'88.5 WXPN Philadelphia'

February 24th, 1999

This is part two of a two part transcription which was transcribe by both Diane and myself... 
Special thanks to Diane for the tape and for her half of the transcription! ~ CJ

Photograph Smile

Helen Leight: 'Crucified'. That's the new album 'Photograph Smile', Julian Lennon here at 88.5 WXPN in Philadelphia. I'm Helen Leight and guest in the studio today Julian Lennon. Any possibility of touring in this part of the woods?

Julian: Yeah, Yeah, further down the road, we're sort of, we're looking at mid to late summer onwards. We don't know exactly where we're starting yet. But uh, we're in the process of actually putting a limited tour together which involves doing charity shows in every location that we play, in the sense that we find out what the worse problems are in those locations and so my example for the moment is for instance if it's about children with AIDS or homeless children or abused children, then all we ask for at the front door is blankets, cuddly toys or clothes or how ever much your conscience allows you to dig out your pockets and give, you know. So we're in the process of putting that all together and we don't have specific dates yet but we're definitely looking to do it, you know. Towards mid to end of the year.

Helen Leight: Now that the album is finished and the tour a possibility, what else do you see - I obviously saw you in a movie 'Leaving Las Vegas' - any other movie plans or books or anything else you really looking to do to keep your goals?

Julian: Well, in my time off I did a lot of writing and a fair bit of poetry as well, and I've been taking a lot of photographs over the years. And I'd eventually like to put together a - you know, a 'Photograph Smile' poetry and photograph book, in which you know, instead of the music, you get the visual expression of what the words are saying. So, that's something I'd like to get around to. Maybe a cookbook at some stage too, because I love cooking so much.

Helen Leight: Really?

Julian: That's equal with music, in my eyes.

Helen Leight: Favorite recipes of Julian Lennon.

Julian: I have too many favorite recipes to tell you. But for me, it's like very similar, you know, it's the therapeutic thing where you, it's the combination of the ingredients to make the right end result, you know. Same thing as writing a song in many degrees.

Helen Leight: You're now, at part times, living in Italy, I've heard?

Julian: Yea, yea, I am a resident in Italy, but obviously travel a great deal so yeah. I mean, my home is Europe, basically.

Helen Leight: Any plans of settling down? Having your own family someday?

Julian: Yes. At some stage. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Helen Leight: I had heard you were dating serious, and that was a possibility. So, we'll play faithful?  (laughs)

Julian: Well, yes, it's as serious as it gets.

Helen Leight: How is your relationship with Sean? Sean recently put out an album. What's the relationship in the Sean-Yoko camp?

Julian: The relationship in the Sean camp is absolutely fine, you know. Sean's sort of in the middle. But, you know, I've always had a great love for Sean. I used to babysit him, I respect him immensely. I think he's very talented. I don't necessarily think he showed his talent enough on his first debut album, because, actually, the thing was I actually heard some of his home demos that he did before this album several years ago. Which was just him in his room with his little 8 track and I was actually beyond surprised at how talented he was. He scared me at that point. And then the album came out and it was no where near what the original demos were, I mean not even any of the songs. And I just felt that there was a lot of influence coming in from either his girlfriend from Cibbo Matto or from Yoko's influence, who knows, it's not my place to say. But I do know that he has the talent there it's just give him a little time, he needs nurturing a little bit and I'm sure he'll get around to it.

Helen Leight: I had also read somewhere, and it's sad too, that you had to go to some auctions to get some of the stuff of John's.

Julian: Yeah, very true. I mean with the settlement that we did agree upon, or which I should say, which I agreed to, had to agree to, to a certain degree. Yeah, nothing or not a lot, if anything, was handed down to me, or any family of his back in England. And so with the money that I did receive, I have been going to auctions and collecting not only you know, some of his personal stuff, but a lot of Beatle stuff too. For me and for my kids in the future, to know where they came from, to know what their heritage was, you know, and the most ironic thing about it is that, you know, I'm buying his stuff back into the family with what was essentially his money in the first place, which is insanity in my eyes. Absolute insanity.

Helen Leight: And Yoko just doesn't pass on anything like that to you?

Julian: Hasn't done. I mean, I received a guitar or 2 ah you know ten years ago, or something like that, but her logic is, which is relatively logical, is that there are 2 of us, Sean and myself. And so she can't exactly cut the guitar in half, so it has to stay there. So that's the end of that story.

Helen Leight: Very annoying. (laughs)

Julian: To say the least.

Helen Leight: Well, there you go. I hope things eventually work out. Now that you said you've got the new - this new label, have you spotted any talent?

Julian: Yeah, there's a few people I've spoken to about coming on to the label, but for me, at this point in time, I think what is going to prove the label is the album itself, and how well the album does. And, fingers crossed, if the album does well over here, then the label will do well and I will be signing up people and hopefully, you know, giving them a voice too. People that I think are really talented that don't necessarily get a voice because they are not in the commercial vein of most major labels you know, of wham bam thank you ma'am you know, one hit wonders. It's not about that, it's never been about that for me, it's been about nurturing careers that last a lifetime. So, that's what this company would mean, you know, is nurturing creative talent that would be around for a long time.

Helen Leight: Julian Lennon with us today. And, in the studio, to take another track from his album, his guitars are ready.

Julian: Yeah, the guitars are ready, I don't know how ready I am. Yeah, this little ditty, is when I found my self overwhelmed in life, and I needed to find resolve, I felt the best times to do that was when I was on my own and I actually felt lonely. And you know, the only thing you can deal with - you have to deal with is, looking in the mirror at yourself and facing the problems that you have and hitting them head on. And so you know, initially, that's what this was all about and this song is called 'Good to be Lonely.' (To Matt) Are you ready, Sunshine?

Matt Backer: Oh yes, Darling.

Julian and Matt start to play 'Good to be Lonely,' but Julian stops after the first few lines.

Julian: Excuse me, I screwed up, I forgot the words. This happens from time to time. (Matt is laughing) I know, I know. And it's with this song now, I've got a mental block about it. I screwed it up the other day, too.

Matt Backer: You've been disconnected.

Julian: I've been disconnected.

Matt Backer: You've been loved and you've been rejected.

Julian: Thank you, I know the words, they're just locked in the back of my mind.

Matt Backer: Traveling inside of a plane.

Julian: We can start that one again if you like.

Helen Leight: Sure! Why not.

Julian: Let's just start from the verse and hope I'll remember this time.

Matt Backer: I'll mouth you the words.

Julian: I know, I know, I screwed up about 4 times the other day. You just have mental blanks about this sometimes. OK, deep breath. Take a deep breath with me everybody. OK. OK let's see. Oh yeah, I'm gonna sing this song right.

Julian and Matt successfully perform 'Good to be Lonely'

Helen Leight: 'Good to be Lonely.' Julian Lennon and company, from 'Photograph Smile.'

Matt Backer: Lucky I didn't look at you then. (laughs)

Julian: Lucky you didn't look at me otherwise we would have screwed up and stopped, which I almost did.

Helen Leight: New project from Julian Lennon after a long time off and back with something I think very special.

Julian: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Helen Leight: I do think that John did give you a gift. You're very talented.

Julian: Thank you. Thank you very much.

Helen Leight: And we look forward to, how about the single? How's that doing? 'Day After Day?'

Julian: Well, it's early days yet, early days. The album was only released yesterday, so um, fingers crossed, and if there was some wood, oh yeah there is wood, guitar, hello. Yes, things will go well.

Helen Leight: Video for that?

Julian: Yeah, video for that is already done and ready to go and should be rolling on VH1 in the next week or so.

Helen Leight: You have one heck of a record company!

Matt Backer: You're looking at it!

Helen Leight: I see it!

Julian: Well, between Bob and I, we are the record company. So, yeah.

Helen Leight: You co-wrote some of the music on this. There's a couple of songs that were just penned by you, but, working with Bob on some of the project is how you decided to work with him as a producer?

Julian: Well, yeah, I mean, how Bob and I got together was initially through Greg Darling, who was an old acquaintance of mine, who played piano on the album, and we sort of re-aquatinted ourselves a couple of years ago. And first and foremost we just sat around and talked about music, and you know, what we liked about music and what we truly didn't like about the music industry. And you know, for both of us it was all about recording songs in the most natural way possible. And getting in the studio with a great band and just using the natural ambience of the room and miking techniques, rather than a lot of digital sampling. And that's the way we both wanted to go. And, as far as I'm concerned, it's the best work I've done. And I, in part, have Bob Rose to thank for that, and everybody who played on the album.

Helen Leight: The song 'Day after Day' is a story song. About?

Julian: Yeah, it's actually about a guy at war, any war, that you know, the only thing that keeps him going is his hope and faith that one day, and his love, that he's going to make it back to his friends and his family and the people that he loves and cares about. And, you know, that's relatable in my life, not only my life but many other people's lives, that are away from home so much you know, and it does feel like a battleground and it does feel like war out there sometimes. At the end of the day, all we want to do is be with our friends and the people we care about.

Helen Leight: On the album, you even mention that, I thought that was a pretty open dedication, where you say I hope that everyone is proud of what I've done here and that I've done you proud, I feel that I've done you proud this time.

Julian: Yeah, definitely, definitely. After being away on the road so many times in the past and I felt you know, I let so many people down in so many ways, because when you commit yourself and you are committed by the industry and the company as well, to working so hard and so long hours, and so much time away from the friends and family and the people you care about. You know, it hurts, it hurts a great deal, not only in my heart, but their hearts too you know. And that's one thing that I've certainly turned around in life, in that I've definitely found balance these days you know, in the sense that, as I've said before, yeah the work is important but there are other elements in our lives that need that attention a great deal. And that's loving and caring about the people that you truly care about, and being with them and spending time with them, because we certainly don't know how long we have on this planet.

Helen Leight: Julian Lennon our guest today. His new album 'Photograph Smile.' Thank you for joining us.

Julian: It's been our, Matt Backer and my, pleasure.

Matt Backer: Thank you very much.

Helen Leight: Thank you very much, as we give a listen to the song we were just talking about, 'Day after Day,' here at 88.5 WXPN.