“Stuart was mentioned by name in the original lyrics of “In My Life”, this was changed when E.MI. Executives were worried about Stuart’s family being upset and possibly suing.”—-Philip Coppell article in ClickLiverpool/--information supplied by paristest
I contacted Phil, who explained further: : “With regard to the reference about the E.M.I. Executives, this was from personal conversation with John’s friend and Quarryman Pete Shotton at the 50th Anniversary of The Cavern opening. In his book “John Lennon: In My Life” first published in 1983, Pete states on page 67 that the line “With lovers and friends” John told him that this was him and Stuart, this has been reported regularly. I must admit that the remark about the Executives has been mentioned in one of the books about John, I just can’t remember which. Pete Shotton told me that they were concerned about using Stuart’s name as it was only 3 years since his death when “In My Life” was recorded, which is why John changed the song. In the original lyrics he had mentioned numerous places in Liverpool, such as the Dutch Windmill Cafe, these he also dropped for commercial concerns.”
(Phil Coppel is a Beatle Tour Guide in Liverpool, and Chairman of Save Madryn Street, the campaign to stop the demolition of Ringo Starr’s Birthplace. He teaches tourism at Hope University in Liverpool and also holds a Masters degree in “The Beatles, Popular Music and Society” from Hope University, as well as writing and broadcasting about The Beatles).
Photos: Stuart Sutcliffe; "In My Life" by Pete Shotten and Nicholas Schaffner