|Perhaps that's partly why you're so close now.
JULIAN: "We are there for each other, Mum and
I. We'll be there for each other in a heartbeat and we always have
been. When I was a teenager in North Wales, and the only thing I
card about at school was art, Mum even became my unofficial art
teacher, when it turned out that the school art teacher had taught
us all entirely the wrong O-Level syllabus."
According to her, you've gone through great changes over the years.
What's going on in your life now?
"In the professional field, I've started my
own independent record label, so I'm now the one who makes the decisions.
It's a lot more work, because I'm not only the artist; I'm co-producer,
manager, and I'm running the business as well. But having control
over my career makes an incredible amount of difference. I've called
the company Music From Another Room - the other room, basically,
being my head."
You have a second company too...
"It's called Pictures From Another Room. At
present it's devoted to producing environmental films about indigenous
tribes, about whales and dolphins, The majority of any money made
will go to help the tribes."
And back to the musical front...
"We've just released our first single in America
and to radio only. It's called 'I Don't Wanna Know.' Knock on wood,
the latest information is that I feature high on the 'most requested'
list for listeners and DJs. And on several charts I'm No. 1.
"I've been concentrating efforts away from
Britain and actually in the Far East where I haven't spent much
time before. My intention now is to re-release here later in the
How do you foresee your reception in Britain?
"I'm excited and a little nervous, because
it's been seven or eight years since I've had a high musical profile
here. But it does seem that it's all happening for the right reason
this time, because of the work -some ballads, some classically oriented
tracks and some pop - rather than the name.
"The one thing I've always wanted first and
foremost is to be respected as a writer and an artist. I now feel
very fortunate that it's happening with this particular album."
Like your mother, you've chosen to live abroad.
"I've a flat in Monte Carlo and a lot of friends
in the surrounding area. As the old song says, 'I do like to be
beside the seaside', and when the weather's nice, its all the better.
"But northern Italy is my main getaway. I live
there in a small apartment on a lake never Como. I love the countryside,
the lake itself is very beautiful in summer and I love to cook there
Cynthia' just been talking about your culinary talents.
"I probably have more of a passion for cooking
than I do for music. I love traveling and finding great little hideout
restaurants and little villages and going to the open markets.
"Eventually I must admit I want to do a cookbook,
though people might think it a bit gimmicky - the musician turned
cook. Cooking and music, they're very much the same sort of therapy.
Both depend on adding the right ingredients to come up with a product
that not only you, but everyone else, enjoys.
"A friend of mine in the South of France has
a house with an enormous kitchen. When I'm staying there I tend
to find myself less in the sun than cooking for about ten people
every day. Music might give me a couple of hits a year, but in cooking,
depending on how many meals I cook, I can get three hits a day!"
After music and food let's talk about love. How did you meet Lucy?
"We crossed paths in the Caribbean one Christmas
about five years ago. At that time, I was involved with someone
and I believe she was too. Every Christmas we'd go to the same place
in Barbados and every year I could just see in her eyes that she
was the right person for me.
"I could tell that she was very grounded, very
earthy and would brook no bull whatever. If I was out of line she'd
straighten me out immediately! I just knew from the way she looked,
spoke and carried herself that she was a very caring person.
"Finally, a year and a half ago, we got together
and since then we've probably spent in total only a week and a half
Tell us more about her.
"Her parents are from England, and she grew
up in Majorca, the middle of three sisters in a delightful family.
She used to do ballet, and when we got together she was in college
and doing a lot of part-time modeling which she actually gave up
so that we could try to work this relationship out. She's in the
company with me now, helping with the day-to-day running of its
"We try to be together and work together and
I can think of no more than two occasions in the past 18 months
when we've faced confusion over some issue. Apart from that it's
all been incredibly smooth - quite scarily so really!"
So what happens next between you?
"I've given her a ring. I wanted to find her
something different, something special and unique...not your average
engagement ring because for me it meant much more.
"Neither Lucy nor I like big and garish baubles,
so in choosing a ring I wanted to find something delicate. The ring
I found is an antique from an old estate with different coloured
diamonds. It reflects the many colours of Lucy."
How do you feel about the age gap between you?
"Lucy's 21 but she's definitely an old soul,
otherwise it wouldn't work with me being 36. You can call Lucy my
fiancée, but really she's my partner, definitely a partner in every
Where do you hope to settle?
"More than likely in Italy. As a kid I spent
all my holidays there, with my stepfather Roberto Bassanini, and
I used to speak the language fluently. We're looking for an old
home with lots of character...somewhere to be without running round
like a headless chicken. We think we've found a place, but it needs
a lot of work."
Isn't it a little spooky that you, who did the original drawing
that inspired the song 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,' should pair
up with a Lucy of your own?
"It's very odd, I know, and wonderful in so
many ways. It's like coming full circle."
Have you felt more secure since reaching a settlement with Yoko
Ono about your father's estate? Finances apart, there must be a sense
of recognition, of old ghosts laid to rest?
"In one respect yes, but I'm still unhappy
about how Dad's memory has been handled. Electric-blue ties bearing
his sketches, Lennon mugs, and most recently, so-called 'museum
quality' photographs at about 80 pounds a print.
"I understand there are great fans and collectors
out there, but I just don't understand the tackiness of what's offered.
There could be a more respectful approach.
"Yoko Ono appears to not like the fact that
Mum and I are publicly part of Dad's life. It's very painful. It's
as if she wants to deny Dad's English family links. We are thorns
in her side because I believe she wants to be seen as the Lennon
family and the most important connection to him."
© 1999 Hello Magazine