Julian Lennon says ‘Hey Jude’ is a “dark reminder” of his dad John leaving their family


John Lennon‘s son Julian has opened up about how iconic Beatles track ‘Hey Jude’ is a “dark reminder” of the past for him.

Paul McCartney wrote the song for Julian in 1968 about his father’s break-up with mother Cynthia, leaving Julian alone with his mother.

Speaking to iHeartRadio in a new interview, Lennon spoke about how he feels “thankful” for McCartney’s support in a difficult time, the song now has both good and bad memories when he looks back.

“As much as I’m very thankful because of [Paul’s] support in having written that song, a lot of people don’t realise it was also a dark reminder of what actually did happen,” he said.

Of his mother, he added: “She was the be all and end all of life for me, and it was about looking after her, still is about making her proud.”

Earlier this year, Julian discussed how he was initially “shocked” by Paul McCartney‘s recent virtual duet with his late father.

At the start of his North American tour and again at GlastonburyMcCartney performed a virtual duet with his former Beatles bandmate courtesy of technology created by The Lord Of The Rings and Get Back director Peter Jackson.

At the shows, McCartney and Lennon traded verses on the song ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, with Jackson having isolated Lennon’s vocal for the team-up. “I’ve got a special little thing here,” McCartney said when introducing that track. “One day, Peter Jackson rings me up and says he can take John’s vocals and isolate them so that you can play live with John on tour. He said, ‘Do you fancy that?’”

“I watched it on YouTube — and I kind of went: ‘Errrr… I don’t know if I’m comfortable with that,” Julian said of his reaction, adding: “It shocked me.” He went on to add that it was tough seeing his father “brought to life” through the performance, but grew to appreciate the spectacle at Glastonbury.

John Lennon
John Lennon (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)

Earlier this summer, Julian released an official cover of his father’s huge hit ‘Imagine’, with proceeds being donated to Ukraine refugee relief through Lennon’s nonprofit, The White Feather Foundation to Global Citizen.

Last year, Julian said that watching the new Beatles documentary Get Back was a “life-changing” experience that “made me love my father again”.

Elsewhere, John Lennon’s killer Mark Chapman has said this month that he shot The Beatle because he “wanted to be somebody and nothing was going to stop that“.

Chapman shot and killed Lennon on December 8, 1980 as he and Yoko Ono were returning to their Upper West Side apartment. Chapman then remained at the scene until police arrived, and later pled guilty to second-degree murder. He was sentenced to serve a prison term of twenty years to life. Last year, Chapman was denied parole for the 12th time and transcripts from the hearing have now been made available.

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