"Today Show"

NBC United States 25 October 1984

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

Valotte Bar

This is part of an exclusive conversation taped earlier this week with a brand new musical talent, the one whose voice feels like the return of an old friend.

Pictures Shown during clip

There's no question that 21-year-old Julian Lennon sounds like his father, the late John Lennon. In fact, it may have first kept some critics from giving Julian his due. The fact is, he wrote all but one of the songs on his just released first album Valotte, named for the French chateau that was his home while he composed. It is an outstanding first work for an artist who only recently decided to try a career like his father's.

Well, it was about four years ago, roughly. I had a couple of tunes written down and I started writing lyrics for them and I got some reaction from my mother and a couple of friends and it was good so I said, 'Well, I'll try and go for it', you know.

I don't mean to embarrass you but you are a very polite, and very nice soft-spoken young man. You are not at all what you are portrayed to be in the London press. How did you come away with such a bad image there?

Um, Well, I think at the time when the press got me in London, I don't think they had anything better to do and there was nobody better to pick on than me going out to a club, you know. (laughs) And um..

Do you still feel they're picking on you a little bit?

No, No, they've been relatively nice these days.

Let's take a look at your up-to-date work, your first video to be released, this is the title song from the album Valotte. It was directed by Sam Peckinpah and set to premiere next week on MTV. We've been given permission to show a little bit of it so we'll take a peek.

(Video clip of "Valotte")

You sound like your dad and I hope you take that as a compliment.

Yeah

I had read an article that from you that said, "Everyone thinks I'm rolling in money but that's just not true." Would it be accurate to say that, even to this point, you're still very much dependent upon the generosity of Yoko for funds for you?

Well, I'm making my own living. That's what I prefer to do and I have done ever since I've left school. I have had help from Yoko as allowances for paying flat bills and stuff like that. Which has helped greatly you know, but I try to make my own way and so far so good.

 How would you characterize your relationship with her?

Um..We...Well I mean, everybody has arguments that's good and bad but it's not bad, you know. We get on well. I respect her a lot.

Do you ever see yourself recording with her down the road - with Yoko?

Um.. Not in the near future. I've got too much work of my own to think about for the time being. I really don't know.

And although there is a considerable gap in age, we're told Sean has a deal of talent. You ever see yourself recording with him or is that something you're opposed to?

Um, I don't know. It might be fun one day. I mean, he's got a lot of years to grow up, even to catch up with me first, I mean, age wise. So, I think we'll wait and see. Give it ten years.

And your future, as difficult as it is to ask, do you fear for your life?

Um, I think if you fear too much then you can't get on with what you're doing, you know. Obviously, you have to be wary, but I -  if you take it too much, it can get - you can be worried into the ground, you know. I don't think it's worth the whole problem, worrying too much about it.

On a final note, I don't mean this to be too inside, but do you ever think you'll see the feather float down the room?

Across the room. Um, I'd like to, but there's always a chance that there's the after-life you know, so maybe we'll go and have a drink together in a couple of years time, whenever.

For the record, your dad had told you that would be the signal that he's okay.

Yeah - that's he's around.

I'm sure he's watching. Julian, continued success. Thank you.

Thanks very much

Much appreciated. Two quick notes on Julian's direct influence on a couple of Beatle records. Paul McCartney wrote "Hey Jude" to Julian after Cynthia, his mother, and John split. And "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" it didn't stand for LSD, Lucy was a friend of Julian's and he put some diamonds on a piece of paper and John happened to see it and there was the song.

Valotte Bar

Valotte Bar