Gentle Side

[John] was much misunderstood but mostly through his own fault. He put up his brick wall of sheer bravado to screen off a chronic fear of inadequacy. He claimed that he was not a cruel person but I for one found his humour very painful on a number of occasions. Those around him, from the roadies to his lovers, had the same stark options—shrug off the sudden attacks of bad temper and the cutting remarks or simply leave Lennon alone. He said what he thought and he meant what he said. Then he’d hurry on to something new for fear of boring himself. If, as I did, you stayed around long enough to find out, you discovered that when he was not bullying or bellowing, John could be exceptionally considerate. There was a truly gentle side to his nature. He was a hard nut to crack but once you got through that protective shell there was a good-hearted fellow hiding within.

Tony Barrow, John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Me, The Real Beatles Story, 2005.

John’s Private Handicap

Partly because he was the group’s founder and apparent leader, girls found John ‘wickedly exciting’ and ‘irresistibly gorgeous.’ But John’s private handicap was a woeful shyness with women, which came as a surprise to most outsiders who knew only the brasher and cynically cruel sides of his dynamic public persona.

Tony Barrow, John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Me, The Beatles Story, 2005