‘I Wasn’t About to Be Outdone’
Before they started dating, Cynthia Lennon wanted to catch John Lennon’s attention. After an incident with another blonde student, she dyed her hair even more blonde. Here’s what we learned from the 2005 memoir John.
John Lennon began making music with The Quarrymen while he was attending college
Lennon is one of the songwriters behind “Hey Jude,” “Twist and Shout,” and “In My Life.” Before even joining the Beatles, Lennon made music with Paul McCartney and George Harrison as the Quarrymen.
Lennon was the oldest of his bandmates, attending college at the same time they wrote and performed.
John Lennon’s first wife dyed her hair more blonde to catch John Lennon’s attention
Before he was in the Beatles, John Lennon attended Liverpool College of Art, now part of Liverpool John Moores University. There, he met his girlfriend Cynthia Powell, who said that Lennon “wasn’t her type” at first.
He was the class clown and often teased her with the nickname “Miss Powell.” Eventually, Cynthia Lennon began falling for the musician.
“One lunchtime I saw John staring at a girl as she walked up the staircase,” Cynthia Lennon wrote. “She was dressed in a tight black skirt and had long blond hair. John whistled. ‘She looks just like Brigitte Bardot.’ I heard him say to a friend. I wasn’t about to be outdone.”
“The following Saturday I went out, got the latest Hiltone blond dye, and got to work on my hair,” she continued. “On Monday I arrived in college by several shades blonder. I was delighted when John noticed: ‘Get you, Miss Hoylake!’ He laughed, but I could see he liked it.”
After being together for several years in college, John and Cynthia Lennon officially married, having their first son, Julian, together. The Beatles rose in popularity, with Lennon meeting activist Yoko Ono at an art exhibit.
John Lennon divorced Cynthia Lennon after meeting Yoko Ono
In Skywriting by Word of Mouth, Lennon described his ideal woman as someone “intelligent and dark-haired.” He mentioned that his first wife had blonde hair, although he couldn’t remember what her natural hair color was.
“Yoko, although shy herself, picked up my spirits enough to give me the courage to get the hell out,” Lennon wrote, “just in time for me to avoid having to live with my ex-wife’s new nose. She also had had side-interests, much to the surprise of my pre-liberated male ego.”
Lennon officially divorced his first wife in 1968, marrying Ono a few months later. Together, the two appeared in their “bed-in” for peace, also releasing songs like “Give Peace a Chance” and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over.)” The two remained married until 1980 when Lennon was shot and killed in New York City.
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