March
15th
1999

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Good
Morning
America

Flowers

Charles Gibson at 7:30: (In our 8:30 hour we will be talking to Julian Lennon about) his father, his step-mother Yoko Ono, and Paul McCartney his close friend. Paul McCartney is being inducted tonight into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo performer already in as part of the Beatle and Julian Lennon, a little later, is going to perform off of his new album.

They go into other stories...

Charles Gibson at 7:34: (After an either year absence, Julian Lennon has returned to the music business with) Photograph Smile and a new attitude. The son of legendary rock star John Lennon says he's kicked the shy bucket and he's ready to talk his mind about various things including being compared to his famous father as well as his own tumultuous relationship with John's second wife Yoko Ono. Julian Lennon is in New York to attend the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony tonight where former Beatle and longtime friend Paul McCartney will be inducted. And Julian Lennon is joining us now. Good to have you here.

Julian: Thank you.

Charles Gibson: I was amazed when I heard that Paul McCartney was being inducted and then somebody said, 'Well, he was going in as a solo performer having already been inducted as a Beatle.'

Julian: Sure.

Charles Gibson: And you really were closer to him in life than your Dad?

Julian: Well I wouldn't necessarily say closer but I mean, the times that I did - that I recall from being younger, Paul was definitely the more gentle sort of playing cowboys and indians all the time while Dad was off doing something else. So, he tended to be around a bit more.

Charles Gibson: And after your dad was gone he sort of took you under his wing then?

Julian: Well, I wouldn't -I wouldn't say that, but I - you know, he certainly was very caring. I mean, every Christmas, every birthday there would be a card with love from him and his family and the occasional phone call and as time went on we - we got a little closer.

Charles Gibson: Your pop was inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 

Julian: Right

Charles Gibson: once as a Beatle, once as a solo 

Julian: Right

Charles Gibson: performer, and you didn't go to that second induction ceremony, did you?

The InterviewJulian: No. I didn't know anything about it.

Charles Gibson: You didn't know about it.

Julian: No. It's quite bizarre how things happen in the Lennon camp, so to speak.

Charles Gibson: Were you shut out?

Julian: Ah, pretty much so, I felt.

Charles Gibson: By Yoko Ono?

Julian: Probably, more than anybody, yeah.

Charles Gibson: Has she... do you feel, tried to shut you and your mother.

Julian: Oh Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. Without any doubt. Yeah. You look at the anthologies. I mean, as far as the Beatles history and Lennon history is concerned, it very much seems that she wants the world to know that she and Sean are the Lennon family and that my mother and I, Cynthia, do not exist.

Charles Gibson: How come?

Julian: Uh.that's - that's a good question. I don't know. Obviously, it seems to me that she feels that the last part of Dad's life was far more important than the earlier days, which I tend - I disagree with, you know.

Charles Gibson: Don't you feel a sadness about that? I mean just as somebody who.

Julian: Of course, oh absolutely. Completely frustrated and annoyed and - and slightly bitter, but it's not something I'm going to harp on about.

Charles Gibson: Can it be repaired? Are there rifts there that?

Julian: Doubtful - doubtful, very doubtful.

Charles Gibson: You went away from the business for seven years, missed ya!

Julian: Well, thank you!

Charles Gibson: Why were you gone? What did you need the time for?

Julian: Well, I truly felt that I didn't have a lot of control before which I didn't. I felt that after ten years of on the sort of music industry treadmill with what I felt was a lack of support, too many broken promises and disrespected in a certain way because I felt that I was never marketed as an artist in my own right. It was always the son of John.

Charles Gibson: As son of, right.

Julian: Yeah. And after the demise of my career with the second album and I - it felt very much like catch-up after that and that was all due to the pressures and the time constraints and the contractual obligations. I mean, a lot of things went on and it was just not what I wanted to be involved with. I mean, music was the interest for me, not the industry and it certainly - it certainly took its toll and it was time for me to leave and find resolve on not only a professional level, but personal level too, to start - to start fresh in my eyes.

Charles Gibson: You're going to be doing a song from the album in our 8:30  half hour. One of our producers came upstairs and said, 'He is so great. He sounds just like his dad.' and I thought, 'First part he's going to take as a compliment and second part he's gonna go emm.' How do you look at the two parts of that statement?

Julian: Emm.it's very difficult, obviously. I mean, these days I feel it's much more of a compliment, you know, because I do feel that I've found my own path so to speak. Um.

Charles Gibson: This is your music this stuff..

Julian: Yeah. Very much so, very much so, but obviously the influence shows through, you know, without a doubt but its.I'm not hiding that fact. We all learn from something in life, you know, but, you know, it's okay these days. The compliment is good.

Charles Gibson: The fact that you went away for that period of time, are you not pleased with the first four albums? Did you not feel this was you?

Julian: Well, uh, I didn't feel it was totally me. I mean, there was a lot of influence by the record companies, and the management and, to a certain degree, the producers.

Charles Gibson: When you stepped away seven years ago, did you think, 'That's it. I'm not going to come back.'

Julian: I almost did think it was that it - that was it, sorry, but uh, I think the thing that motivated me was if I was going to leave the industry, the last four albums were certainly not a good enough legacy to leave behind in music. And I felt that I would like to at least come back with something that was under my terms and under my control and something that I'd believed in 100% and that I would support and back 100% and that, you know, even if that meant starting an independent label which I had to do in London and then getting distribution and licensing deals around the world so that I could actually keep control of my future to a certain degree for the first time in my life, you know.

Charles Gibson: Well, it's good to have you back.

Julian: Well, thank you.

Charles Gibson: Good to have the album out and John - Julian Lennon will be back later in the show.

Julian: Uh everybody does that. (laughs) Maybe one day somebody will get it right!

Charles Gibson: Julian will be back to perform a little later and uh we thank you for being here.

Julian: My pleasure.

Commercial Break

Charles Gibson at 8:48: And now the music of Julian Lennon. The song, 'Day After Day,' from his CD 'Photograph Smile.' He is accompanied by guitarist Matt Backer.

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Julian and Matt perform 'Day After Day.'
Commercial Break

Charles Gibson: Good show tomorrow but we want to hear more music and so Julian Lennon and Matt Backer are going to play us off the air - 'Good To Be Lonely.' We'll see you tomorrow. Take care.

Julian and Matt perform 'Good To Be Lonely.'