Why John Lennon Was ‘Concern[ed]’ About Getting Married to Cynthia Lennon

Before the Beatles were international superstars, John Lennon began his relationship with Cynthia Lennon. After an unexpected pregnancy with his then-girlfriend, John Lennon was “concern[ed]” about having a wife and being in a rock band. Here’s what we learned from the 2005 memoir John.

Who was John Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia Lennon?

Musician, singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940 - 1980) of British rock group the Beatles with his first wife Cynthia
Musician, singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940 – 1980) of British rock group the Beatles with his first wife Cynthia | Douglas Miller/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

While attending college, John Lennon began his relationship with his college classmate Cynthia Lennon (then Powell). The two dated for several months, with Cynthia Lennon noting the boys’ first mini-tour — a six-week stint in Germany. 

Shortly after the Beatles added Ringo Starr to their lineup, John and Cynthia Lennon got married. This was prompted by an unexpected pregnancy, which John Lenon reacted to positively, according to his then-girlfriend. 

“Neither of us planned to have a baby, Cyn, but I love you and I’m not going to leave you now,” Cynthia Lennon recalled in her 2005 memoir, John.

John Lennon married their then-girlfriend Cynthia Powell

In her memoir, Cynthia Lennon described her wedding to John as an “odd mixture of the comically funny and the downright bizarre.” It was a sudden decision for the couple. Although John’s proposal alleviated his partner’s panic about being pregnant, he began to panic about how being married would impact his career. 

“It hadn’t been part of his plan, and it wasn’t part of mine at that stage either,” Cynthia Lennon wrote. “But for John, there was an additional concern: he was afraid that his marriage would damage the group’s future.” 

“The boys had been told many times that fans wouldn’t accept steady girlfriends and that any women in their lives had to be kept right out of the spotlight,” she added. “How on earth could he get away with having a wife?” 

Even if this was a sudden marriage, Cynthia Lennon mentioned that “Both John and I believed we’d marry one day…” It was a rainy day filled with construction noises from the neighboring building — the two officially wed on Aug. 23, 1962, at the Mount Pleasant Registry Office in Liverpool.

Not long after, the couple had their first child together — Julian. John and Cynthia Lennon remained married for several years, with Cynthia Lennon learning of the band’s first single, “Love Me Do” and their success overseas. 

However, Lennon wasn’t the only band member with a long-term relationship. Drummer Ringo Starr married his girlfriend Maureen Starkey Tigrett.

Related

John Lennon Said He Was ‘Not Going to Leave’ His Then-Girlfriend Cynthia When He Learned of Her Pregnancy

When did John Lennon marry Yoko Ono?

John and Cynthia Lennon remained married until 1968, around the same time Lennon met artist and activist Yoko Ono. The two began their whirlwind romance and eventually, John Lennon married Yoko Ono on March 20, 1969.

The two even created music together, recording protest songs “Give Peace a Chance” and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” Now, music by the Beatles is available on most major streaming platforms.