What was John Lennon's childhood like?
John Lennon was born Oct. 9th 1940 to Julia Lennon (1914-1958)
and Alfred Lennon (1912-1976) at Oxford Street Maternity Hospital
and attended Mosspits as a young child. Alfred did not see his
child until November, when he returned from work as a merchant
seamen and offered to look after Julia and their son but Julia
declined. John lived with Julia at 9 Newcastle Rd. until 1946, when
Julia's sister Mimi reported Julia to Child Services for a third
time. Mimi and her husband George Smith were subsequently given
custody. It was around this time when Alfred kidnapped John with
intentions to emigrate to New Zealand but his plot was foiled by
Julia. Alfred would not see his son again until after John became
famous. Regardless, Mimi and George gave Lennon a good home and
George taught young John how to read, write and how to do crossword
puzzles. Mimi was strict and discouraged John from pursuing music.
Julia on the other hand encouraged her son, taught him the banjo
and ukulele and bought John his first guitar. George died of a
liver hemorrhage when Lennon was about thirteen. John Lennon lived
at 251 Menlove Ave until 1963. Although Lennon was a bright child,
by the time John attended Quarrybank Grammar School Lennon
frequently got into trouble in school, and was considered a "class
clown". He later said this was because he felt more clever than his
teachers (John's I.Q. was 165: gifted and advanced). Also
contributing was his very poor eyesight (without glasses, Lennon
was legally blind). When John was kicked out of Quarrybank his
teacher recommended he attend the Liverpool College of Art.
Although John lived with Mimi, he began spending weekends with
Julia and her boyfriend (and their two daughters), until she was
killed by a drunk off duty police officer when John was seventeen.
When John decided to take up music, Mimi told him repeatedly "The
guitar's all right, John, but you'll never make a living at it."
(When the Beatles became famous, he presented her with a silver
plaque, engraved with those same words). Mimi would later admit
that she "never wanted children, but always wanted John".