Julian Lennon comes to terms with family legacy with 'Jude' album, 'Imagine' cover

Julian Lennon comes to terms with the family legacy with the "Jude" album and the "Imagine" cover. Lennon tells Yahoo Entertainment that he "broke through all the fears and apprehensions" he used to have.
video transcript
LYNDSEY PARKER: Well, good to see you. There's a lot of catching up to do because it takes a lot of time between albums - 11 years, 13 years. I think it was-- This is the first album, "Jude," coming out in 11 years.
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JULIAN LENNON: I honestly thought the last album was going to be my last album. I was kind of fed up with the business. Honestly, I don't stop making music, whether it's seen in public or not. That's not the thing, but it's just like that – as far as an album album goes, there's a lot of heaviness and a lot of weight and a lot of emotion that goes into it because I don't feel like the usual kind of pop artist. I consider myself a serious songwriter. And for me songs take time and especially if you want to have the right lyrics, the right melodies, the right mood, the right emotions and the right connection to the people.
LYNDSEY PARKER: Well, when we talk about emotion and weight and connection and all that, I'm going to ask the obvious. I mentioned that this album, which has been awaited for more than a decade, is called "Jude". At this point in your life and career, what does it mean to name an album after this song?
JULIAN LENNON: For me, in a lot of ways, Jude was all about coming of age because it alluded to some of the comments and lyrics in Hey Jude. It didn't mean anything to me until much later in life when I heard what he had written. What he hoped for me is to take the burden off my shoulders, take the world off my shoulders and find love and be happy in life. And so I happily took all those moments, all those comments on board. That's why it's so relevant.
And recently, in 2020, I decided to change my name as well because my name was originally John Lennon - John Charles Julian Lennon. Anyway, I decided in 2020, after going through another learning process in life, that I wanted to be Julian. I was tired of being someone else's John. And so, by deed, I changed my name to Julian - Julian Charles John Lennon. And it all had to do with Jude and Jules, which is my nickname on a daily basis. So it just made sense to me-- And also with what was going on with The Beatles and Get Back, and also with my feelings about it. So it was all a mess.
LYNDSEY PARKER: That's what I was about to ask you. So since you touched on how your father was portrayed, how the band in general and its dynamic was portrayed, how the marriage to Yoko was portrayed, I'm really excited to hear all your thoughts. I watched "Get Back" at least twice every eight hours.
JULIAN LENNON: It's a lot to process, but there are parts that Sean and I had never seen before. But for me it was really-- It really reminded me of how Dad used to be when we were together when I was a kid. You know, he was funny, silly, sarcastic, talented, moody, brooding, but funny, silly... The list goes on. And that's all he was to me when we lived together. And it made me fall in love with him all over again, which was really nice. It made me appreciate him again and reminded me of how he was before it all went a bit wrong, you know?
I had forgiven him many years ago for all the stress that was not only happening in my life but also in Mom's life. Of course we tried to embrace each other's company and tried to learn from each other again before he died and it was an enjoyable experience. You know? It was great. And I craved even more to hang out with him. But unfortunately what happened happened. And what are you gonna do, you know?
So this was just a way to remember who he was and see the human side of him again. And that's what inspired me, and I love that. And it just gave me a different perspective on him as an adult when I saw that. And I walked away from it and loved it, so that also tied into the idea that the album was going to be “Jude” too. So it came from many angles and it just felt like the right title and right thing. And owning it, that was another thing - being Julian, being Jules, being Jewish, being who I am.
So for me it's also about breaking through all the fears and fears that I used to have before the Beatles, before dad, above all.
LYNDSEY PARKER: And then the other kind of circle I want to talk about is you recently covered Imagine, which was for the Global Citizen Stand Up for Ukraine Social Media Rally, and I never thought I'd be would see the day.
JULIAN LENNON: Yeah, well, you know, I never thought I'd sing it either.
(SINGING) Imagine all the people alive today.
| I had no idea what kind of reaction I would get. I really didn't know - I didn't know if it was me - people were going to pounce on me or not. But I have to say I respected it more than I've ever done anything else in my life. The people, the way they talk to me, the way they look at me and the way they treat me is totally different now than it was before Imagine, which surprised me.
| I think what happened because of "Imagine" is that not only were people referred to the upcoming work "Jude" but also to previous works that didn't know about previous works before because I still get it Comments, especially by people in America who didn't know that I had five albums between Valotte and now. How real is it?
LYNDSEY PARKER: Tell me why it was the right time to play one of your father's most famous songs for this good cause.
JULIAN LENNON: It's like OK, I know what I have to do. How to manage to say yes once was the hard part. It has to be honest. It has to be real. It has to come from the heart. It cannot be a polished version. It was about keeping it raw on all levels. And I heard it back and I was in tears. And it felt like my own. You know? So I believed in it. And I just said, OK, let's delete it.
The weirdest thing is that it took the biggest load off my shoulder because I think I always felt like it might come someday, the idea that I have to do that, but it felt like the right time . It felt like everything else going on in the world felt like it was near the end of the world. And I thought this is a time and a place to do that.
LYNDSEY PARKER: I'm thinking of your father's generation. I think of the '60s and the anti-war protests, songs about peace. I feel like that never happened considering where we are in the world today.
JULIAN LENNON: It shocks me every day, you know? I ask myself this question every day. We've been around for thousands of years and we're still making the same BS. I just can't get over it. I'm not a politician and I would never want to be, but I can certainly do my best as a creative to do what I can, what I've done, in all the media I work in, be it children's books, whether it's the documentaries, whether it's the photography, or whether it's the White Feather Foundation. I've done my part, that's for sure, and will continue to do so and keep my fingers crossed that things change one day.
It's not about shoving things down people's throats. It's about starting those conversations with hope that something will change.
LYNDSEY PARKER: Have you ever thought about what your father would think about the world today?
JULIAN LENNON: I think he'd be just as mad as me, really. I think we would be in the same boat in that case.
LYNDSEY PARKER: This album will be out in early September, September 9th I think.
JULIAN LENNON: Ninth in DSPs. Vinyl, 10th, it's mom's birthday. It's special and meaningful to me in that regard. I mean, I'll call it "Jew" for starters, we were both there at the time.
LYNDSEY PARKER: What do you think she would think of this record?
LYNDSEY PARKER: I think she loved it. That's what I would think she would think. In fact, I can tell she loves it, so you know? I don't see any other signs to suggest otherwise, so...

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