Julian Lennon and his Mother Cynthia
Photographed Together for the First Time in Decades
Julian, 36 and Cynthia, 59, relax on Lucy's roof terrace. Despite living in different countries -
Cynthia's based in France and her son moves between Italy and Monte Carlo - the two are
very close: "Mum and I'll be there for each other in a heartbeat: we always have been." he explains.
"We've such an understanding," she adds.
"This is the best time of all," exclaims Cynthia Lennon, as she and her son Julian toast the future among rooftop geraniums at his fiancée's London home.
Cynthia, still glossily blonde, makes no secret of her big birthday later this year. "It's true: I'll soon be collecting my bus pass!" she admits cheerfully.
Her upbeat attitude to advancing years might astonish pop aficionados who'd more readily date her heyday to early 60s Liverpool, to her art student love for John Lennon, and the soaring rise of the Fab Four.
But Cynthia surprises: alone as 60 approaches (she separated last year from her fourth partner, Jim Christie, with whom she'd spent 16 years), she seems to have undergone a sea change from the once-vulnerable soul buffeted by fate. She's now very much in charge of her own life. With redoubled confidence and creativity, she's actually in town for the art exhibition she's sharing with the painter Phyllis McKenzie, who's been a great friend since they were Mersey girls of 12.
Among Cynthia's works on show were 15 cartoons she'd produced for the book 'A Twist of Lennon' and four illustrations for a full-length fairytale about The Beatles, never completed. "The drawings have been in a brown paper envelope for years," she says. "Now, I'm getting rid of the lot! I'm finally moving forward to paint exactly what I want in my own right. It's time to say, 'Get thee behind me Beatles!'"
To let go of the past and finally to flourish is Julian's firm intention, too. After some years in troubled "hiatus" as he calls it, a period of painful reflection and self-assessment, musician Julian, now 36, has bounced back to creativity.
A period of traveling interspersed with a simple life in his Italian home near Lake Como has helped John Lennon's firstborn to recast his life, free from the shadow of the father of whom he could never, personally, have enough, white the world - and his second wife - claimed him as their icon.
It has helped, too, that the protracted struggle with Yoko Ono for a share of John's estate came to an end three years ago. A settlement for Julian was reportedly agreed at some £20 million.
Best of all, Julian has found a special love - ethereal 21-year-old beauty Lucy Bayliss.
Here, mother and son enjoy an unprecedented photo session in Lucy's London home, and talk about how they've overcome their losses - starting with John's departure for Yoko Ono and New York, and including his tragic killing in 1980 - to triumph both as individuals, and together.
© 1999 Hello Magazine
Background/Flowers from the 'Photograph Smile'
CD inlet by Angelika Letsch.
'Hey Jules' © 1998 - 2002 CJ Burianek