But what about those that did know him? Fergus Kelly spoke to 5 individuals who turned near John at various levels of his brief however memorable life. He requested them two questions: what was their abiding private reminiscence of him and what do they suppose John can be like have been he nonetheless alive immediately?
`I need to imagine that outdated age wouldn’t have mellowed him’
Thelma McGough turned John Lennon’s girlfriend at Liverpool College of Art in 1958. Today, after a profitable profession in TV manufacturing and as an award-winning artist, she is ending her personal memoir about rising up in Liverpool within the coronary heart of the cultural and sexual revolution of post-war Britain.
I met John the day I enrolled at school. He had been there a 12 months already and, at 17, was a 12 months older. My pal launched me as Thelma Pickles, my title then, and he stated in a mock Yorkshire accent: “How do! How are yer? Any relation to Wilfred?” [Wilfred Pickles was a household name at the time thanks to a long-running radio show, Have A Go.]
I took an immediate dislike to him. But then, moments later, one other lady arrived and stated to him: “Hey John, I hear your mother’s dead?” [Julia Lennon had died after being hit by a car in July].
To which he simply replied: “Yeah,” with out batting an eyelid. I used to be captivated by his bravery and emotional energy. Then I turned beguiled by his wit and outspokenness.
Thelma as a younger lady when she met John, left, and immediately
John was possessive and needy, and all the time wanting me to sag off although I cherished faculty.
He could possibly be very tender in non-public however verbally nasty to others in public.
We broke up after an artwork faculty dance after we went upstairs to a darkened room for what he euphemistically referred to as, a “five-mile-run” – as a result of he’d learn having intercourse expended the equal power. We weren’t alone, so I stated: “I’m not staying here”. John yanked me again by my hair and punched me. That ended it for me.
Ultimately, when goaded by him – as a result of I wouldn’t resume the connection after he’d hit me – I discovered my voice and have become as verbally merciless as he was once I instructed him: “Don’t blame me just because your mother is dead.” It was the one event I ever witnessed that he didn’t have a vitriolic retort.
I need to imagine that age wouldn’t have mellowed him, that he would not have changed into a comfortable outdated man in his New York condominium.
The couple staged a ‘bed-in for peace’ to protest battle and violence
John suffered enormously from not having his father round, however then inflicted the identical destiny on his personal son, Julian – I hope that he would have apologised for deserting him.
And I hope he would have discovered some stage of independence, freed from the necessity all the time to be half of a pair. From what I’ve learn, he allowed himself to be managed by Yoko.
`Play stopped so he may goo-goo Julian’
Ivor Davis was the Daily Express reporter despatched to accompany The Beatles on their first US tour in 1962. The journalist and writer, 82, immediately lives in Los Angeles.
One abiding reminiscence is enjoying Monopoly with John in his resort room at 2am on that first American tour. During the video games – by which he loved dishonest – he would cease rolling the cube, get on the cellphone to Cynthia in Liverpool, and spend 5 minutes goo-gooing to his child son Julian, who was then barely a 12 months outdated. Then it was again to the sport.
Another factor I’ll all the time keep in mind is when John instructed me if he had been referred to as as much as do his National Service, he would have fled Britain – and moved to Ireland. He stated: “Look what happened to Elvis when he had to go into the Army”. National Service led to 1960, so John didn’t must make the choice.
Ivor on tour with George Harrison
He would have been an irascible outdated man, as a result of John suffered from that illness the place you converse first and rattling the results. He was by no means a diplomat. His vocal cords by no means coordinated together with his mind. He spoke his thoughts, and he cherished to impress. When we first met I instructed him my title was Ivor, however he insisted on calling me Ivan the Terrible.
I don’t suppose he can be doing any touring nowadays like Paul, as a result of he as soon as instructed me: “We are like performing fleas: people come to see us but not to hear our music”.
`Despite his faults he was unattainable to not like’
Bob Harris, 74, introduced the 1970s TV rock music present The Old Grey Whistle Test. Today he presents The Country Show on Radio 2.
It was the mid-70s and I ran into Elton John on the steps of a London membership. He stated: “I’m off to New York tomorrow, and I’m playing Madison Square Garden. And – don’t tell anyone – but John Lennon has promised to come up on stage with me”.
I stated: “When you see him, will you tell him we’d love him to do something for the Old Grey Whistle Test?”
The following week the cellphone rang within the workplace, our producer Mike Appleton picked up, and I heard: “It’s John Lennon from New York. Is Bob there?”
John Lennon would have been turning eighty on October 9
John with Yoko in 1968, initially of his new life
He stated: “Why don’t you just come over here. I can’t get out of America at the moment” [he was trying to get his Green Card to live there, and President Nixon wanted him out]. Which is how I got here to spend three days with him in New York at a time when Yoko had simply found she was pregnant with Sean.
He had reached some extent the place he could possibly be self-deprecating. He was keen to recognise his faults and what he had acquired fallacious significantly the best way he’d handled Julian, and appeared to need to begin placing issues proper.
Despite these faults he was unattainable to not like. We acquired on extremely nicely. I’m of the identical technology as John.
There isn’t any means I’m ever going to take a seat down, put my ft up and simply watch daytime TV. I’ll all the time need to be out behind a mic and on stage. John would have been no completely different.
What would have suited the John of immediately is that he would have been capable of take his decide of anybody on the planet to play with him on stage. Every door on the planet would have been opened. I’m certain John would have taken benefit of that. And I’m certain he would have opposed Donald Trump each inch of the best way.
`He would nonetheless be crusading for peace’
Rod Davis, 78, was a member of John Lennon’s group the Quarrymen from his Liverpool schooldays.
After a profession within the journey enterprise and educating tourism and advertising and marketing, he nonetheless performs and excursions in a revived model of the Quarrymen that features fellow unique members Colin Hanton and Len Garry. John and Paul McCartney first met on July 6, 1957. It was the church fete that we Quarrymen have been acting at and Paul had come alongside to observe.
Rod Davis when he was in The Quarrymen with John Lennon within the late Fifties
Yet the reality is that although it was most likely essentially the most momentous day in rock ’n’ roll historical past, I didn’t keep in mind Paul being there!
Instead I made up some story that I’d needed to go for a pee after they met however it quickly turned legend. In reality, when a fan recreated the assembly in a portray, everyone seems to be within the image, however I’m represented by my instrument, a banjo, left on a chair whereas I made my supposed name of nature.
I first recall seeing Paul per week or two later, after we have been practising at John’s Aunt Mimi’s home the place he lived. I noticed this man I didn’t recognise, till John stated: “This is Paul, he’s come to listen to us practising”. It wasn’t that for much longer earlier than I drifted away from the band to focus on the sixth type and my exams.
I’m certain that if alive immediately John can be pursuing crusades on peace and the atmosphere, however it’s onerous to say as a result of by the point of his loss of life he was already so completely different from the John I’d recognized in school. He was what they’d immediately name a disruptive pupil, one they may not tame.
`Meeting Elvis left him so very dissatisfied’
Chris Hutchins, 78, journalist and writer, was working for New Musical Express when he turned associates with The Beatles. He arrange the one assembly between the group and Elvis Presley in 1965.
I’d organized to take them to Elvis’s home in Bel Air, one thing John had been asking me to do for the reason that earlier 12 months.
Chris Hutchins stated The Beatles have been dissatisfied by their Elvis assembly
Elvis had ready somewhat occasion for after we acquired there, however it was moderately stilted and felt too clearly arrange by me and Elvis’s supervisor, Colonel Tom Parker. Elvis hadn’t been eager once I first acquired involved, saying to me: “You are just trying to get these boys some publicity off my back”. John was dissatisfied in Elvis, and was stunned on the stage of management Parker had over him.
It was a clumsy ambiance, with John attempting to lighten the temper by placing on an Inspector Clouseau voice, which simply baffled Elvis.
As we left and have been strolling down the drive, Parker referred to as out after me: “Tell the fans it was a wonderful night”. John turned to me and stated: “Tell them it was crap”.
Surprisingly, maybe, I feel John may be a bit extra mellow and tactful nowadays if he was nonetheless alive. The factor is that he could possibly be a very sort individual and didn’t need to upset folks, however did anyway as a result of he was so blunt.