Maureen Cleave obituary

Info générales

John Lennon / Info générales 53 Views comments

Journalist who was close to the Beatles and known as one of Fleet Street’s most exacting interviewers

The interviewer Maureen Cleave, who has died aged 87, wrote the first notable newspaper article about four “fresh young jokers” from Liverpool, titled “Why the Beatles Create All That Frenzy”, for the Evening Standard in 1963. Three years later, her interview with John Lennon detonated the “Jesus controversy” in the US. Lennon told Maureen in 1966 that the band had become “more popular than Jesus. I don’t know which will go first – rock’n’roll or Christianity.”

As the band embarked on a 14-city tour, fans across the Bible belt burned the group’s records and mementoes on public bonfires in outrage and, by the year’s end, the Beatles had decided never to play in public again.

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