|Do you think you inherited your songwriting skills?
I'm not so sure. I worked bloody hard to be a songsmith.
I'd always been into classical music, that's why I consider myself
very much a balladeer, but in the past, record companies would be
in the studio saying, 'That's good, but it's not commercial enough,
it's too slow.'
Do the Beatles comparisons bother you?
Critics always compared everything I did with the
entire Beatles catalogue, never what they did at the age I was at.
The thing about the Beatles that influence me was Sgt. Peppers ...
but I would put that more down to George Martin as a producer -
he took a left turn sonically. People ask me about Oasis. Obviously
they're blatantly honest about how the Beatles influenced them,
but at the end of the day you either like a song or you don't.
Did you like Free as a Bird (the recent Beatles comeback single)?
I had heard it at Yoko and Sean's house and liked
it then. The only thing that disheartened me was that dad's voice
was so quiet and Paul's was so loud. The could have mastered it
better. Hearing dad, who was no longer around, on tape was representative
of our relationship. To some degree I was closer to Paul and George
than I was dad at times. It was very distant.
Do Beatles fans expect you to have intimate knowledge of the band?
Some of them expect me to know everything. They
have these Beatle conventions and I think, 'Look, the band is finished.
One member is dead, the other three are doing other things. What
are you all doing here?' What's nostalgic for other people isn't
necessarily nostalgic for me. Yeah, the Beatles were an influence
but dad was not a dad to me, he was never around. I was four when
he left. You'd find out more information on dad and the Beatles
in books than you'll ever get out of me and I have no desire to
find out more.
What do you think of Sean's album?
I like it, it's interesting. We have different inspirations.
You can tell he likes Nirvana and was brought up in a different
lifestyle. He knows he's comfortable for the rest of his life. It's
not like he feels a hunger, but he's talented.
Were the rumors of you dating Kylie Minogue true?
No. I bumped into her a few times in a bar a few
years back, but that was in my heady drinking days. She's lovely
but that's as far as it went.
What's the best rumor you've heard about yourself?
It was one of those awful American tabloid magazines
which had a picture of my ex-girlfriend and a story about how we
were having an alien baby and showed her with a superimposed stomach
and a cross section of what our alien baby would look like.
Julian Lennon, Mercury Lounge, Wednesday. Photograph Smile (Sony)