How a John Lennon Song Inspired Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’

by Jeremy Spirogis
How a John Lennon Song Inspired Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’

John Lennon was a singer-songwriter who had an incredible affect. Certain genres like psychedelic and avant-garde music wouldn’t be the identical with out him. Surprisingly, his affect additionally prolonged to horror novelist Stephen King‘s masterpiece The Shining.

The Shining stays one among King’s most acclaimed books. The ebook’s title refers to psychic talents shared by a few of its characters. The time period was, shockingly, impressed by John’s hit “Instant Karma!”

Jack Nicholson within the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining, a ebook impressed by a John Lennon music |Warner Brothers/Getty Images

The lyric which impressed a horror traditional

As a solo artist, John usually made unconventional music. “Instant Karma!” is one among his accessible solo songs, which might be why it grew to become such a giant hit. Part of its attraction lies in its catchy chorus of “We all shine on!”

When John wrote that music, there’s a very good probability he wasn’t occupied with horror novels. On the opposite hand, King used to take heed to music when he wrote his books. “Instant Karma!” managed to exert a substantial affect on The Shining. The music’s chorus impressed the idea of “shining” which figures so prominently within the novel. In a approach, the concept that “Instant Karma!” impressed a horror novel is smart, because it’s a music with foreboding lyrics.

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“Instant Karma!,” a traditional tune John Lennon tune credited to Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band

Notably, the ebook modified titles in the course of the inventive course of. King initially wished to present the ebook a really comparable title – The Shiner. However, somebody identified to him that the time period “shiner” is typically used as a slur towards black individuals. Therefore, King determined to vary the title of the ebook. Regardless of the ebook’s closing title, the final word concept for it got here from John’s music.

The John Lennon reference within the sequel to ‘The Shining’

Sadly, no references to “Instant Karma!,” John, or the Beatles could be present in Stanley Kubrick’s well-known movie adaptation of The Shining. However, The Shining franchise didn’t finish there. King would finally follow-up The Shining with a sequel: Doctor Sleep.

King is understood for referencing his earlier work in his novels. These references function little Easter eggs for his followers. There’s a Beatles reference in Doctor Sleep which can double as a reference to the origin of The Shining.

Stephen King’s ebook Doctor Sleep additionally contains a reference to a music written by John Lennon | KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP through Getty Images

Danny Torrence, a serious character from The Shining, goes by means of extra ghostly misadventures in Doctor Sleep. At one level, he hears somebody taking part in the Beatles music “Not a Second Time.” The joke right here isn’t refined. Danny has been attacked by ghosts earlier than and doesn’t wish to expertise {that a} second time so the usage of the music “Not a Second Time” displays his feelings.

On one other degree, this Beatles reference might be an try and deliver all the pieces residence. The Shining was impressed by a music written by John, so maybe that’s why King determined to reference one other music by John in Doctor Sleep. Clever inside joke or mere coincidence? You resolve!

Also see: Why All Your Theories About ‘The Shining’ Are Wrong

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