Julian Lennon biography
Julian Lennon, son of Jon Lennon, was born April 8, 1963 in Liverpool, England. He debuted on record as a drummer on the track "Ya Ya" on the John Lennon album Walls and Bridges. His first album, Valotte, generated four chart singles. His 1986 and 1989 albums were less successful. In 1991, he released Help Yourself then left the music business, later to return in 1998.
Named after his father's mother Julia, he was born on the eve of Beatlemania when John was only available as a part-time father. Julian and his mother were also kept secret from the public because Beatles manager Brian Epstein felt John would be more appealing to female fans if he was believed to be single and available.
Julian as a child inspired several Beatles compositions, including "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," which describes a drawing Julian made of a classmate. And when his parents divorced in 1968, Paul McCartney wrote "Hey Jude" to console him.
After the divorce, John moved to the U.S. with his new wife, avant-garde artist Yoko Ono. Julian would later blame Ono for his father's absence.
Julian began playing guitar and drums at age ten, adding piano as a teenager. He debuted on record as a drummer on the track "Ya Ya" on the John Lennon album Walls and Bridges.
Julian started spending more time with his father, starting in 1979. But a deranged fan murdered John on December 8, 1980, abruptly ending the blossoming relationship.
After his father's assassination, Julian decided to pursue a singing career of his own. His first album Valotte (1984) was produced by Phil Ramone, best known as Billy Joel's producer. It generated four chart singles, including the top ten hits "Valotte" and "Too Late For Goodbyes." Julian was nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist.
Julian's singing voice was remarkably similar to his father's, inviting inevitable comparisons which quickly became more a source of irritation than pride.
Lennon's 1986 follow-up The Secret Value of Daydreaming, featuring the hit "Stick Around" was less successful, both critically and commercially. 1989's Mr. Jordan featured the single "Now You're In Heaven." While the song was a top five hit in Australia, it did not return Lennon to the standing he enjoyed with Valotte.
Time Off from Music
In 1991, Lennon released Help Yourself, featuring three chart singles in the UK, including "Saltwater." Afterwards, Lennon left the music business and spent several years in seclusion.
In the spring of 1998, he returned to critical, if not commercial, acclaim with Photograph Smile. Julian is currently writing and recording his sixth as yet untitled album.
Julian has always had cordial relationships with the surviving members The Beatles.
But Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all rejected the idea of using him as part of a Beatles reunion, with McCartney saying "why would we want to subject him to all of this?"
Lennon's relationship with Yoko Ono, has been strained over the years. But recently, Julian caught up with his half-brother Sean (John and Yoko's only child) during a promotional tour for his new album Friendly Fire.