From avid disciple Liam Gallagher to Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil, John Lennon has influenced every generation of musicians since the 60s. Some 35 years since his murder on the streets of New York, we collect the words of today’s performers on the legend himself.
Brett Anderson: "You couldn’t not be a fan of his solo work if you have any interest in songwriting…I love ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band’, with ‘Mother’ on it, things like that, those songs are beautiful ‘Power To The People’ and stuff like that."
Rou Reynolds (Enter Shikari): "Well, what can you say. An absolute legend. I think he’s been an inspiration to our band even though people probably wouldn’t realise it. Not just his music but his activism as well, and his outlook."
Justin Young (The Vaccines): "They don’t really come much bigger than John Lennon, do they? He’s one half of the greatest songwriting team ever, an entertainer and an artist in equal measure."
Jake Bugg: "I think John Lennon is an absolute genius and a one-off, one of the best songwriters if the not THE best songwriter of the last century.”
Liam Gallagher: "His voice is the main thing I love. I like his speaking voice! That’s pretty fucking mega. But his voice when he sings is the one. Political voice? Don't give a shit, couldn't care less about politics. But everything else - his singing voice, his songs, and his words – means the world to me."
Alex Turner: "I love the scenes from the Gimme Some Truth film where they’re filming him in his house with [Phil] Spector, when he’s doing the vocal takes on the song ‘Gimme Some Truth’ and he's just spitting all this shit out, with all this menace and anger in his voice. I’m attracted to that angry Lennon, although it’s another thing I haven’t figured out how to do yet!"
Miles Kane: "Obviously you have a lot of inspirations and reasons why you get in to music and John Lennon is a main one for me."
Simon Neil (Biffy Clyro): "He was obviously the hugest rockstar ever but Lennon seemed to operate in a slightly different dimension to that: he was the working class hero, the everyman, and a real provocateur."
Paul Weller: "Lennon’s a singer I admire not so much for the technical side but for the honesty and power”…“He’s been a massive influence on me right across the board, as a writer, lyricist and singer.”
Ray Davies (The Kinks): "His voice cut through all the nonsense and sent a message to me that said, "If I can do it then so can you, so get up off your backside and play some rock ’n’ roll," as if to throw down a musical gauntlet."