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Old Oct 28, 2014, 06:15 AM   #1
KEROUAC
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Just been reading about Freddie Lennon in Lewisohn's recent book. Would it be fair to say he got a raw deal as going down in Beatles history as the villain in John's life?

Here is why I think so and do correct me if I'm wrong. He got out of joining the Army in WW2 because his job travelling the world on the ships was vital. But he was enlisted to do that job during the war so couldn't decide to just stay home and be with John and Julia. Also when he did return home he found Julia had not exactly been faithful to him and even got pregnant while he was away.

You could say Julia was perhaps more to blame for abandoning John as a child and yet he still held her in a lofty regard whilst ended up hating his dad. It doesn't seem fair on Freddie.

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Old Oct 28, 2014, 07:16 AM   #2
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Just been reading about Freddie Lennon in Lewisohn's recent book. Would it be fair to say he got a raw deal as going down in Beatles history as the villain in John's life?

Here is why I think so and do correct me if I'm wrong. He got out of joining the Army in WW2 because his job travelling the world on the ships was vital. But he was enlisted to do that job during the war so couldn't decide to just stay home and be with John and Julia. Also when he did return home he found Julia had not exactly been faithful to him and even got pregnant while he was away.

You could say Julia was perhaps more to blame for abandoning John as a child and yet he still held her in a lofty regard whilst ended up hating his dad. It doesn't seem fair on Freddie.
I agree. Though John tried to get back on good turns with his father later but it didn't work out. I think he saw him as a rival more than a father.

Another false villain is Aunt Mimi. Her portrayal in Nowhere Boy is disgraceful. She got John back on an even keel, nurtured his love of books and tried to keep him in a good school. The real villain again is of course Julia. I'm sure John realised all this since he kept in touch with Mimi almost to the day he died.
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Old Oct 28, 2014, 07:21 PM   #3
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Would it be fair to say he got a raw deal as going down in Beatles history as the villain in John's life?
Sure, I definitely think that's fair. My general take on John's childhood is... we weren't there and can't ever really know exactly what happened. Those were different times and everyone was doing the best they could.

My guess is that Alf/Freddie was a fun-loving and well-meaning f***up, while Julia was more than likely not emotionally up to the task of raising a child on her own. (For various reasons.) No villains, no heroes. Just two people who did the best they knew how to do, but neither really knowing/able to really do what was best for their very smart and sensitive child.
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Old Oct 29, 2014, 09:14 AM   #4
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And give him credit for never trying to cash in on his son's enormous fame, (as far as I know). He could have pursued the spotlight as the shunned father of a Beatle but he never did. I think I read maybe two interviews with him over the years and all he ever said is that he would like to talk to John again.
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Old Oct 29, 2014, 03:47 PM   #5
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read this book as it included some of Freddie's un-published memiors, I think both are responsible for John's emotional state and that's sad that they both could not be fully commited to their son.

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Old Oct 29, 2014, 06:54 PM   #6
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And give him credit for never trying to cash in on his son's enormous fame, (as far as I know).


Also, I've never seen Nowhere Boy, but is Mimi generally considered a "villain" in the Lennon story? Sure, she wasn't very supportive of John's musical pursuits, but even when they batted heads, they clearly adored one another and seemed to always stay close.
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Old Oct 30, 2014, 04:32 AM   #7
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Also, I've never seen Nowhere Boy, but is Mimi generally considered a "villain" in the Lennon story? Sure, she wasn't very supportive of John's musical pursuits, but even when they batted heads, they clearly adored one another and seemed to always stay close.
In the film they make out Mimi stopped Julia seeing John.
What really happened, as Lewisohn tells us, is that the five year old John was sleeping in the same bed as Julia and her current lover who were obviously sexually active. Mimi informed the social services and they asked if Mimi would take John in.
This didn't fit in with the pro-Julia bias in the film so they don't show it.
John was very lucky to have Mimi. One of his sisters had to be adopted and never saw Julia again.
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Old Nov 02, 2014, 12:21 PM   #8
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read this book as it included some of Freddie's un-published memiors, I think both are responsible for John's emotional state and that's sad that they both could not be fully commited to their son.

Is Pauline his sister or cousin? I recall one of his sisters wrote a book about John in the late 80's. I skimmed though it in a bookstore back then. How many siblings did he have anyway? That is sad his sister had to be put up for adoption, was Julia that bad a mom? I wonder why Mimi did not take his sister as well?
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Old Nov 09, 2014, 02:23 PM   #9
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Pauline was Freddie's young wife. They marrried in 1968.
The girl who was adopted was called Victoria.
His other sisters were named Julia and Jackie.
Pauline had two sons with Freddie.
So in the end John had three half-sisters and two half-brothers.
But he was the only child of Freddie and Julia together.
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