"Love is the flower you've got to let grow."
"Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."
"Love is a promise, love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear."
"If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace."
"You can't cheat kids. If you cheat them when they're children they'll make you pay when they're sixteen or seventeen by revolting against you or hating you or all those so-called teenage problems. I think that's finally when they're old enough to stand up to you and say, 'What a hypocrite you've been all this time. You've never given me what I really wanted, which is you."
"I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now? Reality leaves a lot to the imagination."
"I don't intend to be a performing flea anymore. I was the dreamweaver, but although I'll be around I don't intend to be running at 20,000 miles an hour trying to prove myself. I don't want to die at 40."
"The reason why kids are crazy is because nobody can face the responsibility of bringing them up."
"You make your own dream. That's the Beatles' story, isn't it? That's Yoko's story. That's what I'm saying now. Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It's quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don't expect Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan or John Lennon or Yoko Ono or Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ to come and do it for you. You have to do it yourself. That's what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There's nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can't wake you up. You can wake you up. I can't cure you. You can cure you."
"We're all Christ and we're all Hitler. We are trying to make Christ's message contemporary. We want Christ to win. What would he have done if he had advertisements,T.V., records, films and newspapers? The miracle today is communication. So Let's use it."
"Love is the answer and you know that for sure".
"Am I crazy or am I a genius? I don't think I'm either."
"I'm not going to change the way I look or the way I feel to conform to anything. I've always been a freak. So I've been a freak all my life and I have to live with that, you know. I'm one of those people."
"I always was a rebel...but on the other hand, I wanted to be loved and accepted...and not just be a loudmouth, lunatic, poet, musician. But I cannot be what I am not."
"When I was a Beatle I thought we were the best f***ing group in the goddamn world, and believing that is what made us what we were."
"The idea of being a rock and roll musician sort of suited my talents and mentality. The freedom was great, but then I found out I wasn't free. I'd got boxed in...The whole Beatle thing is just beyond comprehension...subconsciously I was crying for help."
"My defenses were so great. The cocky rock and roll hero who knows all the answers was actually a terrified guy who didn't know how to cry. Simple."
"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock and roll or Christianity."
"I'm not saying we're better or greater, or comparing us with Jesus Christ as a person, or God as a thing, or whatever it is. I just said what I said, and it was wrong, or it was taken wrong. And now it's all this."
"I'd never met a woman I considered as intelligent as me. That sounds bigheaded, but every woman I met was either a dolly-chick, or a sort of screwed-up intellectual chick. And of course, in the field I was in, I didn't meet many intellectual people anyway. I always had this dream of meeting an artist, an artist girl who would be like me. And I thought it was a myth, but then I met Yoko and that was it."
"We realized there's something wrong here, if everybody was upset by the fact that two people were naked."
"Anybody who knows our history knows that we went through all hell together - through miscarriages and terrible times."
"I think the basic thing nobody asks is why do people takes drugs of any sort? And that question has to be resolved before you can think, well, what can we do for the poor drug addict? Why do we have to have these accessories to normal living to live? I mean, is there something wrong with society that's making us so pressurized, that we cannot live without guarding ourselves against it?"
"In 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' I was visualizing Alice in Wonderland, an image of this female who would come and save me - a girl with kaleidoscope eyes who would be the real love of my life. Lucy turned out to be Yoko."
"We've broken down a few barriers between us, which we had to do because we had two big egos, two individual artists - and with love we overcame that."
"We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep on watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it."
"Before Yoko and I met, we were half a person. You know there's an old myth about people being half and the other half being in the sky, or in heaven or on the other side of the universe or a mirror image. But we are two halves, and together we're a whole."
"We're all in a bag, you know? I was in a pop bag, going round and round, in my own little clique. And she [Yoko] was in her own little avant-garde clique, going round and round...So we just came up with the word. If you'd ask us what bagism is, we'd say, 'We're all in a bag, baby."
"If being an egomaniac means I believe in what I do and in my art or my music, then in that respect you can call me that...I believe in what I do, and I'll say it."
"People want peace. And you've got do sell it and sell it and sell it. So we do the bed-ins and they say, 'What? They're in bed? What's this?' And all we're doing really is donating our holiday. We get tired and it's...more convenient for us to stay in one spot than go around doing press conferences."
"We haven't been apart for more than one hour in two years. Everything we do is together, and that's what gives us our strength."
"Songwriting is about getting the demon out of me. It's like being possessed. You try to go to sleep, but the song won't let you. So you have to get up and make it into something, and then you're allowed to sleep. It's always in the middle of the night, or you're half-awake or tired, when your critical faculties are switched off. So letting go is what the whole game is. Every time you try to put your finger on it, it slips away. You turn on the lights and the cockroaches run away. You can never grasp them..."
"Everything I've ever done is out. I don't have boxes of unreleased stuff. There's nothing in the files. I can never keep anything unless I don't like the sound of it or it didn't work. If I can sing it to an engineer, I can sing it to anyone..."
"Possession isn't nine-tenths of the law, its nine-tenths of the problem."
"It doesn't matter how long my hair is or what color my skin is or whether I'm a woman or a man."
"It was like being in the eye of a hurricane. You'd wake up in a concert and think, Wow, how did I get here?"
"The writing of the Beatles, or John and Paul's contribution to the Beatles in the late sixties - had a kind of depth to it, a more mature, more intellectual approach. We were different people, we were older. We knew each other in all kinds of different ways than when we wrote together as teenagers and in our older twenties."
"We were all on this ship in the sixties, our generation, a ship going to discover the New World. And the Beatles were in the crow's nest of that ship ... We were part of it and contributed what we contributed. I can't designate what we did and didn't do. It depends on how each individual was impressed by the Beatles or how our shock wave went to different people. We were going through the changes, and all we were saying was, it's raining up here, or there's land or there's a sun or we can see a seagull. We were just reporting what was happening to us."
"I was too scared to break away from the Beatles, which I'd been looking to do since we stopped touring. And so I was sort of vaguely looking for somewhere to go but didn't have the nerve to really step out into the boat myself, so I sort of hung around, and when I met Yoko and fell in love, my God, this is different than anything before. This is more than a hit record. It's more than gold. It's more than everything...When I met Yoko is when you meet your first woman, and you leave the guys at the bar, and you don't go play football anymore. Once I found the woman, the boys became of no interest whatsoever, other than they were like old school friends."
"I've always thought there was this underlying thing in Paul's 'Get Back.' When we were in the studio recording it, every time he sang the line 'Get back to where you once belonged," he'd look at Yoko."
"Everything positive is nice, I like it. Just the effect it had on people was good, I think."
"Once you're so depressed that you get into drugs, once you're on them, it's very, very hard to see the light or to have any kind of hope. All you think about is the drug, and it's no good to us preaching at people and saying don't take them. Because that doesn't work. It's like the church telling you not to drink or not to have sex when you're a kid. There's nothing on earth gonna do it. But if people take any notice of what we say, we say we've been through the drug scene, man, and there's nothing like being straight. You need hope, and hope is something that you build within yourself and with your friends. It's a very difficult situation, drugs ... The worst drugs are as bad as anybody's told you. It's just a dumb trip, which I can't condemn people if they get into it, because one gets into it for one's personal, social, emotional reasons. It's something to be avoided if one can help it."
"With us it's a teacher - pupil relationship. That's what people don't understand. She's the teacher and I'm the pupil. I'm the famous one. I'm supposed to know everything. But she taught me everything I f***ing know."
"Rituals are important. Nowadays it's hip not to be married. I'm not interested in being hip."
"Well, crying for it wasn't enough. The thing the sixties did was show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn't the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility."
"The only time we took drugs was when we were without hope and the only way we got out of it was with hope and if we can sustain the hope then we don't need drugs, liquor or anything. But if we loose hope, what can you do? What is there to do?"
"If The Beatles or the 60's had a message, it was 'Learn to swim. And once you've learned - swim!"
"Living is easy with your eyes closed..."
"Now, in the sixties we were naive, like children. Everybody went back to their rooms, and said, 'We didn't get a wonderful world of just flowers and peace and happy chocolate, and it won't be just pretty and beautiful all the time,' and just like babies everyone went back to their rooms and sulked. 'We're going to stay in our rooms and play rock and roll and not do anything else, because the world's a horrible place, because it didn't give us everything we cried for.' Right?"
"I still don't know how to express the really delicate personal stuff. People think that Plastic Ono is very personal, but there are some subtleties of emotions, which I cannot seem to express in pop music, and it frustrates me. Maybe that's why I still search for other ways of expressing myself. Songwriting is a limiting experience in some ways - writing down words that have to rhyme."
"We've been on our peace gig, as we call it, for a year solid. And people say, 'Do you think it's having any effect?' I can't answer that. It's like asking me in the Cavern, 'Are you gonna make it?' In the back of my mind I thought, I'm gonna make it, but I couldn't lay it on the line. And I think that peace is more tangible than Beatles."
"Nothing will stop me, and whether I'm here or wherever I may be, I'll always have the same feelings, I'll say what I feel."
"When you're thirty-five, you can't take as much booze ... and I always got a little violent on drink...So it was kind of self-destructive suicide side of me, which is resolving itself for the better, I believe, because I never enjoyed it..."
"Yoko was the only one who didn't put me down through that period, because a) she knew I was suffering, and b) she said, 'You didn't kill anyone. You didn't abuse anyone.' And I thought, Okay, okay, she doesn't mind it, so I'm not going to give a damn whether the reporter likes it or not."
"The worst was being separated from Yoko and realizing that I literally could not survive without her."
"We were separated for eighteen months. The Beatles didn't get back together again, did they? So it was not Yoko who kept them apart."
"When [Yoko and I] got back together, we decided that this is our life. That having a baby was important to us, and that everything else was subsidiary to that, and therefore everything else had to be abandoned. I mean, abandonment gave us the fulfillment we were looking for and the space to breathe."
"The joy is still there when I see Sean. He didn't come out of my belly, but my God, I've made his bones, because I've attended to every meal, and how he sleeps, and the fact that he swims like a fish because I took him to the ocean. I'm so proud of all his things. But he is my biggest pride."
"The pressures of being a parent are equal to any pressure on earth. To be a conscious parent, and really look to that little being's mental and physical health is a responsibility which most of us, including me, avoid most of the time, because it's too hard...To put it loosely, the reason why kids are crazy is because nobody can face the responsibility of bringing them up..."
"If [Sean] doesn't see me a few days or if I'm really, really busy, and I just sort of get a glimpse of him, or if I'm feeling depressed without him even seeing me, he sort of picks up on it. And he starts getting that way. So I can no longer afford to have artistic depressions. If I start wallowing in a depression, he'll start coming down with stuff, so I'm sort of obligated to keep up. And sometimes I can't, because something will make me depressed and sure as hell he'll get a cold or trap his finger in a door or something, and so now I have sort of more reason to stay healthy or bright..."
"Nobody controls me. I'm uncontrollable. The only one who can control me is me, and that's just barely possible. And that's the lesson I'm learning. If someone's going to impress me, whether it be a Maharishi or a Yoko, then there comes a point where the emperor has no clothes 'cause I'm naive, but I'm not stupid. For all you folks out there who think I'm having the wool pulled over my eyes, well, that's an insult to me. But if you think you know me, or you have some part of me because of the music, and then you think I'm being controlled like a dog on a leash because I do things with her, then screw you, brother or sister, you don't know what's happening. I'm not here for you, I'm here for me and her, and now the baby"
"For a long time I wasn't listening to music, to the rock and roll stuff on the radio, because it would cause me to get sweaty--it would bring back memories I didn't want to know about, or I would get that feeling that I'm not alive 'cause I'm not making it. And if it was good, I hated it 'cause I wasn't doing it. And if it was bad, I was furious 'cause I could've done it better..."
"The first year I had this sort of feeling in the back of my mind that I ought to [be doing music]. And I'd go through periods of panic, because I was not in Billboard or being seen at Studio 54 with Mick and Bianca. I mean, I didn't exist anymore. It would become like paranoia, and then it would go away, because I'd be involved with the baby. And I realized there was a life without it - life after death."
"Why don't people believe us when we say we're simply in love?"
"I've baking bread and looking after the baby...Everyone else who has asked me that question over the last few years says. 'But what else have you been doing?' To which I say, 'Are you kidding?' Because bread and babies, as every housewife knows, is a full-time job. After I made the loaves [of bread,] I felt like I had conquered something. But as I watched the bread being eaten, I thought, Well, Jesus, don't I get a gold record or knighted or nothing?"
"When I was cleaning the cat sh*t and feeding Sean, she [Yoko] was sitting in rooms full of smoke with men in three-piece suits that they couldn't button."
"We are both sensitive people and we were hurt a lot by it. I mean, we couldn't understand it. When you're in love, when somebody says something like, 'How can you be with that woman?' you say, 'What do you mean? I am with this goddess of love, the fulfillment of my whole life. Why are you saying this? Why do you want to throw a rock at her or punish me for being in love with her?' Our love helped us survive it, but some of it was pretty violent. There were a few times when we nearly went under, but we managed to survive it and here we are. [Looks upward] Thank you, thank you, thank you."
"Listen, if somebody's gonna impress me, whether it be a Maharishi or a Yoko Ono, there comes a point when the emperor has no clothes. There comes a point when I will see. So for all you folks out there who think that I'm having the wool pulled over my eyes, well, that's an insult to me. Not that you think less of Yoko, because that's your problem. What I think of her is what counts! Because - f*** you, brother or sister, you don't know what's happening. I'm not here for you. I'm here for me and her and the baby!"
"They want to hold onto something they never had in the first place. Anybody who claims to have some interest in me as an individual artist or even as part of the Beatles has absolutely misunderstood everything I ever said if they can't see why I'm with Yoko. And if they can't see that, they don't see anything. They're just jacking off to - it could be anybody. Mick Jagger or somebody else. Let them go jack off to Mick Jagger, okay? I don't need it."
"It just was a gradual development over the years. I mean last year was 'all you need is Love.' This year, it's 'all you need is Love and peace, baby.' Give peace a chance, and remember Love. The only hope for us is peace. Violence begets violence. You can have peace as soon as you like if we all pull together. You're all geniuses, and you're all beautiful. You don't need anyone to tell you who you are. You are what you are. Get out there and get peace, think peace, and live peace and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like."
"My role in society, or any artist's or poet's role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all."
"When I was about 12, I used to think I must be a genius, but nobody's noticed. ...If there is such a thing as genius.... I am one, if there isn't I don't care."
"Those in the cheaper seats clap. The rest of you rattle your jewelry."-1963 (Royal Variety Performance)
"....the only way you can better John is by copying him exactly." - Yoko Ono Lennon