Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jackhammers for Wedding Bells

August 23, 1962

Brian Epstein, who is taking charge of all of the mundane details of the Beatles lives, has applied for and received a license for John Lennon and Cynthia Powell to be married.  They decide to do it with a minimum of fuss at the Mount Pleasant registry office, kind of a mini-city hall which each neighborhood has in English towns.  There is sort of a family tradition being upheld.  It's the same building in which John's parents, Fred and Julia, were married in similar circumstances more than 24 years earlier.

John is worried about how being married will affect his public persona, now that the band is really beginning to get somewhere,  But he suppresses them and decides to go ahead  and marry Cyn anyway.  I think one can sense, even at this remove, how much John relied on Cynthia's love and approval, much as he would do with Yoko Ono later in his life.  Cynthia remembers that, like young lovers, they joke and teases each other about settling into married life together.

Pic of MP RO from my collection
George Harrison and Paul McCartney are there, as is Brian and the official registrar.  Cyn's brother Tony and his wife Marjorie complete the wedding party.  The bride's mother, who had been visiting a few days earlier, had decided not to change her plans and had left for her home in Canada a few days ago.  That is painful for Cyn, but she knows she had to soldier on.  John's Aunt Mimi, over-principled as always, declines the invitation.  Ringo, not yet a full member of the Beatles brotherhood, isn't present either.  Outside on the street, a jackhammer breaks up the pavement in preparation for a public improvement.  John and Cyn have to shout the responses to be heard above the din from outside.  There are no photographs taken, but Cynthia (a promising art student, remember) later sketched the scene for us.

Cynthia Lennon's wedding sketch - How charming!

The wedding luncheon is a rather casual affair at a local cafe, where the party toasts the bride and groom with glasses of  good old H2O.  For a wedding present, always generous Brian allows the couple the use of a pied a terre flat he has that he seldom uses for as long as they like.  No questions are raised about what the flat may have been used for, before it was their first home together.

In the afternoon, John and Cyn (lucky couple!) move a few belongings into the flat in Falkner Street.  That night, John and the boys play the Riverpark Ballroom in Chester twenty miles away and across the River Mersey.  The show must go on!

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