In the last two decades or so, The Beatles’ legacy has been preserved via the stage and through the preservation of unseen archive footage of their legendary creative process, to name a few examples.
The remaining living Beatles, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr have embraced evolving technology over the years, however, not every member of The Beatles’ camp has been entirely on board with every example of the band’s post-millennium legacy.
Julian Lennon, Late Beatle John Lennon‘s first child, has unfortunately lived much of his life without his father. Julian’s father had been killed at the age of 40 on December 8th, 1980, when his first child was only a teenager.
Lennon has crafted a legacy of his own in the years since his father’s passing. The 59-year-old singer had modest success as a pop star in the 1980s and has dabbled in various creative pursuits as well.
The “Too Late For Goodbyes” singer has been extremely candid about his attempts to separate himself from his extremely famous father’s identity and legacy.
Becoming Julian Lennon
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Lennon’s father was a universally loved public figure, who not only cultivated the sounds of popular music through his work with The Beatles but went on to become a spokesperson for peace, an aspect he and his second wife, Yoko Ono, lived their personal lives by, and also incorporated into Lennon’s solo work and art after The Beatles called it quits in 1970.
Lennon released his now-legendary solo singles such as “Give Peace A Chance” and “Imagine,” which promoted the idea of putting peace ahead of the various amount of strife life can bring. He and Ono famously protested the Vietnam war in 1969 by spending days lying in bed.
His premature death from gunshot wounds inspired his fans to remember Lennon’s legacy outside of The Dakota, the New York apartment he and Ono had lived during the last years of his life and the site where he had been killed. According to Biography.com, the public’s reaction to his passing had been on par with President Kennedy’s assassination in November of 1963.
Crafting his own identity away from his famous father had understandably become one of Julian Lennon’s biggest goals in life, so much so he eventually changed his legal name.
According to Billboard, his parents- his mother is Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia-, had given him the first name John. He had been known as John Charles Julian Lennon, and finally changed his name to Julian Charles John Lennon two years ago.
Lennon explained further in a podcast interview.
He explained, “It was in 2020, just before we all got locked into a cage, that I finally decided to legally change my name… the crap I had to deal with when traveling and security companies and this and that and the other,” he told the World In Your Ear podcast.
He went on to reveal sharing a first name with his late father hadn’t felt true to his authentic self.
“It became really uncomfortable over the years because I’ve always been known as Julian, so it never felt like it was me,” he shared.
Lennon Comes To Terms With Preserving His Father’s Legacy
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Identity has been a core factor in Lennon’s life since childhood.
As a kid, he had become known for being the subject of McCartney’s well-known contribution to The Beatles’ catalog.
“Hey Jude” was released in 1968, and McCartney had written it with Lennon’s son in mind to console him through his parents’ divorce.
McCartney and Lennon had a cathartic conversation about “Hey Jude” in the late eighties, almost a decade after Lennon’s death.
According to SongFacts, Julian revealed in a book written about the band’s legendary catalog, “Paul told me he had been thinking about my circumstances, about what I was going through, and what I’d have to go through…”
He also admitted McCartney’s gesture had “touched” him.
Nearly five decades after “Hey Jude’s” release, McCartney continues to help Lennon through his lifelong and ongoing journey with making sense of his father, and what it means to be a son of a Beatle.
The now-80-year-old McCartney is still touring and creating a memorable stage show for his fans, and even those closest to him.
Recently, McCartney used “the magic of video and artificial intelligence” to showcase a duet with Lennon during his performance at Glastonbury, according to Daily Mail.
This was a move Lennon’s son had to come to terms with.
“I watched it on YouTube,” Lennon said, “and I kind of went ‘Errr… I don’t know if I’m comfortable with that. It shocked me.”
Although the performance had initially given Lennon pause, he also revealed he eventually had come to “enjoy” McCartney’s gesture.
McCartney’s fans came together on Twitter to celebrate his milestone birthday in June. The late John Lennon’s team tweeted a tribute, per our report.