Is there such a thing as liking too much? Not to Johnny Jones. He loves The Beatles. Love them as in can't get enough of them. So much so his whole house is a shrine to them.
Johnny Jones' house is quiet and plain from the outside. The only movement on this spring day comes from leaves skittering on the long and winding road that leads to the Tudor-style home. But inside, the place is vibrating. On this day, as with most, it’s from a track by The Beatles.
Jones is an extreme Beatles fan. He’s not alone, but few have gone to the length he has. Using paint, furnishings, murals and memorabilia, he's turned his Lakewood home in Washington into a temple devoted to classic rock and pop culture, and The Beatles.
Jones became a fan at age three when he heard A Hard Day’s Night. Now 51, he’s still just as obsessed. He’s been to Liverpool, England – the birthplace of The Beatles – three times. “Some people go to Jerusalem, I go there,” he says.
He doesn’t dress like The Beatles, he's quick to point out. But he’d be forgiven if he did – Jones plays keyboard and guitar in a Beatles tribute band, Apple Jam. The name is a nod to The Beatles’ recording label. Apple Jam performs songs that were composed but never released by The Beatles. They’ve put out two albums over eight years and headlined a Beatles festival in 2009.
“I’m not gifted at all,” Jones says, strumming an unplugged electric guitar, one of 30 he owns. “I’m a blue-collar musician.” Jones was a longtime employee of Federated Department Stores. “Now I do as little as possible. I push leisure to its limits,” he says.