John Lennon was very open about his feelings towards other artists’ music. He once revealed The Beatles would listen to certain artists who made them feel very hip because they were so obscure. Here’s a look into those artists’ careers — and whether they truly were obscure or not.
In a 1970s interview with Rolling Stone, Jann S. Wenner asked John about his feelings towards America. John had some kind things to say about the country, but he said The Beatles’ looked down on the nation in their early days. “You tend to get nationalistic, and we would really laugh at America, except for its music.” He then praised two American artists.
“[We] felt very exclusive and underground in Liverpool, listening to Richie Barrett and Barrett Strong, and all those old-time records,” John revealed. “Nobody was listening to any of them except Eric Burdon in Newcastle and Mick Jagger in London. It was that lonely, it was fantastic. When we came over here and it was the same – nobody was listening to rock ‘n’ roll or to Black music in America – we felt as though we were coming to the land of its origin but nobody wanted to know about it.”