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Old Oct 11, 2002, 12:28 PM   #1
angelgodiva
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Default John\'s Sister On John And The Family

This article was published some time ago, but I think it's neat and that you'll all enjoy reading it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interview:
JULIA DYKINS BAIRD
(half-sister of John Lennon)


By Scott Wheeler
(originally published in The Sunday Enterprise newspaper,
Brockton, MA. USA on 26 March 1989)

TRUMBULL, CONN.óIn an interview published shortly before his murder in December 1980 John Lennon remarked, "Five strong, intelligent women were my family. One of them happened to be my mother."

Now many of Johnís fans are learning for the first time that the founder of the Beatles was also gifted with two strong, intelligent half-sisters, Julia Baird and Jacqui Dykins, with whom he shared the joy and grief of growing up with a devoted mother and losing her tragically at a tender age.

Ms. Baird recently "crossed the pond" from Liverpool to New York to make her first-ever Beatles convention appearance at Liverpool Productionsí NewYork-New England Beatles Convention here. She gave several talks, signed autographs, and good-naturedly fielded a barrage of questions from fans, some of whom were still finding it hard to believe that John Lennon could have kept a pair of kid sisters under wraps all those years.

"How do I prove who I am?" Ms. Baird laughed in response to one fanís timid inquiry. "Goodness me! Iím certainly not going to pass my passport around. Youíll just have to take my word for it."

Last fall Ms. Baird published her autobiography, John Lennon, My Brother, co-written with Geoffrey Giuliano. The book is a personal, moving account, focusing on her brotherís formative years, which Ms. Baird says she wrote in order to "set the record straight" about her family.

"In most of the books and productions about John that Iíve seen, our family didnít exist at all," Ms. Baird said. "When we did, we were presented as if we had beat John about the head with a stick and sent him out into the world before he was born."

Ms. Baird describes the family she shared with John as a close-knit clan ruled by their vivacious, free-spirited mother, Julia Stanley, and Juliaís four sisters, all of whom actively shared in the rearing of the children. "John and I were brought up in a family of extremely independent, feminist women," Ms. Baird said. "We did whatever they asked of us, and did it instantly. Even now, I still look to women for strength."

In 1938 Julia Stanley impulsively married Alfred Lennon, a freewheeling character who ran away to sea the day after the wedding and returned only for occasional visits thereafter. John, the coupleís only child, was born in October 1940.

Later, while waitressing at a cafť in Penny Lane, Liverpool, Julia befriended one of her customers, a local hotel manager named John Dykins. Although she was still legally married to the long-absent Fred Lennon, Julia chose to make her home with Dykins, who fathered her two daughters, Julia and Jacqui.

Mary "Mimi" Stanley, the eldest and most straitlaced of the Stanley sisters, proclaimed Julia no longer a fit mother, and sternly demanded that young John be handed over into her care.

"We were a traditional middle-class family, with traditional Victorian values," Ms. Baird explained. "It wasnít considered a Ďdone thingí for people to live together. You have to remember how things were in wartime Britain, when my mother was trying to get a divorce. Mimi decided that it wasnít right for John to live in that situation."

Young John went to live with his aunt and uncle in the leafy Liverpool suburb of Woolton, a fifteen-minute walk from the home his mother shared with John Dykins and, later, their two daughters.

Ms. Baird says that Johnís unorthodox living arrangements during her childhood years seemed so natural that it never occurred to her that she and her brother had different surnames.

"John came over to our house two or three times a week, plus vacations and holidays," Ms. Baird recalled. "He had a bedroom at Mimiís and a bedroom over at our house. It was a typical brother-sister relationship, thatís all. He took us to the pictures and to lots of other places. If he was going to a football game heíd take us along, put us on the swings, and come get us on the way home. Other times it would be ĎGet the girls out! I want to do something!í"

As a small boy John learned his first banjo chords at his motherís knee. Later, during his teen-age years, mother and son became mutually obsessed with American rock and roll.

Although Ms. Baird herself was too young to participate, she warmly recalls the raucous guitar-and-washboard jam sessions her mother shared with John and his friends for hours at a time in the cramped, echoing bathroom of the Dykins home.

But the familyís happiness was short-lived. Ms. Baird was the last member of her family to see and speak to her mother just before she was struck and killed by a car in front of Mimiís house on Menlove Avenue in Woolton in July 1958óan event that devastated the family and plunged John into what he later called "a sadness so deep it hardly becomes known to me."

Ms. Baird particularly cherishes one of her brotherís most deeply personal compositions, even though she still finds it painful to listen to: "Julia," the haunting acoustic ballad John performed on the album The Beatles in 1968 in memory of his mother.

"She was the most wonderful person," Ms. Baird writes in her book. "I told John that her friends in Liverpool still spoke about her all these years later. What a remarkable woman, to be missed daily after so long! No wonder the son she had was John."

During the 1960s Johnís relatives in Liverpool shared proudly in the global frenzy of Beatlemania while managing to keep a remarkably low profile in the media.

When the group eventually dissolved and John launched a new marriage and joint career with Yoko Ono, Ms. Baird shared in the familyís sense of shocked surprise but never doubted that John would do exactly as he pleased.

"John and Yoko were like twin souls," Ms. Baird said. "To me, she was just what the doctor ordered at the time. We were always in touch until 1971, when I lost contact with him. Then he got in touch with us in 1974, while he was in L.A. Before that it was Yoko who rang and wrote us.

"He was doing stupid things in L.A., wasnít he? We would read about it in the papers and think, ĎNot again!í Everyone knows John had a drinking and drug problem and that he provoked people from time to time. Iím not saying it didnít happen. But he kicked it when he had Sean. He certainly couldnít have been taking care of a small baby while doping himself out."

In 1975 Ms. Baird was surprised and delighted to receive a transatlantic phone call from John in New York. In an emotional telephone reunion lasting two hours she and John mingled laughter and tears as they unburdened themselves of a wealth of private memories of the mother they both continued to miss so desperately. Following that call the two siblings began a round of letters and regular phone calls that continued until the end of 1976.

Ms. Baird had been out of touch with John for nearly four years when she received she shattering news of his murder, in December 1980.

"I never saw the Imagine film," Ms. Baird said. "I can see how it would have been pleasing for you as fans, but, as his sister, I donít want to see John talking to me from the screen. If it were your own brother you had lost, I donít think you would really want to see him as if he were still alive."

And what does she remember of the other ex-Beatles?

"I remember Pete Best being there before he was displaced, and Iíve met him since then, to say hello, but I never knew him," she said. "I donít know Ringo, and I donít know George anymore. Paul is a different matter, because he was a Ďbrother under the skiní to John. He got on famously with my mother. She fed him a lot, and ironed his shirts a lot.

"Jacqui and I were at the ĎDay Tripperí recording session," she added. "We thought it would be fun, but we ended up having to shut up and sit quietly for hours, so we left. I always preferred the Rolling Stones, myself. I was a rebelówerenít we all?"




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Old Oct 11, 2002, 12:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family

thanks

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Old Oct 11, 2002, 01:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>"I never saw the Imagine film," Ms. Baird said. "I can see how it would have been pleasing for you as fans, but, as his sister, I donít want to see John talking to me from the screen. If it were your own brother you had lost, I donít think you would really want to see him as if he were still alive."<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's very sad.

Thankyou for posting this!


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Old Oct 11, 2002, 01:37 PM   #4
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Old Oct 11, 2002, 01:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family

What is it with the guys not keeping in touch with their families? I think that's terrible! Oh, I wouldn't have expected them to keep in touch weekly, or even monthly. Especially during the 60's. But look at Julia & Jacqui. Look at Louise Harrison. They had very, very little contact with their famous brothers. I dunno. Maybe it's just me and that I come from a big family..and the mere fact that I'm not famous. Even so, I can't imagine not keeping up with my sibs at least once a month.

------------------
John thoughts on "Yesterday":
"That's Paul's song, Paul's baby. Well Done. Beautiful--and I never wished I'd written it."
1980
Is it any wonder why I love John so much?
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Old Oct 11, 2002, 04:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family

Thanks for the article, Angel!

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Old Oct 11, 2002, 07:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family



John Lennon's sister prefers

The Rolling Stones!

That is amazing...

Thanks Angel!

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Old Oct 11, 2002, 07:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family

Maybe she really prefers the Stones, or perhaps, like her brother, she likes to get a rise out of people and just said that on impulse. I kind of suspect the latter.

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Old Oct 11, 2002, 09:59 PM   #9
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family

Thank you, Angel.

------------------
Then we will remember things we said today. Yeah.
-- Beatles, 1964

With a love like that, you know you should be glad, yeah, yeah, yeah!
-- Beatles, 1963

Read www.rooftopsessions.com for high caliber Beatles fan fiction.

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Old Oct 11, 2002, 10:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family

You are all very welcome. I found this nice pic of John to share, too:



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Old Oct 11, 2002, 10:28 PM   #11
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family

Angel, thanks for posting that interview and the pic!

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Old Oct 11, 2002, 10:42 PM   #12
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Ahhhhh JOHN!!! Thanks Angel. I'll sleep well tonight!

------------------
John thoughts on "Yesterday":
"That's Paul's song, Paul's baby. Well Done. Beautiful--and I never wished I'd written it."
1980
Is it any wonder why I love John so much?
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Old Oct 12, 2002, 08:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family

Magill:
Yeah, beautiful, isn't he? I was thinking about what you mentioned about guys not keeping in touch with their families. I guess it was because John didn't need any laundry done or to be sent any money. I think it's just a guy thing.

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Old Oct 13, 2002, 02:49 PM   #14
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angelgodiva

good story thanks

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Old Oct 13, 2002, 04:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: John\'s Sister On John And The Family

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Sans-Serif">Quote:</font><HR>Originally Posted By angelgodiva:
You are all very welcome. I found this nice pic of John to share, too:



<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

White Album sessions. Yes!


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Arnold: No you wouldn't like it, there are not many pictures
Willis: Then there is nothing for you to color

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Old May 04, 2012, 03:02 AM   #16
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelgodiva View Post
This article was published some time ago, but I think it's neat and that you'll all enjoy reading it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Interview:
JULIA DYKINS BAIRD
(half-sister of John Lennon)


By Scott Wheeler
(originally published in The Sunday Enterprise newspaper,
Brockton, MA. USA on 26 March 1989)
.
Glad I came across this.
They did do a heck of a job by keeping a low profile and I'm glad she finally spoke out.
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Old May 05, 2012, 07:42 AM   #17
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelgodiva View Post
"Jacqui and I were at the ĎDay Tripperí recording session," she added. "We thought it would be fun, but we ended up having to shut up and sit quietly for hours, so we left. I always preferred the Rolling Stones, myself. I was a rebelówerenít we all?"
Okay, Julia... we're supposed to buy your take on everything when it comes to John even though you were only close to him when you were about 7-11 years old and even though you say idiotic stuff like that?

Whatevs, girl...
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Old May 05, 2012, 12:34 PM   #18
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Post That's true...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia 66 View Post
Okay, Julia... we're supposed to buy your take on everything when it comes to John even though you were only close to him when you were about 7-11 years old and even though you say idiotic stuff like that?
Although I basically like Julia Baird, I think this is an unnecessary and tactless remark towards the band of his half-brother

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Old Jun 13, 2012, 10:18 PM   #19
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Default She wrote her book with the help of Geoffrey Guiliano.

'Nuff said.
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