Cyn­thia Len­non, first wife of John Len­non, dies of can­cer

The China Post - - ARTS - BY GRE­GORY KATZ

Cyn­thia Len­non, the first wife of for­mer Bea­tles gui­tarist John Len­non, died of can­cer Wed­nes­day at her home in Spain. She was 75.

Her death was an­nounced on the web­site and Twit­ter ac­count of her son, Ju­lian Len­non, and con­firmed by his rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Ju­lian Len­non posted a mov­ing video trib­ute to his late mother with a song he had writ­ten in her honor.

“You gave your life for me, you gave your life for love,” it be­gins, show­ing footage of him as a young boy with his par­ents. It also shows footage of Cyn­thia with John dur­ing the early days of Beatle­ma­nia.

“The love you left be­hind will carry on,” Ju­lian, 51, sings in a style in­flu­enced by his late fa­ther.

It concludes with the words: “I know you’re safe above.”

A state­ment from Ju­lian’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive said Cyn­thia died at her home in Mal­lorca “fol­low­ing a short but brave battle with can­cer.” It said Ju­lian was at his mother’s bed­side through­out.

Cyn­thia and John Len­non met at art school in Liver­pool in 1957 and mar­ried shortly be­fore the Bea­tles shot to world­wide fame. Ju­lian was their only child to­gether.

The cou­ple di­vorced in 1968 af­ter John Len­non started his much pub­li­cized re­la­tion­ship with Ja­panese artist Yoko Ono. They had spent 10 years to­gether as a cou­ple. Cyn­thia re­mar­ried sev­eral times. The di­vorce prompted Paul McCart­ney to pen the Bea­tles’ clas­sic “Hey Jude” to help Ju­lian cope with his par­ents’ sep­a­ra­tion. He changed the name Ju­lian to Jude in the song.

The line “Take a sad song and make it bet­ter,” is about the Len­nons’ bro­ken mar­riage and its im­pact on their son.

“The news of Cyn­thia’s pass­ing is very sad,” McCart­ney wrote on his blog Wed­nes­day.

“She was a lovely lady who I’ve known since our early days to­gether in Liver­pool,” he added. “She was a good mother to Ju­lian and will be missed by us all, but I will al­ways have great mem­o­ries of our times to­gether.”

“Peace and love to Ju­lian Len­non God bless Cyn­thia love Ringo and Bar­baraxx,” Ringo Starr tweeted.

Ono wrote on Face­book that she was sad­dened by Len­non’s death.

“She was a great per­son and a won­der­ful mother to Ju­lian,” she wrote.

Au­thor Hunter Davies, who wrote the only au­tho­rized Bea­tles bi­og­ra­phy in 1968, de­scribed Cyn­thia as a “lovely woman” who was ill-treated by her fa­mous hus­band.

He said she wasn’t at all like her hus­band, but was “quiet and re­served and calm” and “not a hippy at all.”

He said their friends at art school never thought the re­la­tion­ship would last be­cause they were so dif­fer­ent.

In her au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, Cyn­thia de­scribed John as jeal­ous and in­se­cure. She said he hit her once af­ter she danced with Stu Sut­cliffe, then a mem­ber of the band.

But in a 2005 in­ter­view with “Good Morn­ing Amer­ica” she re­called his charisma as well.

“You couldn’t re­sist be­ing around him,” she said. “You couldn’t re­sist watch­ing what he was up to. I mean, he was a to­tal rebel. Every­body was amazed by him.”

AP

In this Sept. 26, 2005 file photo, Cyn­thia Len­non, the first wife of Bea­tle’s band mem­ber John Len­non, sits be­hind copies of her newly re­leased book en­ti­tled “John” dur­ing a book sign­ing at Foyle’s book­shop in cen­tral Lon­don.

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