Published On: Wed, Mar 18th, 2020

John Lennon: Heartbreaking change in Beatles star from birth of first son to his second | Music | Entertainment

John Lennon took a very different approach to fatherhood with his youngest son Sean Lennon, whom he had with Yoko Ono, to the one he had with his first child Julian Lennon. According to rock ’n’ roll photographer Bob Gruen, who was a close friend of John and Yoko’s, The Beatle’s legend “established himself as one of the hospital’s most attentive dads” after his wife’s difficult delivery of Sean in 1975.Some dads would come once or twice a day to participate in the feedings, but John was there for every feeding – every four hours, precisely on time,” he said.

“Right from the beginning, John wanted to be the only one to hold Sean, and he made sure he knew everything that was going on medically with both Yoko and Sean.”

The photographer said when he was asked to take pictures of the family together a few weeks after Sean was born that John seemed happier than he had ever known him to be.

“[He] was looking forward to spending all his time raising his new son,” he said.

“John was much more enthusiastic about the photo shoot than Yoko. Since the birth, John had fed and changed Sean, while Yoko recuperated from the delivery.

“She was still pretty weak, whereas John was busily content in his role as a father.”


Bob said John had told him he felt he’d lost opportunities during Julian’s childhood and was determined to make the most of his time with Sean.

“John felt he had missed out on really getting to know his older son, and so had resolved to spend as much time with Sean as he could, to raise him himself and really get to know him,” he wrote. 

“John also wanted to become closer to Julian, and over the next few years made considerable efforts to bring Julian more and more into his life.”

In contrast, John wasn’t even present when his first wife Cynthia gave birth to Julian back in 1963.

“I don’t know if it’s because he was born on the same day as me — which, that in itself was quite strange — or he was born on October the 9th — which I was — so we’re almost like twins,” he said.

Sean was just five-years-old when his famous father was shot and killed on December 8, 1980, while Julian was 17.

During the last few years of his life, the Imagine hitmaker did start to build a better relationship with his firstborn son.

However, when he died, they was still a lot of ground not covered between them.

Julian later said in an interview with The Telegraph that he felt his father was a “hypocrite” for how he portrayed himself publicly and how he conducted himself with his first family.

“From my point of view, I felt he was a hypocrite,” he said in 1998. “Dad could talk about peace and love out loud to the world but he could never show it to the people who supposedly meant the most to him: his wife and son.

“How can you talk about peace and love and have a family in bits and pieces — no communication, adultery, divorce?” he asked.

However, years later, Julian’s feelings towards his father had mellowed.

In 2009, he told CBS he had to let go of the anger and bitterness he felt towards the late Beatles star and said he had forgiven him.

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