Daddy Come Home: True Story of John Lennon and His Father by Pauline Lennon was a suggested read from Amazon. Pauline Jones became John Lennon‘s step-mother in 1966 when she eloped with John’s father Alfred Lennon. She was 20 and “Freddie” was 56.
Pauline met Freddie soon after John and his estranged father had reconciled in 1964 and even spent some time living and working at Kenwood for Cynthia and John as a nanny and doing secretarial work.
I loved this book. It really brought about a new light on an old subject of who Alfred Lennon was and why he acted in the way he did when it came to his first wife Julia and his son John. Most of the book is taken from an autobiography that Alfred wrote in hopes of setting the record straight about his life and behavior, but the book never saw the light of day, because after a falling out with John (during his primal scream days), John forbade him to ever publish it. The manuscript for the book was sent to John the week his father died.
Pauline also acts as a eye witness to several interactions between the on again, off again relationship between father and son and helps to tell Alfred’s story in his later years and after his death.
Whether you believe Alfred and Pauline’s stories or not, this is book is an easy and enjoyable read. I burned through their wonderful love story and telling of their ups and downs as the most famous Beatles’ parents. And for that reason…
I rate this book, 4 out of 4 Beetles!
Unfortunately, this book is out of print, so finding an inexpensive copy is difficult. They’re currently selling for over $17.00 on Amazon.
How lucky are we? An old friend of my husband’s invited us to join him and his wife to see The Mersey Beatles at the Sellersville Theater. AND Julia Baird (John Lennon’s half sister) was there to introduce the band, sell her book “Imagine This” and do a meet & greet! I reviewed Julia’s book last year and gave it four Beetles. You can read that review here. Also, I did talk with Julia about the book I’m reading for next weeks review…but you’ll have to wait until next week to find out her opinion.
The Mersey Beatles are just another Beatles tribute band. These guys all are childhood friend who were born in Liverpool. Sound familiar? After realizing that they were never going to make it big as band and that they always got a great response when they covered songs by the Fab Four, they decided to create their own tribute band in 1999. In 2002, they became the resident Beatles Tribute band at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and remained so for 10 years!
So what makes this band stand out? They do go through 3 costume changes with the early suits, then Sgt. Pepper’s and ending with Abbey Road dress. They bring just enough on stage banter in their natural Scouse accents without over doing it and losing the audience in some silly over rehearsed skit. At the same time, they will talk with the audience (they thanked the people who yelled out that they were killing it!) and they take requests. And some of their harmonies are really going to wow you!
All in all, this was a great experience. And I’m glad I got to see this band for the debut American tour. Though they’re are probably boarding a plane right now to return to Liverpool, they will be returning WITH JULIA to the U.S. this July for a tour of the midwest! And for that reason…
I rate this concert, 4 out of 4 Beetles!
Excuse me while a catch up on reading all the Beatles related books that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf these past several years.
The Private John Lennon: The Untold Story from His Sister by Julia Baird was published in early 2008. In the UK, the title of this same book is “Imagine This: Growing Up with My Brother, John Lennon”. This book was the basis for the film “Nowhere Boy,” which I reviewed when it first come out in theaters. You can read that review here.
It’s always refreshing when you can read a first-hand account of someone’s life from someone who was actually there to witness it. Much like Cynthia Lennon or May Pang‘s books, Julia Baird brings the reader into her and her families’ private lives to give you a glimpse of what it was like being John Lennon’s sister. Those facts or times that she is unable to recall or know as fact, she’s gone about finding those family members and friends who can fill in the blanks for her and her readers. It’s during her research that Julia uncovered several family secrets that help Lennon and Beatles fans better understand the world that John grew up.
This is a story of unbelievable tragedy. Even if she wasn’t related to one of the Fab Four, one has to agree that they would not wish Julia’s losses throughout her life on anyone. She tells of Cynthia’s kindness towards her and her sister Jackie after the loss of their mother and she tells of the embarrassment she felt at her brother John’s strange behavior after taking up residency with Yoko.
After reading this book, it becomes obvious what John saw in Yoko. He was returning to the strange, controlled world that he had always known growing up. Thank you Julia for telling your story.
If you’d like to read this book on Kindle, it’s available as an ebook in it’s UK title –Imagine This.
I rate this book: 4 out of 4 Beetles!