You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby...
... 'Cause Baby Look At You Now!
His famous last name hasn't always worked to his advantage, but Julian Lennon is nonetheless making it in the music business with his highly regarded debut album Valotte. Though he's becoming more and more famous in his own right, people still wonder about his earliest days -what was it like being the son of one of the biggest pop stars of all time? Well, wonder no more, because 16 has the facts-and the photos to go with them!
John Charles Julian Lennon came into the world on April 8, 1963.
"Please Please Me" had just become the Beatles' first No.
One single in Britain and "From Me To You" was about to
be their second -so Beatlemania was being born as well. When John
Lennon first held his tiny son, he exclaimed to wife Cynthia, "He's
bloody marvelous, isn't he Cyn?", but for several months thereafter,
John's marriage and fatherhood were still a secret from the Beatles'
fans. In fact, John snuck into Sefton General Hospital wearing a hat,
fake moustache and dark glasses, much to the amusement of his wife!
It didn't take long, though, for the British press to find out about Cynthia and Julian, and soon the Lennons had become rock's "royal family." Although his parents made every attempt to raise Julian away from the limelight, people often followed his mother as- she wheeled the little boy to the grocer's in his stroller, and waited outside the Lennon house for their return. The family's move to a large home in a London suburb provided them with a bit more privacy, but adoring fans could never resist making phone calls, snapping pictures or just trying to catch a glimpse of Julian and his parents.
By the mid '60s the Beatles "craze" was verging on hysteria, but little Julian was happily unaware that his home life was different from any other child's. He says now that his earliest recollections are of living with his mom and dad in Weybridge, Surrey. "We'd drive to the gates to find hordes of screaming girls," he remembers. "I couldn't understand what was happening, but because it went on all the time I thought it was normal." Like most of the other children he knew, he played with the neighborhood kids and went to nursery school.
Julian also recalls spending time fooling around with his dad -"Just being silly, basically. Rolling around on the floor, wrestling or sitting down messing with instruments." He has a vague memory of riding the Magical Mystery Tour bus, but, for the most part, Julian's very early childhood wasn't (at least to him) that out of the ordinary. In 1968, though, when Julian was five years old, John and Cynthia were divorced. Following the legal proceedings, Paul McCartney drove out to see Julian and his mother, bringing with him a song, "Hey Jules," to help cheer up the little boy. That song became "Hey Jude," a mega-hit for the Beatles, although it didn't Pave much effect on Julian. He only found out a few years ago that the song was actually meant for him, but now he says he feels a little thrill each time he hears it.
In 1970 Cynthia remarried- Roberto Bassinini was the son of an Italian hotel owner, and Julian remembers him as being a lot of fun. Here's Julian with the couple on their wedding day. After the marriage broke up three years later, Julian moved with his mother to Cheshire, England, where he attended Kingsmeade, Hoylake School. It was there he met Justin Clayton, who plays guitar and co-wrote some of the songs on Valotte. They got a band together and played a few school gigs, though they had no idea then that they'd one day play their music professionally, and to such wide acclaim. Valotte has been very well received, and, despite the inevitable comparisons of son to famous father, Julian is fast becoming accepted as a legitimate new talent. As he continues to discover and develop his musical identity, it's possible that his-music will take different directions, but at its roots will always be Julian's personal history.
© 1985 16 Magazine
'Hey Jules' © 1998 - 2002 CJ Burianek