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Family

"On the one hand, I've had such a normal upbringing with my mum, who has kept me grounded, but on the other, the wild experiences through my dad" -Julian

 

"You can't cheat kids. If you cheat them when they're children, they'll make you pay when they're sixteen or seventeen by revolting against you or hating you or all those so-called teenage problems. I think that's finally when they're old enough to stand up to you and say, 'What a hypocrite you've been all this time. You've never given me what I really wanted, which is you'" -John

 

"Ninety percent of the people on this planet, especially in the West, were born out of a bottle of whiskey on a Saturday night, and there was no intent to have children. So ninety percent of us- that includes everybody- were accidents. I don't know anybody who was a planned child. All of us were Saturday night specials. Julian is in the majority, along with me and everyone else. Sean is a planned child, and therein lies the difference. I don't love Julian any less as a child. He's still my son, whether he came from a bottle of whiskey or because they didn't have pills in those days. He's here, he belongs to me, and he always will." -John

 

"I feel sad that Julian and Sean are half brothers and should be enjoying time together." -Cynthia

"They're half brothers, they have the same father, they should be best buddies, they could really be helping each other, working with each other and enjoying each other's company, but that wasn't to be." -Cynthia

 

"My work, my son, and my daughter" -Yoko (on her greatest loves)

 

“I was most curious how that came together. I did tell everybody that everybody was going to be there. I wasn’t quite sure if everybody was going to turn up.” –Julian (his first photo exhibition opening with Cynthia, Yoko, Sean, and May all attending)

 

“I’m very proud that both of them are very talented sons.” –Yoko

“I don’t want pictures of Sean going around. Most stars, as soon as they have a baby, put it on the front page: ‘I’ve just had a baby!’ I’m not interested in that. It’s dangerous. You know, we make no pretense of being average Tom, Dick, or Harry- we make our child into an average child. I tried that game with my son Julian, sending him to a comprehensive working-class school, mixing with the people, but the people spat and sh*t on him because he was famous, as people are wont to do. So his mother had to finally turn around and tell me to piss of: ‘I’m sending him to a private school, the kid is suffering here.’” -John

“Kyoko and Sean’s handwriting is so similar it’s impossible to tell the difference. People say Kyoko looks like me and Sean looks like John.” –Yoko

"I don't know if Sean and Julian have a relationship. I think so, they talk well of each other, but I'm really an aunt to Julian” -Julia Dykins Baird


John Lennon

"He never came to see me, I had to go to him. It's a shame, but you know, forgive and forget. I'd rather not think about the times I didn't see him." -Julian

 

"He got me a drum kit when I was five and bought me my first guitar when I was eleven. When I saw him during school breaks we'd sit and jame on rock 'n' roll tunes and play some of his stuff too. I'd love it when we'd sing and play together. I felt real close to him then. If he were still alive, we'd be playing together a lot" -Julian

 

"I know a lot of people compare me to my father. It drives me mad sometimes, thinking about it. I just want people to judge the music without prejudice. Sure, we sound alike. I open my mouth and that's what comes out. I don't force it. I didn't study my father's sound. It's all natural. I've been through periods when I was confused and didn't know what to do. I've made mistakes. It's just living, that's all" -Julian

 

All I know was that he was away a lot. When he came home and we were together, I recall most of all the fun like flying a kite in the garden, or the riding on the back of Dad's motorbike down to Ringo's home. The rest of my childhood with Dad is a fog." -Julian

 

"But if Dad was going to be a musician, then he obviously had to be away from home a lot. Nobody is blaming him. I just missed him and wished he was around more" -Julian

 

"He wasn't a great father. He was a great musician. That's always been a touchy one, and it will be until I can find the answer, but I don't know if there is one" -Julian

 

"I didn't hate him, but I was scared of him. I didn't know this man at all, and trying to rebuild a relationship that was never there made him as frightened of me as I was of him." -Julian

 

"He often said it was a shame his family had to pushed into the background. He regretted it, but once the Beatles wagon was rolling, he could not get off it if he wanted to- He became exhausted and irritable when he was at home, and angry at his own absence when he wasn't there." -Cynthia

 

"I still have great admiration for his talent and great sadness over what happened to him and that he can't be part of Julian's life." -Cynthia

 

"I wasn't trying to push away the family. I was trying to make the family. Every weekend we made sure we called Julian. I made sure that he was in constant contact with Julian. And he said, 'This is good, you know'" -May


"This was serious business for him and he seemed determined that whatever was happening around him, there would be a time in his life for Julian. And there was also an intense regard for his wife, Cynthia. I mean, this was a young father who seemed determined to make sure that things were right. I know John was preoccupied by the insanity of the tour, but he was insistent there be time to make the call hom and connect, connect with his wife and his son" -Art Schreiber

"He was back with Yoko and she was going to have a baby. He was such a warm guy and I think he had always felt guilty about the absent father he had been with Julian. Let's face it, if it weren't for May, he wouldn't have even kept in touch with Julian. Guilt had set in. He was determined not to repeat that experience" -Mario Casciano

"After his son Julian came to visit in the winter of 1977, John seemed down. He indicated to me that he didn't want to do to Sean what he did to Julian, the absences and all that. He was a good father but he was also strict with Sean, especially during the times when they were without a nanny. But he was especially loving to the child." -Michael Allison

"John, as a father, was forced, I'm afraid, to be a part-time dad. For the first few years when we saw him, it was between tours and recording albums. He would sleep until late and be up until late, so when he saw Julian, he was lovely. Bemused, I think because he didn't quite understand that this little boy was his. As Julian got older, John became more emotional about being a father...I think he took a very strong look inside himself and saw what he'd been missing." -Cynthia

"My earliest memories of my dad were between the ages of three and five, swimming in the pool with him, just doing kid stuff. He used to sit me on the front of his bike in front of him and take me down to Ringo's once in a while, which was fun. I don't recall missing him when he was away on tours that much, because I was always preoccupied by my mother, school, and the fans at the gate, and whenever Dad came back, that was great. It was strange, but it didn't seem unusual because it was part of everyday life." -Julian

"The most important thing in my father's life? World peace. Me and my brother. My mom." -Sean

"The fact that my father almost completely stopped his musical career to raise me makes me feel good...I think it's great that he would take time out for five years to raise me. He said the first five years of a child's life are the most important and I guess they are, you know?" -Sean

"Around me he was just a father. I just loved being with him. If we went to stare at a wall, I would be happy...just his presence was all I needed." -Sean

"He often said it was a shame his family had to pushed into the background. He regretted it, but once the Beatles wagon was rolling, he could not get off it if he wanted to- He became exhausted and irritable when he was at home, and angry at his own absence when he wasn't there." -Cynthia

"There is nothing but love now. If he was able to come into the room now, we'd hug and cry." -Julian

"But that is now all in the past. Yes, Mum and I were treated with disrespect. Yes, there was a lot of anger from Dad towards the two of us, but I can now understand why. Maybe it's the passing of time and me being older." -Julian

"I was actually very like Dad as we were both angry young men. He had locked all his emotions away about his own mother. It then came out as anger." -Julian

“He got very domesticated actually. Particularly after Sean was born, he was looking after the baby and loving it” -Paul

"The one thing that really saddens me is that he's not alive to see his two sons, who are now the best of friends, who are close together.” –Cynthia

 

"They play music together, they are something that he never saw because he lost both his sons. When he left me, Julian was five, and when he died Sean was five, so he missed all that, the lovely growing up." -Cynthia

"Not all lovely of course because teenagers are something else, but once you get over that sort of awkward time, period of youth and you become young men, which they both are now, I think he'd have been really proud and very happy to have been part of their lives."  -Cynthia

“I guess the postcards. It means he was thinking about me at a time when he wasn’t around.” –Julian (his most prize possessions given to him by his father)

"Dad was completely happy to run the risk of not being understood. He just made the statements that he wanted to make." -Sean

"When dad did 'Give Peace A Chance' or the bed-in he was ridiculed for it and it was seen as a joke. But the impact was great because he was a pop star who was rejecting everything about that life – and people respected him for it. He was one of a kind." –Sean


"I don't think I knew what writing was. I knew that he played music. He would play guitar, and I would sit on his lap. There's a tape of me just banging on a distorted electric guitar, sitting on his lap. He was very sharing with music. We'd sing songs constantly sing." -Sean


"Yes, I think he was a great musician and undoubtedly the Beatles were an incredible influence in my life musically, and yet as a father he was not so great. But at the same time I loved him and I still do love him and I try to put away all that negativity about having him as a father and instead come to some kind of understanding about where he was coming from." -Julian 


"I finished the course and almost immediately discovered I was pregnant. I said to John: 'You don't have to marry me just because of this.' John's said quite a few times in interviews that he had to get married, but that isn't true. I gave him the choice, and that isn't widely known. He chose to marry me. If he hadn't, I'd have coped. I'd have had the child and kept it. I'd never have considered adoption. I had no idea then what was in the offing. His career was just beginning in a small way." -Cynthia 


“He’s the person I miss the most- and I only play music because I miss him.” -Sean  


"Fame is what I was born with, and it was a nightmare being a child, I had bodyguards; I was followed home from school. I never wanted to be famous; I only wanted to be a musician. I was doing it as a way to connect with my father—trying to fill the void he left when he disappeared. The more I played music, the more I felt I had a piece of him inside me.” -Sean 


"I think of my dad as a huge asshole. The only thing that made it okay was that he could admit it." -Sean 


"I feel like what initially got me into playing music was, you know, the fact that my dad was a musician and he was in the Beatles, and I listened to that music a lot when I was a kid. So I think when he died I remember feeling like there was sort of a vacuum that had been left, and I used to just try to play the piano to kind of connect with my idea of what I thought he was, being a musician and stuff. I think at first my inspiration came from just wanting to find some connection to my dad." -Sean 


"Once while Cynthia was away with Mrs. Powell, I was staying in the house with Julian. I had put Julian to bed, but he was having an earache and was very upset. I put him to bed, but he was in so much pain, I sat up with him that night. When John came in quite late, he came along to Julian's room to see what was wrong. The light was on and I explained about the earache. John said, 'You got to bed, Dot, I'll stay up with him'. He was always concerned, like a good father. He was a good man." -Dorothy Jarlett (The Lennons housekeeper in Kenwood)


"They play music together, they are something that he never saw because he lost both his sons. When he left me, Julian was five, and when he died Sean was five, so he missed all that, the lovely growing up. Not all lovely of course because teenagers are something else, but once you get over that sort of awkward time, period of youth and you become young men, which they both are now, I think he'd have been really proud and very happy to have been part of their lives." -Cynthia


"He was becoming a good father. There was a spell where he had to sort himself out, because I think he was a bit of a child himself. He couldn't quite understand what was happening to him, his life was incredibly complicated." -Cynthia


Cynthia Lennon-Charles

"I have to thank Mum for who I am. She has played the bigger part in my life, keeping me together, in the way I am and the way I treat people. She has always been the most important thing in my life, and will always be." -Julian

 

"The closest person in my life, who is everything for me, who guided me and who helped me find myself, was my mother. She was always that kind of person that let you resolve your problems yourself. I mean, if you really couldn't do it she would help. But I had to figure out things myself and that was important, she sort of let me be ." -Julian


"I have to say, though, that it was my mum, Cynthia, who made me the conscious man I am today. Obviously, Dad had his beliefs and his way of doing things. But it was Mum who taught me my values in life. It is out of respect for her that I want to be a good son, a good man, and a good human being." -Julian

 

"She has to be 99.9 per cent why I do anything at all. I feel that she's been through the mill, and I figured that if she's been able to get through it all and stand up with her head held high and be as strong, confident, and beautiful as she is, then the least I can do is come somewhere close to that and make her proud of me. And to love, respect, and honor her in every way, shape, or form that I can." -Julian

 

“I have been looking out for my mum for years. I want to protect her completely and utterly. I am a complete mother’s boy. I try to do everything with honor, respect and grace because the last thing I would want to do is hurt her.” –Julian


"I speak to her once a week and we're very close. We're always advising each other, it's an ongoing growth. I couldn't be happier in that respect. I go and see her about twice a year and usually get a good telling-off. You know what mothers are like at keeping a watchful eye on their sons! It's nothing specific and nothing serious-just a look." -Julian   


"We are there for each other, Mum and I. We'll be there for each other in a heartbeat and we always have been. When I was a teenager in North Wales, and the only thing I cared about at school was art, Mum even became my unofficial art teacher, when it turned out that the school art teacher had taught us all entirely the wrong O-Level syllabus." -Julian


Yoko Ono Lennon

"She's a mother to Sean and I'm a mother to Julian and we try to protect our children considering the legend that we are left with" -Cynthia

 

"I unleashed hell on her, but we've made our peace. We're okay. There was no point in continuing the anger. It's a waste of time and energy." -Julian

 

“You know it’s just not worth the stress. It really isn’t. The stresses and the strains. I think the key point to all of this for me at least has been Sean. If I hurt Sean’s mother, then I hurt Sean.” –Julian

“It’s a round-about way of thinking about things. But because I love Sean so much, I just don’t want to hurt him. I can get over it. I have gotten over it.” –Julian (his feud with Yoko)

"That was part of something that Yoko felt very strongly about, that if she had kids, the husband should help take care of them. I agreed to it before the marriage." -Tony Cox

"I didn't feel it right for me to become a mother without at least letting my mother know that I'm alive and well." -Kyoko


“Losing my daughter was a very serious pain. There was always some empty space in my heart. When Sean was born, I thought I was given this very beautiful son, so I should just let it go. And I did. When Kyoko appeared finally, I was totally in shock. It felt like the part of me that was missing came back." -Yoko


"She’s the hippest woman I know. She reads like three books a week. She gave me Gasland and taught me about mountaintop removal, which is the way they're destroying the national parks by bombing the mountaintops to get coal out of them. She’s really got a special personality." -Sean 


"I just want to say to my two children not to defend me. I don't want them to waste their time defending me, don't even think about the past or your mother because your mother had a great life and you should know that."  -Yoko 


"My son knows and likes me through my work and also as a mother.” -Yoko 


"Whenever I do something that I believe in, I think, ‘Well, this might kill me, but if I’m killed I’m going to be with John, so it doesn’t matter.' Not that I want to get there right away! I think, and I hope it’s true, that my two children would like to have me around for a little bit. I think it’s very difficult for them if I just suddenly plonk!” -Yoko 


"But life keeps changing, and each time you’re surprised by the next step. Being pregnant. Being a mother. And then of course being a widow – which was an incredible surprise, terrible. The next one is becoming old, and dealing with that is very, very tough. And then you have your grandchildren." -Yoko 


“Work is a sacred thing for me, I’m always working. John’s stuff, my stuff, stuff for the world. For my children. I enjoy the busyness. I’m one of those people who is a workaholic.” -Yoko

 

Roberto Bassanini

"My stepfather stepped in when my dad stepped out. The guy that took me to school. He was the guy that took me on holidays. The guy that picked me up when I fell down. He was the guy that taught me about life. So for me he was my father. You know, a lot of people don't like to hear that but on my behalf it's true." -Julian

 

"I now believe in living for the moment. I learned that from my step-father Roberto. He loved life to the extreme - every second of every day counted for him, but it is only the last couple of years that I have tried to follow that path myself." -Julian


John Twist

-------------


Sam Havadtoy

"John was a very strong presence in the family, and he just suddenly left. And we were not prepared for it. Sam was a very special person who was very good with Sean– and I needed some support as well.It was a friendship. A very good one." -Yoko


Jim Christie

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Noel Charles

"Noel Charles is the older brother I never had and also, in many ways, the father I always wanted. Today he remains one of my dearest friends" -Julian


Julian Lennon
"Well, I just want him to grow up happy. That's the main thing." -John
 
"Just love, that's the main thing you know. He's just going to be happy and know he's wanted. I'm not having any of that boarding school or sending him away. He's going to be with us all the time"  -John

"Lycee seems the only place for him in his position. I feel sorry for him, though. I couldn't stand ugly people even when I was five. Lots of the ugly ones are foreign, aren't they?" -John
 
"Well, Cyn got possession, or whatever you call it. I got rights to see him on his holidays and all that business and at least there's an open line still going. It's not the best relationship between father and son, but it is there. He's 17 now. Julian and I will have a relationship in the future. Over the years he's been able to see through the Beatle image and to see through the image that his mother will have given him, subconsciously or consciously. He's interested in girls and autobikes now. I'm just sort of a figure in the sky, but he's obliged to communicate with me, even when he probably doesn't want to." -John
 
"I needed to find out who I was outside the music industry, and for the first time in my life I found true peace of mind" -Julian 

"I've found constancy and balance between creativity and normality" -Julian (on music)
 
"Well, the first time I heard him sing, after John had died, really freaked me out. Because it just sounded unbelievably like his father" -Cynthia

"Years later he said something in an interview which was to hurt me very much. He told Playboy magazine: "Julian was born out of a bottle of whiskey on a Saturday night." John was with Yoko Ono then but I was still offended and so was Julian. It was so untrue. I could tell that John said it to impress the interviewer but it still hurt. For a start, we didn't even drink whiskey in those days but the worst part was the implied denial of our love. We were very much in love and very happy- Julian truly was a love child." -Cynthia
 
"We are very close. We're like brother and sister now" -Cynthia
 
"You know, he had a lot of trouble and he's a really talented guy. If he was anybody else, he would be totally successful. The guy has a great voice, he's a good songwriter, he's a good musician" -Sean
 
"I haven't seen him for a long time, but it's been a nice gesture" -Lee (Julian sent flowers to her during her brain cancer treatment)

"You should take him for what he is, by himself. He's very good by himself. Take away John Lennon and he'd be greater. You can't do that. He's the son of a famous father." -George Martin

"I happened to be driving out to see Cynthia. It was just after John and she had broken up, and I was quite a mate with Julian. He's a nice kid" -Paul

"Julian happens to be a very talented young man. He's got a lot of good tunes. But apart from physically looking like John, with his glasses and long hair, he really isn't anything like John. He's more like his mother- he's much gentler, softer. John was very tough and gave the Beatles their hard edge" -George
 
"It's a dumb move on the publishing company's part because I don't think it helps the songs in the long run. But if anybody's going to do it, I'd rather it be Julian. I've got to laugh at that." -Paul (on Allstate's Auto Insurance use of "When I'm 64" by Julian)
 
"I saw him last night, and he was extremely morose and arrogant, which is very unlike him. I think maybe he feels he’s been used a lot. And I think, to some extent, he has. Particularly by all the flighty young girls on the make. I think that must be very strange for him. I mean, I was very flattered by it, when I had gotten onto the club scene, to suddenly be surrounded by beautiful blondes of seventeen. Then you suddenly realize that, basically, they’re just standing next to you in the hope that there’s going to be a photograph, or that you might give them a million pounds or something stupid. And five weeks later they look like they’re dying. There’s something very tragic about it, and I think Julian is too intelligent to go through that and not become a bit scarred by it." -Pete Townshend
 
"He is a very sensitive sould and we feel very close to each other and get on very well. He's going through difficult times, too, especially because he's seventeen. It's very delicate. Cynthia did a very fine job bringing him up and I don't want our closeness to interfere with his closeness to his mother. It's a very complex situation" -Yoko
 
"These days, I don't hear from Julian, but I had a long relationship with Julian since he was five or something, and he was such a sweet boy, but also it was very difficult for him too. And I remember different things where I almost felt his pain, you know, so it's a very difficult situation. He was very, very exposed in some ways, so now I think it's good that he's taking time...I'm not going to force him to be close to me or anything. He knows where I am and if he wants to come I'd be very happy, but I'm sure that he's taking care of himself in the way that he wants to." -Yoko
 
"He doesn't owe me anything. I'll make life as easy for him as I can but it's no use me thinking what I would do if I was him because I'm not him and he isn't Little Me" -John
 
"Growing up the son of the Beatle didn't seem any different to me as a kid. It was the people around me that made me notice that there was something different. It was hard to understand why people would like me more or dislike me for having a famous father. I didn't understand about the fame. It was difficult, but it was a learning thing." -Julian
 
"I don't remember seeing him as a child. It was the height of the Beatle thing so I was working all the time, I never considered what it was doing to him, I didn't even count it. The mother was at home, I was away, like most guys at 24 or 25, they're too intent on their career really, you know" –John
 
“I bought him a slide but he’s got it already. He goes up and down on it but I’m always buying him things anyway. There are a few things stuffed away in the attic which he’s get. But Cyn takes care of it all” –John (before Christmas 1965)
 
"It's a funny thing, the fans know we are married and that we have a child. Some write to John about the baby- they call him 'baby Beatle'- but they ignore the fact that I exist. But one of the things I have realized now is the high price one has to pay for fame in loss of personal freedom" -Cynthia
 
"Don't you think he's wonderful?" -Brian Epstein
 
"My dad wasn’t really a photographer, so it just allows me to breathe a little more. He used to take a couple Polaroid’s, but it wasn’t a potential career. This is my own thing." -Julian
 
“I’ve never seen my son so happy as he is now.” –Cynthia (Julian’s photography career)

“Julian is the reason I started playing music actually because when I was a kid, I remember when his first record hit the charts and he was, you know, the biggest thing that existed in the world.” –Sean

“Actually he taught me how to play guitar” –Sean

“The truth is that Julian was like my hero. He still is. He sings much better than I do.” –Sean

“Julian was, from the beginning, a very attractive little boy, extremely sensitive and intelligent. I think this whole thing about stepmother, which is an ugly word, first of all…it’s really not like Hansel & Gretel to me.” –Yoko

“Julian and I tried to be friends. Of course, if he’s too friendly with me, then I think that it hurts his other relatives. He was very loyal to his mother. That was the first thing that was in his mind.” –Yoko

“He wasn’t angry with me. He was very nice. All through his growing up, I felt we were having fairly good relationship. It must have been more difficult for him…so that if he prefers not to visit me so much, then I understand.” –Yoko

“I had a normal life, growing up in Liverpool- I did the things the best of the boys did in our neighborhood. I didn’t stand out in any way and nobody gave me any special attention. I think that’s best for a boy growing up, and I want it to be that way for my son.” –John
 
“Time enough for that later on. If he’s got talent, it’ll show in good time. Meanwhile, my wife and I just want him to have a normal childhood, you know what I mean?” –John
 
“He actually put the “J” in my name. I went into Brian’s office, and he said, ‘John’s got a suggestion. How about Billy ‘J’ Kramer. It’s American sounding, it’s catchy. It flows.’ And I said, ‘What do I say if someone asks what it stands for?’ And he said, ‘Julian’. Now, I didn’t even know John was married, let alone had a son called Julian, so I said, ‘I don’t like that name, that’s a real poofter’s name!’” –Billy J. Kramer
 
“Julian’s first record was great but it was produced in a very similar style to his dad, and consequently everyone compares it. You're never going to come out of that well. So I kept my head down.” -Dhani

“He’s intelligent and sensitive. He’s had a terrible time actually. And also, just like Sean, having a huge daddy didn’t help really.” -Yoko 

"We were two very energetic school kids. He would say 'Come on, Lucy', to get me to do things. He was the bravest boy in school whom I recall jumping into a freezing swimming pool." -Lucy O'Donnell Vodden 

"On the plane, Lennon was complaining about the British paparazzi who a few days earlier had sneaked up on them and taken a picture of their baby, Julian. Lennon was annoyed by that. To me it was just the beginning of what was going to become his life." -Harry Benson, Photographer 

"The first thing Julian wanted to do in life, well, before he wanted to be an artist and then a musician, was to be a chef. He'd come home and say 'Why don't you bake cakes like my friends' mothers?' I'd say, 'Oh, Julian, go out and buy a Mary Baker cake mix and do it yourself!' That started him off! By the time he was 13, he'd disappear into the kitchen whenever we had visitors and emerge with beautiful canapes. Now he thinks nothing of cooking for ten or 15 people, and he does it so calmly." -Cynthia

"I feel I have to apologize for saying it more than once, but my son is amazing. We have such an understanding. It's no bullshit and I'm not being sugary or sentimental: he's just turned out above and beyond my wildest dreams." -Cynthia 

"It was the first time the two of us have been in Liverpool together since he was born. He doesn't even know Liverpool but he's got the best Liverpool accent. I had to learn a Liverpool accent when I was thrown in the deep end at art college, and all the Liverpudlians said I was posh. He's only been in Liverpool for five minutes and he's got the best Liverpool accent" -Cynthia 

"All that mattered was for him to be a happy little soul. Just to be a free spirit, and not to be too much influenced by what was going on around him, like crazy parties, night clubs and drugs. I tried to protect him from the little bit of lunacy that was going on at the time. Hopefully I represented the normal in his life." -Cynthia 

"At first people thought I was jumping on the bandwagon but it's up to them to come along and have a look for themselves. I think people had it in for Julian," -Zak

"When I was a baby and my parents were still together, I was called 'John' and there was always confusion. My mum would say, 'John come here,' and we wouldn't know which one. So they started calling me Julian to clear up that problem. The name fits me" -Julian 

"He likes Queen, though I haven't heard them yet. He turns me on to music. I call him and he says, 'Have you heard Queen?' and I say 'No, what is it?' I've heard of them...and then he tells me. His age group is hipper to music, at 11 I was aware of music, but not too much." -John 

"Seeing him is good. What we do is irrelevant. I went through a period of, 'What are we gonna do?' and all that crap. It doesn't really matter. As long as he's around. Cause I don't see him that often." -John

“I think he likes Paul better than me … I have the funny feeling he wishes Paul was his Dad. But unfortunately he got me … It must be hard to be son of anybody. He is a bright kid and he’s into music. I didn’t encourage him, but he’s already got a band in school. But they sing rock’n’roll songs, ’cause their teacher is my age. So he teaches them “Long Tall Sally” and a couple of Beatles numbers. He likes Barry White and he likes Gilbert O’ Sullivan.” -John

“I think Julian ought to get a real job. I've heard him sing 
and it's not my cup of tea. Julian doesn't keep in touch, not that it worries me too much.” -Mimi Smith 

“John used to play with Julian on his skateboard. When skateboards first came out in the 60s, they were quite small. Basically, it was just a board with roller skates. They used to play outside on the slope leading up to the house.” -Dorothy Jarlett (The Lennons housekeeper in Kenwood) 

Kyoko Cox
"I lost Kyoko when she was about 5. I was sort of an offbeat mother but we had very good communication. I wasn't particulary taking care of her, but she was always with me- on stage or at gallery shows, whatever. When she was not even a year old, I took her on stage as an instrument- an uncontrollable instrument, you know. My communication with her was on the level of sharing conversation and doing thing. She was closer to my ex-husban because of that" -Yoko
 
"I was an offbeat mother from the beginning. I wasn't always with her, though there was spiritual communication between us. But since she disappeared there was a time in my life when John and I would be watching TV and a child would come on the screen, we would switch the channel because I couldn't bear seeing children. Because it reminded me of Kyoko" -Yoko
 
“It’s a very good relationship. We’re friends. I’m just very thankful that she’s so independent and intelligent.” –Yoko
 
“It was very hard. I remembered her as a little girl and I kept buying her small beautiful cashmere sweaters. They piled up in my dressing room until someone said to me, ‘Do you realize she’s now 26, she’s probably larger than you, why are you keeping those little things?’ It was terrible. I didn’t know where she was. It was a kidnapping and a very difficult situation. She had so much love for her father who took care of her ail that time, and he had said very clearly that if she searched me out she would never see him again.” –Yoko

“She got married and before they were going to have a child the husband said – he’s a very intelligent guy – you have to say hello to your mother before you have the baby because the baby is going to wonder where the grandmother is. So she came.” –Yoko

“It was really difficult for me to adjust to that. I didn’t think it was going to be the last of my career. I didn’t think of it as a sacrifice. I just kept thinking that I had a tumor inside of me. I’m just being honest. Now I’m going to be getting flak from people saying I’m destroying motherhood. I’m told some women love being pregnant but I haven’t met any of them. I had miscarriages before my daughter and after. I’ve never had an abortion. I think it was written that I had. My daughter was such a beautiful baby, I fell in love with her the minute she was here. Emotionally we are close, at least now we are.” –Yoko

“I told myself that at least he loves her. Maybe she was OK with him. I was going through so much prejudice I questioned everything.” –Yoko

"She really has her own life. I can't emphasize that enough." -Tony Cox
 
"Because of our life-style, she was taught with tutors, studied in foreign schools and has a conception of the world that's very mature for someone her age." -Tony Cox
 
"She's a completely independent individual. After seeing what some of the aspects of public life are about, she realized that was one thing she did not want." -Tony Cox

"Everything is good again now Kyoko is back. It was such a long time, but when I heard her voice, I knew it was her." -Yoko 

“It was so hard. It was more than 20 years that we spent apart. She phoned my office downstairs. I saw the office people, very pale, scurrying around, and I asked, ‘What’s going on?’ They said, ‘We’ve had a call from your daughter. And we think it really is your daughter.’ I thought, ‘Oh my God…’ That first meeting I was so nervous, so nervous. I was at the airport in New York waiting for her to come out.” -Yoko

"It was a kidnapping, and it was terrible. It was different for her. She was OK and she didn't understand what was happening. She didn't suffer so much at the time, although later it was difficult for her to cope." -Yoko

"I didn't know what it was going to be like. I was very nervous. But she's a very intelligent and sensitive woman, I'm really very proud of her. We are friends now." -Yoko

Sean Lennon
"I have a lot of love and respect for Sean, whatever he does." -Julian 

"I love Sean to death, I think he's a very smart kid" -Julian

"I have no bones to pick with Sean whatsoever, I care about him a great deal, I used to babysit him. He's blood, he's my brother." -Julian

"He's special to us and he's beautiful physically and otherwise" -John

"In the way we think, Sean chose us as parents" -John
 
"Sean looks oriental but looks like John. People say it's eerie." -Yoko
 
"It's very difficult for him because most people immediately compare him to John, but he's an artist and a musician in his own right. Sean has a very, very big father, but he is very good and I'm sure that John is very happy about that...He's very arty. He hates cheesy things, so it's good in that sense. He's become the kind of boy John would have approved. Sean has grown into mainly focusing on his talent, and refining his talent, and it's a nice quality in Sean that he has a very pure heart." -Yoko
 
"The joy is still there when I see Sean. He didn't come out of my belly, but my God, I've made his bones because I've attended to every meal, and how he sleeps, and the fact that he swims like a fish because I took him to the ocean. I'm so proud of all the those things. But he is my biggest pride." -John
 
'I’m not involving Sean in the businesses because I think he should have the time to fly on his own, as an individual, and that’s what he was doing until he helped me create this record. I just want him to have that time, as much as he can. He will have to take responsibility for it all at some point, but maybe by then it will have simplified. If I can somehow set it up so that he will not have to be burdened so much, I would love to do that. I’m trying to do as much as possible before I go.” -Yoko
 
"We're as close as can be. The media have said that we've been feuding for years. We've never had an argument in our lives. I'm trying to clear the record because it hurts Sean and it hurts his mum, too. We've always been close. To me, he's blood." –Julian
 
“Sean is the apple in my eye.” –Yoko
 
“There’s nothing I can say that’s wrong about Sean because he’s really grown to be a very good musician, singer, songwriter. It’s very difficult for him because most people immediately compare him to John, but he’s an artist and a musician in his own right. Sean has a very, very big father, but he is very good and I’m sure that John is very happy about that. If Sean was just riding on his father’s fame and going up onstage and doing something cheesy, I’m sure that John would be very upset. Sean is the opposite. He’s very artsy. He hates cheesy things, so it’s very good in that sense. He’s become the kind of boy John would have approved. Sean has grown into mainly focusing on his talent, and refining his talent, and it’s a nice quality in Sean that he has a very pure heart.” –Yoko
 
"We don’t see each other that often, but when we do, sometimes we’ll just look at each other and go, 'Whoa, dude…you look like my dad’s best friend.'" -Dhani

"We got back together, decided this was our life, that having a baby was important to us and that anything else was subsidiary to that. We worked hard for that child. We went through all hell trying to have a baby, through many miscarriages and other problems. He is what they call a love child in truth." -John

"Sean is like John in every way- looks and manner- and he has got John's sense of humour. His speech, his self-confidence- and he's quite the entertainer! As long as he keeps away from music, he will be all right" -Mimi Smith

"He has his independent life, and I have my work, but I think he sort of enjoys it. I don't think he misses the fact that his mother doesn't make his chicken soup and say 'Drink your milk' all the time. He seems to like me." -Yoko

"Growing up, I fantasized about being a rock musician and that somehow it would be really easy. I didn't realize that it's so much work." -Sean

"I think the thing about getting older is it’s made me more aware of the finite nature of time on the planet. I think when you’re in your early 30s or late 20s, time feels more abstract. I think there’s something about facing mid-life that makes time very– well, the opposite of abstract. It makes it real and observable and you see how many years you have left, at best.” -Sean

"Now that I’m older, I feel I’m accepting myself as a professional guitar player, and it’s okay to have cool pedals and guitars. When I was younger, I was more interested in recording, songwriting, playing drums and bass. A cheapo just seemed right, because I didn’t think guitar was my thing. I mean, the people around me when I was growing up were so good at guitar. Everyone was shredding and tapping, and I was just like, 'Eh, I’m just over here writing songs!'” -Sean 

“I walk to where my son lives sometimes. Sean is a musician, he sleeps late and I don’t want to bother him. But he works all night, sometimes, and my schedule is early morning, so if I know he’s still up I say, ‘Let’s have a coffee before you go to sleep.’ I’ll walk over there.” -Yoko

"Doctors told us we could never have a child. We almost gave up. 'Well, that's it, then, we can't have one.' We were told something was wrong with my sperm, that I abused myself so much in my youth that there was no chance. Yoko was 43, and so they said, no way. She has had too many miscarriages and when she was a young girl, there were no pills, so there were lots of abortions and miscarriages; her stomach must be like Kew Gardens in London. No way. But this Chinese acupuncturist in San Francisco said, 'You behave yourself. No drugs, eat well, no drink. You have child in 18 months.' And we said, 'But the English doctors said...' He said, 'Forget what they said. You have child.' We had Sean and sent the acupuncturist a Polaroid of him just before he died, God rest his soul...Not because of her age but because of a screw-up in the hospital and the fucking price of fame. Somebody had made a transfusion of the wrong blood type into Yoko. I was there when it happened, and she starts to go rigid, and then shake, from the pain and the trauma. I run up to this nurse and say, 'Go get the doctor!' I'm holding on tight to Yoko while this guy gets to the hospital room. He walks in, hardly notices that Yoko is going through fucking convulsions, goes straight for me, smiles, shakes my hand and says, 'I've always wanted to meet you, Mr. Lennon, I always enjoyed your music.' I start screaming: 'My wife's dying and you wanna talk about my music!' Christ" -John

Emi and Jack Helfrich  (by Kyoko)

“They’re really beautiful people, and I enjoy them very much. I think they were intimidated at first, to come to my place. But now they’re used to it, and they love it. We have a great time, going to my country farm.” –Yoko


“Before Emi was born they asked me what I wanted them to call me and I said Baba, it’s very easy and a sound that’s used a lot in Japanese.” -Yoko


“You know, she and Jim are very sensible people. They had planned to have children — they are that sort of people — and he said to her, ‘Before we have a child, you have to go to your mother.’ What a sensible idea.” -Yoko

Arranged by Jeannette