He was the son of a Merchant Seaman who went AWOL in 1944.
When his Father returned six months later, John’s Mother, Julia, rejected
a reconciliation because she was pregnant with another man’s child.
Liverpool’s Social Services forced Julia to give John to her Sister.
Lennon’s Father gradually vanished from his life.
Lennon described his reaction:
…I was the one who all the other boys’ parents—including Paul’s father—would say, ‘Keep away from him’… The parents instinctively recognized I was a troublemaker, meaning I did not conform and I would influence their children, which I did. I did my best to disrupt every friend’s home… … Partly out of envy that I didn’t have this so-called home…
In today’s classist lingo, John Lennon was a chav.
Lennon’s parents belonged to a horrified and war-weary generation that regulated the economy and expanded access to education as a way to prevent fascism.
In post war Britain:
Prosperity returned in the 1950s, reaching the middle class and, to a large extent, the working class across Britain. London remained a world centre of finance and culture, but the nation was no longer a superpower. In foreign policy Britain promoted the Commonwealth (in the economic sphere) and the Atlantic Alliance (in the military sphere). In domestic policy a Post-war consensus saw the leadership of the Labour and Conservative parties largely agreed on Keynesian policies, with support for trades unions, regulation of business, and nationalisation of many older industries.
Higher education expanded rapidly and attracted an international clientele, while debates raged on the elitist effect of grammar schools. The status of women slowly improved.
The United States emerged from World War II in a position to become an economic superpower. From 1945 to 1973, American workers enjoyed higher wages, greater job security, and a steadily improving standard of living. Workers in unions made even greater gains, including not only substantially higher wages but also health insurance and pensions. Even Americans on the margins of the workforce benefited from the expansion of unemployment compensation, welfare, and job training and placement programs. Unions played a major role in improving the standard of living of their members as their gains created a “ripple effect” that raised the wages and standard of living for non-union workers.
In September 1964 United Artists released ‘A Hard Day’s Night’
“When it opened in September, 1964, “A Hard Day’s Night” was a problematic entry in a disreputable form, the rock ‘n’ roll musical. The Beatles were already a publicity phenomenon (70 million viewers watched them on “The Ed Sullivan Show”), but they were not yet cultural icons. Many critics attended the movie and prepared to condescend, but the movie could not be dismissed: It was so joyous and original that even the early reviews acknowledged it as something special. After more than three decades, it has not aged and is not dated; it stands outside its time, its genre and even rock.
It is one of the great life-affirming landmarks of the movies.”
Yoko Ono was born on Saturday, February 18th, 1933, in her ancestral estate in Tokyo, Japan. Her father, named Eisuke Ono, was the descendant of a 9th Century Emperor of Japan. Her mother, named Isoko Yasuda Ono, was the granddaughter of Zenijiro Yasuda, the founder of Yasuda Bank. Yoko was 2 years old when she was brought to California, and joined her father for the first time. She returned to Japan before WWII and survived the bombings of Tokyo in 1945. Yoko went to school with Emperor Hirohito’s two sons. –Biography IMdB
On November 9, 1966, Yoko Ono meets John Lennon and introduces him to the world of conceptual art:
In 1967, the Beatles release the ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Album‘ and ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, rock became art, although Lennon doesn’t see it that way:
Rolling Stone: A critic has written about “A Day in the Life Of”
as a kind of miniature “Waste Land.”
Lennon: Miniature what?
Rolling Stone: (Ts) Eliot’s “The Waste Land.”
Lennon: I don’t know that. Not very hip on me culture you know.
John Lennon Married Yoko Ono on March 20, 1969, and in 1970 he released ‘Working Class Hero’, which describes the fear being raised among people who scorn the intellect and fear the feminine.
I was never really a street kid or a tough guy. I used to dress like a Teddy boy and identify with Marlon Brando and Elvis Presley, but I never really was in real street fights or real down-home gangs. I was just a suburban kid, imitating the rockers. But it was a big part of one’s life to look tough. I spent the whole of my childhood with shoulders up around the top of me head and me glasses off because glasses were sissy, and walking in complete fear, but with the toughest-looking face you’ve ever seen. I’d get into trouble just because of the way I looked. I wanted to be this tough James Dean all the time. It took a lot of wrestling to stop doing that, even though I still fall into it when I get insecure and nervous. I still drop into that I’m-a-street-kid stance, but I have to keep remembering that I never really was one.
The man who sang ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ in 1964 opens by telling us that ‘God’ is a concept by which we measure our pain.’
He goes on to affirm his heroes by rejecting them; a catharses that frees him to become himself.
I’m not claiming divinity. I’ve never claimed purity of soul. I’ve never claimed to have the answers to life. I only put out songs and answer questions as honestly as I can, but only as honestly as I can – no more, no less. I cannot live up to other people’s expectations of me because they’re illusion.
It is really interesting where this post went. I started with an idea in mind but at one point went a different road. I did not change anything because I don’t want the mind to destroy what spirit created through a natural flow of inspiration.
As we turn the calendar to August, I know some of us are looking forward to the total solar eclipse that will occur in the United States on August 21st. This week it was the birthday of Maria Mitchell, who against all odds became an astronomer. This is her story:
Maria Mitchell is the first acknowledged female astronomer. She was born in 1818 on the island of Nantucket in Massachusetts. Although the American essayist Hannah Crocker explained that same year in her Observations on the Real Rights of Women that it was then a woman’s “province to soothe the turbulent passions of men … to shine in the domestic circle” and that “it would be improper, and physically very incorrect, for the female character to claim the statesman’s birth or ascend the rostrum to gain the loud applause of men,” Maria Mitchell’s Quaker parents believed that girls should have the same access…