In anticipation of Mersey Beatles tribute band coming to the Mobile Civic Center (Fri 2/26), we caught up with author Julia Baird who will be at the show with her new book “Imagine This, Growing Up with My Brother John Lennon.” We discussed formation of the Beatles, Lennon’s family life growing up, John’s Jogging and of course Mersey Beatles. You’ll be able to get the book & get it autographed at the show.
Mersey Beatles get their name from the river that runs alongside Liverpool, where “they’ve grown from the same soil, from the same spot as the Beatles. They’ve got the same sauciness, the same humor, because they’re grown from the same garden.”
On the topic of her book about John, Julia says she had to “set the record straight because after John died the stories got wild very very quickly.”
She was working initially with John’s first wife Cynthia, but because they both had so much material, the publisher wanted to do two different books.
So how’d the Beatles really start? “With John playing the banjo (my mother taught him how to play) and Paul didn’t know you could get a left-handed guitar, so he played with the strings upside-down. He’s one of those total left-handed people. He can’t do much with his right hand. So that was the beginning of the Beatles, a banjo and a guitar all strung wrong.”
“They practiced in the house, because a lot of people won’t allow it, but my mother encouraged music, because she was a musician herself.”
In dealing with the pain of hearing about her brother virtually every day Julia said the large family has learned to detach. “We’ve got John our brother and John the world icon.”
Hear much more below and go get her book while you’re at the Mersey Beatles show.
We’ll air the rest of the interview tomorrow where she discusses the Yoko broke the band up theory and Lennon’s jogging.