John Lennon sees his father Alf for the final time

Prior to the recording session for the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album track ‘Remember’, John Lennon invited his father Alf to lunch at Tittenhurst Park in Ascot.

The occasion was John Lennon’s 30th birthday. This was the last time the pair would meet. Alf Lennon brought his young wife Pauline and their 18-month-old son David Henry Lennon, whom John had never before met.

Alf Lennon, 1966

The encounter was not a success, and Lennon launched into a tirade against his father. Much of the outburst can be attributed to the Primal Therapy that Lennon had recently undergone in Los Angeles, which encouraged him to relive his childhood in a bid to uncover sources of pain.

Alf Lennon was shaken by the experience, and later lodged a four-page handwritten statement with his solicitor.

He launched into an account of his recent visit to America, and as the story unfolded, so the self inflicted torture began to show in his face, and his voice rose to a scream as he likened himself to Jimi Hendrix and other pop stars who had recently departed from the scene, ending in a crescendo as he admitted he was ‘Bloody mad, insane’ and due for an early demise. It seemed he had gone to America, at great expense to have some kind of treatment through drugs, which enabled one to go back and relive from early childhood the happenings, which in his own case, he should have been happier to forget. I was now listening to the result of this treatment as he reviled his dead mother in unspeakable terms, referring, also, to the aunt who had brought him up, in similar derogatory terms, as well as one or two of his closest friends. I sat through it all, completely stunned, hardly believing that this was the kind considerate ‘Beatle’ John Lennon talking to his father with such evil intensity…

There was no doubt whatsoever in my mind, that he meant every word he spoke, his countenance was frightful to behold, as he explained in detail, how I would be carried out to sea and dumped, ‘twenty – fifty – or perhaps you would prefer a hundred fathoms deep.’ The whole loathsome tirade was uttered with malignant glee, as though he were actually participating in the terrible deed.

Alfred Lennon
Last updated: 1 October 2018
US album release: Beaucoups Of Blues by Ringo Starr
Recording: Remember by John Lennon
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