The 1966 “Bigger than Jesus” scandal that brought a semi-official end to the giddy phenomenon known as Beatlemania.

John Lennon said this years later. “I couldn’t go away knowing I’d created another little piece of hate in the world. So I apologized.”

The apology Lennon offered was not for the message he was trying to convey, but for conveying it in a way that confused its meaning. At a press conference in Chicago, John explained: “I’m not anti-God, anti-Christ or anti-religion. I was not saying we are greater or better. I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I’m sorry I said it, really. I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing. From what I’ve read, or observed, Christianity just seems to be shrinking, to be losing contact.”