What was John Lennon’s opinion on The Beach Boys

John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney formed The Beatles in 1960 in Liverpool, England and it was the start of the most successful band of all time which would change the whole world in the following years. One year later, in 1961, in California, United States, the brothers Wilson alongside their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine formed The Beach Boys, a group which would be their American rival.

Both groups sold millions of records worldwide and were extremely important for music, inspiring countless generations of musicians. They even inspired each other and the “rivalry” they had was really important for their songwriting, since they would be always trying to top each other’s work. Paul McCartney for example always loved The Beach Boys, but what was John Lennon’s opinion on the American group?

What was the opinion of John Lennon on The Beach Boys
The late Beatles songwriter, guitarist and singer John Lennon also loved The Beach Boys and like all the other members of the Fab Four became a good friend of the American musicians. As pointed by Brian Wilson‘s official website, he picked the song “The Little Girl I Once Knew” as one of his favorites from the group. The track was released as a single in 1965, being written and produced by the band’s mastermind Brian Wilson.

“This (‘The Little Girl I Once Knew’) is the greatest! Turn it up, turn it right up. It’s got to be a hit. It’s the greatest record I’ve heard for weeks, it’s fantastic. I hope it will be a hit. It’s all Brian Wilson. He just uses the voices as instruments. You keep waiting for the fabulous breaks. Great arrangement. He never tours or anything. He just sits at home thinking up fantastic arrangements out of his head,” John Lennon said.

The Beatle was right and the track performed well on the charts, peaking at number 20 on the United States Billboard Hot 100. But obviously, it wasn’t so successful like many other Beach Boys’ hits, which peaked at number 1 all over the world.

John Lennon also loved Pet Sounds and Wilson is a big Beatles fan

Lennnon also loved the most famous Beach Boys album “Pet Sounds” (1966), which Brian Wilson said many times was inspired by The Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” released one year earlier.

Wilson has always been a huge fan of The Beatles and in 2020, on John Lennon’s 80th birthday he shared a special message. “John was a great singer. I liked all of his songs, he really wrote good songs. ‘Norwegian Wood,’ I just liked the chords, you know? And ‘In My Life,’ yeah (sings) ‘In my life, I loved you more.’ He inspired ‘Pet Sounds’. Happy 80th Birthday, John,” Brian Wilson said.

They met each other multiple times over the decades
They had the chance to see each other multiple times over the decades but sadly it wasn’t always a good meeting due to Wilson’s mental health problems. That story was told by Alice Cooper as pointed out by Far Out Magazine. The Shock Rock artist was a close friend of Lennon in the 70s, especially when the Beatle lived in Los Angeles and they had a drinking club called Hollywood Vampires at the Rainbow Bar & Grill.

“I was sitting backstage after the 1974 Grammys with Bernie Taupin (Elton John’s lyricist) and John Lennon. This was when Brian was really having some mental issues. During the course of the conversation, I kept seeing Brian out of the corner of my eye. (He was) just kind of staring at us from different angles.”

“Finally, he came up to the table, bent down and whispered in my ear ‘Hey Alice, introduce me to John Lennon.’ I couldn’t believe that these two men had never met! They were virtually neck and neck in the 60’s as the greatest bands on the planet. I’m SURE they must have crossed paths at some point. But then I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I’m going to be the one to introduce them and become a part of rock history!’”

Cooper continued:
“So I merely said, ‘Brian Wilson, this is John Lennon. John Lennon, this is Brian Wilson.’ Lennon was very cordial and polite, saying things like ‘Hello Brian, I’ve always wanted to meet you. I’ve always admired your work. Paul and I considered Pet Sounds one of the best albums ever made.’ Brian thanked him and walked away, at which point Lennon went right back to his conversation like nothing had happened.”

“About ten minutes later, Brian came by our table again, leaned down and whispered something to Bernie. All of a sudden, Bernie was saying ‘Brian Wilson, this is John Lennon. John Lennon, Brian Wilson.’ Lennon was just as cordial and polite as the first time. (He said) essentially the same thing about always wanting to meet him.”

“As soon as Brian walked away, John looked at both of us and casually said in his typical Liverpudlian accent, ‘I’ve met him hundreds of times. He’s not well, you know,’” Alice Cooper said.

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