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John Winston Ono Lennon
The Red and the Green Stamps


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There has been a long-standing rumor that John Lennon was gay or bisexual.

There are the testimonies of several people that point in this direction.

One is that of his step-mother, Pauline Jones Lennon, who married his estranged father when she was 19 in '69. She said that when he was relaxed, there was definitely something feminine about him.

Another is that of his friend, Pete Shotton, who was a member of one of the original Beatles line-ups. To explain his testimony, in April of 1963, John and the Beatles' homosexual manager Brian Epstein went on a vacation in Barcelona, Spain. It has long been rumored that John and Brian became lovers during this trip, or they at least had gay sex.

This testimony is quoted from his 1988 book, "John Lennon In My Life:"

"I visited John at Aunt Mimi's a few days after his return to England, and when he started in about how much he enjoyed Spain, I could hardly resist taking the piss out of him. 'So you had a good time with Brian, then?' John didn't so much as crack a smile. 'Oh, fuckin' hell,' he groaned. 'Not you as well, Pete! They're all fucking going on about it.' 'Actually, Pete,' he said softly, 'something did happen.' John then went on to confide the particulars to me. 'Eppy just kept on and on at me. Until one night I finally pulled me trousers down and said to him, --Oh, fuck it, Brian! Just stick it up me arse then.-- And he said to me, --Actually, John, I don't do that kind of thing. That's not what I like to do.-- I said to 'im, --Well, then, what do you like to do, what kind of thing do you do?-- He said, --I'd like to just hold you.-- So I let him toss me off (Liverpool slang for "make love to me").' 'That's all?' I said. 'Well, so what? What's the big fucking deal, then?' 'Yeah, the poor bastard. He's having a fucking hard enough time anyway. He got roughed up some by a dockworker in a loo because Brian tried to get him to toss him off. So what harm did it do then, Pete?' John asked me. 'The poor bastard can't help the way he is.' 'What's a fucking wank between friends?' I said."

Another is that of Tony Manero, the inspiration for the New York magazine story that later became Saturday Night Fever.

In May 1974, Manero was walking alone through Greenwich Village when he spotted John, singer Harry Nilsson, and another fellow strolling down the street.

"John was my idol. I walked up to him and said, 'I know a lot of people hassle you, but I just want to thank you for your music. You've helped me through a lot of bad times.' Outside Jimmy's Bar, he said, 'Why don't you come inside for a drink?' After we ordered, John switched seats to sit next to me. He said to me, 'Are you gay?' When I told him I wasn't, he looked really disappointed. He could have been joking, but he wasn't. My initial reaction was fear. And yet I wouldn't leave because it was John Lennon. I said to him, 'No, man, I don't go that way.' 'Are you sure?' he said, 'give me head.' I remember Harry was 'borrowing' $100 bills off him. At one stage I went out and when I came back, he was talking to this woman and he said, 'Pauly.' I thought he meant Paul, meaning McCartney. So John turns around and says, 'No, he's much prettier than Pauly. He's got a nicer mouth than McCartney. Paul's got a small mouth.' Then he turned to me and said, 'Let's go out and get some chicks.' This man was giving me a dream to pay millions for. John almost admitted his gay tendencies. So anyway, we went out walking and he put his arm around me. He said, 'It feels good to hold someone. You know what I mean?' Prior to that, he said, 'There is nothing wrong in being gay. Two people exchanging feelings is not wrong. Did you ever try it?' People were following us. We were wasted, and he put his arm around one girl and said, 'Suck my cock.' He stuck his tongue down her throat. We were loaded. Somebody stole the hat right off his head."

Lennon and company meandered over to the Pierre Hotel on Fifth Avenue, where he and Nilsson shared three adjoining suites, rooms 1608, 1609, and 1610.

"There was Harry's bedroom, John's, and a living room with a keyboard. He gave me a guitar, but it was later stolen. After we returned to the hotel he propositioned me again. After he died, I wished I'd done it. He tried to kiss me. He put his arm around me. John was making moves on me like a guy would a chick. When I said 'Halt,' it was finished, and we laid down together on the couch. I love the guy. I never asked him if he'd had sex with a man, but it was obvious to me he had. I stayed at the hotel sleeping on a spare bed next to his for about a week, but he never attempted it again. There were feelings and looks, though. He was very loving, like when a guy is very lonely. The man was bisexual. There are no two ways about it. He was feeling me out."

We turn to Pete Shotton again for the testimony. The two of them dropped acid one night in 1967, they ended up in his attic, and they both passed out on the floor. The next morning, they were awakened by the maid trudging up the attic stairwell. John woke up and on hearing her footsteps, suddenly shot to his feet saying, "Oh Christ, she'll think we've been fucking!"

A famous British radio and television broadcaster, Gloria Hunniford, was a guest at a London bash in 1965 when she and a friend happened to pass by a bedroom door. They peeked inside and what should they find but John Lennon passively engaged in anal sex with a well-known male celebrity photographer. They quickly shut the door and the secret was kept for a long time.

What does everyone think?

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Pepper-Attacked by Blue Meanies
The Red and the Green Stamps


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*Shrugs*

I've heard and read the rumors too. If he was, so what? If he wasn't, so what? Does that make him less than a man? No. Does it make him less of a musician? No. It just means he liked sex with men and women. I personally never gave it a second thought.

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Terilyn, Kiwi Cottonball
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Hmmm. This takes some thought. I am a John Lennon freak, a huge fan, and I pride myself on knowing quite a bit about old Johnny boy. Huge fan as I am, I had never read any of those quotes that you included in your post.

In regards to the one with Epstein, I believe it utterly and completely, or at least I think it is perfectly possible. I mean, my God, John Lennon was up for anything. He was overtly sexual, a free spirit, totally without prejudice or pre-formed opinions...I can totally see him ripping down his trousers and telling Brian to "get on with it". However, that doesn't make him gay. It just makes him John Lennon.

As for the other quotes, well, doesn't sound too much like John Lennon to me. I am not in any way disputing them, I'm just saying...from what I have read, heard and seen of John Lennon, he wouldn't have been like "suck my cock", and "paul's mouth is too small". That just does not in any way sound like John Lennon. He would have been talking about karma and how we need to all bed in for peace and by the way, some sex would be alright if you are game, type of thing. He would be all about exploring ones sexuality, not about "gimme a blow job". But that is just what I think.

I once read an article that was talking about how David Bowie supposedly took John away to some retreat in Ireland or something and tried to seduce him, and John was like, "I love you man, you are great, but I love Yoko and I'm really just not attracted to men." I always believed it. And hey, the way I figure, if he was gay, I think he'd be sleeping with David Bowie a hell of a lot faster than he'd be sleeping with Brian Epstein.

He obviously wasn't homosexual, he was married twice and pursued various women. Whether he was bisexual or not depends on your idea of bisexual. I like to think he was just sexual. I mean...he was JOHN LENNON. No titles needed. Doesn't matter anyway...he was brilliant. I love him to bits.

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Hippy Chipmunk
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by John Winston Ono Lennon:
So I let him toss me off (Liverpool slang for "make love to me")

As far as I am aware, "toss me off" has never been slang for "make love to me" it is a NFBSK term that means to masturbate someone. As mentioned at the end of the paragraph.

quote:
'What's a fucking wank between friends?' I said."
Hippy "I prefer spank the monkey" Chick
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dahdoll
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I'm also a Beatles FREAK (seeing Paul McCartney in Atlanta in a few weeks...WOOOOHOOO) and I did a term paper on them in high school many many moons ago. I also read the same thing about John and Brian Epstein in the book and I have never really heard anyone who heard the same thing until now. Doesn't really matter to me what his preference was...he was JOHN LENNON!! It is cool to hear that someone else read the same thing though...I thought I may have been hallucinating!!

Dah "What's a wank between friends" Doll

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Cate Harrison
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I've heard all the rumours too... I for one, don't think John was bi... I think was very open to trying stuff, (which might account for the Brian thing) but I've read enough stuff from people close to him (Paul, May Pang) saying he wasn't, that I'm willing to believe that whatever it was was just John being John...

Edit:

By the way, DahDoll, you've got something to look forward too, that's for sure. I saw Paul in Philly, he's AMAZING.

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Pepper-Attacked by Blue Meanies
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
As for the other quotes, well, doesn't sound too much like John Lennon to me. I am not in any way disputing them, I'm just saying...from what I have read, heard and seen of John Lennon, he wouldn't have been like "suck my cock", and "paul's mouth is too small". That just does not in any way sound like John Lennon. He would have been talking about karma and how we need to all bed in for peace and by the way, some sex would be alright if you are game, type of thing. He would be all about exploring ones sexuality, not about "gimme a blow job". But that is just what I think.
*snort* John has said much, much worse than that. He regularly mocked Epstein, calling him queer, faggot, etc. He was all for Karma and peace in the late 60s and 70s, but not in his young and wild days. Maybe he didn't change so much between his Liverpool years and his New York years? He was quite the madman in his day....and while my gut-reaction would be that the quotes in question weren't exactly accurate, I certainly wouldn't put it past him. John said and did some weird shit....I really wouldn't put anything past him, if he thought he could get some sort of reaction.
After all, isn't that what his entire life and career was about? Getting a reaction from people?

Edited to add:
I'm going to see Paul in L.A. on May 4. To quote Tom Petty, "The waiting is the hardest part."

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Terilyn, Kiwi Cottonball
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Pepper-Attacked by Blue Meanies:
[QB]He was quite the madman in his day....and while my gut-reaction would be that the quotes in question weren't exactly accurate, I certainly wouldn't put it past him. John said and did some weird shit....I really wouldn't put anything past him, if he thought he could get some sort of reaction.[QB]

Sure, that is part of being an entertainer. I don't doubt that John said vulgar things from time to time, and like I said in my post, I'm not disputing. I'm merely said, "Doesn't sound much like the John I've come to 'know', however, who really knows the truth.

I guess when I think of John Lennon, and who he was, and then I ask myself the question, "was he gay" I just want to laugh and laugh...he is one of the few people in the world I can think of that just doesn't go with a label. You want my gut? Hell no, I don't think he was gay, I think he was John Lennon. A sexually open man, a lover of love, a peace loving, good humoured, creative, and absolutely ahead of his time man. Whether he experimented or not or whether he had sex with guys all the time even is irrelevent somehow.

I guess there are just certain people in the world that you can pin a label on immediately and say, "Oh, he's gay", "Oh, she's a man-hater", "Oh, he is racist" or whatever, and you can just tell, and whatever thing that it is about them defines the very crux of who they are. So speculating about that person being gay/sexist/racist is somehow fitting. Because it defines them, it is part of getting to know who they are. Figuring them out, so to speak. But someone like John Lennon...we know all we need to know about the guy-he was absolutely brilliant, and I just can't really sit and speculate on whether or not he was "gay", because the question just sounds hilarious to my ears, and I wonder who in the world even thought of asking it.

I'm wondering if this post made any sense at all. Just got finished watching "Donnie Darko", and I'm in a deep-thinker frame of mind. Hope I didn't offend, I wasn't trying to imply that speculating about John's sexual status was stupid or wrong somehow, I just find it hard to speculate on it myself, because it is so unimportant and irrevelent to his life and his legacy.

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
A famous British radio and television broadcaster, Gloria Hunniford, was a guest at a London bash in 1965 when she and a friend happened to pass by a bedroom door. They peeked inside and what should they find but John Lennon passively engaged in anal sex with a well-known male celebrity photographer. They quickly shut the door and the secret was kept for a long time.

::sound of coffee flooding keyboard::

Whether or not this is true, the idea of the fragrant Gloria, now a matron of the early Sunday afternoon TV chat-show, standing in horror watching John Lennon getting bonked senseless, makes me laugh.

This is no comment on whether the lovely Gloria ever did witness such a scene of course. It's merely a comment on the bizarre imagery my brain is able to call up.

Other than that: 60s band-member experiments with sexuality. Who'da thunk?! Just as long as no-one comes up with a "Ringo in rubber witnessed by Dana" claim. I don't know if my keyboard would be able to take that.

embra

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Terilyn, Kiwi Cottonball
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
They peeked inside and what should they find but John Lennon passively engaged in anal sex with a well-known male celebrity photographer.
[Sarcasm]

Hmmmm....Andy Warhol, perhaps?

[/Sarcasm]

Supposedly Jim Morrison had a liason with Andy Warhol too, just like Lou Reed, Jimi Hendrix and apparently, John Lennon. He must have been gettin' it all the time. [Roll Eyes]

All I know is that if I was a guy, a celebrity, and "passively" letting someone of the same sex as me have sex with me, I think I'd have shut the door. Maybe even locked it.

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Le Petomane
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Terilyn, Kiwi Cottonball:
[Sarcasm]

Hmmmm....Andy Warhol, perhaps?

[/Sarcasm]


I read that as a well known photographer who took pics of famous people for a living, not an artist who worked with photographs as one of his media and happened to be famous. Ask me to describe Andy Warhol, and I wouldn't say "well known celebrity photographer."

Joe "Well, there go my 15 minutes." Pujol

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Sadie
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I, too, am a Beatles freak (just saw Paul in Toronto and he was AMAZING!!) and they have been quite an intense hobby for me for years.
I've read almost all the material out there one can read (that's worth-while, as Ringo once said, every mailman's son writing a biography about the Beatles isn't going to be taken too seriously) although I have to admit, some of the quotes I've read here are new to me.
Anyway, the thing we should all remember here is: gay, bi, straight, really experimental, whatever, he's John Lennon and he has giving the world more than we could ever begin to thank him for.
I think his music, message and memory are way more important than his personal life and who he chose to sleep with. It ultamately changes nothing. [Cool]

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KingDavid8
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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I'm yet another huge John Lennon fan (have been since hearing "Bungalow Bill" around 1973 or so). One thing I've learned about John is that he DOES tend to exaggerate things. I know that he's claimed to have taken thousands of acid trips and to have gobbled acid by the handful. In "Beatles Anthology", the others say that while John certainly took acid, it's unlikely that those claims could be true. In fact, he was never on acid while in the studio with them. He was barely able to record while he was high on pot, for that matter.

So while something COULD have happened between John and Brian Epstein, John could also have been exaggerating their closeness on that trip, perhaps to pull a stunt on Pete Shotton.

I've also got to question the Tony Manero quotes. These weren't, by chance, taken from Albert Goldman's Lennon biography? I remember reading an article about that biography, and Goldman claimed that one of John's friends from his mid-70's L.A. days had talked of John propositioning him, but the friend later claimed that he'd told Goldman no such thing, and had tapes of the interview to prove it. Apparently, Goldman made up quotes and stuck them into the guy's mouth (no pun intended). I don't think the quotes I read about all those years ago matched the Manero quotes, and I doubt any true fan would be quoting from Goldman's piece of sensationalistic trash anyway. I'm tempted to say that the best evidence that Lennon wasn't bi is that Goldman claimed he was [Razz] . But still, Manero himself could have been lying. Or not. Who knows?

But overall, John could have had homosexual tendencies. Experts say many men do, but just repress them. And I don't see John as the type to repress much. He definitely preferred women, but the other stuff could have happened also. I know he wasn't a perfect guy, just a great singer and songwriter. That's good enough for me.

David "Goo goo g'joob" Anderson

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majhoulihan
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Since we're all checking in, I saw Paul on 4/23 in DC. Great show! Paul looked great, sounded great...now that George is gone he's currently the oldest man I want to [NFBSK].

Getting to John, I read in the Anthology that Paul claimed that John was rather loose in Hamburg, yet the entire time he was there he never saw John with a guy. To my memory that's the only reference to the possibility of John being gay in the entire book. I've heard rumors about John and Stu Sutcliffe, but since both are dead we'll never know for certain. I've heard rumor also that John had an affair with actress Eleanor Bron (from HELP!) and that "Norweigan Wood" was based upon that.

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ravensbane
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Actually, if I remember my Beatles trivia correctly, George was the youngest Beatle; so even when George was alive, Paul was the oldest man you wanted to NFBSK...

[Smile]

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DarkMark
The Red and the Green Stamps


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As for the Tony Maneiro thing: wasn't it stated somewhere that Nik Cohn, who wrote the article upon which SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER was based (and, btw, go out and grab a copy of his ROCK FROM THE BEGINNING and read it...definitely the best book on 50's-60's rock), flatly made up the character because he didn't get suitable "real" material for his piece? I.e., Tony Maneiro never really existed, outside of the realm of fiction. If so, all "his" statements should definitely be taken with salt.
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Sister Ray
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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quote:
Originally posted by Terilyn, Kiwi Cottonball:
[

Supposedly Jim Morrison had a liason with Andy Warhol too, just like Lou Reed, Jimi Hendrix and apparently, John Lennon. He must have been gettin' it all the time. [Roll Eyes]

All I know is that if I was a guy, a celebrity, and "passively" letting someone of the same sex as me have sex with me, I think I'd have shut the door. Maybe even locked it.

My opinon on that subject (and you're all dying to hear that) is that if Warhol had really slept with all the people that people claim he has, he wouldn't have had time to do anything else.

I don't deny he was sexual; I just don't think his life was one entire romp across the bedsheets. People like to think that because he was gay, and all gay people are promiscuious. [Roll Eyes] I think he was fairly normal in his sexuality - he did it about as often as any normal person does. Just because he was surrounded by people who got it all the time doesn't mean he did. I believe that he showed some admirable restraint in his life.

Oh, and if it was Warhol, he would have locked the door.
Sister "we now return you to your reguarly scheduled thread" Ray

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Sister Ray
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Oh, and John Lennon could have been bisexual. A lot of creative people are. I'm not sure why. That would make an interesting study.

Sister "straight, if anyone cares, and not that creative" Ray

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The Organization. Adam Haseeb Memorial Pages. My library.

"There can't be a war on Christmas. Even Cambridge has decorations up!" - an observation I made

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MentholMig
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The only person who can answer this question for us was unfortunately murdered and taken from us far too soon. I find it interesting that in these days of increased understanding and acceptance of homosexuality that we find ourselves searching through the archives and trying to find out "who was gay". I personally think that it's a fruitless effort especially when we're dealing with the deceased. We can speculate all we like and even look for "what this person saw" or "what this person heard" but in reality only the celebrity in question can accurately explain their sexuality.
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