It's the latest in those Gospel According to... books so trendy in Christian publishing circles these past few years. (To wit: The Gospel According to Disney, ...the Simpsons, ...Lord of the Rings, etc.) But I'm a big enough Beatles and Jesus fan to give this one a closer look -- especially because Turner doesn't shy away from discussing how the Beatles' experimentation with hallucinogens and milder drugs led them to consider spiritual matters at the height of their fame. As Turner explains:
They began to question their assumptions and talk openly about belief in God. They cut down on drinking whiskey as they took up smoking pot, and read Aldous Huxley rather than Ian Fleming. George was saying that the only worthwhile pursuit was the search for the answers to the questions, who am I? why am I here? and where am I going? “We made our money and fame, but for me that wasn’t it,” he said. “It was good fun for a while, but it certainly wasn’t the answer to what life is about.”
And based on this excerpt, the book also addresses John Lennon's messiah complex. It appears to be deeper than his flippant and well-publicized remark at the height of Beatlemania that the band was "bigger than Jesus." A 1980 quote from Lennon is particularly telling.
In 1980, when asked why the Beatles would never reform, his reply alluded to at least three Gospel stories. “Do we have to divide the fish and the loaves for the multitudes again?” he said. “Do we have to get crucified again? Do we have to do the walking on water again because a whole pile of dummies didn’t see it the first time or didn’t believe it when they saw it? That’s what they’re asking. ‘Get off the cross. I didn’t understand it the first time. Can you do it again?’ No way. You can’t do things twice.”
Occasionally this empathy was so consuming that, as he later admitted, when he was under the influence of drugs, “I thought, ‘Oh, I must be Christ.’” His boyhood friend Pete Shotton told of a meeting John called in May 1968 to tell Paul, George, and Ringo that he was Jesus Christ reincarnated. He wanted an authorized statement to that effect put out. Apple’s press officer Derek Taylor, who was also present, listened attentively but wisely ignored the plea, knowing that the drugs would soon wear off and this new Jesus would go back to being John.