Two recordings of the song have circulated among collectors, both performed on an acoustic guitar. They were recorded after Lennon returned from a Japanese holiday in 1977.
Lennon was evidently in good spirits when he wrote the song. The opening lines – “Well he’s no longer le garçon fatale/He’s just one of the boys/You know they say that he’s aged very well/Still he’s just one of the boys” – suggests it was inspired by an acceptance of growing older and the decision to put the excesses of the Lost Weekend behind him.
‘The boys’ was how The Beatles’ inner circle referred to the group during the 1960s; it was manager Brian Epstein’s preferred epithet for them. By playfully recalling the phrase Lennon showed that he’d lost some of the seriousness that overshadowed some of his mid-1970s solo work.
In 1977, however, he had dedicated himself to bringing up his son Sean, and had no record deal or musical project to put his ideas towards. ‘One Of The Boys’ remained unreleased, a half-realised fragment of a song which offers a glimpse of Lennon’s time away from the public eye.
‘One Of The Boys’ was part of a bonus disc of home recordings included in the John Lennon Signature Box. The other two previously-unheard songs were ‘India, India’ and a cover version of Carl Perkins’ song ‘Honey Don’t’.