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Looking for Lennon - Movie Review

March 08, 2019

Though not a Lennon history buff, I wanted to see what I could learn from this documentary.  New interviews filmed in Liverpool of Lennon friends and associates near age eighty give a glimpse into his early life and personality.  One elementary school friend shared a photo that had been unknown for 50 years!  Historical background helped me to understand the unique Irish-English culture of Merseyside County.  Anti-establishment attitudes and humor were used as an antidote to austerity there.

His parents separated while he was very young and living arrangements changed several times.  Stability came from his mother’s sister Mimi and her husband.  From youth onward he suffered the loss of his mother and others close to him.

Interest in music started early.  His mother Julia taught him the three banjo chords she knew so he could start playing guitar.  At 16 he was in his first band, of which he became the leader.  Three members of the original Quarrymen performed a song on this recording!  Four years later the group that became the Beatles began.  Lennon said of their early years in Hamburg that “our best work was never recorded”.

While there is much here of interest, the presentation was confusing.  I watched twice to understand it.  Pictures of Lennon as a toddler and older youth did not follow a chronological pattern.  Of course those giving the wonderful first-person accounts were British; subtitles would have been helpful.   B

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