Beatles 'More Popular Than Jesus' -- Really? Meaning Of Lennon's Infamous Quote

By Emily Morenz
Teenagers gather at a "Beatles Burning," staged by WAYX-AM (Georgia), where records, books, and wigs are burned in a bonfire in response to John Lennon's comment that the Beatles are more popular than Jesus Christ. Bettmann / Contributor
We’re more popular than Jesus now.

John Lennon of The Beatles did not realize the severe impact this statement would have on his entire career and life when he said those words in a 1966 interview. By the mid-1960s, The Beatles were sweeping the world by storm in terms of popularity. The Beatlemania that began around 1964 was rapidly growing to the point where the moptops were idolized beyond comprehension. In an everyday sense, their importance to music fans (particularly teenagers) rivaled that of any religious deity, and John Lennon agreed. However, America did not let him get away with what seemed to be an innocent observation.