Monday, October 23, 2006

The Lennon Brothers

Sean Lennon released his second album, Friendly Fire, last week. It's beautiful and haunting. You should buy it for yourself.

For over twenty years I've been a fan of John's other son, Julian. I think his debut album, Valotte, is a classic that still holds up well. Since that first album, Julian's releases have been hit and miss. His songs are all very serious, and I wish he'd lighten up a bit, but I completely understand where he's coming from...

You see, Julian and I both had fathers who left us to start new families. His dad and mine were both very distant even though they had the financial means to be a presence in our lives. My dad wasn't a famous rock singer, but he was extremely well-respected in his field. Julian once said about his father John: "The only thing he taught me was how not to be a father." I could've said that. In fact, I have.

Sean lost his dad too, so it's a tragedy for both sons, and I suspect that they could sit down and compare notes on the myriad of thoughts and feelings surrounding their father.

But the real question here is, what have these two sons of a legend done for the kids? Well, not much actually. Their songs are almost all quite emotional and introspective. However, I dug through my collection and found a couple of very nice tunes to share with the kids.

When Sean was nine years old he released his very first song, a fun little cover of one of his mom's tunes (the CD is now out-of-print):

Sean Lennon - "It's Alright"

And, from Julian's 1991 CD, Help Yourself, comes this gorgeous lament for the environment. The guitar solo is by none other than George Harrison:

Julian Lennon - "Saltwater"

The sons of John Lennon have done well following in their footsteps. I'm still waiting to hear something out of Dhani Harrison and James McCartney. The only other "Son of a Beatle" is Zak Starkey, who is currently touring with The Who before he officially joins Oasis as their new drummer next year.

- Phil


deb in sf said...

oooo, I remember that Saltwater song. I think Max will like it. He's so into lyrics, when he's not jumping around like a wild-child.

It's Alright is fun. At first it kinda creeped me out, but then I realized that by nine, he could pretty much do it on his own without being "stage-momed" into it. Hold on to your heart... Sweet.

It's nice to guess by your previous posts that you're breaking that distant father chain.

Can I tease you about only posting two songs? Too late now, eh?

superclea said...

super post phil, really super.

kelli ann said...

great post-- it has vaulted me back, way back into the past, because i had a compilation tape with some truly awful, and forgettable, stuff on it; but 'it's alright' was on it too, and i always got a kick out of it. i think it's sweet.

Anonymous said...

You know, Dhani Harrison has recently released a few songs for his new band, thenewno2, if you don't already know, and they're available via iTunes. He also worked with Bob Dylan's song, Jakob on The Instant Karma Campaign for Darfur.

I think he should be releasing an official album with thenewno2 soon! I am patiently waiting!