Julian Lennon is a famous English musician and the son of the legendry John Lennon, the co-founder of ‘Beatles’. Enamored by music from a very young age, Julian was introduced to the glitz and grime of showbiz from very early on, owing to his father’s immense popularity and showmanship. It is believed that Julian, as a child, inspired many of the Beatles compositions - one particular single being ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’. Although his parents got divorced when he was very young, Julian was besotted by his father’s work and vowed to become just as popular as him one day. He debuted on record as a drummer for the track ‘Ya Ya’ on his father’s album, ‘Walls and Bridges’ and then went on to release his very own album, ‘Valotte’, which generated four chart singles. He has had the opportunity to work under numerous music labels including ‘Virgin’, ‘Atlantic’, ‘Charisma’ and ‘Music From Another Room’. Apart from his musical endeavors, he is also devoted to a number of philanthropic causes, most notably his own foundation, the ‘White Feather Foundation’. He has also ventured into his own internet business, ‘MyStore.com’, along with Micheal Birch. Although he dreamt of becoming a successful artist like his father, his career graph has been quite erratic, as many of his albums were not very successful.
Childhood & Early Life
John Charles Julian Lennon was born to John Lennon and his first wife, Cynthia, in Liverpool, England. Named after John’s mother, Julia, he was born on the eve of Beatlemania.
It is believed that Julian and Cynthia were kept away from the public glare because the Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, believed that a ‘bachelor’John Lennon would be more appealing to female fans.
As a child, Julian Lennon inspired a number of his father’s famous songs, particularly, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’. Another composition inspired by Julian was, ‘Good Night’ from the album, White Album.
Paul McCartney wrote ‘Hey Jude’ to console him after his parents got divorced when he was only five. Following the divorce, he had no contact with his father till the 1970s.
In 1973, he was gifted a drum machine for Christmas by John Lennon, which encouraged his passion for music. He made his musical debut at the age of 11 in his father’s album, ‘Walls and Bridges’, for the hit single, ‘Ya-Ya’.
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Julian Lennon’s musical career got off to a brilliant start with his 1984 debut album, ‘Valotte’. His second album, ‘The Secret Value of Daydreaming’, was not as successful as the first, but still managed to top the ‘Album Rock Tracks’ chart.
Though his first two albums were successful, he never managed to garner the same amount of success with any of his following releases.
He appeared in Mike Batt’s musical, ‘The Hunting of the Snark’, which was based on Lewis Caroll’s poem.
His first ever musical tour in 1985 was documented as a part of the film, ‘Stand By Me: A Portrait of Julian Lennon’. He then went on to appear in a number of other films such as ‘Imagine: John Lennon’, ‘Cannes Man’ and ‘Leaving Las Vegas’.
In 1991, he released the album ‘Help’, from which, one of the singles, ‘Saltwater’ reached the number six position in UK and topped a number of Australian singles charts for weeks in a row. Post-1991, he left the music industry for a couple years and ventured out to do other things such as cooking, sculpting and sailing.
In 1998, he was back with the album ‘Photograph Smile’, which garnered little commercial success. In 2002, he went on to record an adaption of the Beatles song, ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’, which was criticized by a number of die-hard Beatles fans.
In 2006, along with the Bebo founder, Michael Birch and Todd Meagher, he created a new partnership and began an internet business, which included, ‘MyStore.com’. The following year, he took up an interest in photography and subsequently, conducted his own exhibition titled, ‘Timeless: The Photography of Julian Lennon’.
In 2009, he founded the ‘White Feather Foundation’, a humanitarian initiative, whose mission embraces environmental and social issues from around the world.
Shortly after his father’s death, he began collecting Beatles mementos and published a book featuring the collection in 2010, titled, ‘Beatles Memorabilia: The Julian Lennon Collection.’
His debut album, ‘Valotte’, catapulted him to fame and was nominated for a Grammy Award for ‘Best New Artist’ in 1985. The album also produced a number of hits, which charted the US, UK and Australian music countdowns. The title track, ‘Valotte’ and ‘Too Late For Goodbyes’, became hit singles and remained popular for weeks together on radio stations across the country.
He produced a documentary, ‘WhaleDreamers’, which narrated the story of an aboriginal tribe in Australia and the special bond they shared with the whales. The documentary was screened at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and also received numerous awards.
Personal Life & Legacy
Julian’s relationship with Yoko Ono, his father’s girlfriend and his half-brother, Sean, was a strained one, following the divorce and the death of his father. However, they soon became ‘cordial’ with each other and Yoko Ono became the trustee of John Lennon’s will.
‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ (The Beatles) was inspired by a drawing created by this musician.