Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Which Beatle had the most difficult childhood?

John Lennon's childhood traumas are extensively documented in his songs: Julia, Mother, Working Class Hero. In fact the whole of his first album is an extended therapy session aimed at healing his troubled psyche.

Yet in the early days of their friendship what struck Paul was not John's emotional  pain. It was his posh house.
Aunt Mimi’s house — Copyright Pernille Eriksen — reprinted here with permission — prints available

For Paul, Mendips was a different social world - one in which an auntie was an aunt and the shelves were filled with books and artwork. Until this point all he had known were council houses. In his one their had been a fairly recent tragedy - his adored mother had died from a cancer that consumed her with brutal rapidity. In an age before grief counselling Paul and his brother were encouraged not to dwell on this misfortune
The McCartney home — Copyright Pernille Eriksen — reprinted here with permission — prints available

George came from a similar social background to Paul - the 'getting by' working class. He was spared the trauma of losing a parent in childhood, but lacked his bandmate's  social polish and aspirational drive. When he joined The Quarrymen  at fourteen he was already drifting out of school. Mimi strongly disapproved of this and of his strong Scouse accent.
The Harrison family home. Copyright Pernille Eriksen — reprinted here with permission — prints available


As for Ringo, he never made it to Mendips at this time. He grew up in 'the Dingle' one of the roughest area of the city. 'You learned to keep your eyes down but still watch what was going on' he would later say.
The house where Ringo lived Copyright Pernille Eriksen — reprinted here with permission — prints available

 Ringo has always presened to the world as a naturally sunny sort, not someone to dwell on the bumps in his life's journey. This has masked a childhood of 'Dickensian misfortune' that made the others count their blessings.


Read the full story (7 minutes on Medium)

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