his last visit to McCartney's home, Lennon acknowledges it's been a
somewhat formal relationship until recently. 'The thing that broke the
ice was talking about Yoko!' he chimes, obviously delighted at
this turn of events. 'That's when the barriers came down and we had
a laugh. He was digging up old stories like you wouldn't believe, that
only he should be allowed to tell, really. It was very very lovely and
very, very sweet."
Returning to his current release, Photograph Smile, Lennon states, "I feel that this album will finally, hopefully, break through the barriers for me as an artist and as a person. I think the preconceptions about me and my life have gone on far too long.
'That was the objective (with Photograph Smile) to finally have control of the professional and personal." Gaining control is one thing. Making a success of yourself is quite another; and Lennon is well aware that this album and its success are key to 'his future goals. 'I understand that it's very important this time around because it's been seven years' separation, so to speak,' he says. 'It's important to re-establish myself as an artist."
Just as important as re-establishing himself as an artist is getting his company Music From Another Room off the ground. 'It's basically myself and Bob Rose, with a partner, who runs the business on a management level. We go by instinct, intuition, and heart.'
Though he's a novice independent label owner, it seems that Lennon knows the score as far as surviving as an indie is concerned. "You are faced with a lot of walls that must be broken down. But,' he says with a smile, 'we seem to have been able to achieve that in the areas we've really worked."
His CD, which is not only out in Europe and Australia, but in Japan as well - will be released in America on February 23rd. With that in mind, he recalls an instance during the course of promoting the project to the Japanese, where the distributor did absolutely nothing.
Taking the bull by the horns, Lennon and company made things happen for themselves. "Purely by just getting out there and doing radio, or the in-stores," he notes proudly, "we were able to achieve a Number One there without any [other] record company support whatsoever.
"It's just a question of whether you're ready to work hard and if you believe in yourself enough and what you do,' the business-savvy label head believes. 'That's what it truly takes, in the end."
With more of his good humor showing, Lennon adds, "It may take a long time - it took me a hell of a long time. But, as far as I can see, that's the only way of doing it."
With ambitions beyond his own work as an artist for his label, Lennon foresees the day when he will be signing other acts. But, "the thing that is going to make or break the company itself is what happens with me and this album. So far, I feel we've done extremely well. We're out of the red. Within six months, we should go into profit, with our fingers crossed."
Of the business strategy he and Rose practice, Lennon admits, "It's a lot more work than relying on other people who won't necessarily do the job."
Still single, Julian Lennon is a man of many talents and interests, including film production, charity work, and fiction writing. But his music and record label are his paramount concerns at the moment.
Lennon's world tour will bring him to the U.S. from April through August, and his eagerness to promote the new album is truly palpable. 'When people actually get a chance to sit down and listen to [Photo- graph Smile] they will understand me, who I am.'
However Julian Lennon's new direction plays out, one gets the impression he will be well-satisfied, that he is remaining true to himself. "At the end of a hard day's work,' he says, "you can wake up the next morning, look in the mirror, and say you haven't stabbed yourself in the back or lied to yourself. You're actually following your dream and doing it."
© 1999 Music Connection
Background/Flowers from the 'Photograph Smile'
CD inlet by Angelika Letsch.
'Hey Jules' © 1998 - 2002 CJ Burianek