The singer, who was speaking in this week’s issue of NME which names Lennon as the Ultimate Musical Icon of the last 60 years, said that The Beatles‘ co-frontman is someone he admires deeply and that the lyrics to The Beatles’ classic ‘I Am Walrus’ remain an inspiration to him.
Speaking about Lennon, Turner said: “I remember when I first started writing songs and writing lyrics, I really wanted to be able to write an ‘I Am The Walrus’-type song. And I found it very difficult. You listen to that and it sounds like it’s all nonsense, but it’s really difficult to write that sort of thing and make it compelling. Lennon definitely had a knack for that.
Turner then spoke about the band’s decision to cover ‘Come Together’ at the Olympics opening ceremony and said that learning the lyrics to the track made him consider how well written the song’s lyrics are.
He said of this: ‘Come Together’, which we just played at the Olympics – I found that song difficult to get anywhere near. I’ve heard that song a thousand times before, but there’s not one word in that song that logically leads into the next one. It’s all a jumble, but it’s not just that, if you know what I mean. It paints you a picture and puts you in this place. He’s got a way of leading you somewhere with these unusual words that don’t make sense, but also make perfect fucking sense.”
Turner also said he loved the anger Lennon managed to display and said he believed his iconic status is well deserved.
He said of this: “But there’s also this other type of song he does really well, where the writer is almost singing right into the listener’s ear, and you know exactly where it’s going, but you want to go anyway. I’m attracted to that angry Lennon, although it’s another thing I haven’t figured out how to do yet! He definitely deserves all the praise and accolades that he receives.”
To read a full feature about John Lennon, with the likes of The Maccabees, Alex Turner and Miles Kane paying tribute to him, pick up this week’s issue of NME, which is on newsstands now or available digitally.
You can also watch a video which features the likes of Passion Pit, Enter Shikari and The Vaccines speaking about their love of John Lennon at the bottom of the page.