Julian Lennon confirms 'Hey Jude' was written for him after the 'mess' his father John made
20 May 2022, 11:56
It's been no secret that Julian Lennon had a fractured relationship with his father.
And John frankly admitted he was almost entirely absent from Julian's childhood, being an uncommitted father and husband having left his wife and child for a new life with Yoko Ono.
Once John and Cynthia divorced after six years of marriage, John had little involvement in Julian's life, and at one point cruelly declared his conception was a drunken mistake.
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Julian did reconcile with his father somewhat during his final years before his shocking murder in 1980 however
But it's taken him years to process their relationship and the impact it's had on him as an artist and a person.
It's been over 40 years since the death of his father, but now he's finally ready to embrace his past and confront the pain of his childhood.
His new album, Jude, titled after his childhood nickname is set for release this Autumn, and he recently joined Elton John to discuss his life and career in a new interview.
In a candid and emotional chat with his father's former friend, Julian also confirmed the iconic track that was written in tribute to him after his mum and dad went separate ways.
"‘Hey Jude’ was in fact, ‘Hey, Jules’ in its initial stages" Julian revealed.
"And it was very much written about him thinking about me and my circumstances and that I needed to be strong and at the end of the day, find my way through this mess that I was going to be in…"
"I think I honoured the song and I think I honoured where I've come from, my legacy, so to speak, my heritage. I think, again, now just felt like the right time, because life is too short and this felt perfect for this moment, too."
Julian also discussed how reflecting upon his beginnings and colourful life inspired his new album.
"It felt very much a sort of coming of age, I guess. Especially as life moves on, you tend to look at your life and look at where you've come from."
"I mean, I'd had the idea of the name before that, but it was just made so that it felt even more right."
Julian has also bridged the gap between him and his father musically, having covered John Lennon's legendary peace anthem 'Imagine'.
He released his performance of the song for a Ukrainian benefit concert at the beginning of April, and it sent shivers down the spines of people around the world.
Talking about how the cover came together, Julian told Elton: "Let me tell you know, since I've been in the business, I've kind of been dreading the day that I'm... Because I'd always said that I would only actually sing it if it felt like it was the end of the world, in many respects."
"And after watching what's been going on over the past couple of years, and especially recently with Russia and Ukraine, the people of Global Citizen said: 'Got anything up your sleeve?' And I've been watching the horrors on TV, as we all have."
"I just felt, this is it. And once I'd said yes, if I had anxiety before, once I'd said, yes, I went, "Oh my God, how am I going to do this, that honours it, and is different and is my own take, but still respects it in every way, shape or form?" he confessed.
Julian added: "For me, the only way I could do that was take it away from the piano, the plunky piano, and do it as raw, as un-produced as possible and as heartfelt as possible."
And it certainly was a heartfelt performance, not just because of the situation in which it was revealed, but because Julian is finally accepting his legacy.
He plans to release the single officially, with "all donations going to refugees in Ukraine and around the world."