Starting Over

Crown Jules
Julian Lennon Heir to the Pop Throne?
No1 January 5, 1985

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STARTING OUT

Aware from the start that he'd be in something of a no-win situation, Julian decided the only way to cope with all the problems was on a day to day basis.

"I was never frightened about whether or not I could pull it off . Whether the records had sold or not, I still would've kept writing' because I like music that much."

When did music become a compulsive urge and an obvious choice of career?

"I've always been interested in it, you know! It was after writing so many songs after I'd left school - a lot of my friends said they were OK so I thought I might as well have a go.

"It's no use just sitting at 'ome with a load of songs just writing for yourself!

"I never discussed a career in music with my father, we played around sometimes, that's all.

"My mother Cynthia always encouraged me, apart from telling me to turn it down once in a while! She's got faith in me being able to keep me wits about me."

UNDERCOVER

"I left home when I was 17, for six months, then I came back cos I couldn't pay the rent anymore. I moved to London and stayed at a friend of mum's and started earning a little bit of money by waiting tables and washing up.

"Did anyone know who I really was? No chance!"

I point out that this sounds like a storyline from a current episode of Dallas - rich kid Lucy gets a job as a waitress to prove she's a 'real person' and doesn't tell anyone her true identity. Julian gives a wry smile.

"Really ... is she? Oh dear! That must be exciting for her!

"Well I also helped out a magician friend of mine for a while. He taught me a lot of tricks but I've forgotten them all now. I did a bit of session work and modeled in Ritz (a glamorous magazine for socialites - sounds even more like Lucy!).

"I was trying to do my music and I got caught up with this guy from Ritz. He asked me to model and I thought, alright, you know, bit of fun I s'pose (Julian adopts a painful expression) but I hated it.

"I know it looked as if I was hanging around with that crowd, but as soon as I had a chance I got out immediately. Mixing with all those debutantes, eeeeugh! Not my cup of tea!

"People did think I was rich. I do get some money from a trust set up by my father when I'm 25, but I hope to have made my own money by then.

"I'd rather earn it by working cos you learn more - which could be the reason why I've been made to wait for it, you never know.

"How long did all these jobs go on for? Till now! Yeah, it went on for a little while!"

 LOST AND LONELY

"So I had all these songs-they weren't for an album but then I got the deal and was able to use them. Some were written several years ago, some are new. It took from January till August to finish the album 'Valotte'."

There's a lost and lonely feel about the lyrics on the album; a feeling of neither knowing which way to turn nor what to do next.

"Well when I did the lyrics for most of the songs, which was about three years ago, I was a bit sad, lonely and lost. The lyrics are just basically about relationships and experiences, they're very simple.

"'Well I Don't Know' is about my father, about spirits and stuff .

"I'm not religious but I do think there's something after death. I'm not quite sure what. He told me that if he floats a white feather across a room, rather than down, that means he's trying to get through.

"It'd be nice to know that there's something, have to wait and see.

"My girlfriend helped me write one of the songs, 'Space', I'd recorded all the music at home but didn't know what to write. And me girlfriend says, 'Ooh, that sounds like ... underneath icebergs - or space!'

"So I said, well I'll forget the icebergs and give space a go!"

DRY HUMOUR

Arriving at LWT we meet up with Julian's press officer who tells him about all the previews and parties he's been sent tickets for.

Punching out a digital combination to open his dressing room door, we sit inside and attempt to continue the interview.

"You can only come in if you know the code!" he laughs as someone knocks for an autograph and someone else knocks to take him off to make-up.

Moments later a slightly refreshed and powdered Lennon leaps back inside. "Boo! Shouldn't be opening the door to strangers!"

A frantic floorman peers in to tell him he's due in the studio, but after the recording there's a chance to fire a few last questions.

RELAX!

What's life like in the Lennon residence when he has a chance to take things easy?

"I've just bought a flat in Kensington. We're trying to knock a wall or two out to make the rooms bigger but we don't have much furniture yet.

"We used to sit on deck chairs but I've just bought two couches in a sale. We're on the top floor and you have to walk up, so carrying the couches up was hell!

"I like to watch TV, play the piano or go for a ride on my dirt bike in the country. Haven't done any of those things in ages!"

And quickly, in a nutshell, Julian's views on the life we live today?

"I have written some political songs but I'm not going to release them yet because I don't want to get involved in that too much. Maybe later- I'm too young anyway! Still gotta learn a lot more.

"But I'll tell you what I think- I think everybody should go 'ome and watch Coronation Street and 'ave a cup of tea. That's what I think. Yeah!"

As Julian leaves for the Albert hall, a shivering crowd of girls are waiting outside LWT for him - the same dedicated bunch who'd been waiting outside Roundtable earlier on.

I leave Julian signing autographs and promising to send postcards to everyone from Paris, and I hope with all my heart that at some stage he'll have a moment's breather to relieve himself before the night is over...

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