John Lennon begins wearing ‘granny’ glasses

In preparation for his role in Richard Lester's film How I Won The War, John Lennon was given an army-style haircut and a pair of new glasses to wear.

Lennon's haircut took place in the breakfast room of the bar The Inn On The Heath hotel in Celle, near Hanover, West Germany. The short-back-and-sides, performed by 28-year-old German hairdresser Klaus Baruch, made headlines around the world.

John Lennon gets a haircut for How I Won The War, 6 September 1966

Baruch shaved off Lennon's sideburns, swept back his fringe and greased it down. The cut hair was later burnt to prevent it being sold.

Although the hairstyle proved a temporary measure, the old-fashioned round National Health 'granny' glasses quickly became a trademark of his public image. They became soon fashionable, and he retained the look until the end of his life.

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12 responses on “John Lennon begins wearing ‘granny’ glasses

    1. Hughbe

      If you look closely at the photos from Help when the disguised Lennon looks so presciently 1969 you’ll notice small holes in the middle of each lens. They were fake glasses.

    2. Josh

      i’m also more inclined to believe that this inspired his look. Dick Lester too shares this view in the making of Help documentary. The military issues he wore in How I Won The War were not round, but he and Paul often went out in disguises and he found them useful for a while.

      And yeah his eyeballs are so comically huge they’d have to have fake lenses. two or three coke bottle lenses had to have been in those suckers, but they’re dead on “lennon glasses”–compare their gold frames to the ones worn in the Strawberry Fields Video–the earliest appearance of them with his prescription. Gold rims, they’re practically identical. The How I Won The War glasses were tortoise shell it appears.

    1. Josh

      partly true. john was legally blind from a young age, he wore contact lenses. one of the early things cynthia found she had in common with john was at art school, neither of them could see because john refused to wear his contacts in his early years. legal blindness is very common, something like 90% of people who wear glasses are considered “legally blind”. If you can’t drive without em, you’re legally blind. but john was wearing the specs when he passed his first driving test in (i believe) 66.

    2. walrus teeties

      you don’t go ‘legally blind’ no matter how you misspell it from not wearing your glasses. In fact the opposite is true. I’ve had a fight with my optometrist who made me specs that were too strong. My eyesight has improved from not wearing them (myopia)

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