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Daddy Come Home: True Story of John Lennon and His Father Paperback – 6 Dec 1990
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The story of the relationship that John Lennon had with his father Freddie, and of their eventual deathbed reconciliation. Based on Freddie's previously unpublished autobiography, this book includes stories of Cynthia, Julian and Yoko.
Top customer reviews
my conclusion and trying to be as unbiased as i can be, my heart bled for the pair of them, as was the time in post war liverpool, and the 60,s and even to this day in liverpool the women rule the roost. a lot of information was denied the pair of them which stopped their relationship developing.
my eyes streamed when i read that at the end they made up and alfred and john were at peace when freddy passed over. a great read that filled in many passages for me in the beatles/john/freddy/julia/mimi panthenon.
please buy and read and try to understand
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Pauline Lennon married 55-year-old Freddie Lennon when she was 20. The two met during the Christmas holiday in 1966 while both worked in the kitchen of the Toby Jug Hotel in Surrey, England. Pauline discusses her romance and marriage to Freddie in the book. I had previously read that Freddie Lennon married a "Beatle Fan," but Pauline denies this and goes to great lengths to show that she sincerely loved Freddie. In fact, the couple had two children together and seemed to be happily married until Freddie's death in 1976.
The first couple of chapters are based on Freddie's unpublished autobiography and gives detail to the Lennon family history. It also gives some new information on the relationship of Freddie and Julia Stanley, John's mother. Julia was a slim, attractive, unconventional lady. She met Freddie in Sefton Park when she was fourteen. They were friends for years and then later became lovers. During this time, Freddie began working on cruise ships as a bell boy, steward and waiter and would be away from Liverpool for weeks or even months at a time. They were married against the wishes of Julia's father on December 3 1938 and spent their honeymoon at the local cinema. The day after the wedding Julia went back to her parents' home and Freddie sailed for the West Indies working as a steward. Having no place of their own, the couple lived with Julia's parents at 9 Newcastle Road, Liverpool (Near Penny Lane). It was here that John Lennon spent his first few years of life with his parents. However, from 1940 to 1944 Freddie was home for a total of only three months. Julia became inpatient with Freddie's absence and sought companionship with others. Julia became pregnant by a soldier and gave birth to a girl in 1945. The baby was given up for adoption. Julia then met John "Bobby" Dykins in 1946 and would stay with him until her death in 1958. With the marriage effectively over, Freddie asked 5-year-old John to choose between he and his mother. John chose his mother, only to be given to Aunt Mimi Smith who raised him with husband George on Menlove Avenue in Liverpool. This freed Julia so that she could move in with Dykins. Freddie went back to sea and never saw Julia again. Young John ended up losing both parents.
There is an absorbing dynamic in the relationship between John and his father. From their first face-to-face meeting in 1964 to their bitter split in 1970, Pauline has written an interesting account of events from her perspective. She portrays Freddie in the best light possible and is critical of John's actions throughout the book. The first meeting between John and Freddie in 1964 lasted only 20 minutes. Freddie then continued to work as a waiter and later even released his own record to cash in on the Lennon name, but was unsuccessful. At the urging of Charles Lennon, John's uncle, he met his father again in 1967.
In 1967, John had obviously made an attempt to forgive his father for being absent during his childhood. He invited Freddie to live with he, Cynthia and Julian in his Kenwood mansion in London. John even gave Pauline a job as an au pair and let her live at Kenwood. John invited Freddie and Pauline to attend the premier of Magical Mystery Tour with he and the other Beatles. He also began paying Freddie an allowance equivalent to his earnings as a waiter. Finally, he bought and gave Freddie a house in Brighton following his marriage to Pauline and the birth of their first child. However, Pauline paints all of this in a dark light because she feels John owed much more to his father. Most likely the events of 1970 forever changed her opinion of John and she can no longer see the good things that John had done for Freddie.
In 1970, John underwent his much publicized "Primal Scream" therapy with Yoko Ono at Arthur Janov's Primal Institute in Los Angeles. Here he relived the pain of losing his parents as a child. John's repressed anger toward his mother and father was revealed. Janov told John that to exorcize the root causes of his neuroses, John must confront those who inflicted the pain on him. Upon his return to England, John summoned Freddie for a visit on his 30th birthday. Freddie expected a party and brought along Pauline and their child, as well as a birthday gift. John shocked Freddie by abruptly announcing that he was cutting him off completely. He stopped giving Freddie money and kicked he and Pauline out of the house in Brighton. Pauline goes into great detail and it is obvious that this single event created both pain and fear in Freddie Lennon that lasted for years.
From 1970 to 1975, Freddie and Pauline did the best they could on their own and had a second child. Freddie stayed home to care for the children and Pauline worked. It seemed that Freddie was able to erase some of the guilt for neglecting John by being a full-time parent for his two young children. Tragedy struck when Freddie was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1976. Pauline contacted John and gave him the terrible news. John and Freddie spoke on the telephone and reconciled. John told Freddie that he regretted having gone through primal therapy. He and Freddie even made plans to visit again so that Sean Lennon could meet his grandfather. Unfortunately, Freddie's cancer progressed rapidly and he died shortly afterward. John wanted to pay for the funeral, but Pauline was still bitter and refused his money.
This is an emotional book full of unexpected details, but lacking in hard facts like dates and places. Pauline Lennon's writing is well done, but she tends to use some British slang that has no meaning in American English. There is very little discussion of the Beatles in this book, so I do not recommend this for general Beatle research. For those who wish to gain greater insight into what makes John Lennon tick, I highly recommend this book.
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