Home » Terri Hooley Discusses Punching John Lennon: ‘He Was Stoned’

Terri Hooley Discusses Punching John Lennon: ‘He Was Stoned’

Terri Hooley, the ‘Godfather of Punk,’ Reflects on Punching John Lennon: A Tale from the Past Terri Hooley, often hailed as the ‘Godfather of Punk,’ recently delved into his eventful history. In an interview following the release of his biography, ‘Terri Hooley: Seventy-Five Revolutions,’ he revisited a notorious incident involving John Lennon, where he threw a punch at the Beatles icon.

This encounter unfolded around 1970 during a visit to London. In a hazy state, Lennon, mistaking Hooley for an IRA supporter, offered to provide him with weapons. Hooley reminisced: “He was stoned, so it wasn’t my proudest moment. When I met Cynthia [Lennon’s first wife] and told her, she said, ‘You should have hit him harder!’”

Hooley’s Clash with Bob Dylan

Terri Hooley: Beyond Punk, A Life of Unconventionality Terri Hooley, a pivotal figure in Belfast’s punk scene, is renowned for catapulting bands like the Undertones and the Outcasts into the music spotlight, but his life narrative transcends the realms of music and protest.

Born into a Protestant family in east Belfast in 1948, Hooley faced adversity early, losing an eye at the tender age of six. By 17, he had already established himself as Belfast’s premier DJ, gaining recognition for his vocal opposition to the Vietnam War. This opposition sparked a memorable confrontation with Bob Dylan in 1966, revolving around Dylan’s decision not to pay taxes as a form of war protest.

In a previous interview, Hooley shared additional details about his encounter with Lennon, emphasizing that the incident concluded when his glass eye fell out. Despite the physical altercation, Hooley underscored his enduring admiration for Lennon: “It was never about the politics; it was about the music.”

Hooley’s Enduring Impact and Newly Published Biography

Hooley’s Impact Transcends Incidents: A Beacon of Unity in Divided Lands Terri Hooley’s influence goes far beyond the notable incidents in his life. His record shop, Good Vibrations, served not only as a hub for music but as a symbol of unity in a divided country. Recognized for his significant contributions to the music scene and culture in Northern Ireland, Hooley’s story has been commemorated through various mediums, including a biopic, a musical, and a documentary series produced by the BBC.

Despite grappling with bankruptcy in 1982 and health challenges that led to the closure of his last record shop in 2015, Hooley’s unwavering passion for music and his profound impact on the punk scene endure. To delve deeper into his experiences, his recent biography, released in celebration of his 75th birthday, provides an insightful chronicle. Copies are available here.

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