"Today Show"

NBC United States 24 October 1984

Juilan on the Today Show

Part 1 of a 2 part interview done by Bryant Gumbel of NBC's Today Show

Valotte Bar

(very beginning of was cut off)... Atlantic Records label that is going to attract an awful lot of attention for it has a familiar name and an hauntingly familiar voice and face that looks quite a bit like someone else.  But the work will get a lot more attention than that because the artist is truly talented. The music is quality stuff, all of it his own. The artist is Julian Lennon. He is the oldest son of the late John Lennon and the album is entitled Valotte and good morning.

Good morning.

Thanks for being with us. I noted right off the top all the similarities. Does that bother you?

No. Not too much. I'm proud of them you know.

Does it make you a little bit uneasy?

Um, Sometimes. Yeah. But not too much, you know.

How much do you think you've been influenced by your dad's work?

Very much. Very much so.

Is it something that you hear in it or is it something that independent observers want to hear and so they do?

Well, I think that it's a - they want to hear it as well so they do pick out on it. But it's something I hear a little as well.

Is it something you cultivate? Do you want to sound like your dad?

Not exactly like him. I mean, it's not a question of that. I think it's a natural feeling that comes through when you actually write or play you know, or sing the material. It's a - it's a strange feeling but it just seems to follow that direction, you know, I mean with the similarities and the voice as well.

The sound on this first effort is a soft focus, melodious kind of sound. It is a sound that is not unfashionable but not terribly fashionable now in London. Why did you choose such a soft approach?

It's basically because of the influences I have. I've never followed the modern music as it's gone along you know, punk and whatever. I've always liked the old styles of music you know, the jazz classical stuff, Steely Dan, Keith Jarrett, and many more.

Let's take a look at it. We've talked about the similarities. We have a clip of your band appearing on a recent British rock review program singing one of the songs.

Oh really?

Too Late For Goodbyes

(Clip of Julian and his band performing "Too Late For Goodbyes")

It is so very familiar and I'm wondering why now? I mean, you've been working at music for some time now. Why didn't we see this earlier or why didn't you wait a few more years or why particularly now? What prompted it to happen?

Well um, before I was still in school and I still had a lot of work to do musically before I thought I was capable of working as such, recording or performing. This is kind of been the first opportunity I've had to come into the open  you know as such with the music. I wanted to get into it relatively soon so I could learn and grow more, you know, but I think if I'd come in much later I might have been doing another job by then.

You of course want to grow, but I feel compelled to wonder how big do you want to get?

No. I mean grow on the musical side.

OK but in terms of popularity, how big do you want to get. I mean, having seen the kind of fan reaction your dad invoked. Is that something you want?

No, I think it's more of the recognition for the music side really, than the fame or that whole side of the music world. I mean my favorite situation is to be sitting at the piano, composing -that's all I love doing - and recording. To get the music across to people you have to promote, you have to do things so, I mean, that's another side.

You knew your dad's taste in music. What would he say of your work?

Ah, I can't really answer that. I really don't know. He might enjoy it. I've really no clue. No.

Julian Lennon. Thank you for joining us. I appreciate it. We're going to do a little bit more tomorrow, alright? Thank you.

OK, thank you.

Valotte Bar

Valotte Bar