John started attending school at the Quarry Bank High School, in 1952. It was a small suburban grammar school Allerton, Liverpool, not far from Mimi's house. The school was not big or well-known but it still had a reputation.
Mimi tried to keep an eye on John. Pete Shotton went with him to Quarry, but Ivan Vaughan, his other close friend, went to the Institute. Even though him and John went to different schools, Ivan was still a member of his gang after school. John knew the minute he saw Quarry, he would have to fight all his way through.
The first fight John ever got into he lost. He was very aggressive because he wanted to be popular and a leader. Once, John wrote an obscene poem, and Mimi found it. When she confronted him he lied and said he wrote it for someone else who had trouble writing. After awhile he started lying about everything.
John had a gift for art, while his friend Pete was good at math. John became worse every year. He was a troublemaker.
Mimi didn't know how uncooperative John was in school. He started to get closer to his Uncle George. In June 1953, when John was thirteen years old, his Uncle George died because he had a hemmorhage. He had been close with his uncle, he had been his friend. At the same time, his mother Julia, was becoming more and more important in John's life. Mimi never told John anything about his mother. Julia also had two daughters, with the man she had gone to live with. She never got divorced from Fred Lennon.
John always thought of Julia as an aunt or a big sister. His two close friends, Pete Shotton and Ivan Vaughan, have a lot of memories of Julia being in John's life. She moved to Allerton, and the three boys would visit her after school. Ivan thought Julia's presense in John's life made him rebellious. Unlike Mimi who had been strict with John, Julia encouraged him by laughing at the bad things he did. John then started to slip more and more in school academically.
In John's fifth year, a new professor arrived, and he knew right away that John and Pete were the troublemakers. He thought John was full of practical jokes. The professor, Mr. Pobjoy, helped John get into the Art College, because he felt John deserved the chance.
Mimi liked the idea of the Art College. She wanted John to be able to earn a living the right way. John had no regrets of his school years. He loved art, but he felt no one was interested in that. John didn't get very far in his art, and he was disappointed when he didnt get his certificate in Art Education, so he gave up on it.
By the end of his school days, John became interested in pop music. Mimi didn't like pop music at all. She never liked him singing pop songs. John had no musical education. He did, however, teach himself how to play the mouth organ.
Mimi offered to let John take lessons, but John refused to. He wanted to do everything right away, not take any time learning. The pop songs John listened to when he was younger were by Johnny Ray and Frankie Laine.
John Lennon didn't have a guitar or any instrument. He borrowed a guitar from a friend, but found he couldn't play it, so he returned it. His mother, Julia, could play the banjo, so he went to visit her. She decided to buy him a secondhand guitar. John went for a couple of lessons, but never learned. He had to practice behind Mimi's back because she wouldn't let him in the house with a guitar. She believed he would never make a living that way.
John and his friends formed a band. Eric Griffiths on the guitar; Pete Shotton on the washboard; Len Garry and Colin Hanson on the drums; and Rod on the banjo. Ivan was in the gang, but he had no musical ability at all.
They called themselves the Quarrymen. In early 1956, the Quarrymen were irregular. John was the leader. On June 15, 1956, Ivan Vaughan brought a friend to John that went to the Liverpool Institute. That friend that Ivan brought along was Paul McCartney.