Vijf jaar geleden bracht Raymond Thielens me het nieuws dat de jeugdvriend van John Lennon, Pete Shotton (links op de foto), was overleden.
Pete Shotton was a close childhood friend of Lennon, and attended Dovedale Infants School and Quarry Bank Grammar School (zie foto) at the same time as the future Beatle. The two boys were frequently in trouble with their teachers and with their headmaster, and they came to be known at Quarry Bank as “Shennon and Lotton” or “Lotton and Shennon.”
In 1957, Shotton was Lennon’s bandmate in The Quarrymen, playing percussion (specifically, a washboard), until Paul McCartney joined. He was “fired” from the band because he really did not enjoy playing, but also because they were moving more towards rock, thus negating the need for a washboard. Lennon smashed the washboard over his head and that was that. However, Shotton remained a friend and confidant – as he became friends with all of the Beatles as the group formed.
Shotton regularly visited Lennon’s house (Kenwood) on weekends to keep Lennon company, leaving his wife and young son at home, or to escort Cynthia Lennon for a night out when her husband was busy with band matters or songwriting.
Shotton had a minor, but uncredited, role in the Beatles’ songs: he was occasionally invited to observe them recording at Abbey Road Studios, and played percussion (maracas, tambourine) on a few records. According to writer Stan Williams, Shotton’s wife Beth is the “pretty nurse” selling poppies mentioned in the lyrics of “Penny Lane”.
After the Beatles became famous, Lennon and George Harrison bought a supermarket on Hayling Island, and gave it to Shotton to run. Later, he served as manager of the Apple Boutique, then as the first managing director of Apple Corps.
After Lennon began a relationship with Yoko Ono, however, Shotton parted company with Lennon. According to his step-son, Phillip Goldbourn “He said she took him from being a pop star to an artist and he respected that and took a back seat.” Lees: Yoko Ono vond zo’n ordinaire Liverpudlian te min voor haar artistieke vrienden.
Shotton resumed his ownership of the Hayling Island supermarket, which he continued to run until the late 1970s. He then began a chain of restaurants, designed to bring the feel of the American diner to Britain. Ondanks het feit dat de naam van de restaurants verwees naar de niet onbesproken acteur Fatty Arbuckle, the franchise was highly successful in the 1980s and was later sold for an undisclosed sum. He later moved to Dublin, Ireland, living as a tax exile.
Shotton is the co-author of John Lennon: In My Life (1983, republished later as The Beatles, Lennon and Me), which told the story of their friendship, from the age of six until Lennon’s death. (Wikipedia)