The Beatles Birthday

John Lennon & Jon Hague******************** a friend and Jon Hague,
(Jon's painting of the Beatles in the background) *************** John & Cynthia Lennon, on my grandmother's car

My uncle, Jon Hague, was a young art student at Liverpool Art College when he made friends with another student there, John Lennon. Yes, it’s true. The family myth goes that John even asked Jon to play drums in the band. When Jon declined because he didn’t know how to play, John said, “That’s alright, none of us know how to play.” When we stayed with him this last June, he told us that John was a tough guy and would protect him from the bullies. He was a good friend to have.

Jon went on to become a recognized artist and the Beatles sponsored an Art Show for him. One day, he was talking with John about a house that he would like to buy. The next day, someone showed up with the deed to the house as a present for my uncle. Really! This is a 13 bedroom house that he still owns.

Now, here’s the good part: We were in England in 1963, staying with my grandmother, in North Wales, when the Beatles came to town. Jon wanted to see them, so he took me with him to the Grand Hotel, where they were staying in a room at the top of a gorgeous circular staircase. I have very distinct memories of climbing all those stairs. We knocked at a door and walked into a room with a man still in bed. It was Paul McCartney, jumping out of the bed IN HIS UNDERWEAR! We ate cornflakes from room service and the other guys shows up. My most vivid memory is of going out on the balcony with one of them (which one?) and watching some girls screaming bloody murder when they spotted him.

It just so happened that all this took place on my fourth birthday and we were going to have a party, so Paul and John came back to my grandmother’s house for cake. Yes, that’s right, the Beatles sang “Happy Birthday” to me….nah, nahinee, nah, nah.

You can think that I’m making all of this up because it sounds like a far-fetched fantasy, but it is the truth, I swear. This is before they came to America and they promised to come visit us in California, but of course, they got too big for that. All of these books mention my uncle as a source:

Lennon, Cynthia. John
Harry, Bill. The Beatles Who’s Who
Spitz, Bob. The Beatles, The Biography


Anonymous said...

I knew a little bit about your encounter with John Lennon from what Jan had mentioned. Your story is so cool. I'm a BIG Beatles Fan so I'm really impressed by it. I love to tell people that I have a niece and the Beadles actually sang Happy Birthday to her when she was a child in England". Thanks for telling more about it in your blog. Love Aunt Gwen

gwen said...

I'm dying of envy here...and also impressed by your aunt's lovely name :)

Anonymous said...

Of course I feel compelled to comment! I was there and remember the day so well. What a great memory. Recently Jon sold a letter that John had written to him. I don't know how much he got for it but I think it was a few thousand. Paul gave me a box of chocolates which I ate. I should have saved them and made money on the deal.

Love Mom

Erin said...

that is crazy awesomely insanely cool!

Linjaman said...

I know this story to be true as i once went out with Sadie, Jon's daughter, and I have rented a room in the house that John Lennon bought for Jon in Leamington Spa. What a cool story and what a cool man - Jon...and of course John.

The letter that your Mom talks about I believe was extra special as the envelope it was sent in has Cilla Black's name crossed out on the envelope - before John chose to address it to Jon.

I was actually staying in the Leam Terrace house at the time when Jon's art collection was flooded in the cellar of the house. Remember the flood when people were travelling in canoes round the bottom of the parade? I helped rescue some of the amazing oil paintings that Jon had painted - some were of the Beatles.

When I was staying at another property of Jon's I used to get calls to his house phone from big broad sheets pitching for an interview with him.

The story is bona fide and a great one. So is the photo that you have here of John with Jon which has a full blown place in Sadie's lounge - as you know because I met with you (again) there just last year. The time before was in Rose's kitchen in New St with your Mom about 12 years earlier. :)

Nice to see you've documented the story on line.


Linjaman said...

I've just realised that you're Sadie's other (american) cousin! :) I was actually referring to Phillipa when I said that we had met. I don't believe that we have met - but nice to meet you in cyber space! Hi Sadie, Eliza, Martin, Phillipa, Rose, John, Jasper, Joshua, David, Christine, Joni and/or Emaya - whichever year this finds you in!

Anonymous said...

Hi,sorry to bother you but my hobby is Beatles connections to Wales.Do you know whether Jon was born in Llandudno as so many books state?Cant find anything for Jonathan Hague around 1938 being born there.
Geoff Clode

Unknown said...

Hi. Jon did a series of large paintings of my sister when in the Hague. Who could I talk with about the painting? I have one with the punch and judy theme and need to value ir. ColetteF Keen. c.f.keen@gmail.com