"Mother, you had me... I never had you.”These were words written by John Lennon in his deeply personal song ‘Mother’. The song wasn’t so much sang, but screamed out for its recording on the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album. The screaming style he used for the song, and the carefully chosen lyrics, could be described as the behaviour of an angry, rebellious teenager. But I wanted to know, why was he so angry? What compelled him to write something so personal, especially during a critical stage of his career?
Who exactly was John's mother Julia?
Was she just a good time girl who enjoyed being in the company of men because of the attention they gave her?
Did she have deep, unstable issues that caused her to act out quite wildly?
For a long time people have been asking me when I am going to write a book about John Lennon, but for me John's life has been well documented. For me the story there wasn't about John it was his mother Julia that I wanted to find out about. I had first read about Julia in Hunter Davies 1969 Beatles biography, and wanted to discover if there was another Julia that no one has uncovered. It is such hard work to portray the lives of other people, to everyone's satisfaction and the life of Julia Lennon had been portrayed by so many without research.
'Imagine This', the book by Julia Baird, John Lennon's sister ended up being my inspiration for my 'Julia' book, and the first step in the research was to get in touch with Julia Baird. After months of research and working closely with the family I have found the answer to all of the questions that intrigued me about John's mother in the first place as well as discovering a few incredible things that was new information even to the family such as the fact that the birth of John's sisters were registered twice under two different names!