John Lennon made the remark to Maureen Cleave of the London Evening Standard during an extensive series of interiews with each Beatle.
The comment made little impact in the UK – but in the US the interview was published in ‘Datebook’ magazine – who put John’s comment on the front cover.
The Beatles forthcoming US tour was in danger of being cancelled, until Brian Epstein flew to the US to dampen down the controversy.
Even so, the Beatles first press conference of the tour turned into an interview with John about his comments, with the other Beatles hardly getting a word in.
For more on the controversy, seeBeatles, Beatles Chicago, Bigger than Jesus, John Lennon