John Lennon

John Lennon

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As most musicans do, John had a very problematic early childhood. He was born on October 9th 1940, during one of the most horrific bomb raids of Liverpool. In fact, the raid was so bad, that baby John was put under a table to protect him, and his Aunt Mimi risked her life to come to see him. His father, Alfred, was a merchant seamen so he was away a great deal and Julia, his mother, was very free spirited and was the main source for some of John's entertaining personality. Because of Julia's personality it was decided that Mimi, her much more strict sister, would raise John with her husband George. John was not abandoned by his mother, as some believe, she frequently visited him, but it was Mimi that raised him.
One most ghastly events in John's life at an early age occurred when his father came home to see him when he was four. Alfred came and took John to Blackpool, admist Mimi's reluctance. He did not return at his scheduled time and Mimi and Julia went to retrieve him. Once they got there, they made John choose what parent he wanted to live with. At first he wanted to stay with his dad, but he went crying to his mom, who brought him back to stay with Mimi. This event tragically scared John for the rest of his life, and fostered is insecurities. Mimi and George were fairly well off financially contrary to John's idea that he was working class. Of all the Beatles, John came from the wealthiest family. Mimi was very rigid and strict with John, and had the lacerating wit that John would display later. George was very easy and often spoiled John when Mimi was punishing him. John was a very bright child and often read, wrote and sang. He did however, have lots of trouble at school. He was always getting i trouble with Pete Shotton, his partner in crime. He did not do well with his grades and was poor in math especially. One thing John excelled in was art, he was notorious for his caricatures of deformed people. Therefore, as a teen, he went on to art school. There he met his future wife, Cynthia Powell, and best friend, Stuart Sutcliffe.
Also by this time, the skiffle craze had spread across Britain, and John formed a band.

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It at first consisted of his friends, and none had any musical knowledge. The skiffle craze died quickly but the Quarry Men, as they were named (after Quarry Bank High School which John attended), stayed together. Now they played the more rebellious, rock and roll. John became obsessed with music, and would practise his guitar often, which Mimi did not approve of. She frequently kicked John out onto the porch, and would often tell him "The guitar is nice John, but you won't earn a living from it!". John's music did unite him with his mother. Julia played banjo and taught John the chords she knew. This led John to only use 4 or the 6 strings. She also provided a place for his band to practice, in her bathroom. Unfortunately, she was killed when John was 17. This loss was something that would take John many many many years to recover from. Also lost before that was his loving Uncle George. Sadly, John would lose yet another important person before the Beatles became famous. Stu died of a brain hemorrage in Germany just before the Beatles achieved fame. Stu was very important to John for he was one of the few people John would not put an act up for.They shared many feelings together and when they separated they were known to write 20 page letters to eachother.
John did meet a good friend and future collaborator, Paul McCartney when the Quarry Men played at the Woolton Fete. Paul and John shared many many feelings and became very close friends, almost as close as John and Stu. They would often write their own songs together or work on someone else's when they should be in school. Paul was the better player, and he taught John a lot, most importantly is that he taught John how to tune a guitar, and showed him chords that used more than 4 strings. Both served as competition for the other in their compositions and ideas, and later this led to harsh feelings and was a contributing factor in the breakup. Paul introduced George into the band and they got a few gigs around Liverpool. The Beatles were invited to go to Hamburg, and they picked up Pete Best as their drummer, and Stu was their bassist as they needed to be a five piece band. Hamburg was a real eye opener for the Beatles and John especially went wild there. He would perform all sorts of antics to get attentio. In Hamburg, the Beatles, as they were now named, worked very very hard and met some very special people. These people helped change their image to the Beatles known when they became famous.
Joh always
desired fame and often felt he was out of place. He would often say that he was either a genius or crazy. He was very violent at times and sometimes was very threatening verbally. He would cut people down with his words and had no regard for how they felt. He was often disillusioned about what he truly wanted and scars from the past would frequently haunt him. He would always cover up his true feelings by acting out. When the Beatles became famous it is not surprising that John would experiment the most with drugs, sonds, etc.
The Beatles returned from Liverpool without Stu and wre managed by Brian Epstein. Brian tried very hard for the boys and always had their interests at heart. He was very fond of them and knew they were something special. Some say that he was especially attracted to John (being that Brian was gay) and that is why he wanted to manage them so badly. There was also a rumor that John had a sexual encounter with Brian while in Spain in 1963. It is ironic that Brian would be most attracted to John for John insulted him the most. But it was Paul who most threatened Brian, for Paul meant what he said, and John didn't. Brian eventually got them signed to a record contract with George Martin at Parlophone, a part of EMI. There was one change after that and that was the firing of Pete Best as their drummer and bringing in Ringo instead. With "Please Please Me", their second single, they had a number one hit, and became stars very very quickly.
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