The Beatles spent a lot of their formative and early years on the road away from loved ones. Here are are two letters from John Lennon to Cynthia (his first wife) while away from home. These letters were originally published in the John Lennon biography Lennon by Ray Coleman.
Letter from Hamburg, West Germany
John wrote this letter to Cynthia Powell in April 1962, a few days after the death of his close friend and former Beatle, Stuart Sutcliffe. 'Dot' was Dot Rhone, Paul McCartney's first serious girlfriend. John and Cynthia were wed later in the on August 23.
39 Grossse Frieher
I love love love you and I'm missing you like mad. I wonder why all the newspapers wrote about Stu' - especially the 'People' - and how the hell did they find out, who could have told them, as I wrote that I suddenly remembered there's a fellow at the 'Jacaranda' who's a freelance journalist. It could have been him because Allan Williams has been helping Mrs. Stutcliffe or something. I haven't seen Astrid since the day we arrived. I've thought of going to see her but I would be so awkward - and probably the others would come as well and it would be even worse. I won't write any more about it 'cause it's not much fun. I love you - I don't like the idea of Dot moving in permanently with you 'cause we could never be alone really - I mean when I come home - can't she have the other room or find another flat - imagine having her there all the time when we were in bed - and imagine Paul coming all the time - and especially when I wasn't there. I'd hate the idea. I love you Cyn.
The club is massive and we only play 3 hrs one night and 4 the next - and we play an hour - then an hour break so it doesn't seem long at all really. The boss of this place is a good skin - we're off tomorrow 'cause it's Good Friday and they can't have music so the boss - (Manfred) is taking us and the other group out for the day in his car and all the rest of them like Horst are coming, so it will be a big mob in our 5 cars. We're going somewhere healthy like the Osr Sea (Stuart again)
God, I'm knackered its 6 o'clock in the morning and I want you. (I've just found out that there's no post tomorrow so I will pack in good night. I love you boo! hoo! I hate this place).
That was Thursday night now its Sunday afternoon, I've just wakened up and there no post tomorrow (Easter Monday I think) anyway happy Easter Cyn. I love you. We went out, but all we did was eat and eat and eat (Good Friday) it was all free so it was okay. We drove somewhere about 80 miles away and ate.
My voice has been gone since I got here (it was gone before I came if I remember rightly). I can't seem to find it - ah well! I love you Cyn Powell and I wish I was on the way to your flat with the Sunday papers and cherries and a throbber! Oh Yes! I forgot to tell you I've got a GEAR suede overcoat with a belt so I'll look just like you now! Paul's leaping about on my head (he's in a bunk on top of me and he's snoring!) I can hardly get in a position to write its so cramped below stairs captain, Shuttup McCartney! grunt grunt.
I can't wait to see your new room it will be great seeing it for the first time and having chips and all and a ciggie (don't let me come home to a regular smoker please Miss Powell) Hmm I can just see YOU and Dot puffing away I suppose that's the least of my worries. I love you cyn I miss miss miss you miss Powell - I keep remembering all the parts of Hamburg that we went to together. In fact I can't get away from you - especially on the Way, and inside the Seaman, boo! hoo! I love love love you. X
Did I tell you that we have a good bathroom with a shower, did I? Did I tell you? Well, I've had ONE whole shower aren't I a clean little raker? hee! hee! I love you I haven't written to Mimi yet but I know how to send her money so it gets there in 2 hrs. XXX
I can't think what to write now so I will pack in and write some tomorrow seeing as how like I can't POST it anyway so good afternoon Cyn I love you. Will you send me the words to "A SHOT OF RHYTHM AND BLUES" Please? There's not many.
It's Monday night and we finished playing about 3/4 hrs ago (its 2 o'clock). I'm dead beat my sweet, so I hope you won't mind if I finish now and have lovely sleep (without you but it'll still be lovely - don't be hurt - but I'm so, so tired). I love you Cyn - I hope you realise why this letter took so long lovey but there has been no post Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon - and this one will go by the early morning Tuesday post 'cause I will nip downstairs and post it any minute (handy isn't it?) I love you, I love you please wait for me and don't be sad and work hard and be a clever little Cyn Powell. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, write soon ooh its a naughty old Hamburg we're living in!!
All my Love for Ever and ever
P.S. They're leather PANTIES not pants (just in case y'know!)
I LOVE YOU, GOOD NIGHT
Letter from Los Angeles, California, USA
Here's part of a letter from John to Cynthia Lennon (the beginning of the letter is not available). It was written in August 1965 during The Beatles' tour of America. 'Dot' was Dorthy Jarlett, the housekeeper at Weybridge, and 'Lil' was Lilian Powell, Cynthia's mother. The other names are those of occasional staff and friends.
...what he said about it. It's not that much bother really, is it? When you think about it - 'cause I'm sure Dot and Lil' and Bennigs, Tommy, Jordy, etc. can understand something as simple as us wanting to be alone for a day - I don't mean Julian - I mean don't pack him off to Dots or anywhere - I really miss him as a person now - do you know what I mean, he's not so much 'The Baby' or 'My Baby' anymore, he's a real living part of me now, you know he's Julian and everything and I can't wait to see him, I miss him more then I've ever done before - I think it's been a slow process my feeling like a real father! I hope all this is clear and understandable. I spend hours in dressing rooms and things thinking about the times I've wasted not being with him - and playing with him - you know I keep thinking of THOSE stupid bastard times when I keep reading bloody newspapers and other shit while he's in the room with me and I've decided it's ALL WRONG! He doesn't see enough of me as it is and I really want him to know and love me, and miss me like I seem to be missing both of you so much.
I'll go now 'cause I'm bringing myself down thinking about what a thoughtless bastard I seem to be - and it's only short of three o'clock in the afternoon, and it seems the wrong time of day to feel so emotional - I really feel like crying - its stupid - and I'm choking up now as I'm writting - I don't know what's the matter with me - It's not the tour that's so different from other tours - I mean I'm having lots of laughter (you know the type hee! hee!) but in between the laughter there is such a drop - I mean there seems to be in between feelings. Anyway I'm going now so this letter doesn't get to draggy.
I love you very much.
P.S. Say hello to Charle etc. for me
P.P.S. I think you can ring me if you have a phone there
try - if not I'll see you in about a week.
P.P.P.S. It's Monday the 23rd today and I leave this house next Monday
the 30th of August - so try to please.
Home | Web Chat | Web Boards | Discography | Library | Quiz | Art & Poetry | Links | Store
Produced by Sam Choukri
Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated on Oct 31, 2000