John Lennon Embarrassed His Idol When He Kissed His Feet After a Concert

John Lennon idolized a musician for years. When they met, Lennon was so excited that he embarrassed the other artist.

John Lennon was critical of many musicians, but he also had idols who influenced him throughout his career. One of these people was Jerry Lee Lewis. Lennon had admired him since childhood and thought of him as an early inspiration. When he was famous himself, Lennon had the opportunity to meet Lewis. He immediately made it clear that he adored the musician.

John Lennon was thrilled to meet his idol after a concert

In Lennon’s “lost weekend,” a period of time when he was separated from Yoko Ono, he attended one of Lewis’ concerts. During this time, Lennon drank often, which typically made him argumentative and unpleasant. At Lewis’ show, however, he showed a different side of himself.

“I had only three childhood idols, Elvis, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee, and I haven’t seen any live,” he told a friend, per the book Lennon: The Definitive Biography by Ray Coleman. “Let’s go!”

Lennon found the concert thrilling and, according to Coleman, “led the applause” at the end of every song. At the end of the concert, Lennon’s friend, Elliot Mintz, took him backstage to meet Lewis. When he saw his childhood idol, Lennon dropped to the ground and began kissing Lewis’ feet.

“That’s all right son,” Lewis said. “You just get up now.”

Later, Lewis told The Guardian that he was “embarrassed” by Lennon’s behavior.

The Beatle usually felt embarrassed about his drunken escapades

Lennon might have gone over the top while showing Lewis how much he appreciated him, but their meeting did not end in disaster. Many of Lennon’s drunken nights didn’t end this way. Bouncers tossed him out of clubs for heckling performers, and he sometimes destroyed things in a drunken rage.

The day after drinking, Lennon would wake up embarrassed and apologetic.

“Why did you stay with me last night?” he would ask friends like Mintz. “God if you were that way, I’d not stay with you.”

Lennon had many chaotic nights out throughout his lost weekend. He settled down when he returned to his marriage with Yoko Ono in 1975.

John Lennon tried to impersonate his idol on a Beatles song

Much of Lennon’s early inspiration came from Lewis. He tried to emulate his idol and he thought Lewis was better than The Beatles on some songs.

“That’s the music that inspired me to play music,” Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1971. “There is nothing conceptually better than rock and roll. No group, be it the Beatles, Dylan, or Stones, have ever improved on ‘Whole Lot of Shakin’” for my money. Or maybe I’m like our parents: that’s my period, and I dig it and I’ll never leave it.”

When Lennon played the organ on the song “I’m Down” during a Beatles concert, he tried to perform like Lewis.

“I was putting my foot on [the organ], and George couldn’t play for laughing,” Lennon said in The Beatles Anthology. “I was doing it for a laugh. The kids didn’t know what I was doing. Because I did the organ on ‘I’m Down,’ I decided to play it on stage for the first time. I didn’t really know what to do because I felt naked without a guitar, so I was doing all Jerry Lee – I was jumping about, and I only played about two bars of it.”

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