|Wally Kennedy - Hello everyone, I'm Wally Kennedy.
This show's all about music. Guess who's back? Blondie - not just Deborah
Harry but the entire group. What made them decide to get back together
after all these years after going their separate ways? We'll talk about
them a little later on. But first we welcome Julian Lennon who is the
artist not only on this latest CD Photograph Smile but he is also the
writer or co writer of all 14 songs and he is going to perform song
#1 Day after Day.
(Julian performs Day After Day with Matt Backer)
Wally Kennedy - Hello again everyone. You might
be wondering why we played "Hey Jude" for Julian Lennon.
That's for you, isn't it?
Julian Lennon - Yup
Wally Kennedy - Written to you by Paul McCartney?
Julian Lennon - Absolutely
Wally Kennedy - What were the circumstances?
Julian Lennon - Well, that was
basically written when my dad was walking out the door and Paul
felt sorry for myself and my mother, Cynthia. The story was he was
driving over to visit us actually and it was raining, and the windscreen
wipers and thinking about the whole scenario and he just started
singing hey Jules to himself. And then thinking about the whole
idea about how I'm going to cope, as I grow older and will I survive
and do OK. So yea, it was very special. He was a close friend of
dad's at that point in time, to think that he cared that much to
write it into a song.
Wally Kennedy - In your wildest and rebellious days,
did you think the last thing in the world you wanted to do was music?
Or did you always want to do music?
Julian Lennon - No, actually, there
are still many things I'm interested in and now I've actually set
aside time to do that where back past 10 years ago in the music
industry it was all music and all industry and I felt I left some
important things out. And now music is still very important to me
but there are other things I care about just as much if not more.
But yea, I felt I wanted to be a chef at one point. I cook - I love
to cook - it's like blending the right ingredients to get the finished
product, hopefully, the same as songwriting. And acting, too.
Wally Kennedy - I heard you like to do comedy.
Julian Lennon - Well, yea, I'm
an idiot at the best of times. I'm a fool. I mess around a lot.
I just always have. I have a lot of fun with just being silly.
Wally Kennedy - When you made the decision to become
a musician, were there times when you just wished your name was Julian
Schwartz or Julian Smith?
Julian Lennon - No, because.
Wally Kennedy - That's a hard act to follow.
Julian Lennon - That's a very difficult
act to follow of course, but my mother taught me everything in life
and she taught me good moral standards and good guidance in life
and she always liked a challenge and I like the challenge, too,
so bring it on.
Wally Kennedy - When you were singing "Day
after Day," certainly the comparisons are inevitable, but you
sound like your father. But who are you supposed to sound like, Ringo?
Julian Lennon - Well, hope not.
Well, I was going to mention someone else, but I'm not going to
Wally Kennedy - When everything that happened in
your dad's life until the end of his life, was splashed across the
newspaper, and you're a kid and you're at home and he's no longer
there, how did you get around that? I mean, kids can hurt other kids.
Kids at school I'm sure said some things that hurt. How did you get
Julian Lennon - Well, do you mean
going through the school years?
Wally Kennedy - Yea, your dad's very publicized
relationship with Yoko. And your mom, her heart was broken.
Julian Lennon - Well, as a kid
growing up, that didn't bother me too much but basically it affected
Mum a great deal and it effects me a great deal now to look back
now and see what happened all those years. Because I was growing
up all those years and didn't know what the hell was going on at
that point in time. I mean, going through school, yes, was tough.
The toughest thing for myself and Mum was the fact that the whole
world believed we were rolling money and life was always good, which
was not always the case. Never ever the case.
Wally Kennedy - I know that you don't like to publicize
that once your dad died there was a legal battle for his estate or
part of his estate, and you feel you got kind of shafted.
Julian Lennon - Well, to a certain
degree, yea. I mean I can't really talk about it but we did come
to a settlement which I had to settle for basically because I felt
that if I took this into the courts, #1 if anybody challenged the
will you were chucked out of the will immediately and it was left
up to Yoko's discretion. So I had to be very polite for a long time,
but there has been a settlement. And the one thing that I did want
to achieve in the negotiations was to try and at least get something
that I could hand on to my kids and the rest of his family in England,
which was the copyrights to some of his works.
Wally Kennedy - Where were you at with him in your
relationship with him at the time of his death?
Julian Lennon - Well, there were
still walls up. I mean I literally saw him only a handful of times.
I guess you could say we might have been at the point where we were
trying to break through, but it was still very difficult. You know,
I didn't't know him, he was a stranger to me and he certainly didn't
Wally Kennedy - It must have hurt very badly, where
I remember the time very well when he was so excited about your step
brother Sean and Yoko got pregnant at a time when she thought she
couldn't. Sean this and Sean that, and in the meantime you and your
mother were back in England trying to make a go of it.
Julian Lennon - I got pissed at
that absolutely, without a doubt, but I never held that against
Sean. I've loved Sean since day one. I used to baby sit him. He's
blood to me. I feel Yoko and I have our differences, that's for
sure, and unfortunately he might get caught up in the middle of
that, but I think he's a good kid. So it was difficult to come to
America for the first time at whatever age and walk in to see to
see he had everything under the sun and to think that I was going
back to a beaten down farm house in North Wales with holes in the
ceiling, and coming to see what he was getting. As a kid, yea, that
really can screw your head up.
Wally Kennedy - I wonder how as an adult in your
mid 30's has that affected you, how you were treated. Are you married?
Julian Lennon - No, not as such.
Wally Kennedy - Not as such?
Julian Lennon - I believe in a
love and a bond between 2 people but I don't necessarily believe
in certain religions in the way they are set out.
Wally Kennedy - Do you think there is 1 person out
there for everybody, for every pot there is a pan?
Julian Lennon - I'm not a higher
being, I couldn't tell you, but I'd like to believe that.
Wally Kennedy - When you do have kids, how will
you treat them differently than your dad treated you?
Julian Lennon - Well, I'll do everything
that dad didn't do.
Wally Kennedy - Wow, that's a simple answer.
Julian Lennon - yea, it's as simple
as that, basically.
Wally Kennedy - Are you at peace with it now?
Julian Lennon - I'm at peace with
it, yea. I've moved on. These days I'm a happy little camper. I've
figured out my life and I figured out who I am through this whole
thing and I figured out a balance in living through this thing.
Wally Kennedy - I talked with a friend of yours
from LA and he said Julian's a very mellow fellow, very much at peace
with everything. What got you there?
Julian Lennon - I think it was
leaving the music industry. Because I got out of the business for
about 7 years or so and I was very frustrated in how I was being
taken care of and I felt very disrespected and I felt used and abused.
I felt there was no support for actually any artistic effort that
I was trying to put forth and there was a lot of broken promises
and it was time for me to get out after 10 years on the treadmill.
And so it took over several years to get out of the contracts and
that was after the last album.
Wally Kennedy - But you're a happy man now, aren't
Julian Lennon - Yea, but that point
in time gave me time outside of all of that, to be on my own as
an adult and look at my life and reflect on it and figure out how
to have some semblance of peace and balance.
Wally Kennedy - I've got to pull the plug unfortunately.
This has been a pleasure with my guest Julian Lennon. The name of
the album is Photograph smile.