Julian Lennon was 17 years old when his father, John Lennon, was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman in 1980. That night, Julian was 3,000 miles away in North Wales. He woke up and had a strange feeling in the pit of his stomach like something terrible was going to happen.
Little did he know that fans were already flocking to John’s apartment building in New York City to pay tribute to the legend.
Julian Lennon had a feeling that something bad happened the night John died
Speaking on Larry King Live, Julian explained where he was when he heard his father died. He knew something terrible had happened before he even found out.
“I was actually in my bed, I was with my mother in North Wales,” Julian told King. “She was actually with Maureen Starkey, Ringo’s ex-wife, in London, who was a dear best friend, and I was actually in North Wales at the time. And literally, I heard a noise and the chimney fell in.
“You know when you just have that gut feeling that something’s wrong, something’s really wrong? And I went downstairs, and all the curtains were closed, and I thought, ‘This is just too bizarre.’ But who knew what it was at the time. Then I opened the curtain, press outside everywhere, and my step-father had been told not to tell me until Mum arrived.
“But I just said, ‘What’s going on? You gotta tell me.’ My first concern at that point was to make sure that Mum was OK, more than anything. That was the first love of her life. So, she’d known him much longer than I’d ever known him. And was much more closer than I’d ever been. So, it was all about looking after her, and it has been ever since.”
One of Julian’s last memories of John involves a road trip to Florida and Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On’
In 2014, Julian spoke with Goldmine Magazine‘s Jeb Wright about his album, Everything Changes. While explaining Steven Tyler’s involvement on the record, Julian revealed one of his last memories of John.
“I’ve got to say, in fact, one of the last times I was with dad was in Florida, driving on the way down to Florida — I must have been about 13 at the time,” Julian said.
“All we heard was American radio on the drive down. One of the bands that came up time and time again was Aerosmith and ‘Dream On.’ Even at that age, many, many moons ago now, I was a huge fan of Aerosmith and Steven Tyler.”
Thankfully, Julian had one last memorable moment with his father. After everything in their relationship, at least Julian had that to hold on to when he heard John died.
The ex-Beatle planned to return to the U.K.
Unfortunately, Julian never got to have much of a relationship with John. However, they could have. According to many sources, John planned to return to the U.K.
His first wife, Cynthia, told NPR’s Fresh Air, “I think he found his space. I don’t think he found the complete satisfaction in life because I think he was always searching, always looking for it, always wanting something new. I mean, he was due to come back to England near the end, just before he died. So he was constantly changing and looking for new quests. But whatever he did, it was totally honest and wholehearted.”
According to the Daily Express, John’s Aunt Mimi said a similar thing. She wrote a letter to an Express journalist saying she’d spoken to her nephew about his plans the night before he died. John called his aunt, who raised him, every week.
“He phoned the night before, witty, funny, bubbling over with excitement, coming over very soon. Couldn’t wait to see me. So I’m glad of that,” Mimi wrote in her letter.
So, whatever John had planned to do in the U.K., he would have been closer to Julian. However, there are always a lot of ‘ifs’ in a situation like this.
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