Julian Lennon, christened John Charles Julian Lennon (born April 8, 1963 in Liverpool, England) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and the only child of Beatle John Lennon and Cynthia Powell. His godfather was Beatles manager Brian Epstein. His father’s nickname for him was “JCJ”. If Julian had been a girl he would have been named Julia, after John Lennon’s late mother. For a brief time John Lennon concealed the fact he was both married and had a child, under advice from Epstein, because it might have hurt The Beatles’ popularity.
While it was rumored that the younger Lennon’s father refused to let his mother hire a nanny for him, the truth is that Powell preferred to care for her son herself . Growing up, he was kept away from publicity because of the explosion of Beatlemania.
Lennon attended the set of The Beatles’ film, Magical Mystery Tour. He also made his musical debut at the age of ten on his father’s album Walls and Bridges playing drums on “Ya-Ya”.
Lennon has always lived in the shadow of his famous father, who split with his mother when their son was only five years old. Lennon has often been somewhat icy towards the subject of his father, and especially Yoko Ono and, to a much lesser extent, Sean Lennon, although it should be noted that both Lennon and his half-brother lost their father at an early age at separate times.
As a child, Lennon directly inspired the title of one of his father’s most famous songs, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”, a description he gave to describe a picture he had drawn, a watercolor 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. Years later, McCartney bought the original manuscript of “Hey Jude” in an auction and gave it to Julian as a gift .
“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 Powell, who thought it brought even greater distance between father and son to have Starr sing the song instead of the elder Lennon.
Julian Lennon has had an inconsistent career as a musical artist, becoming popular with his debut album Valotte and hit song “Too Late for Goodbyes” in 1984, and again in the late 1990s; at other times he has had disappointing sales and had a period of taking drugs and drinking. After 1991 he left the music business for a number of years.
Lennon’s debut album Valotte was produced by Phil Ramone, who has 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 and directed after Peckinpah’s death by producer Martin Lewis.
Julian Lennon has always had cordial relationships with the other members of The Beatles, particularly Paul McCartney. McCartney and his late wife Linda McCartney visited him in 1974 to take photographs of him for John Lennon. When Julian Lennon released Valotte, Paul sent him a telegraph 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 credited. He also recorded the song “Because” which was made famous by The Dave Clark Five in England.
Due to his similarities in looks, singing voice, and style it had been speculated many times that Lennon would join Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr to form a band; none of the four had ever been known to endorse that idea, and the death of Harrison has precluded such a grouping. Many fans have been pushing for a new Beatles lineup to be formed with Julian Lennon in his father’s place, Paul McCartney, George Harrison’s son Dhani, and Ringo Starr.
Everything Changes, the 2011 album from the singer/songwriter and Beatle offspring, is his first album in thirteen years. The title track opens Everything Changes in a beguiling, melodic manner and has already received national airplay. The plangent opening piano chords of the captivating “Lookin 4 Luv” immediately mark it out as something truly special; this is one return that was worth the wait. Julian Lennon s delicate phrasing and vocal are immediately recognizable, the lyrics concise and compelling.