Reviews

Sean and Julian, the sons of John Lennon

By Ahmet Abdulaziz…..

I always thought that I know a lot about the Beatles and particularly about John Lennon, who is my favourite of the four. But just yesterday I realised that there still are many important and interesting pieces of information that I do not know. The latest that came to my knowledge is that both John and Sean (the father and son) were born on 9th October. The father and son, share the same date and month.

John Lennon was 35 when Sean was born to Yoko Ono, the second wife of John Lennon. So just last week on 9th October 2021, it was the 46th birthday of Sean Lennon and the 80th birthday of John Lennon.

John Lennon had earlier married to Cynthia Powell on 23rd August 1962, just when the Beatles were starting their march towards the top of the music world. He was 21 and Cynthia was 22. Their son Julian Lennon was born on 8th April 1963. Unfortunately, this marriage did not last long, and they separated in 1968.

John later married Yoko Ono on 20th March 1969. Yoko was seven years older than John. Later on, Sean Lennon was born on 9th October 1975.

Being children of a celebrity like John Lennon was indeed never easy for them, mostly so for Julian, who passed through the crazy periods of “Beatlemania”, when a little kid.  He once quoted saying “There were times when being John Lennon’s son was very difficult”. Young children used to make fun of him playing guitar, because they wanted him to play like his father, which he could never do. Later, he even left Liverpool and went to Surrey and then to Wales, just to have a less tense environment.

But Sean on other hand, born in 1975 when the Beatles as a group was no more, passed through a somewhat lesser strenuous childhood. But it was less strenuous just in one sense since it was not just easy to be the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Yoko has been widely known as the woman who broke up the Beatles. Thus Sean grew up, where many used to bully him to be the child of a mother who broke up the Beatles and took John Lennon away from the rest of the Beatles.

All these issues that they went through in their early ages, also made an overwhelming impact on their personal lives. Though they both chose to be in the field of music,  they were never able to come too close to each other. There was more than one reason for that.

Firstly, John was never a good father to Julian, since those were the days when he was too busy in the world of music. But it was not just the non-availability of time only, he was simply not a mature father to Julian. Paul McCartney taught Julian to play the guitar. Paul has been mentioned as writing their famous song “Hey Jude” for Julian. “He (John) never really knew how to be a dad” Paul was once quoted as saying, about John, regarding the awful father/son relationship.

But in the case of Sean, John had a totally different approach. As he once said, ” Sean was a planned child, and therein lies the difference”. In those days, John Lennon had become more an activist than a musician, and was having problems with the US government. So he took a break and spent a lot of time with his son Sean.

The ultimate result came out, Julian got much less of what John had left. On the other hand, Yoko and Sean got the most. Lennon had created a trust of £100,000 pounds sterling for Julian to be shared with his half brother. The rest of his estate went to Yoko and Sean.  Julian had been quite upset about this but never came out too furiously about it. However later on Julian sued his father’s estate. Ultimately he ended up with 20 million pounds sterling after finalising an agreement with Yoko Ono.

However, despite everything Julian has always expressed his love and affection for his half brother. The same was with Sean too.

 

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