The Beatles: Paul McCartney’s hilarious story of when John Lennon refused to wear glasses

John Lennon was famously shortsighted and in the early days of The Beatles didn’t wear his glasses in public out of vanity. Sir Paul McCartney took photos of his collaborator in private, some of which are on display at his new photography exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, which opened today in London.

During a conversation about one of these snaps with Conan O’Brien at a live recording of the comedian’s podcast, the 81-year-old shared a hilarious story of one time Lennon refused to wear his specs. The tale took place back in Liverpool when Lennon and McCartney would meet up at each other’s houses to write songs together.

Macca recalled: “John was really shortsighted and he used to come down from his house which was a mile or two away from where I lived and we would write songs and have a little session.” McCartney shared: “On this occasion it was Christmas. So John, after we’d finished, he would walk back in the dark to his place. “I knew the route he took, it was a place called Booker Avenue and on the corner was this little posh bungalow.

“So he walks home and the next day he said, ‘You know that house on the corner of Booker Avenue? Those people are crazy.’” Macca asked Lennon why he thought they were crazy and he replied: “They were out on the veranda playing cards at midnight, I don’t get it!”

McCartney continued: “So I went up and looked and it was the manager, it was the baby Jesus! He wasn’t going to put his glasses on.” It turns out the late Beatle hilariously mistook a nativity scene for the people who lived there.

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