You were a rebel from the beginning and could not have been any other way. You got your survival instincts from your grandparents, who were from County Down, Ireland.
After you were born, during the Second World War in Liverpool England, you lived with your Mother, Julia. Irishman Alfred Lennon, your father, was a merchant seaman and was away at sea when you were born. He sent money every month for you and your Mother, but the checks stopped when he went absent without leave in 1944. When he came home six months later, he offered to look after the family, but your Mother rejected the idea.
When your Aunt Mimi complained to Liverpool's Social Services, your Mother handed you over to her. In July 1946 your father visited your aunt and took you on a day trip to Blackpool, secretly intending to emigrate to New Zealand. Your Mother followed and after a heated argument your father forced you to choose between them. You twice chose your father, but as your Mother walked away, you began to cry and followed her. It would be 20 years before you had contact with your father again. I believe that was the defining event in your life and set you on the road.
You were outspoken and always stood up for the underdog. You supported the Irish struggle for equality and wearing disguise, went to Ireland to take part in Civil Rights Marches. You will always be the classic Working Class Hero, John. We go every year to the Strawberry Field in New York’s Central Park. There, we gather around the Imagine circle and remember you.
We still love and miss you John.
Thank you for all of the joy and inspiration.
From Liverpool he sallied forth with a soul both free and mystified.
The wide world now to see the worth of raw sounds from the Merseyside.
Young and brash with a poet's eye from the heart the words soon burst.
Penny Lane and The Walrus am I, Imagine the place where love comes first.
Hamburg town in the heat of night honed the skills for future sound.
Cavern dark, full of magic sight, one full hot set, for one full pound.
The sergeant smiled his cheeky grin, Eleanor never bride fulfilled.
Get back from the land of Lenin, Strawberry Fields, then love fulfilled.
From Tokyo a girl so fine, Yes! Was her word when two hearts meet.
Plastic Ono, New York in true rhyme, soon the word was out on the street.
To Belfast town and its cruel plight dressed in garb that hid his might
He came to march for their civil rights, then slipped away in the Irish night.
A primal scream from deep within white suit gave Peace a Chance.
Mind Games were the biggest sin power to the People the only stance.
But a Jealous Guy at the park did lay came all the way from Pele’s ground.
John is gone, now we all must pray, the Dakota still echoes with the sound.
‘Mother you had me, but I never had you.’
Books for Sale:
Don’t Die with Regrets: Ireland and the Lessons my Father Taught Me.
The Journey: A Nomad Reflects.