Jim Ladd: Good evening everybody. Tonight we will meet a brand
new artist whose name we have known for two decades. And we'll hear
his debut album 'Valotte', which is a continuing legacy of the name
Lennon. Now, your album which we're playing-I think we're playing all
but two cuts which is real rare for a first album for somebody. I really
like the kind of stuff that you're doing but it surprised me-there's
not a lot of real hard rock on this album you know. Is that just personal
choice or was there a personal preference?
Julian: Well, yeah, I like writing that sort
of style of music you know. Once in awhile I do the old loony song.
Which - the album as such is just to get established, you could say.
Jim Ladd: I'm Jim Ladd. Welcome to an InnerView of Julian Lennon.
Jim Ladd: What inspired this tune?
Julian: Ah well, I mean, the actual place where
we did the demos at first start in the chateau-in Valotte. I mean
- it was just a beautiful place where you dream of living with your
girlfriend or whatever.
Jim Ladd: This song 'Space'-I really like this one a lot. Are
you a big outer space buff?
Julian: No. I mean this - I wrote the music for
the track on the bass and I just put it down on 8-track. And ah, I
really didn't have any idea what I was going to do with it - I wasn't
sure. And my girlfriend came up with a cup of tea and she said, "Oh
well, that sounds like either underneath icebergs, you know when you
get the film camera shots; or space, like drifting in space"
so I thought about it and worked overnight and just came up with that.
Jim Ladd: You know, to me, space is a very, very...the final
frontier. A lot of people have at least some hope before Reagan started
these Star Wars procedures that that was going to finally give mankind
a perspective to say "Let's quit dicking around fighting each other
because we're out on this little marble in the middle of absolutely
nowhere." What are you feelings on that? Do you think that's going
to do that someday?
Julian: I don't know - I mean it depends on how
long he's there as well. I don't really think about it too much -
I really don't.
Jim Ladd: Have you ever involved yourself in any of that - in
any of the anti-nuke movement at all?
Julian: Not as such, no, not marches or anything.
Jim Ladd: What are your feelings on that? Do you think that's
good that the people are doing that?
Julian: Yeah, sure. I mean you know, you've got
to have some hope and the only way of doing that is getting out and
at least trying to change things but that doesn't change things. It
just lets people know that you're around and thinking about it.
Jim Ladd: Maybe put some sort of public pressure.
Julian: Yeah, but the politicians won't change
because the people go on a march.
Jim Ladd: You don't think that does any good at all?
Julian: No, I do think it makes them think of
it. You know if the people did go overboard - if they really went
Jim Ladd: Well be back with our InnerView Julian Lennon right
Jim Ladd: We're back now as we continue our InnerView of Julian
Lennon. Let's talk about the song "Well I Don't Know." Did
you have a vision or a visitation of some sort?
Julian: No - It's just like if you're in a certain
situation or if you're on your own in the house, I mean sometimes
you get the feeling that somebody's there or that somebody is looking
over your shoulder or whatever. So, I mean, in that respect that's
where it originates from. So, I'm always looking for some you know
sort of signs or whatever.
Jim Ladd: But you've never had one that you could say this happened.
Julian: Well, I don't know. You really don't
know whether it is or not you know. It's all in your mind or it could
Well I Don't Know
Jim Ladd: Do you have a view on life after life?
Julian: Well, I think there's something. I mean,
there's been so many stories about it you know, which all have a tunnel
and the light at the end. That might be something that just happens
anyway with your brain you know, that might be life after death, so
you never really know.
Jim Ladd: Now, 'Too Late For Goodbyes,' this is a song about
that kind of pit of the stomach realization that happens when it's over
and there's really little that you can do about it, right?
Julian: Yeah well, I mean, that happened when
I was in the middle of the album and I came back home and I had an
argument with my girlfriend for absolutely no reason. It was my fault,
you know. And I find it hard to say sorry you know. But I knew that
if I didn't it would have been the end because it was that serious
at the time.
Too Late For Goodbyes
Jim Ladd: This song called 'Lonely' - I like this one a lot.
This is another one that has - well there's a lot of emptiness in your
songs here, a lot of songs about being alone and so forth. This has
a feeling that one must do something about it.
Julian: Yeah well, I mean, I wrote that one a
couple of years ago when I first moved to London and I didn't really
know anybody and there were all these people that were trying to give
the impression that they were friends or whatever. It was that sort
of time. I just felt, with all these friends or non-friends, that
you're still on your own all the time, really you know, in that sort
Jim Ladd: We'll be back with the second half of our InnerView
of Julian Lennon right after this.
Jim Ladd: We're back now as we continue with the second half
of this InnerView of Julian Lennon. Now, 'Jesse' - This - I know this
is a song you didn't write. It was written by China Burton. How did
you find this man?
Julian: Well, I met China years ago in a nightclub
and we got on well. He had this song and he said "Well, it would
sound good with your voice" because he had heard me doing demos
in the studio. So, I listened to the original version, which was a
real rough rough demo, and said, "Yeah, well, I'll try doing
it in the studio" because, originally, it was a ballad - a real
slow ballad - then we thought "Well, we'll try and see what we
can do with it" and we came up with that sort of up-tempo half
rock sort of thing. I liked it so much I said "Yeah, please."
Jim Ladd: We hear a lot over here about you know, a lot of people
that are like Jesse. But, in England, with the economics and so forth,
there is a lot of people like this who that are kind of giving up at
a really young age. Why is that so prevalent there?
Julian: As far as I can see, it's the whole unemployment
thing - just everything, you know. Everything's expensive you know,
and without a job it's hard to pay for yourself. And there's - some
people think, "Well, it's not even worth trying to make that
effort anymore." And I mean, when that whole punk thing came
in, especially for the kids, you know, and all the politics in songs
that kids started getting rowdy and mad. And the whole, you know,
kids straight from school got into glue sniffing you know and it just
(bleeped expletive) them off for a long time, pardon my language.
But, that's what happened to a lot of people.
Jim Ladd: In England, the punk movement was - at least my perception
over here was an actual street level grass roots phenomenon that happened.
It came out of what you're saying, extreme poverty, no hope for the
future. In America, it was much more of a fad.
Julian: It was like a trend you know.
Yeah - it was kind of copying on something that was a real problem
Julian: Yeah that is true
Jim Ladd: in England. So, over here, you don't see it as making
anywhere near that kind of statement.
Julian: Well I mean some people have realized
what the situation was in England and tend to follow it, you know,
with anarchy and you name it. But, people just like to dress up anyway,
that's with the trend side. But some people do firmly believe in what
the punk movement meant as such.
Jim Ladd: Is there anything about it - and we're starting to
talk about it past tense here which I think is valid - but was there
anything that came out of that movement that was positive?
Julian: Well I mean I didn't pay too much attention
to that whole era, you could say, but it just showed that kids were
getting so fed up with the whole situation that the only way to do
anything or to express their feelings was like through music.
On The Phone
Jim Ladd: Do you see that, and again, this is your first album
and so forth but - do you see your music taking more of a stand as you
go on later?
Julian: Um.. well, I mean, possibly. We have
written sort of slightly political songs - very vague. We didn't want
to get too drawn into the situation I mean it's just a vague outlook
on the whole. But, I mean, it's great the way you can communicate
with the music, so it's nice to once in awhile but I'm still interested
on the musician side for the just purely the music, the creativity
on that side. But, it's a good chance to say something and, once in
awhile, yeah, why not?
Jim Ladd: When we come back we'll talk to Julian Lennon about
Jim Ladd: I'm Jim Ladd and we're back now with the conclusion
of our InnerView of Julian Lennon. Supposedly, later in your life, you
started to get close to your dad again. Did he encourage your music
or did he say get a real job and be a lawyer?
Julian: You know, we never really spoke about
music that much, you know. I mean, he was always playing the guitar
or sitting around anyways and when he gave me my first guitar at eleven
that's when I started playing. I used to go over I mean come over
here and sit down and he'd teach me all the old rock 'n roll songs.
And then I used to play at school a lot and write some of my own material
with Justin and we'd play it to him and he said "Well, yeah"
you know and he could advise us a little bit. I mean, there must have
been some hope but he didn't really say whether...
Jim Ladd: He didn't try to push you in that area.
Julian: No, but I mean every - like Christmas
the drum machine came in, so there was a sort of slight movement towards
Jim Ladd: But he would concentrate on the old rock songs as
Julian: When we sat together, when I was learning,
just the basic chords and stuff - that's where it started off.
Jim Ladd: "This is called Johnny B. Goode"...I gotcha.
Say You're Wrong
Jim Ladd: What would be the song that your dad wrote that you
would say touched you the most?
Julian: Well, the one that touched me and changed
my way of writing lyrics was one called 'Isolation' on the Plastic
Ono Band which, I mean, that whole album has the same feeling. Basically,
just if you want to say something in music you just go ahead and say
it. You don't write a book about it. If you want to say you're lonely
you say it.
Jim Ladd: Let me ask you this on a personal level and I know
it's been asked a thousand times, but - I have a lot of empathy for
you in your situation about the comparisons, the this, the that, the
other thing. What is the most difficult thing that you would like people
to just let you alone about and never be asked about again?
Julian: Ah - Never be asked again... I love talking
about dad, you know, or whatever. It's just that when you do it so
much it does bring back a lot of memories and you know, in a way,
upsets me inside just thinking about the past. You know, it'd be nice
to get away from that a little bit.
Let Me Be
Jim Ladd: The last question on him. I understand that. Let me
phrase it this way-the song "God" that he did, which you all
know what that was about - I understand that later in his life... someone
once explained to me that he was coming to a point that that song on
a spiritual level - that that song would explain exactly what he was
going through if you removed the word "don't." So, instead
of saying "I don't believe in Jesus. I don't believe in Buddha"-
if you just removed that word that he was coming to have a more spiritual
outlook and belief. Do you know anything about that?
Julian: Well I mean - just from an outlook sort
of point I don't know in detail. But I mean, just from my thoughts...
you know, later on he had the chance to sit back and think about everything
he was doing. Before it was all you know Beatles you know. Finally,
he had the chance to sit down, settle down and do whatever he wanted
and because, I suppose, of his involvement in the peace and everything,
Jim Ladd: Sit back and watch the wheels go on. How about you?
Do you have a spiritual path that you follow?
Julian: Not as such. I think there's something
around you know but I can't explain it. I mean there's got to be something.
I've been sitting and think, but never come to any conclusions.
Jim Ladd: I don't have that either. I meet a lot of people now
days in rock too that have a firm you know belief that they follow.
I kind of envy that in a way you know that they've come to that decision.
Julian: Yeah I've seen. You know, I've met a
couple of guys who've been totally into the Christianity and the God
and Jesus and everything. And when you actually meet someone like
that they seem to be so happy inside themselves that whether they
want to preach it or not or try and pass it on, their - it's incredible
how happy they are and how warm they are you know to everybody. You
can't say anything to them.. because they just say well...
Jim Ladd: They have an inner glow or something in their eyes.
Julian: Yeah, it's incredible.
Jim Ladd: Yeah, I've noticed that too. I've noticed that too.
It's not like a moony or anything. They do seem to have found something
I don't know about. Any projection on where your music's going to go
Julian: No. Not really.
Jim Ladd: Wherever it takes you, huh?
Julian: Yeah, whatever I find while I'm writing.
Jim Ladd: Well, I hope you've enjoyed meeting Julian Lennon
and that you'll be here next week, same time and same frequency for
another InnerView. I'm Jim Ladd.
Copyright © 1984 InnerView
Transcription by CJ Burianek