Tuesday, November 09, 2010

10 on Tuesday

10 Things Cynthia Lennon Whines About

To the uninitiated, Cynthia Powell Lennon Bassanini Twist Charles was the first wife of Beatle John. She wrote the story of their life together and, while I freely admit her story deserves to be told -- after all, of everyone who was intimately involved with the group that would become the Beatles beginning in the 1950s, only she and Sir Paul are left -- her book was so fantastically, fabulously annoying because all she does is whine. And whine. And whine. She is never happy, and she seems to think that many of the "obstacles" she had to overcome were unique to her. This passive-aggressive nit accomplishes the impossible: she makes Yoko seem preferable.

It's 300+ pages covering more than 20 years of Beatle/Lennon history ... and Cynthia's discomfort with the food, the accommodations and the people she encountered along the way. Here's just a snippet:

1) Her first home on her own, a room in a Liverpool boarding house, was old and small and needed a fresh paint job. (I know, the HORROR!)

2) John's Aunt Mimi, who had raised him and was, therefore, her defacto mother in law, didn't think Cynthia was good enough for him. (I know, that never happens)

3) Even though she had passed her twenty-second birthday when she discovered she was pregnant with son Julian, she complains that no one had explained contraception to her. (Apparently there were no libraries, drugstores or doctors' offices in England in the early 1960s; odd because Paul McCartney's biographies recount how very familiar he and the other Beatles were with condoms at that time.*)

4) As per manager Brian Epstein's edict, John and Cynthia "had" to keep their marriage a secret. Apparently Brian convinced John that a Beatle with a wife and a baby was bad for the group's image. This made Cyn sad. (As did most things.) She wanted to be able to shout that she was Mrs. John Lennon!

5) Then, when her identity became known, fans mobbed her! (What did she think they would do?)

6) Some fans said rude things to her. (Shocking.)

7) The fans that didn't say rude things to her cooed over her baby. (I know, I know, the bitches.)

8) After John became famous, many celebrities came to their home for dinner. Yet they didn't really talk much to Cynthia and never commented on her cooking. (Boo hoo.)

9) Except Mike Nesmith of the Monkees and his wife, Priscilla. When they came for dinner, Priscilla actually sat with Cyn in the kitchen and annoyed her by watching her prepare dinner! (Boo! Hiss!)

10) After John left her, none of the Beatles, Beatles wives or Beatle employees would have anything to do with her. Except Paul. Who defied John and came over one day with a rose for Cyn and a song he'd composed for Julian, "Hey, Jules, don't make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better ..." Sound familiar? Isn't it a sweet story? NO, IT'S NOT! Not really! For while John was divorcing Cyn, he was distancing himself from Paul, and Cyn suspects coming to see her was just Paul's way of showing John he was his own man.

* As the story goes, he tacked some condoms onto a dressing room wall in Hamburg and lit them with a match to protest George's deportation for being under age. This stunt got Paul sent back to Liverpool as well. Hey, he was not yet 20. Boys do dumb ass things -- even boys who grow up to be knighted.


  1. Your comments on her whining cracked me up! I sort of imagine her as the Sarah Palin of her time - always with the complaining. :)

    Love your book reviews and good Lord, nothing could be worse than Yoko, right???

  2. I like Yoko Ono. *ducks* I initially felt bad for Cynthia when I read my first bio on John Lennon (years ago, can't even recall which one) but over time I actually started to like Yoko Ono. Unless she's an extraordinary actress you can just tell how much she loved (and still loves John) and in the end, I think John Lennon was a better person when he settled down with Yoko.

    I read Cynthia's book sometime in 2009 and I honestly could not stand her.

  3. Honestly, some people would complain if they were hanged with a new rope. Cyn sounds like one of those. But your comments made me snicker.

  4. I don't feel like I need to read the book now. Thank you for the synopsis and snark. :-)