Before John Lennon and the Beatles were superstars, he was described as a "naughty" boy in family letters to his relatives in faraway New Zealand.

Annie Parker of Levin corresponded with her cousin Mimi Smith in Liverpool, an aunt of Lennon, who raised him.

"She had this boy and he was in this band, and always doing naughty things," says Sue Snaddon, Parker's daughter.

"She was always telling him he had to get a proper education and a proper job, but that didn't happen."

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That naughty boy then brought eight days of mayhem to New Zealand, 55 years ago this