Douglas Thmopson - Author and International Journalist

The Beatles Shadow - Pauline Sutcliffe and Douglas Thompson
Stuart Sutcliffe with his friend and co band member John Lennon

Stuart Sutcliffe's sudden death in Hamburg is part of Beatles folklore, a poignant story of a young man whose promising career was tragically cut short. But Stuart's importance to the Beatles - he was one of the founding members and a close friend of John Lennon - has never been fully examined.

Now, for the first time, his sister Pauline, an eminent psychotherapist, feels free to talk openly and honestly about her brother's life and death. Drawing on her own memories, as well as the many letters in her possession, Pauline paints a revealing portrait of the Beatles' formative period, including the full truth about Stuart's relationship with John Lennon and why John was haunted by guilt over her brother's death.

Pauline also describes how people like herself and Cynthia Lennon have been forced to live in the shadow of the Beatles all their lives, and how she has battled to protect Stuart's memory against the Beatles' need to sanitize their history. And she writes movingly about how, forty years after his death, Stuart's talent as an artist is being recognised.

Above all, this is a loving tribute to Stuart, who died at twenty one, but whose contribution to the Beatles' legend lives on.

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Stuart Sutcliffe
Stuart Sutcliffe

Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon on the beech