John Lennon stated that he penned one of his post-Beatles tracks in responding to fan feedback. He clearly wanted to refute critics who claimed he had become sluggish. As a result, the song title became a worldwide smash.
One of John Lennon’s compositions was described as a “love letter.”
In 1975, the “Imagine” artist delivered his penultimate record, Rock ‘n’ Roll. Double Fantasy, his next record, would not be released for another five years. John had not taken a really long interval between releases since the start of his post-Beatles career.
According to the book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, they couple gave a Playboy interview in 1980 and during that interview the meaning of John’s composition “Watching the Wheels” was revealed.
“Well, it’s a kind of — it’s a song version of the love letter from John and Yoko,” he said.
John stated that he wanted “Watching the Wheels” to respond to a fan comment. “It’s an answer to ‘What have you been doing?’ ‘Well, I’ve been doing this — watchin’ the wheels.’” John mentions taking some time away from the spotlight to be a family man in the track.
John was questioned about the song during the interview.
“People say I’m lazy, dreamin’ my life away” from “Watching the Wheels.” “Yeah, well, they been saying that all my life,” he recalled. “You wanna read my report card? I have them all from school. That’s more of John’s life story than John and Yoko’s.
“It says, ‘He’s lazy, he’s lazy,’ but I was never lazy,” John continued. “How can you think if you’re doing something all the time? When you’re eating, eat. When you’re painting, paint. When you’re sitting, sit. There’s a time for sitting and a time for running.”
John didn’t consider himself to be a slacker.
“And just because my life is half lived in public, people comment on it,” he said. “I’m not lazy. I’ve done more in my life than most people would do in 10.”
The song “Watching the Wheels” became a smash. It reached at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for 17 weeks. The master album of the track, Double Fantasy, would become a larger hit. The record debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for eight of its 77 weeks.