Dini Petty Show (Canada)

March 18th, 1999

Transcription by: Laura M. Thanks Laura!!

Photograph Smile


Julian comes out to sing 'Day After Day'

Dini: That is so excellent. Meet Julian Lennon when we come back in just a moment. (Julian shakes Dini's hand) That is so beautiful. (Goes to commercial)

Comes back with the video 'I Don't Wanna Know' courtesy of Sony Canada

Julian: That's good, yeah (Dini laughs)

Dini: We're back with Julian Lennon, who uh, with this CD, number four (actually #5 ), Photograph Smile. It's been on the promo tour for years, doing the world. We're just talking about, he sang the song now 8 million 432 thousand times.

Julian: About that, yes.

Dini: And then, you're off to South America, and then you'll start another tour?

Julian: And then, we'll start the real tour where we get up and play...for real.

Dini: For real?

Julian: With a band.

Dini: Julian Lennon for real, not just on the CD. (laughs)

Julian: Well no uh, I mean, it's just that uh, you know. You either do the real tour which was with the full band or you'll go on the promotional tour like this where, where it's. If you want to get the single out you, you, you know, you have to have a backing track like that and you sing live, yes absolutely, but uh, you know, then you'll have an invisible band behind you...not quite the same.

Dini: And I know where ever you go and I, we all have the same reaction because...You had the most incredible journey my friend.

Julian: It certainly has been.

Dini: Is it, how would you...Give me two words that would come to mind to describe your life's journey so far?

Julian: Mmmm. Uh, we, well. Number one there, there was no rule book, there was no guiding lines, so it was taking everyday as it comes, and dealing with it.

Dini: It would be hard to find people to hash things over with because no one else is in the similar journey, yours is exceptionally rare.

Julian: Yeah but, very true, very true. But then, you know there are a lot of friends that have been uh, around me and with me for so many years that have seen the sort of situations, I find myself in that uh, understand that and uh, and feel sympathetic towards me sometimes you know, but yeah for the most part, I generally handle things pretty well, and don't have a problem.

Dini: You see the Ying and the Yang of your journey. As I look at it as an outsider, the benefits, I'm sitting here thinking as a parent...

Julian: Mmmm.

Dini: ...you know, with a child who takes what talent they inherit...

Julian: Sure

Dini: ...and evolves it, that your father would be going, he would be so proud.

Julian: I would hope so

Dini: Oh, he would be. I mean, you're really good on your own. (audience claps)

Julian: Thank you.

Dini: Yeah, you're very talented. You've taken something and evolved it. David Crosby was here the other day, and I don't know...

Julian: Yeah.

Dini: ...I don't know if you knew the story, how he had a son and they never saw each other 'cause the son was adopted out...

Julian: Yes roughly, yes.

Dini: ...and when they were reunited, it turns out, what a surprise...

Julian: Right.

Dini: ...what a surprise. We're talking about the power of genetics...

Julian: Right.

Dini: ...no one would no that better than you.

Julian: Very true. I mean, It still takes uh, a...

Dini: Yes

Julian: ...a great deal of hard work, to say the least, you know uh, Song writing is, is an art form, and it is a craft to which uh, takes a long time to work, to get it right, you know.

Dini: I was reading about writing this (holds up the CD) and how you were pushed. You, yourself, you would write something and the man you were with would say 'No, you could do better' and you would push yourself...

Julian: Yeah

Dini: ...then you went dry...

Julian: Yeah.

Dini: ...and all of a sudden, there was this explosion from your 'Well of Creativity'

Julian: Very much so. Uh, a lot of the uh, my favourite songs on the album, which were the more balladesque style song, more classical style songs, actually were written uh, during recording of the other songs for the album, so yes, there was uh, a very good burst of creativity during this and that was due that, this was, with the recordings of the album,. It was the first time that there hasn't been record companies around, managers around, and, and, and...

Dini: 'I'll tell you how you're going to do this one, (making a chatting gesture with her hand) Julian to make a hit'

Julian: Yeah, exactly. It was very well, it was very much then knocking on the door, and there, there was a time clock and then it's 'Well that's not commercial enough for us' and 'that's not up tempo enough' and it was like, because I take it very seriously, as an art form and as a craft. It's impossible to slot into that commercial uh, side of things.

Dini: Yeah.

Julian: Especially under pressure, and so you know, I, I, I wasn't a happy camper because of some previous years work you know. I felt there were moments...

Dini: Oh please.

Julian: ...that shown through, but..

Dini: You've done some incredibly fine music.

Julian: Well thank you, thank you. (Audience cheers) I, (coughed) I, I just felt that, on a personal level, as an artist that there wasn't a complete body of work that I was entirely satisfied with...

Dini: Right.

Julian: ...and uh, I, I, I felt it was necessary for me to do that and have control and oversee the project and to do it the way that I always wanted to do it and so to find...

Dini: To do it for yourself.

Julian: ...to do it for myself and this, this for me is my baby. This is my first album really for me. The rest was like going to school.

Dini: Okay, uh viewed in uh that, uh where does the title come from, Photograph Smile? and the little, how does this all go together?

Julian: Well there, there's a few connections there. Number one, I believe, you know there's a distinct connection between uh, you know, Photographs and Music in a sense that, they both remind us of time of places and experiences we've gone through in our lives, you know, so that was a close one. The uh, the title, the title itself come from a, a relationship I was in many years ago, which was a long distance relationship, and uh, literally the only thing that I had of this person was a photograph and my memories and it was just written from that experience, of hoping and dreaming that one day, you'd get back to see that person again.

Dini: Did you ever?

Julian: I did yes, but it didn't work out.

Dini: You mean, 'You could never go back' is true?

Julian: Uh, probably, so yes. (Dini laughs)

Dini: Um, two things, this album is dedicated to...

Julian: My stepfather

Dini: ...to your stepfather.

Julian: Yes, my stepfather.

Dini: You've lost your stepfather?

Julian: I've lost him about uh, four years ago yeah, sadly, so very sadly so.

Dini: So, your Mom, Cynthia...

Julian: Mmm.

Dini: ...who, what was, um you see I was just going to make that same mistake again.

Julian: Go ahead

Dini: I was about to say that she was involved in Television, but she wasn't. The researcher was wrong. She's a graphic artist...

Julian: Yeah.

Dini: ...and having her first show, coming up.

Julian: She's, she's..

Dini: With a friend?

Julian: Yeah, she's got, she's been hanging out lately with uh, one of her old best friend's from Art School, and they're both artists and uh, they, they've never been recognized in their own right as artists, I feel, and so, they both decided to put on a, uh, a show Portabello in London, (2nd June, at the Portabello Gallery, on Portabello Road, London) just to, just to see what the public thinks, you know. It's very down to earth, it's not a big gallery thing.

Dini: Yeah yeah.

Julian: It's just a, yeah, she's very excited about it you know.

Dini: When I read of research about you, one of the most touching point, saddest things to me, that after you'd lost your father...

Julian: Yes.

Dini: ...um that you had to go, you settled with Yoko on the Estate, you got the X amount of money...

Julian: I, I..

Dini: ...that you and, you had to buy the postcards that you've written to your father and that your father wrote to you, I went, 'Ah (clicking her teeth)

Julian: I know.

Dini: That's disgusting.

Julian: I know. Well, it's not only that, it's a lot of his belongings that were auctioned off by Yoko and uh, a lot of his, you know, whether it was his personal possessions or whether they were instruments, you know. And uh, the most ironic thing is uh, with the settlement I did receive, is that I've buying his stuff back with his money, which is absolutely insane, you know. Um..

Dini: It's Karmic, it's bizarre whatever.

Julian: You know. I've been dealt a very interesting hand.

Dini: Yes you have.

Julian: But these days, I, at least on a personal level, I feel that I'm turning that around and I'm starting to get Ace's and I'm starting to be a warming front, so I just, hopefully everything will just fall into place.

Dini: I would think, I was trying to put my thoughts together about Yoko - A woman because I, anyone who knew about the relationship that they had, that they appeared to me to be the Soulmates of Soulmates like they were, they seemed, they had a great relationship, but she seems to be a difficult woman, multi-layered.

Julian: Oh very much multi-layered, I think. I think on many levels, very, very, manipulate, manipulative.

Dini: And yet, there's a connection to your father.

Julian: Yeah, I know. It's a horrible way to have to, to go um, but uh, yeah, but I really think she knew exactly what she was doing from day one.

Dini: Ah, okay.

Julian: Uh, you know, she played the innocent, but I think she had it all planned.

Dini: You, are you and Sean friends? Are you..

Julian: Sean and I get on very well when we get a chance to see each other which is, you know, he's now embarked on his own Solo career.

Dini: Right.

Julian: And so we have bumped into each other around the world, her and there and, you know, I used to baby-sit him. I love him dearly and uh, you know, he's blood to me.

Dini: Right

Julian: So uh, there's never ever been any problems between us although the press in England came out, because our albums were being released at the same time, came out that it was this 'Feuding Lennons' you know who's going to be the better of the two.

Dini: Yeah.

Julian: And more often then not, Sean and I would be sitting down having a drink together, laughing at this about this. It's just the way, you know, for the press to make money and sell some more papers.

Dini: How is Paul doing? Is he..

Julian: Paul seems to be in very good spirits. I, I was with him the other night at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame 'cause he was inaugurated, and uh, you could see...

Dini: Yeah. (Audience claps)

Julian: ...you, you could see it was, he was very happy on one level, but on the other, you, you could see the pain and sadness in his eyes that, you know, his baby. The love of his life was not with him for this...

Dini: Yeah.

Julian: ...special, special occasion. And uh, you could tell he was, he was, he was, he was very hurt by the whole experience. Loved it, but it was, it was do-...

Dini: Double extortion.

Julian: Absolutely, but apart from that, he seems to be doing very well, and coping very well and of course he has uh, tremendous kids, you know, great support from his family...

Dini: Right.

Julian: ...uh which is, you cannot ask for anything more really.

Dini: It's so um, what's the word, I want..It's so fascinating to meet you. I told you, I listened to your music, and my daughter and I were listening to it. It's wonderful, the music on this CD are really, really good...

Julian: Thank you.

Dini: ...you are a very talented man. (Audience claps) Congratulations on your success. Enjoy all the ages together.

Julian: Thank you very much.

Dini: You bloody well deserve it all.

Julian: Thank you very much.

Dini: This is the uh, CD. It's called Photograph Smile. It's in stores now. Are you touring back to Canada next year? When you, are you coming back here again?

Julian: We'll definitely be coming to Canada again, yes.

Dini: Well, I hope to see you again then. (Shakes his hand)

Julian: Thanks.