The Baby Boomer holy text of classic rock and the great Gen Z pastime of TikTok have forged an unlikely alliance. After a viral TikTok sent Fleetwood Mac‘s classic song “Dreams” racing back up the charts, we can only expect more ’70s Rolling Stone favorites to try their hand at the TikTok algorithm for a jolt of renewed relevance. Next up: John Lennon, who has “joined” TikTok to celebrate what would have been his 80th birthday.
While, obviously, Lennon himself isn’t behind the account, it is authorized and controlled by The Lennon Estate and Universal Music Group. The deal makes 11 Lennon solo songs (including “Imagine” and “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On”) available for TikTok creators to legally use. It also includes a profile of Lennon’s more poignant clips as well as a few of the rock legend dancing to his own music. “We’re super excited to launch my dad’s official TikTok account and cannot wait to see what his fans all over the world create using his music and his message of peace and love,” son Sean Ono Lennon said in a statement.
Of course, you can’t engineer a viral TikTok so pure as the “guy on a skateboard drinks cranberry juice while listening to ‘Dreams'” moment, and so far Lennon’s music has not yet inspired its own super-viral meme.
Instead, the native user base of TikTok is reacting to Lennon’s arrival on the platform about as well as you could expect. There were some earnest attempts to turn some of the quotes and songs into your standard TikTok fare.
This being the internet, there were some conspiracy theory-minded reactions insinuating Lennon’s death was a coordinated political assassination for speaking the truth (it was not). There were also users who took Lennon’s new page on the social network as a chance to re-litigate some of the more problematic aspects of his biography (Bill Burr’s internet-exploding SNL monologue made fun of people attempting to “cancel” John Wayne from the grave, but that apparently hasn’t stopped anyone from trying to cancel other departed famous Johns).
Others were just confused as to why Lennon turned up on TikTok in the first place.
Though, mostly people just used his music to let their weirdly cute little pets chill.
Of course, Gen Zers’ irreverent humor led to multiple calls to have none other than Ringo Starr join the platform next.
As of press time, no one has gone viral for drinking a bottle of SunnyD on a unicycle while listening to “Imagine,” but we’ll update this post should that occur.
That Time Andy Warhol Kissed John Lennon, and More of Christopher Makos’s Studio 54-Era Snapshots
Andy Warhol, Centre Pompidou, 1986. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Andy Warhol with Bikers on West Side Highway, NYC, 1981. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Andy Warhol, Detroit, 1985. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Andy Warhol, Altered Image, 1981. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Andy Warhol Painting the Flag, 1983. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Andy Warhol Applying Makeup to Debbie Harry, 1980. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Andy Warhol at Philip Johnson’s Glass House, 1981. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Andy Warhol Kissing John Lennon, 1978. Photo by Christopher Makos.
The Gang of Four at Studio 54 (Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, and Halston), 1978. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Andy Warhol, Tiananmen Square, 1982. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1984. Photo by Christopher Makos.
David Hockney, 1977. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Keith Richards, 1977. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Lou Reed, 1978. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Mick Jagger, 1977. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Debbie Harry, 1977. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Andy Warhol Kissing Ultra Violet, 1978. Photo by Christopher Makos.
Keith Haring, 1983. Photo by Christopher Makos.