Albert-Goldman

5

“Though George was not invited to join the band, because he was too young to be taken seriously, he dogged John for a whole year, exhibiting the behavior of the born disciple, a role he has never outgrown. "George used to follow me and Cynthia around,” recalled John. “We would come out of art school together and he’d be hovering around the gate. Cyn would say, ‘Who is this guy?’ What’s he want?’ I’d say, 'He just wants to hang out. Should we take him with us?’ She’d say, 'OK, let’s take him to the bloody movies.’”

The Lives of John Lennon  by Albert Goldman

2

“"When we were all depressed,” John recollected, “thinking that the group was going nowhere, this is a shitty deal, we’re in a shitty dressing room, I would say, ‘Where are we going, fellows?’ And they would go, ’To the top, Johnny!’ in pseudo-American voices. And I would say, 'Where is that, fellows?’ And they would say, ’To the toppermost of the poppermost!’ I would say, 'Right!’ And we would all cheer up.” During their first years the Beatles performed that ritual over and over as they soldiered through some of the shittiest deals and nastiest dressing rooms in the long and sordid history of the Big Beat.“

The Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman

2

“Around six o'clock on the afternoon of 6 July 1957, Mimi Smith was taking tea in the refreshment tent when a strange, jangling noise sent all the kids scurrying toward the bandstand. Looking out to see what was afoot, Mimi was horrified to behold her John standing in front of the microphone, guitar in hand, a greasy forelock hanging in his squinty eyes and wearing a load checkerboard shirt that fairly screamed "Teddy Boy!” “John saw me standing there,” recalled Mimi. “He started making up words about me in the song he was singing. ‘Mimi’s coming,’ he sang, 'Oh, oh! Mimi’s coming down the path.’” Mimi’s ordeal was, fortunately, brief. After performing “Cumberland Gap,” “Maggie May,” and “Railroad Bill,” the Quarry Men bowed and packed up their gear, which they carted back to the parish social hall, where they were slated to perform again that evening.“

The Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman

Michael is so graceful he can transmute a ghetto handslap into a gesture of kinesthetic beauty.He’s so fast,he makes your eyes blur.His charge is so electro-ecstatic that he flickers with a weird vibratory aura.His most remarkable achievement is to make his body talk.In his dance soliloquies,the motions of his mind are projected like T.S. Eliot’s ‘magic lantern that threw the nerves in patterns on a screen’.
— 

Albert Goldman

“Barbara Baker was a very sexy girl, with a body that would give a teenage boy the bends. John could enjoy his access to her without relinquishing his companionship with Pete, who had his own girl. Many times the two couples screwed in the same room or even in the same bed. The funniest such scene recounted by Shotton occurred one afternoon when the foursome were visiting the home of Pete’s girlfriend. The moment the girl’s mother left the parlor to make tea, John and Barbara started making out on the sofa, while Pete’s girl pulled off her underpants and straddled Pete in a chair. At the height of their pleasure the young people were startled to hear a knock at the door. "Come in!” cried John, deftly zipping up his trousers. The lady of the house fluttered inside, trilling: “Tea’s ready!” Pete was horrified but contrived somehow to avoid detection. John couldn’t pass up the chance to torment his pal. Jumping up to assist the hostess, he pulled poor Pete out of his chair, where he had been trying desperately to shrink his protuberant member. “C'mon, Pete!” cried John. “What’s the matter with you?" 

The Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman

2

“Even years later, John recalled his mother’s death with bitterness and rage: "We were sitting waiting for her to come home, Twitchy and me,” he told Hunter Davies, “wondering why she was so late. The copper came to the door, to tell us about the accident. It was just like it’s supposed to be, the way it is in the films – asking if I was her son and all that. Then he told us, and we both went white. It was the worst-ever thing that happened to me. We’d caught up so much, me and Julia, in just a few years. We could communicate. We got on. She was great. I thought, ‘Fuck it! Fuck it! Fuck it! That’s really fucked everything! I’ve no responsibility to anyone now.’ Twitchy took it worse than me. Then he said, 'Who’s going to look after the kids?’ And I hated him. Bloody selfishness! We got a taxi over to Sefton General, where she was lying dead. I didn’t want to see her. I talked hysterically to the taxi driver all the way, just ranted on and on… . The taxi driver just grunted now and again. I refused to go in and see her. But Twitchy did. He broke down.”“

The Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman

3

“John Lennon’s astrological sign was Libra, a perfect symbol for his dichotomous personality. Part passive introvert, part aggressive show-off, he characterized himself as one-half "monk” and one-half “performing flea.” The monastic Lennon was a natural product of his claustral rearing at Mendips, confined to a strict regimen and encouraged to shun the outer world, concentrating upon intellectual activities. Thus, from an early age, he learned the price he must pay for protection. “I saw loneliness!” he exclaimed when he thought of those years in later life. Soon he saw even stranger sights, when his lonely and emotionally deprived existence began to spawn hallucinations. By staring at his eyes in the mirror for as much as an hour at a time, he discovered that he could put himself into a trance. “I would find myself seeing these hallucinatory images of my face changing, and the eyes would get bigger and the room would vanish,” Lennon told the Beatles’ biographer Hunter Davies … One of the most important consequences of Lennon’s visionary temper was that it made him fear that he was insane; yet, at the same time, his hallucinations made him swell with pride because they could be construed as the stigmata of genius. “Am I crazy or am I a genius?” - that was the question, early and late, for John Lennon.“

The Lives of John Lennon by Albert Goldman