(Clarification: An earlier version suggested that John Lennon wrote the song “Bad Boy.” Larry Williams did and the Beatles covered it with Lennon taking the lead vocal.)
I’ll use any excuse to write about John Lennon, but here’s a really good one: Twice, John Lennon earned three detentions in the same day when he was a young student at Quarry Bank High School for Boys in Liverpool, according to school detention records being auctioned.
According to this story in the Independent (which is titled: “Imagine what a handful John Lennon must have been in the classroom: Beatle’s detention records for sale”), Lennon was referred to in the documents as a “class clown,” and was punished by teachers for behavior that included “sabotage,” “fighting in class,” “nuisance.” “shoving” and “just no interest whatsoever.”
The paper quotes Peter Beech, Lennon’s general science teacher at the time, as saying:
The sheet is typical of John Lennon. He was an extremely cheeky boy. He did, however, know his limits. In the classroom, if you settled John down, you generally settled the class down.
The detention sheets are from May 19- June 23, 1955 and Nov. 25, 1955 to Feb. 13, 1956, and are being auctioned by TracksAuction.com. They were part of a book that was to be burned in the 1970s but saved when someone noticed Lennon’s records.
All of this, perhaps, helps explain why Lennon chose to sing “Bad Boy,” written by Larry Williams, which, includes these lyrics:
A bad little kid
moved into my neighborhood
He won’t do nothing right
just a sitting got to look so good
He don’t wanna go to school
and learn to read and write
Just sits around the house and plays
that rock and roll music all night
Well he put thumb tacks on teacher’s chair
put chewing gum in little girl’s hair
Now Junior behave yourself