Trish Willis's Reviews > John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth

John Lennon by Elizabeth Partridge
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's review
Nov 21, 2010

Read in November, 2010

I chose to read John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth a photographic biography by Elizabeth Partridge, because my mom was a huge Beatles fan, and I have always been intrigued by John Lennon. I was surprised by what I found out about John, after reading this book. He seemed so mellow and peace-loving in his later years, when I knew of him. However, in his younger days, even at Sunday School, he was quite the scrapper, getting into fights, and leading others in mischief. John always saw things differently than others, even claiming to have ‘seen God’ to his mother. He was the ringleader in pranks at high school, and became quite rebellious. He was always creative, even writing into an exercise book of all the weird and off-beat comments and drawings.

Initially, John had no desire to play in a band. But in high school, he began to desire to learn to play the guitar, after starting out on his mom’s banjo. He formed his first band in 1957, comprised of friends. He, then met Paul McCartney, and taught Paul how to sing harmony. He and Paul met George Harrison in 1958, and they began to play a few gigs together. He and Paul began to write songs together, “I Call Your Name” was one of the first. They came up with their name, which was based on Marlon Brando’s film, “The Wild One”. The girls in the gang were called “beetles”, and the ‘a’ in ‘beatles was for the rock and roll beat. They thought this triple meaning was clever.

Their rise to fame came with a price. John did not like living a lie. He and the rest of the band were directed and paraded like puppets. John did not feel true to the music or himself. He had always dabbled in alcohol and experimented with drugs, but now he was really indulging.

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