Monday, June 3, 2013

Getting girls and such

The primary question on the mind of a teenaged boy of hormonal overload age has always been the same throughout history: "How do I get girls?"

For quite some time now, the main answers to that - and both seem perfectly logical to said boys - are: "I'll go out for sports and be a football star" and "I'll start a rock and roll band."

Both work.

What if you are a skinny kid with an unfortunate nose whose eyesight is so weak you have to wear thick glasses all the time, just to keep from running into trees? Probably the football idea would give way to learning how to play a guitar.

Such seems to be the case with a kid by the name of John Lennon. Or maybe not - he always liked music even before he discovered girls.

Menlove Street, Liverpool.

John lived with his aunt (his mother's sister) and his uncle, but always was in contact with his mother. He never had much contact with his father Alf.

Julia Lennon taught her son how to play the banjo. Skiffle seeds were planted, one assumes. They both loved Elvis Presley. The first song he learned how to play was Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame."

School was Dovedale Primary (Infant) School. Up a few blocks, Dovedale intersects with Penny Lane. Nearby was the old sandstone quarry, subsequently a trash tip and industrial area. Upon passing his 11 Plus, John began attending nearby Quarry Bank Grammar School. Finished that in 1957.

Julia Lennon bought her son his first guitar in 1957. She warned him that he couldn't make a living with a guitar. Too late. School troublemaker John had already formed a band called ...erm... The Quarrymen.


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