Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tomorrow on CBS

Julian and Sean Lennon will make a joint appearance on CBS Sunday Morning tomorrow to discuss their father's legacy and their relationship with each other (which, reportedly, is going through a period of reconciliation).

Excerpt from the first article:
Julian Lennon talks about his father’s legacy with correspondent Anthony Mason saying that, “Now more than ever I look back with a great deal of respect for him as a man - and his work. But not necessarily as a father.” Lennon says that he feels forgiveness towards his late father and also discusses the difficulty of emerging from his father’s shadow, as well as his bittersweet relationship with Yoko Ono.

What a quote from Julian. As readers of the blog may know, this is one area of John's life that I think often gets overlooked in the many encomiums and homilies to his greatness. Plainly put, John was a horrible father to his first son. And even in death, he deserves harsh judgement for his sins.

There's a picture from 1967 of John, Paul, Julian, and others arriving in Greece on holiday. It often comes to mind when I contemplate this subject, as it shows Paul, not John, walking along with Julian and holding his hand. John actually seems to be several steps behind the group - removed, distant, not involved. And that's how it was.

Here's Julian commenting on Paul's affection for him: "Paul and I used to hang about quite a bit ... more than Dad and I did. We had a great friendship going and there seems to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing together at that age than there are pictures of me and my dad." (Source: Wikipedia.)

Isn't there a strong literary element to Paul and Julian's bond? You have Paul, one half of an historic creative partnership that was fueled by so much more than a mutual desire to craft pop music, lending fatherly care to the young Julian, who was often neglected and mistreated by his actual dad, John, the other half of that extraordinary pair. Then you have "Hey Jude," a song of tender encouragement written by Paul for Julian, but mistaken by John as being for himself. And then you have the bitter recriminations volleyed back and forth between John and Paul at various points in their lives. John, especially, manifested deep hostility toward his other half, and it wasn't without a touch of envy. Envy of Paul's songwriting prowess, aspects of his image, and more. But where was the envy of Paul's loving relationship with Julian?

There's much more to it, and it's all so rich with tangled human emotion.

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