by Scott Wheeler
Here is the full story of John Lennon's remarkable uncle, the late singer-composer Charlie Lennon, told in Charlie's own words and in tributes by some of those who knew him best. The book provides a unique, fascinating look into the Lennon family and John's early life in his hometown of Liverpool, England. Charlie talks candidly about his childhood days in Liverpool, his wartime service in the Royal Army, his memories of John and of John's son Julian, and his life as a hometown celebrity after coming home to Liverpool in 1982. His close friend Scott Wheeler takes up the story in the 1980s, chronicling his many "travels with Charlie" around Liverpool and Boston in the course of eight years of band tours. The book includes tributes from 13 of Charlie's friends, and is illustrated with 680 photos, including many rare Lennon family pictures that have never before been published.
Scott Wheeler and Charlie Lennon were friends and performing partners for 13 years. Scott, from Boston, USA, has performed rock and roll on stage, radio and TV for hundreds of thousands of fans in America and in England. He is featured every year in Liverpool's international Beatle Week festival.
I saw John only once during the war. I came home to Liverpool when he was four years old. We decided we'd go and have a walk-'round. John's mother and father went into the fish shop in Penny Lane, and I stood with John outside a toy shop. John's pointing at this big tin bus in the window. I said, "You want that?" And he got all excited. So, of course, I go in and buy it for him, don't I? And while I'm paying for this bus, John's walking out the door with a Donald Duck with wheels, on a piece of string. Mind you, he'd broken it before he got home! I didn't see John again until he invited me up to his home in Weybridge in November 1967. His dad said to me, "What are you going to say to John when you see him?" I said, "I'll ask for me bus back." And John had still got the bus! It was up in the music room when I saw it.