by: Stella Chua
John Lennon is a legendary icon and a brilliant classical artist who furor the crowd on the early 60’s. His historical and valuable achievements will always be remembered in our heart forever. He was known as a singer, rock musician, song writer, political activist and also a very artistic person who creates the history of rock for the 60’s and legend of rock for the 21st century.
It is a very fine afternoon when I’m about to knock on Mr. Lennon’s door to have this interview with him. Mr. Lennon and his beloved wife, Yoko Ono stays in a luxury apartment at the Manhattan’s upper west side, which opposite Dakota.
After the 1 hour interview or I should say it’s unlike an interview, it’s actually a conversation I had with him. As Mr. Lennon is a friendly and great person that like to joke around, it makes me feel easily to talk to him, who had make this interview much more interesting compared to the others I had before, instead of that, we’re actually chit chatting like an old friend, we chat a lot. He was far more open and candid than I thought.
After gathered all the information I need, I would like to present to everyone an outstanding story of this men. But before this, I would like to present a very much thanks to Mr. Lennon who gave me this precious opportunity to had this interview with him and also to the great afternoon tea that offered by Mrs. Lennon.
John Lennon was born on 4th of October 1940 at Oxford Street Maternity Hospital in Liverpool, England, a gift from heaven to the couple, Alfred Lennon and Julia Stanley.
John Lennon’s father, Alfred Lennon, was a merchant seaman, who often away from home. When Alfred eventually came home in the year of 1944 and offered to look after his wife, Julia Stanley and the 4 years old John, unfortunately, she was pregnant with another men’s child. After the complained of Julia’s sister, Mimi Smith, Julia decided to hand over the care of Little John to her sister.
Since then, John was raised by his aunt Mimi, and living together along with her husband, George Smith. They live in Woolton, a house called “Mendips”. John has a plenty of happy childhood as he was surrounded by all his aunts and cousins and often visited by Julia.
John enjoy reading, writing stories and poem, and also drawing. But he was too naughty and was expelled by the kinder garden before he enters Dovedale Road Primary School. After completing his primary school, he enters the Quarry Bank High School in September 1952 at the age of 12. However, he said he totally gave no interest in conventional education so he left the school consequently with no formal qualification. John said, he begin to found difficulty of finding direction of his life, and that is the moment when he decided to try making music by himself.
His mother frequently taught him on how to play Banjo and that is what led John to ask for a guitar. Besides that, she was also very encouraged him on his interest in music and hope that he would grow with music someday as he ever claimed that he would be famous one day. Finally in his age of 16, his Aunt Mimi bought him his very first guitar. Since then, he would just enjoy sitting on his bed making up tunes and sing along by himself.
After we chat on that, he shows to me that precious guitar. It looks old but classy, still in good condition after more than 50 years he kept it.
Even though he had to faced the opposed of his Aunt Mimi on making music, but he never give up on his dream. John and his fellow Quarry Bank High School friend, Eric Griffiths joined the guitar lesson together. On March of 1957, both of them started The Quarrymen. They had their second concert at St. Peter Church Woolton Garden Fete, where he first met with Paul McCartney, a person who creates The Beatles together with him. He seems joyful to talk about his old pal and he told me quite a lot of things about him and how they enjoy making music and write songs together. He mentioned that, it was the best time of him that he finally find how important is music in a human’s life. And then, “Hello, Little Girl” is the first song that completed by John, which had later became the hit for the Fourmost.
Back to the end of his high school life, with the help of his principal and Mimi, he successfully enter Liverpool College of Art, the only college that accepted him. In Liverpool College of Art, it’s the place that he met his future wife, Cynthia Powell. We don’t talk much about Cynthia Powell that day, since his current wife is around, for a respect, I did not ask much question on that too.
Anyway, we laugh out loud while we flash back to his college life. At that time, he was fond of dressing up like a teddy boy. His aunt Mimi was not very pleased with his dressing and behavior, instead, his mother was easier going on that. And for the youngster nowadays, you might not know how is Teddy boy looks like, and i bet that, teddy boy must be the trendiest fashion in their era that time.
To the tough part.
“I lost my mother twice. Once as a child of five and then again at seventeen. It made me very, very bitter inside. I had just begun to re-establish a relationship with her when she was killed.”
After the death of his mother, who was killed while crossing the road when she’s on the way to visit John, was struck by an off-duty officer and that had became a very tough moment for him.
However, John said he had finally taken up the courage years after and continue explore music and making it shine to the world.
Into his relationship, John first met with Yoko Ono was at the Indico Art Gallery in London during an avant-garde show displaying the artistry of Yoko Ono. In that splendid met of the lovely couple, Yoko Ono was actually asked him for five shillings to try to hammer an imaginary nail into the wall due to the artistry art work, so John offered her the five imaginary shillings to hammer the nail, and there it goes the initial attraction from both of them emerge that time which had lead them to their married on March 1969 and had a son. Mrs Lennon we should called, said, John is a very romantic person, there’s many songs written by him is all about love and were all specially present to her and their son, Sean Lennon. Together they host something called “Bed-In” during their honeymoon in a suite of Queen Elizabert Hotel that located at Montreal, Canada. The “Bed-In” is for delivering their message of PEACE to the world and there is where they recorded the song “Give Peace a Chance”.
This song had later become the anthem of the anti-war movement which had sung by half of millions of the demostrators in Washinton during the Vietnam War on October 1969.
At the end of the interview, I asked him, “Do you mind on how people said about you?” Why I ask such question is because, there’s actually many rumors and issues going on around him and his wife, neither music nor politic problem. I wouldn’t cover on that because I am a big fan of John Lennon, and which fan would want to criticize on their idol? Anyway, he ended the interview with this.
“It is for others to judge. I am doing it. I do. I don’t stand back and judge”
* Story is written for academic purposes only, content were all created on my own and sources were collected from internet. Sincere apologize to any copy write matter.