The Shining is About John Lennon

Clif Dickens
2 min readMay 14, 2021


Forging a conspiracy theory

Stephen King got the title from his song Instant Karma! (We All Shine On).

Jack is John (“Heeeere’s Johnny!”), Wendy is Yoko Ono, and Danny is Paul McCartney. Tony, Danny’s imaginary friend, is the original Paul that presumably died and was secretly replaced.

The Overlook Hotel represents John trying to navigate life after The Beatles breakup. Though he is past his prime and will no longer play the game, he makes himself a dull boy. Jack gets distressed, though, when his muse — the light of his life — keeps him from being able to just sit around watching the wheels go ‘round and ‘round. Oh Yoko! Jack and Danny can’t really understand each other anymore, so they become distant. As Jack struggles to choose between Work and Play, Danny shines on — he starts exploring his own path (hallway).

Dick Hallorann helps Danny find his direction, just as Paul McCartney did with Wings and other musicians that helped him on his new musical journey.

Meanwhile, at the Overlook Bar, Jack embraces his isolation and relapses into the past — a day in the life of Beatlemania, he imagines all the people. Danny senses danger at the hotel, but doesn’t know what to make of it: REDRUM? Blood coming out of the walls? The Overlook Hotel is Jack’s assassin: a senseless, inexplicable act of violence that terrifies Wendy and Danny. Jack’s worldwide fame intensifies the reminders of his death, chasing them wherever they go. Finally, through a long and winding maze of confusion, Wendy and Danny are able to escape the initial stages of grief while Jack is left frozen in the past.


: living things “all shine on” while he remains frozen in the past.

— — — —

  • Danny is his neglected son Julian
  • “The Shining” = He’s Hinting

[The Shining is about The Beatles break-up. Jack is John Lennon (“Here’s Johnny!”), Wendy is Yoko Ono, and Danny is Julian, Lennon’s estranged son. The Overlook Hotel represents John trying to navigate life after the Beatles. Though past his prime and “no longer plays the game,” he’s content being a dull boy, sitting around “watching the wheels go ‘round and ‘round.” John becomes conflicted with this desire when his muse, the light of his life, disallows him from ]



Clif Dickens