The Revenge of Manchester ! (revisited)

In April 2014, I wrote a post entitled “The Revenge of Manchester!”. With this week’s absolutely tragic events in Manchester, I thought I would re-post it. The world continues to remember the victims of the horrific Manchester tragedy. In this sense, the word “revenge” is used in that it shows to the world that Manchester perennially has been a city of greatness in so many ways.

As is well known, there has always been a rivalry between the two Merseyside cities of Liverpool and Manchester, especially in terms of the heated football rivalry between Liverpool FC and Manchester United. In fact a March 6, 2016 article in the Guardian, “Liverpool vs. Manchester United: A Deep-Rooted Tribalistic Rivalry Finally Set For Europe“, gives a compelling explanation of the 150 year-old bitter football rivalry.

After almost two years of hits in England and dominating the music scene in their home country with the frenzy of Beatlemania, the four boys took the U.S. by storm in 1964. They transplanted Beatlemania to a foreign shore and launched what we know as “The British Invasion”. Needless to say, Liverpool was the focus of The British Invasion in the U.S. on account of being the Beatles’ home city.

However, the proud city of Manchester was not to be outdone in terms of The British Invasion of the U.S. For a period of six consecutive weeks in April/May 1965, bands from Manchester held the # 1 position on the U.S. on the Billboard charts. Freddie and the Dreamers scored the top slot for two weeks beginning on April 10 with “I’m Telling You Now”; Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders followed for one week at the top with “Game of Love”. Beginning on May 1, Herman’s Hermits ruled the top slot for three weeks with “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter”.

Also, for the week of April 24, these three Manchester bands held the number 1, 2, and 3 positions on the charts.

Proud Mancunians were certainly ecstatic for those six weeks as they stuck it to The Beatles and Liverpool!

Julian Lennon? Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney named their sons after themselves!

Julian Lennon has been in the news over the last few weeks on account of his new children’s book about the environment. Did you know that while Paul McCartney and John Lennon had a healthy rivalry in which they at times tried to highlight their differences, both Beatles named their sons after themselves? And John Lennon did so twice! Even Julian Lennon was named after his Beatle father.

As you know, Julian Lennon has been widely covered in the media in the last couple of weeks about Touch the Earth, his children’s book on the environment. Among the extensive media coverage has been a syndicated Associated Press article “Julian Lennon Pays Tribute to Mother with Children’s Book on the Environment” and an appearance on NBC’s Today show.

Julian Lennon, John’s son from his first marriage to the former Cynthia Powell, was born April 8, 1963. However, his real name is John Charles Julian Lennon and was called “Julian” to both differentiate from his father as well as to honor his maternal grandmother, John’s late mother Julia.

John’s second son, Sean Lennon, with Yoko Ono, received the name “Sean” because it was the Irish Gaelic version of “John”. Sean was born on October 9, 1975, which was John’s thirty-fifth birthday. At that point in the ex-Beatle’s life he was obsessed with his Irish heritage (his father, Alfred Lennon, was totally of Irish descent). He would refer to himself as “Irish”, rather than British or Welsh (his mother’s family, the Stanley’s, were of Welsh origin). During that period, John and Yoko took part in IRA marches in Manhattan and John designated the royalties of his song “The Luck of the Irish” to Irish Northern Aid, an organization which gave economic assistance to the families of imprisoned IRA people.

Paul McCartney named his only son after himself. James Paul McCartney, the future Beatle, was always referred to as “Paul” to differentiate from his father James McCartney, a Liverpool cotton salesman. The ex-Beatle gave the name “James” to his only son, James Louis McCartney, known as “Jimmy”, who was born September 12, 1977. Paul’s father, James “Jim” McCartney, came from a long line of generations named “James McCartney”.