This week we would like to spotlight Julian Lennon. His story is well-known. He was born during the heyday of Beatlemania in 1963, mostly staying with his mother, Cynthia while John was traveling the world. When John was at home he did the best he could, though The Beatles recording schedule and John’s drug abuse likely kept him from having a normal relationship with his son. At age 4 Julian famously showed his father a picture he had drawn of one of his female classmates. The picture inspired John to write “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”
In 1968 when Julian was five years old John left Cynthia to begin his relationship with Yoko Ono. Julian saw little of his father until the mid 1970’s when John’s then-girlfriend May Pang insisted that John reestablish a relationship with his 10-year-old son. This reunion would be short-lived as John was in the middle of his self-destructive “Lost Weekend” phase in Los Angeles. Julian was able to participate in the recording of John’s 1974 album Walls and Bridges, playing drums on the song “Ya-Ya.”
In 1975 John and Yoko reunited and Sean Lennon was born. John dedicated the better part of five years towards raising Sean, further alienating Julian (after all, John chose to be a father to Sean, but not to Julian). Towards the end of John’s life he made more attempts to spend more time with Julian, but Julian’s statements about his father in the early 1980’s showed that there were a number of unresolved issues between the two.
Which brings us to Julian’s recording career. It goes without saying that Julian had enormous shoes to fill. Add to that the fact that Julian looked, and occasionally sounded exactly like a young John Lennon and the public had every reason to dismiss him. But Julian had a four legitimate US chart hits between 1984 and 1989 (and he had additional hits abroad. That is not insignificant. Bearing in mind the incredible emotional baggage that he carried with him from his infancy, it is noteworthy that he achieved that level of success.
We have included two of Julian’s earlier singles. The very Beatlesque “Say You’re Wrong,” and the video for the smash hit “Too Late For Goodbyes,” which he decided to film in Hannibal Lecter’s prison cell for some reason. Enjoy!