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Questions about John
18 September 2013
2.49pm
fabfouremily
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I think it's quite likely that they were both bought up as Catholics, considering their Irish backgrounds, but I don't know if they remained religious when they grew up. Neither of them are what I'd think of as ''typical'' religious people.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

18 September 2013
4.38pm
LikeASir
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Was there anything financial to it? I don't know anything on the subject, but isn't there some sort of tax deduction when you're married?

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18 September 2013
4.57pm
mccartneyalarm
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Julia was unemployed after she and Bobby moved in together (they lived in multiple locations to include her father's house). Alf didn't make much as a seaman, and I have no idea if he even paid taxes. So, it wasn't financial. I'm gonna look into their religion, though Julia's other behavior doesn't support her not divorcing because of her faith. I am thinking she just couldn't be bothered with it all. I have a feeling that she had a pretty good deal with Mimi paying to raise John. John, when he was old enough to get away, could go over and be with her, so she could sorta' have her cake and eat it too and it wouldn't cost her the price of a divorce or having to support a teenager on her own. Bobby Dykins didn't make much money as a waiter, so she didn't need another mouth to feed on a daily basis. But, this speculation contradicts the theory that Julia Baird puts forth that all her mother, Julia, ever wanted or thought about was getting John back.We'll never know.

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

18 September 2013
5.19pm
Ron Nasty
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Might it not just be, from Julia's side at least, that divorce would have brought up the question of John's custody – and that with her history she might have been judged an unfit mother and have legally lost John, maybe even to Freddie. While she may have expressed a desire to get John back, I think she was reasonably happy with the situation for most of the time. A divorce would have thrown the private arrangement between Julia and Mimi up in the air.

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18 September 2013
5.58pm
meanmistermustard
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I always thought Julia loved being a free spirit; so there being a role reversal with Julia as a fun aunt who encouraged John in his guitar playing and provided a safe place to go when sagging off school whilst Mimi was the mother, more strict and trying to get John a good education. Cant ever see Julia really wanting to get custody to the point of applying, more one of those things occasionally discussed but not something that would ever be pursued thru to the end.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
18 September 2013
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DrBeatle
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^good points, all of you. It jibes with the fact that even when she got back into John's life, she wasn't interested in acting like his mother, certainly not in the traditional sense.

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18 September 2013
8.50pm
mccartneyalarm
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Wow! Excellent points, all of you! I've always had the feeling that Julia was rather content with the status quo. But, Julia Baird can't admit to that (her book is what got me pondering this). I think it is a great point, mja6758, that any legal action might have definitely upset the apple cart for her as it were. I'm sure she thought she was better off leaving things as they were. And, you're right…Julia never wanted to be Mother of the Year. She did rather like to be the neighborhood flirt. Still troubled about Alf's not acting to get a divorce…but he strikes me as being rather lazy. Perhaps he was never motivated or in one place long enough to pursue it. Had Julia lived, I'm sure he would have pursued a divorce once he met his 19-year old future wife.

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

25 September 2013
9.23pm
mccartneyalarm
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This question isn't going to change lives, but here goes…I am reading "Imagine This" by Julia Baird and she tells the story of John's harmonica. I seem to remember hearing from quite a few sources that he "stole" his harmonica from Frank Hessey's Music Store in Liverpool. My friends & I often wondered if he ever paid for it once he got famous. Julia said he got his harmonica from the engineer on a train he took to Scotland. Has anyone heard the real story of where John got his harmonica? Also…why do you think John stopped playing it? He only plays it in the early Beatles songs. Thanks!

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

26 September 2013
2.16pm
Joe
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I hear there's a rather extensive Beatles biog that is coming out soon which might be able to answer your question (I won't though – I've posted too many spoilers for the time being).

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22 November 2013
12.04am
Ahhh Girl
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I feel as though I should know the answer to this question by now, but I don't. In this article Top 10 Unpleasant Facts about John Lennon, the author states, "He claimed to have met Yoko Ono at an art show and their love blossomed spontaneously; in fact, Ono had stalked him for months before he gave in to her advances." Is that a true statement?

I would be interested in any other comments on the issues raised in this article also.

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22 November 2013
1.48am
trcanberra
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Ahhh Girl said
I feel as though I should know the answer to this question by now, but I don't. In this article Top 10 Unpleasant Facts about John Lennon, the author states, "He claimed to have met Yoko Ono at an art show and their love blossomed spontaneously; in fact, Ono had stalked him for months before he gave in to her advances." Is that a true statement?

I would be interested in any other comments on the issues raised in this article also.

I think there are elements of truth in a lot of them, but numbers 3-5 are pretty much rubbish as far as I am concerned.

 

22 November 2013
4.51pm
mccartneyalarm
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I have to say that from my point of view, the Unpleasant Facts are highly exaggerated. He did not beat up his wives. He was capable of fits of rage, but neither of his wives ended up in a hospital because of them. He was not a patholigical liar. He was an extremely intelligent man who read extensively. He knew about the politics of his time. As for Yoko. He met her at an art gallery (I believe it was the same night he met Brigette Bardot). She claims she didn't know who he was, but after that original meeting, she wrote him notes and poems and solicitations trying to get him to invest in her artwork. It was nearly a full year later when Cynthia left for a trip to Spain that Lennon had Pete Shotten contact her and ask her to come to Kenwood. They were up all night and they did hook up. They were inseparable after that point. It was not love at first sight. I think Yoko was intriguing to John at a time when he was bored. And Yoko saw a sugar daddy for all her art projects and ideas.

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

22 November 2013
5.02pm
meanmistermustard
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I might be misunderstanding you mccartneyalarm (and apologies if so) but the wife doesn't have to end up in hospital for the man to be a wifebeater, a black-eye, punching of the arms and numerous other injuries can be inflicted that don't mean a trip to the hospital. Generally the aim is not to do so much damage that the female (or male, lets not restrict it to men beating up the women, women do beat up their male partners) ends up in hospital as they are not wanting to be caught.

And John has admitted to hitting Cynthia.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
22 November 2013
5.56pm
fabfouremily
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I think she just meant that he never did any serious, life-threatning harm but, obviously, that does not under any circumstances make it okay.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

22 November 2013
6.12pm
meanmistermustard
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Fair enough but there is no distinction between how much harm is carried out and/or how often it happens be it once, twice or continually over years.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
23 November 2013
2.06am
Lennonista
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Re: John's "wifebeating"– Yes, MMM, even one instance is unacceptable… however, I think the point that needs to be made is that John later recognized the error of his ways and that he even spoke about his regret for having been that way as a youth. As I was reading Tuned In, I got curious and watched "Violent Playground," which was mentioned in the book. (It's streamable on Netflix.) The film is supposed to reflect Liverpool youth culture of the 1950s… and, let me tell you, there were many references to violence against women! So, it's not like John was some out-of-control misogynist. It was part of the culture. Doesn't mean everyone did it, but lots of people seemingly had no issue with it.

And, btw, John is not the only Beatle to have hit a girlfriend/wife at least once. There are recorded instances of two other Fabs doing so… probably all four were guilty of it in their youth, but we'll never know for sure. It's just that John always spoke about his issues publicly (much to his own detriment)… and his ex-wife aired a lot of their dirty laundry in a book. That's why he's such a lightning rod for so much nastiness like this Unpleasant Facts nonsense.

23 November 2013
2.58am
parlance
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meanmistermustard said
I might be misunderstanding you mccartneyalarm (and apologies if so) but the wife doesn't have to end up in hospital for the man to be a wifebeater, a black-eye, punching of the arms and numerous other injuries can be inflicted that don't mean a trip to the hospital. Generally the aim is not to do so much damage that the female (or male, lets not restrict it to men beating up the women, women do beat up their male partners) ends up in hospital as they are not wanting to be caught.

And John has admitted to hitting Cynthia.

Thanks, MMM. Abuse has nothing to do with intelligence or lack thereof, and it's not limited by class status or gender or orientation.

parlance

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23 November 2013
4.48am
acmac
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meanmistermustard said
I might be misunderstanding you mccartneyalarm (and apologies if so) but the wife doesn't have to end up in hospital for the man to be a wifebeater, a black-eye, punching of the arms and numerous other injuries can be inflicted that don't mean a trip to the hospital. Generally the aim is not to do so much damage that the female (or male, lets not restrict it to men beating up the women, women do beat up their male partners) ends up in hospital as they are not wanting to be caught.

And John has admitted to hitting Cynthia.

Thanks, MMM. It's worth noting that although Cynthia later said John had "only" hit her once, she and John both said differently to Hunter Davies, in whose original bio they paint a classic picture of an abusive relationship along the lines of the "hit-and-apologize, hit-and-apologize, troubled man tamed by the love of a good woman" narrative (which at the time was still considered an acceptable, even romantic, story).

IMO, John's violence went far beyond being "a product of different times." He hospitalized people, for starters. He also had an exceptionally keen radar for detecting and verbally attacking weaknesses in others (practically everyone who knew him says this) and he vented his violence almost exclusively on people with less power than himself. If there are stories of him getting violent with authority figures, like teachers or cops, where there would have been significant blowback upon himself, I haven't heard them. Despite long years of high stress (and occasional open hostility), he never got violent with any of the other Beatles -- presumably because he knew they wouldn't tolerate it. And he flat-out told May Pang, after trashing their room, that it was the first time he had destroyed anything of his OWN during one of these rampages. IMO this pattern of selectivity precludes a "lost control/couldn't help it" explanation (the "I couldn't help it" excuse is usually bullshit). And he certainly had the abuser's knack of inuring people to his smaller cruelties, and grooming them to make excuses for him ("Oh, that's just John").

Though he later said he had "learned to regret his violence," as late as 1974 he was still throwing punches at a (female) reporter and throttling May Pang in a drunken rage (somebody had to pull him off her), and even later he yelled so loudly into Sean's ear that he damaged his hearing. I also find his supposed "regret" hard to swallow in light of the fact that AFAIK he never once mentioned trying to quit drinking, even though it's clear alcohol was fuel to the fire. IMO, if you really give a shit about hurting people, you at least try to curb the things that make you more likely to hurt them, even if addiction issues ultimately make it difficult to do so. You at least mention the connection in one of your fifty billion interviews where you go on about what a "feminist" you've become. Frankly, I just don't think he gave it that much thought.

So, I guess I've shown why I don't comment much on John's personality, lol. My opinion of him as a person is pretty grim. He was a brilliant artist, and a fascinating conversationalist, but I have no stomach for softsoaping the violence of a privileged, world-worshipped millionaire who, IMO, was so clearly an abuser. It's kind of a downer to talk about, though, so anyone who wants it can have the last word.

23 November 2013
3.06pm
fabfouremily
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^ I guess we feel quite similar. This aspect of John – the violence – is something that, and I may have said this before, I have difficulty with. It's like I love the man for the goodness he had in him and the ''good'' things about him, but I have a natural instinct to not like violent people. And, whether all the time or just in phases, John was or could be a violent person. And I hate that.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

23 November 2013
3.51pm
parlance
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fabfouremily said
^ I guess we feel quite similar. This aspect of John – the violence – is something that, and I may have said this before, I have difficulty with. It's like I love the man for the goodness he had in him and the ''good'' things about him, but I have a natural instinct to not like violent people. And, whether all the time or just in phases, John was or could be a violent person. And I hate that.

This is how I feel. It's difficult to reconcile. My father was abusive to me to me as a teen, so I have a revulsion that is personal. But I would still feel the same if I weren't a survivor because it's inexcusable, no matter how much you otherwise admire the person.

acmac, I'm glad you brought up May Pang because it shows there was a pattern of violence as opposed to an isolated incident here or there.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

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