The Beatles are probably one of mankind’s greatest success stories. Four working-class English lads came together to play music and became the most influential band of all time. While they hit incredible heights, their career was also fraught with difficulty. Here’s the Beatles’ tragic story.
None of the Beatles had particularly easy beginnings, but John Lennon’s childhood was especially rough. His father Alfred was barely present during his early years, but the adults who were around, like his mother Julia and his Aunt Mimi, were the sources of plenty of conflict. These two women, who were vastly different in both temperament and social status, vied for control of young John for much of his youth.
Perhaps the most well-known story about John’s childhood took place when he was 5, when his father forced him to choose between him and his mother. John first chose Alfred, but then he ran up the street to his mother in tears when she left. Alfred disappeared after that, and he didn’t reappear until after the Beatles found fame. These experiences had an effect on the young Lennon. As a boy, he led gangs, shoplifted, and bullied fellow students and teachers alike. This rebellious streak famously continued into adulthood.
While Lennon’s childhood was certainly troubled, Ringo Starr’s was downright nightmarish. Born Richard Starkey, his father walked out on him when he was just four. He also fell victim to a host of diseases throughout his childhood, including tuberculosis, which forced him to spend two years in a sanatorium. Keep watching the video to see the tragic truth about The Beatles.
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Lennon family feud | 0:17
Ringo’s Dickensian childhood | 1:06
Struggles in America | 1:47
Fighting the law | 2:51
A killing in NYC | 3:55
The death of George Harrison | 4:44
Video length: 5:46
* This article was originally published here