were raised by their biological fathers whereas Ringo and John were raised by step-fathers.What did John Lennon say about life? ›
"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." "All we are saying is give peace a chance." "A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality."Where is Julia Lennon buried? ›
Julia was buried in Allerton Cemetery, in Liverpool.Which Beatle was raised by his aunt and uncle? ›
John Lennon moved in with his Aunt Mimi (Mary) and her husband George when he was 5 and although he did see his mother regularly, his aunt and uncle provided the major grounding influence in his life.Who is John Lennon's sister? ›
Indeed, there is musical evidence to suggest they enjoyed vino. According to Quora.com, the buzzing sound at the end of “Long Long Long” is a bottle of red wine vibrating on top of a Leslie speaker cabinet. While they are better known for fancying psychedelic substances, the Beatles also partook of scotch.What was John Lennon's favorite food? ›
In a 1964 magazine interview, John claimed his favourite foods were “curry, jelly and tea”.Who was almost the fifth Beatle? ›
McCartney said on two occasions that "if anyone was the fifth Beatle", it was manager Brian Epstein (in a 1997 BBC interview) and producer George Martin (in a 2016 memorial post).Did Ringo Starr like John Lennon? ›
Ringo Starr and John Lennon held a strong bond that was never in doubt and, following the split of The Fab Four, the success that Starr had in his solo career made Lennon immensely happy.Who was the cute Beatle? ›
Paul McCartney admits he despised being labeled "the cute one" during the Beatles era. "I hated that," McCartney told SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show, agreeing that the term distracted from his musicianship. "That's what happens — just, 'He's the cute one.Who is the richest Beatle? ›
Ringo Starr's net worth is estimated to be roughly around $350 million in 2023.Who did John Lennon leave his fortune to? ›
Nowhere Man: John Lennon
This gave Yoko vast control over John's assets, including many of his song rights. He left all his wealth to Yoko and their son, Sean, as the only beneficiaries of his estate.
Unfortunately, the copyright will only belong to McCartney in the US. While the bassist's half of the songs will return to him, Lennon's will not belong to his estate. Yoko Ono sold the rights to his music to Sony/ATV Music in 2009, those rights lasting the entire copyright's lifetime (70 years).What is John Lennon's IQ? ›
John Lennon was an incredibly intelligent individual, and his IQ was estimated to be around 140. He was known for his quick wit and keen intelligence, and this was likely part of the reason he was able to create such revolutionary music and lyrics.Did any of The Beatles have mental illness? ›
Paul McCartney says The Beatles suffered from mental health issues: “There were a lot of things we had to work through” Paul McCartney has said that The Beatles most likely suffered from mental health issues, but they were reluctant to discuss it at the height of their fame.
John is interesting. While he has strong extroverted tendencies, he also seemed to require and draw a lot of energy from the world of ideas.Was John Lennon a peaceful person? ›
John Lennon advocated for peace and had a huge influence on the world of music today. He triumphed over his own insecurities as well as the doubts of others and became one of the most famous people to ever live.Did John Lennon have a crush on Paul? ›
John Lennon saw the two sides of his attraction to Paul McCartney quickly and clearly. "I dug him," he said, and he wanted him in the band. But he had his concerns. "I half thought to myself, 'He's as good as me,'" he told the journalist Hunter Davies in 1967.Was John Lennon a prankster? ›
As a child, John Lennon was a prankster and he enjoyed getting into trouble. Lennon's school master thought that he could go to an art school instead of college, since he did not get good grades in school, but had artistic talent.What were John Lennon's last words? ›
Although their intimate conversations remained private, Paul's wife Linda McCartney once revealed John Lennon's last words to his former band mate. As Ultimate Classic Rock reveal, they were: “Think about me every now and then, old friend.”Why did George Harrison and John Lennon not get along? ›
Really, looking back, it's clear to see that both musicians were simply jealous. Lennon of Harrison's growing ability and Harrison of Ono. David Stubbs points out in his Uncut article: “Prior to [Ono's] arrival on the scene, George and John had become tight LSD buddies, at one point to the alienation of Paul and Ringo.Did John Lennon have a traumatic childhood? ›
John Lennon's childhood traumas are documented in series of songs he wrote in the late 60s and early 70s: Julia, Mother, Working Class Hero. In fact the whole of his first solo album is an extended therapy session aimed at healing his troubled psyche.What did Ringo say when John Lennon died? ›
After a period of pause, a silence that feels more real than anything else said in the interview, Ringo simply fills the space by stating: “I'm really sad. I still miss John a great deal, I'll always miss him, you know.What was George Harrison's last words? ›
Passing away at Sir Paul McCartney's American home, George Harrison had wife Olivia Harrison by his side until the end. According to those present, his final words were: “Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.”What was John Lennon reading when he died? ›
38 special revolver, four of which hit Lennon in the back. Lennon was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital in a police car, where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:15 p.m. at age 40. Chapman remained at the scene reading The Catcher in the Rye until he was arrested by the police.
He was very ill. He could only lay down. And while he was being ill and I had come to see him, I was going to Boston 'cos my daughter had a brain tumour.” “I said, 'I got to go to Boston' and he goes,” says Ringo pausing for breath as the memory takes over him, “It was the last words I heard him say actually.Was paul McCartney upset when John Lennon died? ›
"When John died, it was so difficult," McCartney told host Tom Frangione. "It was difficult for everyone in the world because he was such a loved character and such a crazy guy. He was so special." McCartney, 80, continued, that the death of his Beatles bandmate hit him so hard "that I couldn't really talk about it."What did Yoko say when John was shot? ›
She said: "I said 'shall we go and have dinner before we go home? ' and John said 'No, let's go home because I want to see Sean before he goes to sleep'.” Yoko was also asked if John had said anything after he had been shot, to which she replied quietly "no".What did paul McCartney say when George Harrison died? ›
We will miss George for his sense of love, his sense of music and his sense of laughter." Yoko Ono: "George has given so much to us in his lifetime and he contiues to do so even after his passing with his music, his wit and his wisdom. His life was magical and we felt we had shared a little bit of it by knowing him.Did George Harrison like Paul McCartney? ›
During a chat with DJ Alan Freeman on his 1970s show Rock Around The World, George said he felt inferior in some ways to lead singer Paul, now 80. He said: “I had no confidence in myself as a guitar player having spent so many years with Paul McCartney, he ruined me as a guitar player.”Why did George Harrison's voice change? ›
The officially released version was recorded live on a sound stage in Los Angeles during rehearsals for his 1974 concerts, at a time when Harrison's exhaustion through overwork contributed to him contracting laryngitis and losing his voice.Who was closest in The Beatles? ›
It is widely believed that the closest friendship among The Beatles was the one between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. They are all relatively close. Their bond was similar to an Organism.Was John Lennon blind when he died? ›
Before He Died He Was Actually Legally Blind
No matter how self-aware Lennon was, he wouldn't be able to take a step without glasses during the last couple of years of his life. During the last decade of his life, Lennon couldn't see a finger in front of his eyes.
Most music historians believe that John disliked cremation, a sentiment that would make sense given his Anglican English upbringing.What was George Harrison's cause of death? ›
He was 58. Harrison died at a friend's Los Angeles home following a battle with cancer, longtime friend Gavin De Becker told The Associated Press.
The two former Beatles got together in Los Angeles at an event in honor of McCartney's fashion designer daughter, Stella McCartney. After nearly 66 years of friendship, it appears Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney are still going strong.Did George Harrison go to Linda McCartney's funeral? ›
A memorial service was held at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London with friends and family in attendance, including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Billy Joel, Elton John, David Gilmour and Peter Gabriel, among a congregation of 700.Who was George Harrison's closest friend? ›
Eric Clapton was Harrison's closest friend, but he had actively pursued Pattie Boyd romantically while she was married to Harrison.