"The Panel"

Working Dog Productions
Channel 10 Australia - 21 October 1998

Part 1 of a 2 part Interview...
Special Thanks to Jodie for all her hard work on the transcript!

Photograph Smile

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Host: Were back your watching the panel, its time now to welcome our first guest for this evening, his been all over the country in the last week promoting his new album "Photograph Smile". Which incidentally entered the Aria charts at number thirty just the other day, well done, would you please welcome, Mr. Julian Lennon.

(Crowd Cheers loudly)

Julian Lennon: Thank you

Host: Julian, how'd you umm, How did you cope with the Aria awards last night.

Julian Lennon: Ahh well it was err, it was sore bum, that was it mainly.

Kate Waynebroke: A bit long winded, long and dry huh.

Julian Lennon: Yeah err

Kate Waynebroke: Was is dry?

Julian Lennon: Long and dry, yeah, it was a bit like being on an aeroplane without the food, without the drink, without smoking, all that you know.

Host: And your ears kind of hurting at the same time, is it like the British music awards?

Julian Lennon: I went to one of those a long time ago I try to avoid them as much as possible.

Rob Stitch: The one I love is the world music award in Monaco. Have you been to that?

(Crowd Laughing)

Julian Lennon: Oh yeah I've been to that.

Rob Stitch: Prince Albert and Claudia Shaffer sit in the front row.

Julian Lennon: Yeah I that, that, that is quite possibly THE most boring.

(Crowd roars with laughter)

Host: Have you been to a Eurovision song contest?

Julian Lennon: That no, no, no I'm staying away from that one.

Santo: Hang on, your saying that as if it's bad.

Host: That's a treat awaiting you.

Host: And you've been in lots of small little intimate club shows as you work your way around the country.

Julian Lennon: Yeah, yeah, we've err yeah some showcases here and there, having a bit of fun meeting, greeting, and signing photographs.

Host: And the idea being you'll come back and do a real tour next year?

Julian Lennon: Yeah a real tour next year.

Andrea Salmon:  Is the tour about this album or are you doing any of your old music.

Julian Lennon: Err yeah it will be this album and my favorites of the past probably.

Andrea Salmon:  Excellent

Host: And this ones been quite a wait for this, it's been seven years since or something since you last poked your head up.

Julian Lennon: Yeah that's very true, yeah, yeah, err so to speak, yeah I just got really fed up with the music industry basically it was not about music anymore and err there was no consistency, companies buying companies, people moving left, right, and center and ahh and I just felt a great lack of support and too many broken promises and I said I've had enough of doing the same thing for so many years and ahh and not having control you know.

Rob Stitch: You see my theory was you saw the success that David Hasselhoff was having and you thought...

(Crowd Roars with laughter)

Julian Lennon: Don't even go there.

Rob Stitch: And you went gee the penny dropped so you obviously it hits when you were there last time.

Julian Lennon: I actually saw him ahh I was at Disneyland in the states and err he was (very sarcastically) Performing.

Host: His actually a ride I think at Disneyland.

Kate Waynebroke: Was he talking to the car? Was he talking to the car? or was he singing?

Andrea Salmon:  Or wearing red Speedo's.

Julian Lennon: Ahh no, no he was all in leather, and doing the knee slide across the stage. It was a scary time.

(Crowd and Interviewers laugh)

Kate Waynebroke: Tragic.

Santo: Julian do you live in Italy?

Julian Lennon: Yes, Yes I do.

Santo: Where abouts?

Julian Lennon: Up the north, near Como.

Kate Waynebroke: Santo's Italian.

(Crowd laughs)

Host: (Turns to Julian) It never stops.

Santo: And umm and how, umm do you live there for the television? I mean is,

(Crowd laughs, Julian looks puzzled)

Santo: Because I mean that's my reason for going over there I reckon I mean in fact, in fact, you know what, have you noticed this, in fact you have probably done this in Italy you can actually roll up to a variety show and actually do nothing but sit in the audience and they will go (Speaking in Italian introduces Julian Lennon to the audience) and you stand (Interviewer stands up and waves to the crowd) and then your apart of the show.

Kate Waynebroke: Ahh because your there.

Host: Have you done that.

Julian Lennon: Err No, no I haven't done that.

(All talking at once at this point Julian not knowing which way to look or whom to answer.)

Host: And the Eurovision song contest complex.

Rob Stitch: So you've got a lot to look forward to back in Europe.

Julian Lennon: No, No, No, I try to steer clear of those.

Santo: Why do you live in Italy?

Julian Lennon: Ahh, Ahh, Well I grew up partly in Italy, my step-father was Italian and ahh I love, I love the country side, I love the food, I love the architecture, you know its, and they're warm generous people and they are, they are people that absolutely enjoy every moment of life you know which is...

Santo: A bit over bearing sometimes.

(Crowd laughs in slight disapproval at this comment)

Host: He's allowed to say that

Andrea Salmon:  So what did you do with your seven years off?  We've heard you like cooking and architecture all those certain things.

Julian Lennon: Yeah yeah

Andrea Salmon:  Your dabbling in a bit of everything.

Julian Lennon: mmm yeah a bit of everything, photography...

Kate Waynebroke: Whale saving.

Julian Lennon: Yeah, yeah err putting together documentaries about indigenous peoples and ahh whales and dolphin's ahh sailing, and ahh poetry and, and just writing in general, but not, not music.

Host: You sound like a member of the royal family basically, which is a good lifestyle, I'm not knocking it now you've seen, you've basically set up your own label so you had, you had like hassles with the with your previous labels. A bit of a George Michael thing happening, (Crowd Laughs) no no not in the toilet block sense. I mean in the in the ahh in the ahh contractual sense. (Crowd Laughs) and so this "Photograph Smile" is done for yourself basically.

Julian Lennon: Yes, yes absolutely

Host: And when your recording without the commercial considerations do you still find yourself thinking, "oh what's the single" and has this got commercial radio airplay potential or are you totally...

Julian Lennon: Ahh Ahh a little bit, a little bit, I especially felt with this as a first release on my label and it being the first piece of music that I had full control over that I still had to have elements of the commercial sense in a couple of the songs but still remain as true to myself as possible you know without the compromise.

Host: Yeah but the full control thing you were actually saying when you were recording albums in the past someone from the record company.

Julian Lennon: Oh yeah, yeah.

Host: Would they come in and go we don't like the base line on this or,

Julian Lennon: Yeah, Yeah. Oh no, no they'd sit at the back of the studio.

Host: Ya Kidding

Julian Lennon: No, no. They'd sit around and wait and come in for about an hour or two everyday you know.

Host: You know were they diplomatic at that stage or were they like "Look we love it Julian.. But" or were they just blunt in going.

Julian Lennon: Well ahh no no it was mainly, it was mainly they sort of would pull the producer to one side and say something.

Rob Stitch: That's, that's inferior.

Julian Lennon: And then he would come back to me and say well maybe we should try a different approach on that.

Kate Waynebroke: And is this a suit or someone who reportedly knows something about music

Julian Lennon: Half-and-half really.

Kate Waynebroke: Ahh okay.

Andrea Salmon:  So with this, this new record label do you look at new bands are you looking for younger talent or..

Julian Lennon: Ahh, Ahh, actually I'm gonna get round to it but first and foremost it's a platform for this album and..

Kate Waynebroke: You know she sings.

Andrea Salmon:  Don't start you know how bad I am.

Julian Lennon: I have to sort of prove myself with this first, prove the company with this first and if I can establish that, which I seem to be doing then Ahh, then after the tour then I can actually concentrate on you know looking into other acts .

Host: Well, Ahh, well the single, the single "I Don't Wanna Know" can you, can you stand if we have a quick listen.

Julian Lennon: yeah, yes

Host: cause we saw the clip the other day and its just sensational but for anyone who hasn't seen it here's a bit of it

(Cut to clip of video footage for "I don't wanna know")