Wednesday, 17 February 2016

STAN PARKES, COUSIN OF JOHN, HAS DIED AT THE AGE OF 82

The cousin of John Lennon, who had a close bond with the man considered to be one of the greatest musicians of all time, has died at the age of 82.
Largs has held the surprise connection with The Beatles going back to the early 1990s when Stan Parkes moved to Waterside Street, and gave talks to local groups including the Round Table and Rotary, about his famous cousin.
Stan was also in demand from national media, book authors, and fan groups from around the world, for his insight into the life of one of the greatest musical icons of all time.
Stan was with John through the musical revolution of Beatlemania which has had such a lasting impact on popular music culture, and sat in on the recording sessions of the ‘Fab Four’, and his voice can even be heard in the background of some of the famous tracks.
Around 1994, Stan moved to Waterside Street, with his Largs born wife Jan, and stayed there for the rest of his days.
John and Stan grew up in Liverpool, the sons of two sisters from a family where the women were very much in charge. 
Stan, who was seven years older, took young John under his wing, and they would often go out to the park, or the cinema together. 
 
As a younger man, Stan was sent to boarding school in Scotland, and lived in Edinburgh after his father died. Stan's mother re-married a dentist in the capital, and lived in a house, overlooking Murrayfield, and the young Lennon was a regular visitor. Stan would regularly go down to Liverpool to accompany the future Beatle on the bus journey north - and John loved the family holidays from age 9-15. John and Stan had many childhood holidays in the remote seaside village of Durness, on the northern coast of Scotland, where Stan later unveiled a plaque in memory of John in 2002. 
The cousins stayed in close contact when Stan married Jan, the daughter of Largs man and Third Lanark footballer John Caldwell. Her grandparents owned a guest house and - during the war - her grandmother had owned Haylie House.
Stan was working in the garage trade when Beatlemania phenomenon took off and visited John many times at Abbey road studios watching them record their songs and went to movie premieres including 'A Hard Day's Night'.
In an interview with the Largs News in 1994, Stan said: “It took them completely by surprise, I remember him coming to Edinburgh and saying, ‘I have made a record, I have made a record,’ He played it- ‘Love Me Do’ - and I said ‘that’s good’. 
 
Recalling the hysteria, Stan said: “We were at all the film premieres, the concerts, backstage with them and had a great old time. I am on quite a few of their records as I used to go to the studios. All their recordings was done at night. We would be sitting there, and then we would be asked to bang things or go ‘la, la, la’. It was fascinating to see how it was done."
Stan also recalled that fame also had its drawbacks though, and commented: “They couldn’t lead a life. They couldn’t go to the pictures, they were trapped behind stage or recording studios, When they were on stage they couldn’t hear. They needed ear plugs to block out the noise of the fans screaming. I took John to RS McColl’s to get a packet of cigarettes in Edinburgh, and the wee lassie just keeled over and fainted - she couldn’t believe it!’
John’s break up with wife Cynthia led to him eventually moving to New York to live with Yoko Ono. Although they kept in touch by phone and by letter, the last time Stan met John was at the large home at Ascot where John was in the midst of composing one of his most famous songs ‘Imagine’.
Stan, whose original name for Charles Stanley Parkes, died of vascular dementia, and his funeral was held on Tuesday January 26 at the Greenock Crematorium, followed by a reception at The Village Inn in Fairlie, and was attended by John Lennon's sisters Julia Baird and Jacqueline Dykins.
The Beatles track 'In My Life' and John Lennon's 'Imagine' were both played at the funeral in moving tribute to John and Stan's close bond, and family connection. 
 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...