Michael Jackson honoured John Lennon by singing a Beatles song years after his death

Martin Bashir interviews Michael Jackson in 2002

Michael Jackson was influenced greatly by the band and artists that came before him – and that of course included The Beatles. By the time Jackson’s career was really lifting off in the 1980s, John Lennon had already died. Lennon was tragically murdered on December 8, 1980, just ten years after The Beatles had split up. Following his death, Lennon’s and his band’s music became legendary, even to Jackson.

While Jackson and Lennon never met, they were certainly aware of one another’s work.

Jackson in particular loved the work of the band, and Lennon especially.

Years later, Jackson even went on to buy the rights to all of The Beatles’ songs.

Now, in an unearthed clip of Jackson in the recording studio at some point in the 1980s, the Thriller star can be heard singing one of Lennon’s songs.

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The clip showcases Jackson singing Lennon’s section from Dig It.

The song itself was featured on the band’s final album, Let It Be, and acted as an interlude between Maggie Mae and Let It Be.

Jackson sang: “Like a rolling stone, like the FBI, you hear that? Like the CIA, like the BBC.”

Upon being questioned about the track, Jackson said: “It’s John Lennon. They call it Can You Dig It.”



Inspired, the King of Pop went on to tell his associate that he wanted to record some music off-the-cuff like Lennon and co did.

He explained: “It’s a little short piece, like a transitional thing. He’s just screaming out stuff.

“I’m telling you, what would be neat for you to do sometime is hook up your electric guitar or whatever, and just start playing, and get me a mic, and [create] out of the moment, which would be really fun.”

Jackson reiterated: “A lot of magic can be created out of the moment like that.”

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Although the pop star was keen to create some more magic in the studio, he did hit some snags along the way.

According to one of his session guitarists, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Jackson had some issues when he brought his monkey, Bubbles, to the studio.

In a recent interview the guitarist explained: “[Jackson] stopped bringing [Bubbles] to the studio because he tore apart the vocal booth and threw s**t against the wall at Westlake Audio.

“Man, that monkey just ripped that f*****g vocal booth to shreds.”

Steve added: “I think they banned ol’ Bubbles from the studio after that. But Michael was cool, man, he was a pro. He’d sing his a*s off in the studio.

“He knew what he wanted and I guess he loved what we did. He kept hiring us.”


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