Review by Art Stevens from UK of ‘John Lennon; The Boy Who Became A Legend’
Books about John Lennon lie thick on the shelves. Few are unique. However, this one is. Whereas other John Lennon tomes basically rehash the same details Michael Hill provides telling insight into a significant part of the story others have only ever skimmed. For together with John in Liverpool, Michael attended Dovedale Primary School and Quarry Bank High School for Boys. The same age as each other, throughout they were members of the same classes. So while this is Michael’s autobiography, John shares every page.
Close friends, they played together as little boys and, as teenagers, shared a passion for rock ‘n’ roll. It was at Michael’s house where John and his cronies would convene for lunch to enjoy a chip dinner, play cards, smoke, chat and listen to Michael’s impressive record collection. In April 1956 it was where John first heard Little Richard’s ‘Long Tall Sally’, which Michael had purchased on a school trip to Amsterdam, several months before any record by Little Richard was released in the UK. A moment of epiphany for John: by his own admission it shaped his musical destiny.
Fascinating, affectionate and absorbing, Hill contextualises his story superbly within the 1950s to bring the youthful John Lennon vividly to life in a way few others have managed before.