John Lennon’s son Julian had mixed emotions about watching his late father virtually perform live with his former bandmate Paul McCartney.
Earlier this year, the Beatles duo sang I’ve Got a Feeling together while McCartney was on his world tour. McCartney passed away on December 8, 1980, after he was gunned down in New York City. But using footage from Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Get Back, he was able to give one last show with McCartney.
The posthumous music performance came from Jackson himself. Using machine learning technology, he isolated Lennon’s vocals and perfectly arranged them for the live performance. The end result stunned the crowd and made national headlines.
But when Lennon’s son watched the event, he wasn’t sure he liked the efforts.
“I watched it on YouTube — and I kind of went, ‘Errrr … I don’t know if I’m comfortable with that.’ It shocked me,” Julian Lennon told Mojo. Julian was only 17 when his father passed away, and seeing him “brought to life” that way was hard to stomach.
However, he sat on the experience for a few months. And then he decided that he needed to see the duet live. So when McCartney stopped in Glastonbury, UK, he headed to the concert. And watching from the audience gave him a completely different experience.
‘I actually enjoyed it,’ he admitted.
John Lennon’s Son Continues to Honor His Father’s Legacy
The moment came during an emotional time in Julian’s ongoing mourning. The 59-year-old has recently been working on ways to honor John Lennon’s legacy. And he’s connected to him in more ways than one.
In April, John stood on stage for the Global Citizen’s televised Stand Up for Ukraine benefit concert. For the first time ever, he performed his father’s 1971 hit Imagine. And the experience gave him a new outlook on being the son of the slain icon.
In the past, being recognized in the street made him uncomfortable and self-conscious. But singing the song in front of a crowd of thousands changed his mind.
“I feel, probably for the first time ever, that I can walk around not being afraid with my head held high,” he said during an interview with the iHeartRadio podcast Inside the Studio.
However, Julian did make an effort to move out of his father’s shadow this year. He legally changed his name from John Charles Julian Lennon to Julian Charles John Lennon.
“All I did was switch the ‘John’ and ‘Julian’… It’s as simple as that, but for me, it’s a whole other world, it really is. Not that I’m ashamed or have disrespect. I needed to be me,” he said on the podcast, Word in Your Ear. “I needed to finally be heard as Julian. This is what Julian does, not ‘John’s son.'”