John Lennon’s Infamous Attitude Towards People With Disability
John Lennon was born to Julia and Alfred Lennon on October 9, 1940. His father was a merchant seaman, so he wasn’t present at the time of the musician’s birth. In the following years, Alfred Lennon was often away from home and only sent regular pay cheques to his family until he eventually vanished in 1944. Lennon’s father returned six months later, but his mother, Julia, didn’t want him back because she was pregnant with another man’s child.
In 1946, Alfred and Julia had an argument and asked the musician to choose between them. According to several sources, Lennon was forced to choose between his parents and ultimately followed his mother. During his childhood, John lived with Julia’s sister Mimi because Julia was unfit to look after him. However, she regularly visited Lennon at that time and taught him about music. After experiencing such a difficult childhood, Lennon wasn’t a well-behaved child. Besides, his behavior toward the disabled was rather bizarre and disturbing.
What Did John Lennon Think About Those Who Were Not Able-Bodied?
In 2009, a biographical drama film about John Lennon’s childhood and teenage years was released. Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood, the film ‘Nowhere Boy‘ is based on Lennon’s half-sister Julia Baird’s biography. Apart from sharing lesser-known details about the late Beatle’s youth, it also covers the musician’s relationship with his mother Julia, aunt Mimi, his first band the Quarrymen, and the formation of the Beatles.
In ‘Nowhere Boy,’ Aaron Johnson portrays Lennon as a sensitive and humble boy. However, this wasn’t actually the case. According to a 2009 article by the Guardian, Lennon led gangs, shoplifted, was a bully toward teachers and classmates, and was interestingly fascinated with the disabled. While he was at Quarry Bank school, the musician filled notebooks with many sketches of grotesque depictions of humans.
According to Ray Coleman’s 1985 biography of John Lennon, the musician had no tolerance or patience toward people with disability, and he enjoyed mocking them. Besides, his former art school classmate Thelma Pickles argued that Lennon found much amusement in bullying the disabled. He would allegedly run up to people with any physical disabilities and laugh at them while making horrible faces.
Ray Coleman wrote the following about John Lennon in his ‘Lennon: The Definitive Biography’:
“John Lennon developed an instinctive ability to mock the weak, with whom he had no patience.”
His former classmate Thelma Pickles also said the following about the musician:
“Anyone limping or crippled or hunchbacked, or deformed in any way, John laughed and ran up to them to make horrible faces.”
So, it sounds like John Lennon lacked empathy toward the disabled back when he was a teenager. Considering that Lennon had a tough childhood which made him feel like he didn’t belong anywhere, it’s safe to say that he took his anger out on others. However, this was obviously unhealthy for him and traumatizing for the people around young-Lennon.