BABY YOU CAN DRIVE MY CAR OFF THE ROAD
Happy birthday is well in order for John Winston Ono Lennon, who would have been 74 today.
It’s a well-known fact that John Lennon had terrible eyesight his whole life but refused to be seen wearing glasses in school and in public during the first solid three bananas-years of Beatlemania – 1963-66 – because he thought specs made him look uncool. This despite the Fabs’ love of the thick-lensed Buddy Holly, whose “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” was part of their early repertoire for years.
It was only while Lennon was filming “How I Won The War” in 1966 that he began sporting his famous round granny glasses which were to become his lifelong signature.
John Lennon was, of course, a phenomenal singer and writer of songs “everyone could sing” as he snarled at Al Capp in 1969, but by all accounts he was a disaster as a driver, both due to his lousy eyesight and his lifelong ineptitude with all things mechanical, like stereos, machinery of any kind, and the list goes on. Roadwise, he had trouble concentrating and would often stop at green lights and proceed when they were red, it’s said.
Rather than poking holes in the writer of “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “A Day In The Life” and “If I Fell,” this information endears us to John, proving he was an ordinary bloke like the rest of us, dealing with petty life details as well as crappy eyeballs.
Happy birthday to this passionate, angry, absurd, beautiful, brilliant man.
Below are some photos of cars Lennon owned and/or crashed. This is not meant to be the definitive list for all time.
John’s first car – a 1965 light blue Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 Coupe
The famous psychedelic Rolls-Royce Phantom V, with the ever-uncomfortable Julian Lennon at John’s waist.
1956 Austin Princess, seen in “Imagine” video
White British Leyland Austin Maxi Lennon crashed in Scotland in 1969. Lennon was not present at certain recording sessions of “Abbey Road” due to the crash.
1972 Chrysler Town & Country Station Wagon, which Lennon owned until his death in 1980.
For a fantastic story about this ride by Jonathan Moore over at SpeedHunters.com, click here.
– Josh Max/Auto Gigolo