John Lennon wrote Beatles song in Edinburgh house

Fringe performer John Waters at the Edinburgh house where Rain was written. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Fringe performer John Waters at the Edinburgh house where Rain was written. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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John Lennon’s frequent visits to Edinburgh might already be the stuff of legend – but he didn’t always see his aunt’s place as a holiday home.

Instead, the cupboard was where he penned Beatles song Rain, the 1966 B-side to Paperback Writer, it has emerged.

Marlene Wood, who now owns the Murrayfield property in Ormidale Terrace, today revealed how Lennon’s cousin shared the story after he knocked on her door a few years ago – completely out of the blue.

Mrs Wood said: “John Lennon’s stay at the house was recorded on the particulars when we bought it, but we never really made anything of it. We thought it was a laugh.

“When we first moved in, surrounding neighbours told us of how Lennon would often visit his aunt who lived in the property, both as a teenager and with his wife Yoko Ono. One day I was out and Stan Parkes, John Lennon’s cousin, came around to the house and it was the woman who was looking after my children at the time that answered the door.

“My husband and I struck up an e-mail correspondence with Mr Parkes afterwards to find out more about the house’s history.

From left, Stan Parkes, cousin Leila and John Lennon, aged seven

From left, Stan Parkes, cousin Leila and John Lennon, aged seven

“But he couldn’t really remember much, only that John Lennon had written Rain there and that he used to hang out in the cupboard under the stairs a lot – because that’s where the phone was.”

Mrs Wood and her husband, Mike, purchased the property in 1993 and are still “astonished” by the number of Beatles lovers who make a pilgrimage to Murrayfield.

Fans knock on their door asking to take pictures, while she often spots taxis crawling down the street while tourists peer through the 
window.

The new information regarding Rain emerged as stage show Lennon: Through a Glass Onion made its debut at this year’s Fringe.

John Lennon. Picture: AP

John Lennon. Picture: AP

Described as a “theatrical event, celebrating the genius, music and phenomenon of John Lennon”, the 
performance ends its run at the Assembly Hall tomorrow. It arrived at the Festival following a sold-out season of 122 performances in New York.

John Waters, 66, who is starring as Lennon said: “John Lennon loved going to Edinburgh.

“He had a warm family 
connection there as he had a troubled childhood – it was his haven of comfort.

“He would visit his aunt’s home regularly, where there was a piano and it is believed he wrote Rain there.

“I think that song was definitely written in Edinburgh because given the few weeks we’ve been here we’ve had plenty of rain. He was maybe thinking about Edinburgh’s weather when he wrote it.”

Lennon was shot dead in 1980 after returning from the Record Plant Studio with his wife Yoko Ono.

• For tickets to the show, call 0131-623 3030 or go to www.assemblyfestival.com.