Perusing a New York Times article today about the new documentary Danny Says — a portrait of the legendary “mover, shaker, influencer and scene maker” Danny Fields — I read the following:

In 1966, when Mr. Fields was managing editor of the teen magazine Datebook, he reprinted an interview John Lennon had given in England several months earlier, in which he said that the Beatles had become “more popular than Jesus.”

So there it is: In addition to his many other contributions to rock’n’roll history — which include facilitating the careers of Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and the Ramones — Danny Fields is personally responsible for the (inaccurately named) “bigger than Jesus” controversy. This is generally considered one of the darker episodes in Beatles history, though it can also be viewed as having contributed to their decision to stop touring, and thus helping clear the path for all they would do subsequently.

Danny Says sounds like quite an interesting film. I should see it soon. I should also probably see Ron Howard’s Beatles doc 8 Days a Week — and I will, as soon as it arrives in our little backwoods hamlet, or maybe on an upcoming three-point vacation. If you’ve seen either, and have anything to say, I’d love to hear from you.