Julian Lennon

Julian Lennon
Julian Lennon

Cynthia and Julian Lennon at the unveiling of the John Lennon Peace Monument in Liverpool - 9 October 2010.
Background information
Birth name John Charles Julian Lennon
Also known as Jules, Jude

8 April 1963 (1963-04-08) (age 48)

Liverpool, England
Genres Rock
Occupations Musician, singer, songwriter, writer, producer, photographer, actor
Instruments Guitar, vocals, bass guitar, piano, drums, harmonica
Years active 1984–present
Labels Atlantic, Music From Another Room, Charisma, Virgin
Website julianlennon.com

John Charles Julian Lennon (born 8 April 1963) is an English musician, songwriter, actor, and photographer. He is the son of John Lennon and Lennon's first wife, Cynthia Powell. Beatles manager Brian Epstein was his godfather. He has a younger half-brother, Sean Lennon. Lennon was named after his paternal grandmother, Julia.[1][2] He remains close friends with his father's former bandmate Paul McCartney.

Julian directly inspired three Beatles songs, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Hey Jude" and "Good Night". He is also devoted to philanthropic endeavors, most notably his own White Feather Foundation[3] and the Whaledreamers Organization,[4] both of which promote the co-existence of all species and the health and well-being of the Earth.

His sixth studio album Everything Changes was released on 3 October 2011.



Cynthia Lennon and Julian at Kenwood in 1968, after John Lennon had left.

Julian Lennon was born in Liverpool. Initially, the fact that John Lennon was married and had a child was concealed from the public, in keeping with the conventional wisdom of the era that female teenage fans would not be as enamoured of married male pop stars.

Lennon inspired one of his father's most famous songs, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", whose lyrics describe a picture the boy had drawn, a watercolour painting of his friend Lucy O'Donnell from preschool[5] surrounded by stars. Another composition of his father inspired by him was the lullaby "Good Night", the closing song of the "White Album". In 1967, Julian attended the set of The Beatles' film Magical Mystery Tour.

When he was five, Lennon's parents divorced, following his father's infidelity with Yoko Ono. Paul McCartney wrote "Hey Jude" to console him over the divorce; originally called "Hey Jules", McCartney changed the name because he thought "Jude" was an easier name to sing.[6]

Lennon had almost no contact with his father after the divorce and until the early 1970s, when at the instigation of his father's then girlfriend May Pang Julian began to see his father more regularly. John bought his son a Gibson Les Paul guitar and a drum machine for Christmas in 1973, and encouraged his interest in music by showing him some chords.[7][8]

He made his musical debut at age 11 on his father's album Walls and Bridges playing drums on "Ya-Ya", later saying, "Dad, had I known you were going to put it on the album, I would've played much better!"[9]

John Lennon Peace Monument Unveiling - Liverpool - 9 October 2010

Following his father's murder, Lennon voiced anger and resentment toward him, saying

"I've never really wanted to know the truth about how dad was with me. There was some very negative stuff talked about me ... like when he said I'd come out of a whiskey bottle on a Saturday night. Stuff like that. You think, where's the love in that? Paul and I used to hang about quite a bit ... more than Dad and I did. We had a great friendship going and there seems to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing together at that age than there are pictures of me and my dad."[10]

He was not included in John Lennon's will, and was annoyed that he had to buy mementos of his father at auctions. A settlement was eventually reached wherein Julian was given "a large but undisclosed sum".[11] By 2009 Lennon's feelings toward his father had mellowed. Recalling his renewed relationship with his father in the mid-1970s, he said,

"Dad and I got on a great deal better then. We had a lot of fun, laughed a lot and had a great time in general when he was with May Pang. My memories of that time with Dad and May are very clear — they were the happiest time I can remember with them."[12]

Lennon has been quoted as having a "cordial" relationship with Ono while getting along very well with her son, his half-brother Sean, even spending time together on Sean's tour in 2007.[13]

In commemoration of John Lennon’s 70th Birthday and as a statement for peace, 9 October 2010 saw Julian, alongside his mother Cynthia, unveil the John Lennon Peace Monument in his home town, Liverpool, England.[14]

Musical career

Julian Lennon has had an inconsistent career as a musical artist. He enjoyed immediate success with his debut 1984 album Valotte. The album was produced by Phil Ramone. The album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1985, and produced two top ten hits, the title track "Valotte", and "Too Late For Goodbyes". Lennon promoted the album with music videos for the two hits made by movie director Sam Peckinpah and producer Martin Lewis. The song "Valotte" has remained a staple on adult contemporary radio stations since its release. After the release, Paul McCartney sent him a telegram wishing him good luck. Later that year, the two met up backstage at the New York studios of the TV show Friday Night Videos.

His second album, 1986's The Secret Value of Daydreaming was panned by critics, but reached number 32 on the Billboard Magazine's album chart, and produced the single "Stick Around", which was his first #1 single on the U.S. Album Rock Tracks chart. He recorded the song "Because", which was made famous by The Dave Clark Five, in the UK for Clark's 1986 musical, Time (the single is out of print). Lennon never reached the same level of success in the U.S. post-Valotte, but he hit number five in Australia with the 1989 single "Now You're In Heaven", which also gave him his second #1 hit on the Album Rock Tracks chart in the USA.

In 1991, George Harrison played on Lennon's album Help Yourself but was not directly credited. A song off the album, "Saltwater", reached number six in the UK and topped the Australian singles charts for four weeks. Also during this time he contributed a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" to the soundtrack of the television series The Wonder Years. After 1991, Lennon left the music business for several years. He followed his interests in cooking, sailing, and sculpting during his leave from the music industry.

After he began his performing career there was occasionally unfounded media speculation that Julian 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 never an idea of having Julian sit in for his father as part of a Beatles reunion, with McCartney saying "why would we want to subject him to all of this?"

In May 1998, Lennon released the album Photograph Smile to little commercial success. In 2002, he recorded a version of the Beatles' classic "When I'm Sixty-Four", a song from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, for an Allstate Insurance commercial.

In 2006 he ventured into Internet businesses, including MyStore.com with Todd Meagher and Bebo founder Michael Birch[15].

In 2009 Lennon created a new partnership with Todd Meagher and Micheal Birch called theRevolution, LLC. Through this company, Lennon released a tribute song and EP, "Lucy", honoring the memory of Lucy Vodden, the little girl who inspired the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, with 50% of the proceeds going to fund Lupus research.[16][17][18]

Julian Lennon has released a new album called Everything Changes on 3 October 2011.


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 Sam Peckinpah, but completed by Martin Lewis after Peckinpah's death. Lennon has appeared in several other films including The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1996, but shot in 1968), Cannes Man (1996), Imagine: John Lennon (1988), Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987) and a cameo in Leaving Las Vegas (1995) as a bartender. Julian provided the voice for the title role in the animated film David Copperfield.[19] He was also the voice of the main character Toby the Teapot in the animated special The Real Story of I'm a Little Teapot (1990).

Julian Lennon is also the producer of the documentary called WhaleDreamers[20] about an aboriginal tribe in Australia and its special relationship to whales. It also touches on many environmental issues. This film has received many awards[21] and was shown at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

Sale of father's work

In 2007 Lennon sold off a "significant" share of his stake in his father's catalogue of work,[22] in exchange for an undisclosed sum, and the agreement that the purchasing company, Primary Wave, would market and promote his new material. The stake entitles Primary Wave to a portion of all royalties on the catalogue.

The White Feather Foundation

In 2009, Lennon founded The White Feather Foundation, whose mission "embraces environmental and humanitarian issues and in conjunction with partners from around the world helps to raise funds for the betterment of all life, and to honour those who have truly made a difference."[23] Its name came from a conversation Lennon once had with his father. “Dad once said to me that should he pass away, if there was some way of letting me know he was going to be ok - that we were all going to be ok - the message would come to me in the form of a white feather. ... the white feather has always represented peace to me.”[24]

Photographic work

After photographing his half-brother Sean's music tour in 2007, Lennon took up a serious interest in photography.[25]

On 17 September 2010,[26] Originally scheduled to run 17 September through 10 October,[27] the Morrison Hotel Gallery has already extended it a week to end 17 October.[28] The photographs include shots of his half-brother Sean, actress Kate Hudson, and U2 frontman Bono.[25]

On 3 October 2010, CBS Sunday Morning aired an in-depth interview with Lennon that covered much of his life, including his relationship with his parents and sibling, his career, and his experience growing up as the son of one of the world's most famous celebrities.[29]


Shortly after the death of his father, Lennon began collecting Beatle memorabilia. In 2010, he published a book of his collection, "Beatles Memorabilia: The Julian Lennon Collection".[30]



Year Title Chart positions Certifications
1984 Valotte 17 20 * 15 60 15  – Platinum (US)
1986 The Secret Value of Daydreaming 32 93 *  –  – 25  – Gold (US)
1989 Mr. Jordan 87  – 18  –  –  –  –
1991 Help Yourself  – 42 5  –  –  –  –
1998 Photograph Smile  – 78 28  – 94  – 70
2001 VH-1 - Behind the Music – The Julian Lennon Collection  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
2011 Everything Changes[38]  – 106  –  –  –  –  –


Year Title Album Chart positions
US Hot 100
US Adult Contemporary
US Mainstream Rock
US Modern Rock
1984 "Valotte" Valotte 9 4 2  – 55 75 10  –  –
1985 "Too Late For Goodbyes" 5 1 11  – 6 13 24 26 17
"Say You're Wrong" 21 6 3  – 75 31  –  –  –
"Jesse" 54  – 24  –  –  –  –  –  –
"Because" Dave Clark's Time Soundtrack  –  –  –  – 40 66  –  –  –
1986 "Stick Around" The Secret Value Of Daydreaming 32  – 1  – 86 79  –  –  –
"Time Will Teach Us All" Dave Clark's Time Soundtrack  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
"This Is My Day" The Secret Value Of Daydreaming  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
"Want Your Body"  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
"Midnight Smoke" Mike Batt's The Hunting of the Snark  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
1989 "Now You're in Heaven" Mr. Jordan 93  – 1 27 59 5  –  –  –
"You're The One"  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
"Mother Mary"  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
1991 "Saltwater" Help Yourself  –  –  –  – 6 1  – 58  –
"Help Yourself"  –  –  –  – 53 30  – 53  –
"Rebel King"  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
"Listen"  –  – 31  –  –  –  –  –  –
1992 "Get a Life"  –  –  –  – 56  –  –  –  –
1993 "Children Of The World" Coo – Soundtrack  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
1995 "Cole's Song" Mr. Holland's Opus – Soundtrack  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
1998 "All Alone" (with Bald) Bald  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
"Day After Day" Photograph Smile  –  –  –  – 66  –  –  –  –
"I Don't Wanna Know"  –  –  –  – 125 64  –  –  –
"Photograph Smile"  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
2009 "Lucy" non-album single  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
2011 "Lookin' 4 Luv" Everything Changes  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
"Children of the World"[40] Shine On! Songs Volume One  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

Other releases




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  2. ^ "VH1 Behind the Music: The Julian Lennon Collection: Julian Lennon: Amazon.co.uk: Music". Amazon.co.uk. http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00005N83A. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "How it all Started - The White Feather Foundation Meaning". Whitefeatherfoundation.com. http://www.whitefeatherfoundation.com/site/about/index.htm. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  4. ^ "The Return of the Whale Dreamers". I-sis.org.uk. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/WhaleDreamers.php. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  5. ^ "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds: woman who inspired Beatles song dies". The Daily Telegraph (London). 28 September 2009. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/the-beatles/6239311/Lucy-In-The-Sky-With-Diamonds-woman-who-inspired-Beatles-song-dies.html. Retrieved 29 September 2009. 
  6. ^ Barry Miles (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt & Company, 465. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
  7. ^ "Memorabilia: The Julian Lennon Collection". Lennon.net. http://www.lennon.net/memorabilia/blackguitar.shtml. Retrieved 28 August 2007. 
  8. ^ Lennon (2006) p345
  9. ^ Pang, Loving John, Warner, 1983
  10. ^ "Scotsman.com News". Edinburgh: News.scotsman.com. 13 January 2009. http://news.scotsman.com/ViewArticle.aspx?articleid=2328156. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
  11. ^ Imagine, 1988, Warner
  12. ^ Brooks, Richard (13 June 2009). "Julian Lennon gives family peace a chance". The Times (London). http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article6492509.ece?token=null&offset=12&page=2. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  13. ^ Hoyle, Ben (29 September 2009). "Reallife Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds dies at 46". The Times (London). http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/beatles/article6852494.ece. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  14. ^ The Telegraph (9 October 2010). "Monument to John Lennon unveiled in Liverpool on his ‘70th birthday’". The Daily Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/8052634/Monument-to-John-Lennon-unveiled-in-Liverpool-on-his-70th-birthday.html. 
  15. ^ "Imagine! Julian Lennon Invests In MyStore - Forbes.com". http://www.forbes.com/2007/12/04/julian-lennon-mystore-face-markets-cx_cg_1204autofacescan02.html. 
  16. ^ The track can be purchased at www.therevolution.com.
  17. ^ "Julian Lennon Honors Lucy in the Sky". http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/julian-lennon-honors-lucy-in-the-sky-63938332.html. 
  18. ^ "Lucy Songfacts". Songfacts.com. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=18028. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  19. ^ Dahl, Roald. "David Copperfield". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009NXV9K. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  20. ^ "at". Whaledreamers.com. http://www.whaledreamers.com/. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  21. ^ "Whaledreamers News". Whaledreamers.com. http://www.whaledreamers.com/news.php. Retrieved 30 July 2009. 
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  23. ^ "The White Feather Foundation Mission". Whitefeatherfoundation.com. http://www.whitefeatherfoundation.com/about/mission.htm. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  24. ^ "The White Feather Foundation - How It All Started". Whitefeatherfoundation.com. http://www.whitefeatherfoundation.com/about/index.htm. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
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  26. ^ Cheney, Alexandra (17 September 2010). "Julian Lennon’s Photo Exhibit: ‘Dad was never a photographer’". Wall Street Journal. http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2010/09/17/julian-lennons-photo-exhibit-dad-was-never-a-photographer/. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
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  28. ^ "Julian Lennon Show at the Bowery". Morrison Hotel Gallery. https://www.morrisonhotelgallery.com/set/default.aspx?setID=1443. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
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  40. ^ "Julian Lennon, Tin Cup Gypsy, Donna Burke, Mark Ballas, Maxi Priest, Wendy Parr, Monday Michiru, Amber Lily, Tierney Sutton, Rie Fu and Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band – Shine On! Songs Volume One". Discogs. 7 October 2011. http://www.discogs.com/Julian-Lennon-Tin-Cup-Gypsy-Donna-Burke-Mark-Ballas-Maxi-Priest-Wendy-Parr-Monday-Michiru-Amber-Lily/release/3219282. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 

External links

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