The Story Of John Lennon’s Acting Gig In Germany

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On November 6, 1966,  John Lennon spends several weeks in Germany filming the movie “How I Won The War” under the direction of Richard Lester. During his stay in the country, he composed the legendary Strawberry Fields Forever.

He landed the acting gig after accepting the invite from director Richard Lester to appear in his film:

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“There were many reasons for doing it: a) it was Dick Lester and he asked me; b) it was anti-war; and c) I didn’t know what to do because The Beatles had stopped touring and I thought if I stopped and thought about it I was going to have a big bum trip for nine months so I tried to avoid the depression of the change of life by leaping into the movie. The thing I remember is that Dick Lester had more fun than I did.”

-John Lennon

He was given the role of Private Gripweed, not a major character of the film but it represented what Lennon can do outside the Beatles. It was the first and only acting gig he ever had away from the Beatles. He spent several weeks in Hanover filming his part at a Nato tank range in Celle, which was a town just right outside Hanover.