Julian Lennon At 50: It’s Never ‘Much Too Late’ For Lennon Family Discord
Sorting out where Julian stands in the Lennon family firmament as he enters his sixth decade is as puzzling a prospect as ever. Just as friendly relations among the surviving ex-Beatles always seemed to be in an on-again, off-again mode, the same holds true for many of the Fab Four's children and past or present spouses and in-laws. The recurring rifts between Julian and his mum Cynthia Lennon on one side, and Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon on the other, represent one of the most intriguing divides of all.
In 2010, at least some of the polluted water seemed to be under the bridge, when Julian opened a photo exhibition and, at the opening night, four people posed for a photo-op that most Beatles fans thought would never happen: brothers Julian and Sean with their mothers Cynthia Lennon and Yoko Ono. Hell, it seemed, had frozen over.
At that point three years ago, reconciliation seemed to be in the air. Julian seemed to be sorry that he had publicly expressed his disdain for how Yoko had handled things over the years. "I think the key point to all of this for me at least has been Sean," he said at the time. "If I hurt Sean’s mother, then I hurt Sean.”
But a year after that, in November 2011, Julian felt pushed to the breaking point again by being excluded from some gala Fab Four occasions, and used his Facebook page to post his disappointment: "Wow... Snubbed at Macca’s wedding, snubbed at the anniversary of LOVE in Vegas! Snubbed at Macca’s wedding reception in NYC... Snubbed at George Harrison’s film premiere... What have I done to be ignored in such a way? I was not invited to ANY of these events... I thought we had a relationship ... Obviously not... Gimme some truth... Maybe now it’s time to tell the Truth... I & My Mother will NOT be eradicated from history... How dare they."
Shortly after posting that, the ellipses-loving singer deleted that bitter message and substituted a more resigned-sounding post: "Rising above... Always have, always will... And better for it... I luv you Mum... Thank you."
Still, the message about Lennon family relations was clear: To paraphrase his biggest hit, it may not only be much too late for goodbyes, but much too late for good vibes.
Lennon in the mid-'80s
Lennon in the mid-'80s
As for his occasional bursts of public combativeness, he added, “I think I could handle things a little more delicately but I also don’t want to candy coat things. I don’t want to fight with anybody but there are some things I have to stand up for. That comes from Dad and it comes from Mum. She is not going to take any s--- from anybody, especially given what’s she’s been through in her life.”