Julian Lennon:
 It's hard to lose a dad twice

Rueters  June 7th, 1998  

Photograph Smile

flowers.gif (5111 bytes)

 LONDON (Reuters) -- Julian Lennon said on Sunday he was still grappling with the double agony of losing his Beatle father John to divorce and then death. 

And the singer who followed in father's footsteps confessed that "Hey Jude," the song Paul McCartney wrote for Julian at the time of his parents' separation, touched him now more than ever.

 John and Cynthia Lennon split up when Julian was just 4. His father, who went off with Japanese artist Yoko Ono, was murdered outside their New York apartment in 1980. 

Life was all the more poignant for Julian as he felt that he lost his father twice. He said that after the divorce "him not being around a lot was initially a very difficult thing to deal with. It is because there are many unanswered questions." 'We were trying to break through' 

The two were coming to terms with each other in the last years before Lennon's death, he told Sir David Frost in a frank and revealing BBC television interview. "As we were beginning to try and break down the barriers in my late teens just before he was murdered, we were trying to break through and understand who each other was," he said. But then his father was assassinated. "And so there wasn't really a chance to finally sit down with him and say 'Explain everything to me.' Being left twice was a difficult thing to deal with." 

Earlier this month, Julian and his half brother Sean both released albums on the same day, prompting media speculation of sibling rivalry. But he has firmly quashed any rumors of a rift. "It is news to me. I love Sean to death," he said earlier this month. 

Thankful for love from Beatle Paul Julian Lennon told Frost that he has managed to chase away many of the demons of his past. "I feel it has taken a good 15 years for me to find out for myself who I am outside the music business and to feel comfortable and at peace with myself," he said. 

One of the most poignant memories of his turbulent past is rooted in the words of "Hey Jude," reminding him of when he was a little boy buffeted by the bitterness and anger of his parents' divorce. "It was at the time that Mum and Dad were splitting up. Paul was apparently on the way over to visit and was stuck in traffic and it was pouring down with rain. "He was thinking about our situation and my situation and how I was going to grow up and deal with it. It was lovely to see someone cared so much. To this day it affects me more now than it did back then." 

Lennon name only goes so far. He ended with a plea to the fans who hero-worshipped his father to give him a chance and let his own music speak for itself. "There will always be comparisons and there will always be people who don't seem to give me a chance sometimes because they are stuck on how good dad was for them," he said. 

After the release of his fifth album, the 35-year-old singer said: "The Lennon name only holds water for a while. Hopefully underneath it all there is some talent there."