Julian Lennon


Julian Lennon, singer, songwriter, producer

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Hope found in whale dreamtime, by Greg Tingle
(The Bondi View)


John Charles Julian Lennon known universally as Julian Lennon, (born 8 April 1963 in Liverpool, England) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and first son of Beatle John Lennon and the only child of his first wife Cynthia Lennon. His godfather was Beatles' manager Brian Epstein. His father's nickname for him was "JCJ", and he was named after John Lennon's late mother, Julia.

Early childhood

For a brief time John Lennon concealed the fact he was married and had a child, in keeping with the conventional wisdom of the era that female teenage fans would not be as enamoured of married male pop stars. However, when the British media discovered that Lennon was a married father, it did not affect his popularity with fans.

Julian Lennon attended the set of The Beatles' film Magical Mystery Tour, and made his musical debut at age 11 on his father's album Walls and Bridges playing drums on "Ya-Ya".

Julian Lennon has always lived in the shadow of his famous father, who split from Cynthia when Julian was only five years old. Julian has often been somewhat icy toward the subject of his father, and especially regarding Yoko Ono. He and his half-brother Sean Lennon have a renewed relationship, spending time together on Sean's tour in 2007. Despite some of Julian's comments about Yoko, it should be noted that for a period of time in the 1980s after his father's death he lived with her and Sean in The Dakota (where he learned to play drums). In the early 1980s, Lennon roomed for a time with percussionist Ray Cooper.

As a child, Lennon directly inspired the title of one of his father's most famous songs, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", whose lyrics describe a picture Julian drew, a watercolour painting of a girl (a classmate named Lucy) surrounded by stars. Later, Paul McCartney wrote "Hey Jude" as a way of consoling him because of his parents' divorce. "Hey Jude" was meant to be "Hey Jules", but McCartney changed the name because he thought "Jude" was an easier name to sing.

"Good Night", a track from The Beatles' White Album, although sung by Ringo Starr, is a lullaby written by John Lennon for his son, causing tension with Cynthia, who thought it further distanced father and son to have Starr sing the song instead of Lennon.

Career

Julian Lennon has had an inconsistent career as a musical artist; he did enjoy immediate success with his debut album Valotte and hit song "Too Late for Goodbyes" in 1984, only to see his second album, 1986's The Secret Value of Daydreaming, fail both critically and commercially. Although further US success eluded him post-Valotte, Lennon hit #5 in Australia with the 1989 single "Now You're In Heaven". Two years later, "Saltwater" reached #6 in the UK and topped the Australian singles charts for four weeks. After 1991, Lennon left the music business for several years.

Lennon's debut album Valotte was produced by Phil Ramone, who also produced albums for artist Billy Joel. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Act in 1985, and produced two top ten hits, the title track "Valotte", and "Too Late For Goodbyes". This album was promoted with music videos made by legendary movie director Sam Peckinpah and producer Martin Lewis of these songs. Lennon's first-ever tour in the spring of 1985 was documented as part of the film Stand By Me: A Portrait Of Julian Lennon — a film profile started by Peckinpah but directed by producer Martin Lewis after Peckinpah's death.

Julian Lennon has always had cordial relationships with the other members of The Beatles, particularly Paul McCartney. McCartney and his late wife Linda visited him in 1974 to take photographs of him for John Lennon. When Julian released Valotte, Paul sent him a telegram wishing him good luck. In 1984 the two met up backstage at the New York studios of the TV show Friday Night Videos. In 1991, George Harrison and Dennis Tarczynski played on Lennon's album Help Yourself but were not directly credited. He also recorded the song "Because", which was made famous by The Dave Clark Five, in England for Clark's 1986 musical, Time (The single is out-of-print).

After he began his performing career there was occasionally unfounded media speculation that Lennon would undertake performances with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. However, in the Beatles Anthology series in 1996, the three surviving Beatles confirmed that there was no idea of using Julian Lennon as part of a Beatles reunion, with McCartney saying "why would we want to subject him to all of this?" Lennon has been seen in several films including The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1996 - but shot in 1968), Cannes Man (1996), Imagine: John Lennon (1988), and Chuck Berry Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987). Julian provided the voice for the title role in the animated David Copperfield (1993).

His official website is currently undergoing reconstruction - it is intended to return to coincide with the release of his new album, which is going to be called Conscious. Julian also has an official MySpace profile, where early mixes of 3 new songs and a remixed version of "Saltwater" are available for listening.

Julian Lennon is also the producer of the documentary called "WhaleDreamers" about an aboriginal tribe and its special relationship to the whales. It also touches on a lot of environmental issues. This film has received many awards and was shown at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. For more information, go to http://www.whaledreamers.com

Discography

Albums

* Valotte (1984) # 20 U.K, #17 U.S.Platinum
* The Secret Value of Daydreaming (1986) #32U.S.Gold
* Mr. Jordan (1989) #87 U.S.
* Help Yourself (1991)
* Photograph Smile (1998) #70 Japan
* VH-1 Behind the Music - Julian Lennon (2001)
* Conscious (working title) - Release Date TBD (2007) - Go to Julian's MySpace profile for details.

Other releases: Dave Clark's Time (soundtrack album) — Time Will Teach Us All, Because, If you Only Knew. (Credit: Wikipedia)


Websites

Julian Lennon official website

Julian Lennon MySpace

Whaledreamers

Profiles

Whaledreamers

Music

Environmentalists and the environment