Beatles Discussion 1 Beatles

In your opinion, how did the childhoods of the members of The Beatles influence their early music? Would their music have been as popular as it was if their childhoods had been different?

John Lennon lived in his family home with his parents until the age of 4 years old when they separated. His father spent a lot of time away from home because he worked as a merchant seaman so John lived with his mother. His father spent a lot of time at sea so he rarely saw John when he was a child growing up. When John was into his teenage years and twenties his Father tried to get closer to his son again. John Lennon lost his mother at a young age, whichaffected him greatly.

Paul McCartney was born into a working class family. His mother was a maternity nurse and his father worked as a cotton salesman and jazz pianist. Paul’s mother died from complications from a mastectomy when Paul was 14 years old. Paul often spoke of the connection he felt with John because of their shared tragedy of loosing their mother. Paul’s father shared his love of music with Paul by encouraging him to test out different types of music. He enjoyed learning music by ear rather than the lessons he took as an early boy. He was able to teach himself the trumpet, piano and guitar. The Quarrymen was the original band that had John and Paul in it. The two were the lead songwriters, which lead to them writing music later in The Beatles.

Ringo Starr grew up in a middle class family. His father left him and his mother when he was three years old. He had health problems growing up so spent a lot of time at the doctor or at home missing school. Eventually he completely dropped out of school as a teenager. His first musical career started in a skiffle band where instead of using instruments they found other objects. After the skiffle band his stepfather wanted to expand his music choices and bought him a drum set. Next he played in the Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He soon fell in love with the drums and continued playing in the Beatles.

George was the youngest of four brothers. He grew up in a middle class family. His mother stayed home with the kids and occasionally taught dance classes. His father was a school bus driver for the school George attended. George did not do well in school as he was more focused on music. He loved to play the guitar, which he taught himself when he was 14 years old.

The Beatles all grew up in middle class families and loved music from when they were kids. Together they shared a lot of hard times including devorce, death and hard times with money. This all lead to their bond and also influenced some of their songs. Two songs that I thought were greatly influenced by their childhood are seen below.

One song that was inspired by childhood memories is ‘Strawberry Fields’. It is about John growing up near a Salvation Army children’s home called Strawberry Field. This home was near his childhood home in Liverpool. John often played in the fields with him childhood friends growing up.

‘Penny Lane’ is a song writing in response to John’s ‘Strawberry Fields’. It talks about the real streets in Liverpool and what was happening. Penny lane was a street near John’s house. They would meet there to catch a bus when they were young.

I think their childhoods affected their music but I do not think their childhoods were the only thing that effected their childhoods. I think the Beatles members were born with a natural gift and love for music. Their childhoods definitely impacted a few of their songs as shown above but I think they would have been able to write other songs without a middle class family background with abandonment issues.


George Harrison Biography.” A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

“John Lennon Biography.” A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

“Paul McCartney Biography.” A&E Networks Television, n.d.Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

“Ringo Starr Biography.” A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

Chipperfield, Chips, Bob Smeaton, Geoff Wonfor, Neil Aspinall, Andy Matthews, and Jools Holland. The Beatles Anthology. England?:Apple Corps Ltd, 2003.