Love Is The Greatest Refreshment In Life English Literature Essay

By- Haresh Pania

Date – 27/03/2013 [First Draft] – 15/04/2013 [Second Draft]

INTRODUCTION

You may not be an avid Music follower, but it is an integral part of your life. Music is everywhere; it is an escape from the unmeaning noise around us. You walk into an Elevator and its there, you back up car and its blares a corny tune, you hear it when operator puts you on hold and it welcomes you when you switch on your computer. Music is your best ally, as it accompanies you when you are sad, connects you with the almighty, it energizes and inspires, walks with you down the memory lane, its therapeutic in so many ways. Gods of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Pop music have proved that music has no boundaries, music never dies and it shapes generations. You are going to read today about a Musical genius, whose songs not only made striplings go crazy but also brought a generation together to fight for peace.

John Lennon, Bad boy from Liverpool, mean as an eagle, sarcastic and a quick wit was a Singer, Composer, Actor, Writer, Poet, Cartoonist and a Political activist. An ex Beatle, John Lennon was highly controversial character in Music Industry, but was a Genius of lower crust. You dont have to be a Beatle maniac or a Music lover to read this biography, just read on…. Enjoy…. Breathe! Who knows may be his life gives solution to your inner conflict and anger you have bottled up since your salad days.

MUSIC IN GENES

"Love is the greatest refreshment in life." 

Alf Lennon a cruise line steward, from Liverpool, England, woolgathered to make a career in show business as a Minstrel. However, Alf, a man of small stature and lack of jolly good looks, possessed silver tongue and a quick wit. His comic timing and talent of entertaining people at the drop of a hat won him friends offshore on long sea voyages. The young seaman, met his woman of dreams at Blackpool, she was Julia Stanley. Julia was a young elegant Liverpool girl, a gifted singer and equally talented pianist and banjoist. She worked as an Usherette at Trocadero Cinema and was crazy for pop music. Together they were like house on fire. A tease by nature, Julia was never short of male attention, yet her choice of her future husband was beyond bizarre. Julia’s elder sister Mary Stanley aka Mimi, a straight-laced nurse, described Alf as "Good-for-nothing" bloke. To spite her family Julia [24] married Alf Lennon [26] on 3 December 1938 after 10 years of courtship.

World War II was the sword of Damocles, when the couple tied knot in front of Marriage Registrar, where Sydney Lennon [Brother] stood as a witness along with a female friend of Julia. It was quite a secret affair, the Stanley’s were kept in the dark until, that night Julia walked in and slammed her marriage certificate on the dinner table. Pop Stanley [Father] was angry and disgusted by her daughter’s shameless act. Left with no choice, he finally gave his blessing and a studio apartment as a wedding gift.

WAR BABY

"Reality leaves a lot to the imagination." 

On 9 October amidst German Blitzkrieg, John was born. Despite heavy bombing, Mimi went to the hospital to hold her nephew. John received a middle name Winston as a tribute to then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. According to John Lennon himself, his birth was an accident, conceived one night on the kitchen counter under the influence of whiskey. The Lennon’s moved to suburban Woolton untouched by German Airstrikes. Julia’s elder sister Mimi now married to a young Dairyman George Smith from Woolton settled a mile away from Julia and Alf, in the Mendips. When the world was engaged in War, luxury sea liners were docked until the waters became safe again for tourists. To earn his living Alf joined the merchant navy; and sailed dangerous seas, with constant fear of torpedo attacks any moment from German U-boats [Submarine].

While Alf was away on duty, Julia not quite a ménage often visited local pubs and flirted with men. In her absence, Mimi and Dolly Hipshaw [Neighbor] took care of infant John. One night Alf returned home and to his surprise, Julia was truant. He waited for a couple of hours, when Julia walked in with her male friends, who were not aware of her marital status. The Lennon’s fought like never before. In anger, Julia poured hot cup of tea on Alf, who in return slapped her hard, which made her nose bleed. Soon Alf was back at sea, while Julia was at her usual whorish behavior seeking male company. As if the rough sea was not enough, Alf was clobbered at all fronts, he found himself in middle of customs problem for carrying illegal goods and was imprisoned. With performance on-board consistently declivitous, Alf was demoted to a position bellow, then what he started initially.

When battered Alf returned home 16 months later, he found Julia pregnant by another Man. Alf’s world collapsed and why would not, he was merely a mortal, made of flesh and bones. Julia tried to reason with him that a British Soldier Taffy Williams stationed in Liverpool raped her. Alf’s further investigation revealed it was a consent sex. The bean geste seaman tried playing a Cupid to unite Julia and Taffy, but Julia was never in love with the solider, she was just a girl who sought a male company one lonely night.

Alf picking up the pieces of his shattered heart returned to sea. Back in Woolton Julia gave birth to a baby girl on 19 June 1945; named Victoria Elizabeth. The Salvation Army put her for adoption. A Norwegian couple going by the name of Pederson’s adopted the baby girl and took her to Norway, with a new name Ingrid Moria. During the whole episode, John was living with Sydney Lennon comfortably under the care of his doting wife. Sydney even thought of adopting John legally, but one night Alf turned up at his doorstep and took away John. Lady of an easy virtue Julia still legally married to Alf now started a fling with Bobby Dykins. The marriage was over and future of John was left hanging.

A HARD CHOICE TO MAKE

"Pools of sorrow. Waves of joy." 

However empty the heart is, a man has to eat! Alf had to return to his maritime vocation, leaving behind John with Julia. John now moved in to Dykins home, who tried his best to be a good stepfather but John hated him to the core. One day craving for affection, the little boy walked 2 miles from his house to Mimi’s doorstep; she happily took him in…. In her house and life.

The war was over, the Nazis’ were defeated, Europe though nearly brought to rack and ruin emerged victorious. When Alf returned post War, his life resembled the disastrous aftermath of the War. Learning John’s stay with Mimi, he paid visits to her to see his son. The aching father abducted John under the pretense of taking him out for shopping. Alf straight away headed to Blackpool and took shelter in Billy Hall’s place, his accomplice in smuggling of illegal goods. Alf’s idea was to transmigrate to New Zealand and start up fresh. However, Mimi and Julia traced his hideout; a fearsome argument broke between the ex-lovers, as young John stood there dumbfounded. In their poor wisdom, they asked 5-year-old John to choose whom he would like to stay with; the poor boy chose his father. Julia walked away crying, John ran after her and hugged her tight, when he turned around, his Daddy had left him.

Seeing deplorable life of poor John, Mimi took her away and threatened Julia that she will complain the Child Welfare if she kept John under her custody. In Mimi’s eyes, Julia was a loose women, who made wrong choices at every step of her life and she was equally bad at parenting. Mendips – 251 Menlove Avenue was now new home of John Lennon. Mimi was very dominating by nature, she never bore a child and John filled that empty space in her life. Although tough from outside but soft within, Mimi gave John’s life order and a structure. On the other hand Uncle George was more than a friend, together they spent hours flying paper planes, hugging and kissing each other. Mimi secretly envied her husband for all the attention he received from Little John.

In 1945, John was enrolled in the Mosspits Lane Infant School and later in Dovedale Primary School. An average student John was dyslexic and notoriously famous for bullying other students. Though good at art and drawing, he showed no keenness in academics. At playground, John detested playing cricket and football, due to his bad eyesight. John was Myopic since birth, but resisted wearing National Health Glasses. He liked to see the world through his blurry eyes. John loved his cats especially the brown Persian that followed him home one night while returning from a friends place. John named him Tim Brown. In those days Radio was the only source of entertainment, John loved listening to Sitcoms. The show "Life with the Lyons" based on an American family based in England was his favorite.

John Lennon took up Mouth organ at the age of seven, a Medical Student living as a Paying Guest at the Mendips offered it. The student bought the mouthpiece for John in return for a promise that he will learn some new tune. As they there is no rose without a thorn, John kept his promise, practiced it all day and soon graduated to chromatic model. He learnt a great deal from a self-help book on Harmonica, written by Captain James Reilly. John was fond of playing piano too, but Mimi was against the idea of buying one.

THE RED INDIAN OF WOOLTON

"Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles not tears." 

While growing up in peaceful Woolton, John made friends with – Ivan Vaughan, Nigel Walley and Pete Shatton who later became his soul mate and partner in crime. John was a natural leader and the games would turn as per his whimsies. He loved playing Cowboys and Indians with his friends and always chose the underdogs Red Indians. Mimi helped him with his costumes and War paints. John Lennon attended Sunday Church rituals along with Aunt Mimi and his friends, where he sang in Choir along with Nigel Walley. But was expelled from the choir for his misbehavior. John and his gang members would hang behind the trams or at times would climb a tree and played a version of "Chicken", where they would touch the top of a moving double Decker bus by their feet. He and his friends were also proficient shoplifters, stealing away candies and small toys from the stores run by old people.

At home, John appeared clean-handed and spent hours reading storybooks, "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the looking Glass" was his favorites. Mimi never allowed John to read comic books like "Dandy" which his uncle George would smuggle in the middle of the night. In spite of so much love, joy and care around John felt lonely. The innocent boy often asked Mimi, why he does not live with his mom? Where is daddy? In reply, he would always receive a dead silence. Behind Mimi’s back, John would visit Julia on weekends, where his ears exposed to Pop music of that era. Julia now married to Bobby Dykins, was now a mother of two daughters. She had not changed much, still careless and flirty.

In 1952, 12-year-old John was enrolled to Quarry Bank High School along with his best friend Pete Shannon. His very set of wheels [Cycle] were brought by his uncle George, on which he rode to school every day along with Pete. Since the very first day at School, John wanted to be recognized and picked up fights to show his presence. His group rank demoted from A to C with every passing term. John misbehaved and constantly appeared in complain register. Never went a day when John was not punished for betting on the cricket matches, throwing away blackboard duster, Cutting classes or Going AWOL. Even at the receiving end of corporal punishment, John would pull out his stunts. One day when his school principal bent to pick his stick, John tickled his hair, thinking it a fly, the principal brushed away absent-mindedly. John tried to control his laugh so hard that he peed himself. When the principal asked about the puddle on the floor John replied, "The roof is leaking sir"

John at 13 now had graduated from comics to English literature, but drawing cartoons and writing poems and stories was his favored avocation. By some reason John would always create ugly characters covered with wraths or some sort of deformity. May be his young, blurry eyes saw the harsh reality and ugliness of life. Mimi once raided his bedroom and threw away all his artwork in a dustbin. When John found his treasure missing he blurted at Mimi in anger -

"You have thrown my fuckin poetry out and you’ll will regret it when I will become famous"

The prophecy came true a decade later….

TEDDY BOY

"Part of me suspects that I'm a loser, and the other part of me thinks I'm God Almighty." 

Like every other teen in England, John at 15 was heavily influenced by American culture; he loved dressing up like Teddy boys and was a fan of actor James Dean. His Liverpudlian accent and "I-don’t-give-a-damn" attitude made him a desirable candidate for copulating with local girls. His evenings would end either getting into trouble for his razor sharp tongue or for chasing girls in skirts. The Teddy boy learned the hard way, that life was not one big Adventure. The biggest setback of his life came when his Uncle George passed away. At the time of incident, John was in Scotland enjoying his Summer Holidays with his maternal Aunt Mater and Uncle Bret. When John returned bouncing his way home, he asked for George, Mimi replied in a cold manner that he was dead. John did not say a single word; he quietly went to his room and cried alone so no one could see him. Quietly bottling up his anger and misery John was turning rebellious with every passing day. He was angry, angry at life, at Alf, Julia and George who left him.

It was not long before, that John returned to his usual antics. During wanking session with friends, the boys would shout names of Sexy sirens of Hollywood films. John in middle of the already warmed up ambiance would blurt out the names of Winston Churchill and Frank Sinatra making others burst into laughter. John was miles ahead from his friends in terms of experience when it came to sex. Barbara Baker was John’s constant girlfriend at the time, who calmed his raging testosterone level by fellating.

John School Reports showed no promise of a dramatic comeback, he spent his days twiddling thumb. His unguided and restless soul would only be tamed by music. It was the era of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which would turn on every boy and girl in the western society. For Julia Rock ‘n’ Roll was synonym to sex and she was quite vocal about it while explaining to John. It was the year 1956, when John’s ears exposed to a music never heard before. The song was "Heartbreak Hotel" sung by Elvis Presley.

Singers like Rudolf Valentino, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley’s songs had orgasmic effect on women. While Elvis songs and pelvic thrust evoked sexual drive in women, it also gave young boys on both the sides of the Atlantic, a medium to burn their Testosterone, when the world was no longer at war. After watching Elvis, performance on silver screen John was in awe. He had found a new Hero to worship, annoying Mimi by harping on the same string for days. John even dressed up like Elvis, wearing tapered jeans and jackets, but they were banned at home and school. Julia bought John his first drainpipe jeans, check shirt and short raincoat with padded shoulders.

THE QUARRYMEN

"I get by with a little help from my friends." 

After George passed, away John sought another adult child, this time it was his mother Julia. His visits to Julia were more than his crave for motherly affection. John wanted to learn Banjo and pop music. He prayed for guitar and wondered why god did not make him Elvis. Usually known for lack of patience John now studiously learnt and practiced Banjo. His myopic blurry vision now could clearly see where he was going and where he wanted to go. John now wanted to form his own band and this is when Mimi bought him his first Guitar, as he never really seemed so sure before. John practiced in his tiny bedroom for long hours until his fingertips bled.

It was George Lee, classmate of John who first gave him an idea of forming a Skiffle Band. John fancied the idea as he could play banjo and guitar decently, but Skiffle group would not be complete without lead guitarist and bass. John first approached Rod Davis a studious classmate who could strum the banjo pretty well, Pete Shannon was part of the group by default his only contribution was Washboard used in those days by skiffle bands in Britain and the product was any way out of stock. Bill Smith was roped in to play Tea Chest for bass. Colin Hanton a senior student who passed out 2 years back became the drummer, as he owned the entire kit.

The Quarrymen [As they all Belonged to Quarry High School] first gig was in September of 1956 at St. Barnabas Church Hall, no flyers or advertisement were created, but loyally John’s mother Julia and his steady girlfriend Barbara Baker turned up to cheer him. Their second performance was at Lee Park Golf Club, where they performed at the Saturday night dance in exchange of cold supper and some cash collected from the audience. On stage, John would hunch forward and look at a slit as he did not wear glasses and could barely see the edge of the stage. He performed with great energy and focus, he would strum guitar so hard that strings would break and then without warning he would borrow Rod Davis banjo and start playing again. With guitar in possession and confidence of two live gigs, John approached his school principal to allow his group to perform at the school dance. The band held practice sessions at Pete or Collins house and at times, if the weather permitted, they would practice in the backyard of Rod Davis. The last resort would always be in Julia’s house where, she acted as a soundboard and provided unlimited amount of tea. To get the right feeling John and Rod would sing in the bathroom standing inside the empty tub.

The Quarrymen gig were not always walk-in-the-park, they faced one of the most hostile crowd when they performed at club CAVERN. Uncongeniality was so high, that the owner had to send a note on stage reading "Cut out the bloody rock" which John mistook for a song request. It was 22 June 1957, Liverpool celebrated 750th anniversary of charter King John granted. During the festival, The Quarrymen performed on the back of a dusty coal truck to least bothered liverpulidians. However, like always Julia came along to cheer them up and this time with her daughters Jackie and Julia.

BIRD OF A FEATHER

"Paul and I know each other on a lot of different levels that very few people know about." 

Post stage performance at Sainte Peter Church Fete in Woolton, Ivan Vaughan introduced John to his friend Paul McCartney. Dressed in white jacket and Black drainies, Paul was a gifted left-handed guitarist from Liverpool and had a great voice. He sang and played "Twenty Flight Rock" beautifully, John although impressed tried to play it cool and acted as he did not care. Paul also tuned John’s guitar that was tuned as Banjo. John knew Paul was as good as he was which also meant the possible power shift within the group. Chucking his insecurities John finally made up his mind and asked Paul to be part of The Quarrymen, which Paul accepted euphorically. Underneath that tough façade of Teddy boy, John was a real softy. Paul’s mother had passed away a year ago from Breast Cancer. He was nice, polite, and decent with a bourgeoisie background; he could also play piano and trumpet efficiently. Just like John, after hearing Elvis, Paul swapped his instruments with Guitar. Both John and Paul bonded together by Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Eleven days after their gig John appeared for his exams and failed in all subjects, including his favorite subject "Arts". He did not want to reappear for the exams, neither the school authorities wanted him back. Left with no choice John left school. He and his friend Nigel thought of enrolling themselves in the ship's steward course, a carrier that offered unlimited sex and the opportunity to see the world. It was doltish to assume that John at 17 had no sex life; his fornication with curvy Barbara Baker took place in nearby woods, or sometimes at vacant neighborhood state homes or in church grounds. Clearly embarrassed to buy contraception from the chemist, John would often indulge in coitus interruptus.

John was never in love with Barbara, she was only his sexual gratification marionette. He had already lost his heart and soul to rock and roll, spending long hours with his band and less with Barbara. The teenage diva was clearly ungratified by her boyfriend’s shallow treatment. To spite John Lennon she courted one of their common friends but unfortunately got pregnant by the latter. When John heard about Barbara’s pregnancy he was hurt and angry, the naïve teenager wanted to be the father of Barbara’s child.

The remorseful Rocker now had other things to worry about. The fifteen minutes of fame playing at the local pubs and dance events, was taking Quarrymen nowhere. It was time to face the harsh reality. Post war new opportunities had cropped up, Johns many friends had already prepared for the future courses. However, John was still unsure of his future. His headmaster seeing Mimi’s dilemma wrote a letter to Liverpool College of Arts, and recommend John Lennon’s name for the art course, despite his failing all the subjects at O level, including "Arts". The decision to send John to Art College turned out to be a shot in the arm to his slowly fizzling out Music career.

THE ART OF CHILLING

"Avant-garde is French for bullshit" 

Call it Luck, Coincidence or Destiny the Art College was literally next to Paul’s school and this would give them many opportunities to meet during the day. John and Paul now religiously practiced songs together. Seeing Buddy Holly [Musician] wearing glasses on screen, John too started wearing his, after persuading Mimi for buying a plastic frame. Most of the Quarrymen after finishing high school had opted for vocational courses. John enrolled in Art College carrying a Teddy boy persona was like a bull in a china shop. John was fascinated with the freedom, which came along in college. He was free to do whatever he wished to do after classes, or cut them short. John was living all his fantasies by indulging in threesome sex. He tried living with friends at Gambier Terrace but returned home in 3 weeks as he found cooking and washing too tedious.

Art College was just a passing phase for John, until he came across Stu Sutcliffe, a bright artist with a promising future ahead. Stu was not just another Liverpool kid, he was quite handsome, polite and highly intelligent. John and Stu spent hours discussing art, life and philosophy. Later John even persuaded Stu join his band as a bass guitarist, despite the fact he was musically illiterate. John was unsatisfied performing in front of smaller audience. To make the group stronger Paul introduced George Harrison to John as lead guitarist and took him in. The original Quarrymen Len Garry and Eric Griffith who occasionally played lead guitar, teas chest bass were ousted for good and were replaced by Stu, George and Pete Best [Drummer]

Birds of a feather John and Paul composed more than 20 songs neatly in an organized manner with a heading "Lennon-McCarthy Composition". John and Paul were quite optimistic about their talent, but still did not know how they sounded like. The boys decided to record their first song "In Spite of all the Dangers" with lead vocals by John Lennon, Paul was at the Bass guitar and George was the lead guitarist. For their first studio gig, they sounded estimable; each band member kept the LP with them for a week and then forwarded it to another. [Note – This LP is one of the kind and worth thousands of pounds today]

OH JULIA

"Remember to let her into your heart." 

John on threshold of adulthood was now getting closer to Julia; he could reconnect with her despite the gap of so many years. Nevertheless, life had some other plans. On 15 July 1958, Julia Died in a road accident. John was at her home, waiting for her to return. When the news reached him, he was devastated, it angered him, and all his way to hospital kept on cursing his fate. Paul and John came close together, as both shared the pain of losing their mother.

Tragedy followed John as a shadow, it seemed he was cursed to never be happy. Hence began the blame game, John vs. World and self-pity. Subjected to his anger he always appeared irritated, seeking answers and inner peace. The man-boy craved for womanly philia. After briefly courting Thelma Pickles, John met Cynthia Powell on campus. A year older to John, Cynthia was a plain Jane and John was a teddy boy. Both were strikingly opposite creations of nature, John had a razor sharp tongue, temper and quick wit, were as Cynthia was docile and sweet spoken. They shared a few classes of lettering where John often borrowed pencils and brushes during lectures and always failed to return them. When the two started dating, Cynthia changed her plane Jane image and turned into a glam doll for John. She was very caring, gave Mother like tenderness to John and bared his tantrums and temper. John was insecure, jealous and would sometimes get physically violent. One day finding John not around Cynthia went to a club accompanied by Stu Sutcliffe, when John returned to the dance floor, he got angry and left without a word. Next day he was waiting outside the women's room and as soon as Cynthia walked out, he slapped her on the face. Cynthia chucked him and separated for 3 months. They reconciled afterwards when John apologized and promised that he would never ever physically abuse her, John kept his promise.

BIRTH OF BEATLES

"A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality." 

John once visited a hip café Jacaranda with his fellow mates, where he saw many bands performing Live for the customers. He interacted with pro-musicians trying to understand the nuances of live performance and the kind of money they could make. The Quarrymen were delighted when the owners launched an audition to select the best bands from Liverpool to play at their club. Nevertheless, the Quarrymen failed to qualify. However, the Band was selected as backup musicians for upcoming Scottish Tour. The organizer requested John to come up with new Band Name. After hours of brainstorming, "Beetles" was decided this was later changed to "Beatles". The Band toured under the name of "Silver Beatles". The Beatles were excited initially about their Scottish tour but it awfully turned out to be sad, as poor accommodation, food and transport marred their live performance. After soul cracking and confidence shattering tour, the Beatles returned to Liverpool. But this time luck was on their side, as after hearing praise of their Scottish tour Allan William [Promoter] arranged a gig for the Beatles In Hamburg, Germany. It was a risk of carrier but the young bloods wanted to give a shot.

The Brono Kaschmider club was located in the infamous street in Reeperbahn famous for sex tourism. The red light districts, strip clubs and lounges were wildest spots on the map of Europe. Sex was favorite recreation and the currency of the Reeperbahn. The young Liverpudlian were dazzled with open mindedness, glowing neon signs and living conditions. The working hours lay down by their boss where shockingly unreal. Back in Liverpool, they never had been on stage for more than 20 minutes. At the Indra club, they were expected to put up a show of four and half hours, with three breaks of 30 minutes in between. Complains soon tapered-off when The Beatles received all the female attention a teenager could ask for. The Busty strippers, to curvy waitresses and aphrodisiacal prostitutes all showered their love [lust] on the young Liverpool boys who were yet inexperienced when it came to sex. Despite his heavy sexual activities in Hamburg, John never forgot to write billets doux to Cynthia.

LOCAL STARS

"You don't need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!" 

With rising popularity in the Club, a Rival club owner Peter Echhorn offered The Beatles to perform at his new chick TOP TEN CLUB in return of mouth-watering fees, and far better accommodation. Without thinking twice, boys grabbed the opportunity with both hands, violating contract and enraging the former employer. To avenge their betrayal Brono tipped off police claiming George was under 18 and had no work permit. He was deported to England without any delay. Paul and Pete [Drummer] were arrested for setting up their bedroom on fire, but later Brono dropped the charges, and the boys were sent packing. Surprisingly John the natural troublemaker stayed away from any such trouble and boarded the next train to England whereas Stu madly in love with Astrid Kircher a German photographer stayed behind.

For the next couple of weeks no one contacted each other. John who made merely 17 pounds on the 3-month tour spent it lavishly on Cynthia by buying her a fur coat. John was full of self-doubt, but a successful show post their Hamburg tour re-lifted their sinking spirits. The Litherhand Town Hall performance gave glimpses of rising "Beatlemania". From here on the Beatles had never to beg for work again. They were booked for gigs at numerous Dance Halls and Liverpool clubs thereon. For John being treated like a star was a new experience. He got high when young girls shouted his name and wanted to be with him. He had a crazy appetite for sex, which other Beatles and Girlfriends both agree.

THE PUPPET

Diffident John on his 21st birthday; thought his glory days were over and was too old to be in show business. He wrote long letters to Stu in Germany, about his state of mind, unaware of Stu’s health problems. Surprisingly, John received 100 pounds from his aunt mater, which he decided to spend with Paul in PARIS. They lived in cheap hotels, visited expensive bars and chased girls. Back in Liverpool things were far from happy, George and Pete were not aware that Paul and John have left for Paris in the middle of their jam-packed Gigs. On their return, they sported a new hairstyle that later became the famous Beatle Cut. However, John’s quick wit and Paul’s cute smile couldn’t save them from the lashing the duo received from organizers for their un-professionalism.

The Beatles very first gig in front of the huge audience came during a Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon show "Operation Big Beat". Performing in front of 4000 people was electric. Back in the days, they were reckless, unorganized and unprofessional musicians. They wanted a strict manager and this where Brian Epstein walked in. He was a successful businessperson running a store in Liverpool who jumped in to music industry without prior experience. Brian became Beatles full time manager and brought organization to this hay-vary troop. He asked them to stop their usual antics they did in the middle of a performance like smoking, eating, cracking a personal joke and bantering to their friends and enemies in the audience. The boys were further asked to give up their black leather jackets and don similar Suits and ties, to be gentle, smile often and display minimal movements on stage and a well choreographed after performance bow. John was fuming at the idea of being handled as a puppet, but was ready to do anything for the sake of money.

It was the year 1962, during Beatles trip back in Hamburg, John learnt that his close friend Stu died due to brain hemorrhage. John was left aghast, it seemed people close to him died. He heavily indulged in drugs and Alcohol. The otherwise quick-wit John was a completely different person when he was intoxicated. The Dutch courage John portrayed was brutal and sick by any standards. Post gigs on Sunday morning he would be at as his usual eccentric habits, coming in the balcony he would hold a cross and give ludicrous sermons, or intentionally urinate on nuns walking down the street. He started courting Bettina Derlien a bar girl at STAR-CLUB who was ready for fellation at the drop of a hat. On their return to Liverpool, John started dating Patricia Inder who just turned 18, all this while Cynthia carrying John’s child was kept under darkness.

THE WILD ONE WAS TAMED…. OR THOUGHT SO

"As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot." 

It was a PR nightmare for Brian, as a Married rock and roll star of a hip young band was never an ideal situation in the music industry. On 22 august 1962, John and Cynthia were married at the registrar office in secrecy for which Brian carried out all the arrangements. Paul, George and Cynthia’s brother Tony appeared as the witness. Post wedding they celebrated at a nearby café and raised a toast of water, as the café did not serve alcohol. On their first night, John spent with the Beatles performing, while Cynthia was at home organizing place. Cynthia was under the impression that post marriage John will be closer, but the poor girl was living in fool’s paradise. Even after his secret marriage, John continued his affair with Patricia and confessed that he was in love with her, while at the same time he would spend the night with Ida Holley.

John in early days of Beatles was a bounder of a highest order. In spite of all the things Brian did for John and Beatles, he was always treated as a pile of rubbish. John would often comment on his Homosexuality and his uptight Jewish mannerisms. One day Brian tried to give his suggestion during their recording to which John snapped, "you stick to your percentage while we take care of the music’.

Their hit singles "Love Me Do" and "Please, Please Me" had earned Beatles a new star status. Riding high on the success, John never forgot his aunt Mimi; he paid for her mortgage and brought many new appliances and gadgets she never needed. John still lived a bachelor’s life, touring and basking under the glory of his success while Cynthia was alone at home bearing her responsibilities of a secret wife.

On 8 April 1963 – boy was born, the couple named him Julian. Instead of being with his family, John escaped to SPAIN with Brian which music industry considered a political move for the carte Blanche within the Band. Press alleged that John was a closet Homosexual and had started an affair with Brian Epstein. Paul 21st birthday bash had nearly ended the future of John and Beatles as a Musician. During the party, Disc Jockey Bob Wooler walked up to John and asked "Come on John, tell me about you and Brian – we all know…" before he could complete the sentence John knocked him out. Thankfully, no media was present and the issue was subsided tactfully.

THE BEATLEMANIA

"Slipping? We're bigger than Jesus." 

By the end of 1963, 23-year-old John Lennon was considered as one of the four known faces of the earth. Beatlemania was on the rise; Throughout the land the young men lined up outside the barber shops to get a Beatle cut, the Quadroy industry came to the Renaissance thanks to their dress code, and sales of toy guitars and black turtleneck sweater were all time high. The frenzy never seemed to seize.

The journalistic voyeurism was at the nascent stage and wanted to know everything about The Beatles.

By now press got wisp of John, secret marriage and they tried to corner Cynthia who kept mum. Later to seize control, John called for a press conference maintain his sang froid. Underneath all the craziness, he was someone with philosophical intellect and Orphic quality. Sonny Freeman his neighbor remembered him "Predicting his death by gunshot". Success and wealth often walk hand in hand. John was unaware of how much he was worth and how much his earning had piled up, after receiving royalties from the songs and endorsements. John seldom got a chance to spend lavishly on himself as every club he visited, the entry was free and the drinks were on the house. The manufacturers of guitars presented their finely crafted and expensive guitars to John. When John cleared his Driving Test, it became a Headline. The next day all the major car manufacturers lined up outside his house with latest sports cars, John chose a blue Ferrari. With all the acquired name and fame, John never enjoyed all the attention and PR work he had to do to in order to promote Beatles. With every passing day, John was burning from inside, Russian vodkas, Scottish Malt and American Beer couldn’t extinguish his inner flame.

The creative collaboration with George Martin changed the dynamics of Beatles performance forever. George was a renowned music producer and a past master of western classical music. Together the band rolled out many top singles and albums. The end of 1963 also saw a new form of music, Rock! The band going with the name of the Rolling Stones was quickly making a name in the music industry on both the sides of the Atlantic. They were a bunch of hard-hitting musicians who were reckless on and off the stage. John and his band were the same during their Hamburg days, before Brian came in and asked them to bow and smile. John was becoming insecure by every passing day.

BEATLES IN AMERICA

"You have to be a bastard to make it, and that's a fact. And the Beatles are the biggest bastards on earth." 

7th Feb. 1964 The Beatles maiden tour of the United States was a dream come true for John. The amazing media reception from press and fans left him and his band mates dumbfounded. The hype was created by carefully adopted PR strategy. During the first press conference, John as usual gilded the pill. A reporter asked, "Would you be playing something?" John replied, "We want the money first" When asked about his hairstyle, he said, "Oh, we’re all bald – and deaf and dumb". Two days later when the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan Show, it created a history as more than 73 million viewers across the United States were tuned to watch them Live on TV.

Undoubtedly, The Beatles had become a brand. Learning from American music industry, Brian pitched for a movie featuring the Beatles. A Hard Day’s Night their debut movie was a box office success, their next singles "I want to hold your hands", "Please please me", "She loves you" and "Twist and shout" marked their dominance across UK and US music charts. John couldn’t have asked for more, he was living his dreams, but still inside he was burning, angry, lonely and sought answers. He resorted to his old hobby of drawing, poetry and cartooning, John Lennon: in his own write [Book] was well received by the readers and critics, his wit, sarcasm and sheer cockiness was out in open. Once the quick wit was invited to an Opening of New Bookstore. It was also a literati gathering where he was supposed to make a speech. When the day arrived John turned chicken feet, he got up and mumbled "Thank you it’s been an honor" and quietly sat back.

John travelled the next half of 1964 to Denmark, Holland, Hong–Kong, Australia, New Zealand and back to America. American Tour turned out to be a phenomenal experience for John, as in 34 days, they visited 24 cities, and travelled on private helicopter, rented for staggering $37,000. They entertained more than 35,000 people on their short trip. Nevertheless, encounter with Bob Dylan changed John’s life completely; the American musician introduced John to marijuana.

INNER FLAME

"One thing you can't hide - is when you're crippled inside." 

Marijuana soothed John Lennon’s inner flame, which re-ignited when Alf Lennon reappeared in his life. All these years Alf lived in Blackpool under the alias of Fred Lennon. He was still down at heels and his passion for making a carrier in the music industry had long back kicked the bucket. Thanks to his surname, people often asked if he was related to John Lennon. Initially Alf did not want to meet his long lost son, as he would appear as a sponger. Despite a strong warning from his brother Sydney, Alf came to London to meet his estranged son,. Ever efficient Brian made a secret arrangement in a hotel room, which lasted mere fifteen minutes. John was sickened by the fact that Alf chose to come back to him after 17 long years.

Ever since his marijuana addiction, John was finding it more difficult to cope up with mounting pressure, insecurity and the burden of being a Beatle. He was self-loathing and felt lonely amidst crowd. He was gaining weight, he admitted to his friends that he was eating and drinking like a pig and was becoming fat like a pig. His addiction was showing on his face. The movie and the album Help! Was a call of his weeping subconscious mind. Though the Album was well received, the single "Yesterday" sung, written and composed by Paul McCartney created the history 30 years later as the most recorded song.

The world was behind John and the artist wanted privacy and hence he moved in to St. George Hill Estate – 27 Room mansion KENWOOD. He spent lavishly, buying expensive carpets, rugs and furniture, saving nothing for the rainy day. Sadly, John’s attitude towards his son and Cynthia was very uncaring and uninterested. John would come home at dawn and would sleep until late afternoon, after waking up; he would laze on the couch reading newspaper with TV set murmuring at a low volume. However, his close relatives and school friends, remembered him as a wonderful host and a great family man.

MEETING THE ROYALTY

"Before Elvis there was nothing." 

During their second American Tour, John Finally met his hero, Elvis Presley. The boyish good looks long gone, the king of Rock n Roll was yet at his creative best. John was dumbstruck seeing Elvis in his living room playing his guitar. Elvis received the Beatles warmly, and after talking for a while, few guitars were brought in and they jammed together. It was followed by a game of pool and roulette. The king of rock n roll even came out to see off their guests, on his way out; John shouted, "Long lives the King".

After meeting King, the Beatles met the Queen of England; the Beatles received MBE medals, despite clamor from former MBE recipients. Beatles being at their usual mischief smoked cigarettes in the Buckingham palace bathroom before receiving their medals. Julian and Cynthia watched the award ceremony at home. Post press conference. John gave his medal to Aunt Mimi as a token of his appreciation and love.

In mid 60’s The Beatles had too many irons in the fire, from touring, to films, radio and television shows to recording new albums, the band was constantly on the move. John and Paul would compose in the hotel room or while travelling for tour. Paul usually would come with a tune and later added words to it; John’s method was very structured as he wrote the lyrics first and gradually compose it. John however was never confident about his songs; he would turn to the producer and asked for his opinion. John was also highly embarrassed of his own voice, he would often put his headphones while recording and asked the sound engineers to give him the echo of his playback. On the other hand, Paul was a workaholic and a perfectionist, he would often ask George and Ringo to play a particular part according to his whims. John was highly impractical, he always allowed his band mates to take a creative liberty while recording. He never even bothered to tune his guitar as long as any one offered to do it for him. One day in the studio, John and Paul had an intense argument, while Paul was still fuming in anger, John lowered his glasses and said, "Hey it's only me" and slide them up with a boyish smile.

THE PSYCHEDELIC TRIP

"Nothing is real." 

As a performer, John was now becoming discontent after every live performance. The audience at the concerts only screamed, cried, called out their names and had nothing to do with their music. Performing in front of such an audience was like casting pearls before swine. On numerous of occasions, John would slam his hands on his keyboard in frustration. The Beatles decided to snub the audience by calling off their tours. They blatantly refused to perform Live for Christmas shows in mid 60’s. John’s inner rebel couldn’t take the bowing, smiling and being nice to strangers any more. On March 4th John gave interview to Maureen Cleave of London Evening Standard, he quoted:

"Christianity will go, it will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I know I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first – rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me"

Nothing happened initially but a backlash finally emerged when an American teen magazine DATEBOOK used the excerpts of the interview and published in the magazine just four months before the Beatles final American tour. Within hours, the news spread like a wild fire in the country. Christian community of America banned Beatles and threatened to excommunicate its members who listened to Beatles music or attended their live concert. Many communities across America sponsored "PLACE BEATLES TRASH HERE" signboards, where Beatles records and poster were burned to ashes. Before the American tour, John was afraid, as America was land of guns, where even the presidents were not safe. Brian’s PR skills failed to placid the Christians across the globe. Ku Klux Klan the supremacist society threatened John to stay away from concerts. Every place they toured, an angry mob shouted or hurled banners reading "He died for you too; John Lennon" and "Beatles go home. It was their final trip together.

The late 60’s saw many young Americans breaking away from their materialistic life and adopting the hippie culture. This generation dropped out of school, universities and gave up their high salaried jobs. The hippies unshackled from routine were high on acid [LSD]. John first experience of LSD was purely by accident, but soon he was hooked to it. The drug unfolded his brain and produced spectacular visions, never seen before. John now grew his hair and embraced the hippie culture... Disdaining Beatles trademark suit, John showed up at concerts in white T-shirt with pictures and messages written on it. He spoke with sarcasm in press conference and interviews. John was aching for live concerts but here he was straitjacketed in Kenwood amidst Cynthia and Julian who seemed strangers.

John tried his hands at acting, featuring in British sitcoms and earned name for his acting in the film ‘How I won the war’ playing a supporting role of Private Gripeweed. Though he appeared as a natural actor on screen, he himself wasn’t keen on taking up acting like Elvis and Frank Sinatra. After his brief stint in movies, John was seriously considering his life without the Beatles, he wondered if he would move to Vegas, or pursue acting full time. His inner conflict and burning rage made him an LSD addict, he was now taking LSD in Quantity, living in his own dreamland. When he was not taking LSD, he would appear sensitive, there were angry moments but he had calmed down.

SHE STOLE HIM AWAY

"Everything is clearer when you're in love." 

Back at Kenwood, John was getting ample of fan mails; he stumbled upon one, which read "Breathe!" Weeks later, he would receive Mails carrying one word "Dance". They were from Yoko Ono a Japanese Born Anti-Art Artist, who performed at "Indica Gallery" London. Yoko was born in an affluent family of Bankers, who belonged to the clan of Samurais. At the age of 18, she moved to the US, where her Father was appointed as a president of Bank of Tokyo in New York. She was fond of Art and Music and at the age of 23 she eloped with Japanese musician TOSHI LEHUYANAGI, bringing shame to her clan in Japan. The marriage didn’t last long and Yoko started an affair with Tony Cox an American experimental filmmaker who met Yoko during her art exhibition. The couple married and gave birth to Kyoko [daughter]

It was turncoat Yoko’s dedicated pursuit, and bombarding of letters and appearing at Kenwood uninvited, which resulted to Separation of John and Cynthia. The marriage was long over, Cynthia tried her very best to mend the broken marriage but it was like flogging a dead horse. The courtship between John and Yoko started when Cynthia was on a holiday with her friends. The lovers now met frequently. They would engage in quixotic projects like experimental films and anti art projects. Soon they moved out of Kenwood and lived in rented apartments. Both were Yinyang stimulating each other’s sexual fantasy. Affair with Yoko led to slump in his creativity in his already disorganized life. John found writing songs difficult now, what earlier took him minutes now agonizingly took 4-5 hours. John would bring Yoko in the recording Studio, which soon became bone of contention among Beatles, as she would offer her ideas in middle of recording sessions.

Pleased as a punch in Yoko’s company, John received a blow when one night Brian Epstein died of Drug overdose. With no anchor point to hold the Beatles, they found themselves in a huge mess of tons of paper work and financial mumbo-jumbo. There was now a constant rift between the members, as they could not replace any one to manage their Band. Their private company Apple Productions was losing money on wildcat schemes. John sulked the most, as he was constantly cruel to Brian.

After divorcing Cynthia, John now was in the public scrutiny. On every public appearance, John-Yoko made together, Female fans cursed Yoko by calling her "Jap" and "Yellow". The media equally hated her. Paul and George too found his new girlfriend weird. John to subside hostility took Yoko to meet Mimi who was horrified to see her. John-Yoko moved to a new apartment where one day the couple was arrested for possessing drugs. On 20 March 1969, John and Yoko got married, they invited the entire media in bedroom during their honeymoon, which they called PEACE IN BED. His madness never seemed to cease as John was now graduated from LSD to Heroin addiction, the side effects were clearly visible - Deathly pale face, jabbered speech and lack of concentration, feeling sick etc. Yoko in those years suffered from miscarriage twice due to her drug addiction. Beatles too were now breaking apart… but in reality the loyal Beatles fans suffered the most.

JOHN VS NIXON

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives" 

In 1971, John after breaking all ties with Beatles, his father Alf and Liverpool, left for US and never returned home. His first solo album, IMAGINE presented the world a calm, composed John Lennon. Since his arrival in US John made several uncalculated moves, which made him a Revolutionary Star but also made him a sitting duck, for Nixon Administration. The America of 1971 was divided into two parts, The Young America who protested against the Vietnam War and the other half the old school who believed in America’s role in crushing Communism crucial. John and Yoko met Extremists groups who threatened Nixon Administration.

His song ‘John Synchliar’ during his Woodstock Protest Show forced government to release, John Synchliar who was arrested for selling Marijuana to two undercover officers. His other song "Just give peace a chance" became universal anthem of the peace moment in the 70’s. The revolutionaries knew John Lennon was a public figure and could be used as a trump card against the government. John’s words and the kind of company he kept were carefully scrutinized by FBI and they were not the only ones. MI5 the British spy agency was keeping a close vigil on John under the suspicion that he was supporting IRA [Irish Militant Group] secretly. Nixon administration was worried about John Lennon’s presence in the country; they tried to force him out under Immigration Act. However bullheaded John fought back in the country which stood on the very ground of Free Liberty. Next fives year John put a strong fight and won the case against US Immigration, a rare feat by any standard.

FINDING ANSWERS

"Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing and fighting my friends" 

John’s life in America was never a sotto swing, the passion between Yoko and John was quickly fizzling out. To give their life a breather, Yoko and John separated for a year. John moved to LA along with May Pang his personal assistant. With his newly earned bachelor life, John drank and partied hard. It seemed he was over with Yoko but it was not. He missed her a lot and spoke to her on phone every day. John was at his reckless best. However, something had changed inside; he was becoming a new person, when Cynthia arrived in US along with Julian. John took them to outing; it seemed John wanted to mend his broken ties with his son. Even hostility against Paul who hated Yoko was long dead, when they met in LA, they jammed together just like old days.

After a separation of one year, John and Yoko came back together, this time to never be separated again. At the age of 42, Yoko was again pregnant; she delivered the baby on 9 October sharing his birthday with John. The universe was showering all the love and happiness upon John as on the same day he won the lawsuit against US Immigration.

The boy was named Sean Lennon, John decided that for next few years he will cut off his life from music industry and will solely take interest in Sean’s upbringing. John Lennon built a moat around his castle and lived life of a recluse, he didn’t make any music, he stopped meeting his friends from the industry, didn’t give any interviews and the only time he would sing, it would be for Sean at bedtime. Media speculated John was going bald, some papers compared John with Howard Hughes for recluseness, some mentioned he was back on drugs, some theorist believed he was long dead. However, in reality, John was living in New York. Just like any New Yorker, John visited parks, cafés and markets freely with no fans following him. His world revolved around Sean, he took up cooking lesson and soon was handling the kitchen and served meal to his entire staff and family. He would take Sean to public pools where he taught him to swim.

John after music now got interested in concurring sea. His way of connecting to his father who was once a seaman. He went on adventure voyages going past infamous Bermuda Triangle. He discovered his true potential as a human being and a great leader, when the boat was caught in the sea storm and he navigated his crew through the deathly waves. When they reached the shore John was born again, he appeared calm and happy, as if his inner storm was finally blown out. He was no longer angry, it seemed he found happiness and true meaning of his life.

On 8 December 1980, John was shot dead at point blank outside his apartment in New York. He struggled forward and collapsed at the entrance. John could not say goodbye to Sean. The Nowhere Boy was finally with his Mummy and Daddy. His assassin Mark David Chapman was a psychopath from Hawaii, who thought of himself as John Lennon.

THE END