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Uncle George
1 September 2013
4.30pm
Hannah
London
Carnegie Hall
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It has always struck me how little importance has been placed on the impact on John when his beloved Uncle George died when John was only 12. From what I've read, John and George had an incredibly close bond and loved each other dearly. They were always hugging and kissing and Mimi even said she felt somewhat jealous of the relationship and close bond they had. Whenever we talk of John's troubles in later life, his feelings of abandonment by his Mum and Dad and the loss he felt when his Mum died, everyone seems to forget about poor George and how John must have suffered when he died so suddenly. George was a father substitute for John. His dad was not in his life at that stage and when George died it must have been like losing a parent. How did this affect him in later life? Did he ever publicly talk about George's death?  I would be very interested in opinions on this, and wonder whether anyone else has every thought about it. Or is it just me!

1 September 2013
4.45pm
fabfouremily
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It is true that George was something of the father figure to John, and I agree with you that he, and the part that his death played in John's life, is overlooked. He was the only person whom John had a straight-forward, constant and loving relationship with; so I can't even imagine what a blow it must have been to lose him. It was the last thing the young John Lennon needed.

''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.''

1 September 2013
5.16pm
Hannah
London
Carnegie Hall
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Thanks fabfouremily. Glad I'm not the only one who has noticed this. I wonder if John's life would have turned out differently had George not died? Would he have grown up to be a more stable teenager who was better able to cope when his mother died? Possibly not, the death of your Mum in such a horrific way at the age of 17 is bound to affect you horribly. However, Mimi had trouble showing affection (although she clearly loved John deeply). If George was alive when it happened, John would have had someone else to lean on, to talk him through it and help him make sense of it. Also, John later spoke about how when his Mum died he felt free in a way, like he had no one to answer to and he could do what he wanted. Mimi and John had a loving yet volatile relationship. The more she would tell him not to do something, the more he would rebel. If George was around, I shouldn't think John would be quite so rebellious. If it is true that they had such a good relationship, John would not have wanted to let him down or disappoint him, whereas with Mimi he enjoyed winding her up.

Maybe I'm reading too much into this!

1 September 2013
10.47pm
fabfouremily
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No, I don't think you are. I don't know how differently John would've "turned out" had he remained alive, we just can't, but he would have been someone (and someone male) for John to talk to. A lot of his problems stemmed from his mother, so they would've all still been there, but I do think that it would have done him a lot of good to grow up with George around.

''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.''

4 September 2013
4.52pm
mccartneyalarm
Carnegie Hall
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Wow….great observation, fabfouremily, about the John's relationship with Uncle George being glossed over. I never thought much about it before you brought it up. My gut feeling for the reason we don't hear much about him is that John himself didn't talk much about him. Mimi, from what I can ascertain, set the tone when George died….just chin up, and make the best of it. She was not a warm and fuzzy person, so John probably buried that pain as he did the pain he had over Alf and Julia. I'm not sure how much of a difference it would have made had he lived. John had so much anger over Alf and Julia. He was only 12 when George died. The real pain and rebellion were just being developed at that time. Had he lived, John may have turned his feelings of abandonment and anger on George and he would have had to deal with it along with Mimi and anyone else who was close to him. Hard to tell. John was not one to get a grip on his emotions and he had such a fear of abandonment that I don't think George could have helped him deal with all that. I'm just guessing, though. Oh, and, remember, John had all the other aunties in his life (Mimi's sisters). John's life was almost totally influenced in the early years by women.

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

4 September 2013
5.03pm
fabfouremily
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^ Thank you, though I can't really take the credit as I didn't start the topic.

Would he have turned against George? Possibly. I know as well as anyone does, but my guessing is that he would've grown closer to him as, like you say, he was otherwise surrouned by domineering women.

''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.''

4 September 2013
5.14pm
HeyTrud
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
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I think George's untimely death had a great impact on John…particularly at the age of 12.  As has been said, John was raised mainly by women.  He needed a male influence in his life, as all boys do and he was really robbed of that :(

Yes, Mimi was totally "chin up & carry on", so I don't think John was allowed the opportunity to properly mourn/grieve for George.  I have read several books on John and never have read anything about him publicly speaking about George or his death.  He could have tho.

I have always found it incredibly sad that John, in many ways, lacked parental guidance and love.   Yes, his Auntie's and extended family loved him – but it is not the same. 

"....take a sad song & make it Meilleur"....

4 September 2013
5.16pm
mccartneyalarm
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My mistake…I should also have thanked Hannah…great observations from the both of you! I can't remember…when did Mimi marry George? Was it before or after she got custody of John (if that is what you want to call it)? I'm probably remembering wrong…but I thought she was single when she got John from Mimi.

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

4 September 2013
5.16pm
HeyTrud
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
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Mimi was married to George before they got custody of John.

"....take a sad song & make it Meilleur"....

4 September 2013
5.24pm
fabfouremily
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^ Yeah, that was one of the reasons why she thought she'd be better bringing him up, because he wouldn't be in an illegitamate child. Well, he would, but he would have a ''mother'' and a ''father''.

''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.''

4 September 2013
6.18pm
DrBeatle
Boston
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By all accounts, John was VERY fond of his Uncle George and they were very close…he was devastated when George died and Mimi and others at the time noted a withdrawal and hardening of John's personality afterward.

With all the issues he had, it's amazing John was as OK as he was given what an absolutely fucked up childhood and home/family life he had!

"I know you, you know me; one thing I can tell you is you got to be free!"

 

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4 September 2013
8.46pm
Hannah
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DrBeatle said
By all accounts, John was VERY fond of his Uncle George and they were very close…he was devastated when George died and Mimi and others at the time noted a withdrawal and hardening of John's personality afterward.

With all the issues he had, it's amazing John was as OK as he was given what an absolutely fucked up childhood and home/family life he had!

I agree. It annoys me sometimes when people say that John didn't really have such a bad childhood as he lived in a pretty affluent house and didn't want for anything. That's only true in a material sense. Yes, he did have everything he wanted materially but kids don't really care about all that. His early childhood had no stability, he was moved around all over the place before he settled with Mimi. In his eyes neither his mum or dad truly wanted him and that must be devastating for a child. Mimi had strong maternal feelings for John from the first moment she held him but in John's eyes she wasn't his mum. George and John had an uncomplicated, loving relationship, John probably didn't feel any pressure from him, it was just simple. Poor John. I reckon if George hadn't died he would definitely have been a positive male role model for him. 

4 September 2013
9.25pm
meanmistermustard
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Growing up John lacked any male role model who was around for a sustained period of time and who didn't leave (Father) or die (Uncle George). Its why its so gut-wrenching to see the same happening to Stu as John clearly looked up to him. There was a headmaster or teacher John got along with, one of the very few who didn't treat him as a delinquent and waste of time (cant remember his name). I think it was he who got John into Art school when all the others had washed their hands.

"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)
4 September 2013
9.39pm
Hannah
London
Carnegie Hall
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meanmistermustard said
Growing up John lacked any male role model who was around for a sustained period of time and who didn't leave (Father) or die (Uncle George). Its why its so gut-wrenching to see the same happening to Stu as John clearly looked up to him. There was a headmaster or teacher John got along with, one of the very few who didn't treat him as a delinquent and waste of time (cant remember his name). I think it was he who got John into Art school when all the others had washed their hands.

Yes, I think his name was Mr Pobjoy? 

5 September 2013
9.46am
fabfouremily
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Was it William? Mr William Pobjoy?

''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.''

5 September 2013
2.42pm
HeyTrud
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
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LOL  I just read this last night in "Many Years From Now" about John getting into Art school and YES!  It was Mr. Pobjoy who put in the good word for him to attend Art College.

"....take a sad song & make it Meilleur"....

5 September 2013
6.19pm
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Rishikesh
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Something I found interesting about Uncle George when I read Philip Norman's biography of Lennon is that after George died, and after John left home, Mimi had an affair with one of her boarders, and when they had sex she was a virgin.  This meant that in all the years of marriage to George she never had sex.  Also, when they got married, it was with a handshake.

This caused me to wonder how much of John's homosexual tendencies came from Uncle George.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

5 September 2013
6.24pm
parlance
Slaggers
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Expert Textpert said
Something I found interesting about Uncle George when I read Philip Norman's biography of Lennon is that after George died, and after John left home, Mimi had an affair with one of her boarders, and when they had sex she was a virgin.  This meant that in all the years of marriage to George she never had sex.  Also, when they got married, it was with a handshake.

This caused me to wonder how much of John's homosexual tendencies came from Uncle George.

How would Philip Norman have even known that? That'll be another one of this claims I'm going to take with a truckload of salt.

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.

5 September 2013
6.34pm
Expert Textpert
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Rishikesh
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parlance said

Expert Textpert said
Something I found interesting about Uncle George when I read Philip Norman's biography of Lennon is that after George died, and after John left home, Mimi had an affair with one of her boarders, and when they had sex she was a virgin.  This meant that in all the years of marriage to George she never had sex.  Also, when they got married, it was with a handshake.

This caused me to wonder how much of John's homosexual tendencies came from Uncle George.

How would Philip Norman have even known that? That'll be another one of this claims I'm going to take with a truckload of salt.

parlance

I believe he had access to Mimi's letters.  I don't remember exactly what his source was, or if he said specifically.  It may have been corroborated by an interview with her boyfriend, but I'd have to go back and re-read to say for sure.

It certainly explains why Mimi would want to raise John…if her husband had no interest in her and the marriage was strictly for convenience, she would have known that she would never have her own child.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

5 September 2013
7.48pm
parlance
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The more I hear about Philip Norman's muckraking – either actual or fabricated – the more nervous I become at the thought that he's doing Paul's bio.

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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