John Lennon and Elton John, “Whatever Gets You Through The Night”

It’s hard to believe that it’s been thirty years since John Lennon was murdered. A lot is going to be written today about Lennon as an artist, activist and man of peace. However, what gets lost in this narrative is that Lennon also knew how to have fun. All the Beatles liked to occasionally goof, but Lennon was the prankster of the group. His sometimes biting humor can be seen in several Beatles songs, including his addition of the lyrics  “It can’t get no worse” to the Paul McCartney penned “Getting Better.”

In 1974, John Lennon released a single called “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” on which his friend Elton John provided backing vocals. Elton bet John that the song would top the charts, and if it did, John would join Elton onstage to perform the song live. The song did indeed hit number one, and at Elton’s Thanksgiving concert at Madison Square Garden, Lennon joined Elton John and his band to perform “Night” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” Here’s the performance of “Night” from that concert and you can tell that the two Johns are having a blast.


About Michael Darling
Collector of the interesting and absurd.

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