Michael Hill was a classmate of John Lennon's. But unlike Shotton and the others, Hill went to school with John from the age of five up to the end of John's schooling at Quarry Bank. And they weren't just classmates, but Michael was someone that was in John's circle of friends. They spent a lot of time over the years playing together and causing mischief.
|See Pete and John there in the middle of the photo? Then there is someone with their head down and next to that guy is Michael Hill.|
What I found interesting is that Michel recalls how John was during his early years in school, which he was between the ages of 5-7. He suggested (and rightfully so) that John misbehaved so much because he was confused and angry that both of his parents had left him and he was now living with his strict aunt. He was most likely acting out his frustrations and lack of understanding.
Michael's big claim to fame in the life of John Lennon is that Michael was the guy that John and his buddies used to skip lunch hour and go to his house in Liverpool. They would smoke and eat fish and chips while listening to records on Michael's family record player. Michael worked as a newspaper boy and saved up his money to buy records. However, the record that influenced John Lennon so much was one that Michael picked up when he and Pete Shotton and other classmates went on a classtrip to Holland--one that John didn't go on. That record was Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally" with "Slippin' and Slidin'" as the B-side. John says in several interviews about how he used to go to a friend's house and listen to records and how when he heard "Long Tall Sally" he knew he wanted to be a rock n roll singer. It was shortly after hearing that record that John got his first guitar and started the Quarry Men.
I really enjoyed the book. It was a quick read and was upbeat and fun to read. It retold some familiar stories and also told some new ones about John's childhood and school days. The only thing I could do without is the speculation that author had that some Beatles song was written about something from Liverpool. Lucy in the Sky could be about a candy shop in Liverpool? Magical Mystery tour might have been thought of because of some mystery park in Liverpool? A little bit of a stretch for me, but then again---who knows?
The copy I read was purchased the book through The Fest for Beatle Fans.