In the 1964 movie A Hard Day’s Night, John Lennon pretends to snort a bottle of Coca-Cola, a sly reference to cocaine, an trace ingredient found in Coca-Cola until 1929. The Beatles’ 1969 song “Come Together,” penned by John, includes the lyric, “He shoot Coca-Cola,” another reference to cocaine. In 1970, the BBC banned the song, deeming the lyric to be advertising for Coca-Cola, which violated its policies.
Hard Day’s ShaveIn a scene in the Beatles’ 1964 movie A Hard Day's Night, George Harrison shows the group’s road manager Shake (played by actor John Junkin) how to use a safety razor. Harrison sprays shaving cream on the bathroom mirror and shaves Shake’s reflection. “Put your tongue away,” advises George. “It looks disgusting hanging out all pink and naked. And one slip of the razor and—!”
Give Kotex a ChanceIn 1974, during the time period he referred to as “The Lost Weekend,” John Lennon went with May Pang and guitarist Jesse Ed Davis to the Troubadour, a nightclub in Los Angeles, to see soul singer Ann Peebles. Before going to the club, the threesome ate dinner at a nearby restaurant where John got notoriously drunk. “I picked up a Kotex in a restaurant, in the toilet, and it was clean and just for a gag I came back to the table with it on me head,” John told Rolling Stone. “And cause it stuck there with sweat, just stayed there, I didn’t have to keep it on. It just stayed there till it fell off.” When they reached the Troubadour, John took another Kotex from his pocket and attached it to his forehead. When the waitress asked him why he didn’t leave a tip, John said, “Do you know who I am?” The waitress replied, “Yes, you're some asshole with a Kotex on your head.” Four years earlier in 1970, John Lennon released a music video of his song “Instant Karma.” Yoko sits in the background wearing a sanitary napkin as a blindfold while knitting. In 2017, Yoko tweeted, “I knitted during Instant Karma, blindfolded by a sanitary pad to let people know the position of women in the world.”
Sitting on a Corn FlakeA television commercial for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes inspired John Lennon to write the song “Good Morning, Good Morning” for the Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. “I often sit at the piano, working at songs, with the telly on low in the background,” John told biographer Hunter Davies. “If I’m a bit low and not getting much done, then the words on the telly come through. That’s when I heard ‘Good morning, good morning.’ It was a Corn Flakes advertisement.’ Just like the Beatles’ song, the television commercial started off with a rooster crow and the lyrics “Good morning, good morning!” John refers to Corn Flakes again in the lyrics to “I Am the Walrus.”
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