Julian Lennon and John LennonJulian Lennon made his musical debut at age 11 playing drums on his father’s first studio version of “Ya-Ya”. The 1974 recording would appear as the last track on John Lennon’s  ‘Walls and Bridges’ album. This short, casual version of the song features just Julian on drums, and John on piano and vocals.

May Pang later recalled that Julian was disappointed when he found out the recording would make the ‘Walls and Bridges’ album, telling his father “If I’d known, I would have played better”.

“Ya-Ya” was originally performed by Lee Dorsey in 1961 and later covered again by John in a full length version on his “Rock ‘n’ Roll” album.

Click the Play button to hear the version with Julian:

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Paul McCartney carrying a young Julian LennonOriginally titled “Hey Jules”, Paul McCartney wrote “Hey Jude” in an attempt to comfort Julian Lennon, John and Cynthia’s son, during their divorce. In 1968, John and Cynthia Lennon separated due to his affair with Yoko Ono. Sometime after this, McCartney drove out to visit Julian and Cynthia. Later, Cynthia recalled, “I was truly surprised when, one afternoon, Paul arrived on his own. I was touched by his obvious concern for our welfare…. On the journey down he composed ‘Hey Jude’ in the car. I will never forget Paul’s gesture of care and concern in coming to see us.”

About the original title of the song, Paul McCartney said, “I started with the idea ‘Hey Jules’, which was Julian, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better. Hey, try and deal with this terrible thing. I knew it was not going to be easy for him. I always feel sorry for kids in divorces … I had the idea [for the song] by the time I got there. I changed it to ‘Jude’ because I thought that sounded a bit better.”

It would be almost twenty years after McCartney wrote the song that Julian would discover that it had been written for him. He remembered being closer to McCartney than to his own father: “Paul and I used to hang about quite a bit—more than Dad and I did. We had a great friendship going and there seems to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing together at that age than there are pictures of me and my dad.”

Lucy O'Donnell Vodden as a child and as an adultThe Lucy that inspired John Lennon to write “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was Lucy O’Donnell. She was a classmate of John’s son Julian at Heath House School. Lucy came to the attention of John when Julian came home from school one day with a drawing that he showed his father. Julian described the picture as “Lucy — in the sky with diamonds.” Julian later said, “I don’t know why I called it that or why it stood out from all my other drawings, but I obviously had an affection for Lucy at that age. I used to show dad everything I’d built or painted at school, and this one sparked off the idea for a song about ‘Lucy in the sky with diamonds’.”

“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was included on The Beatles’ critically acclaimed 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

In 2009, Julian Lennon reached out to Lucy (married name Lucy Vodden) after learning that she suffered from the immune system disease lupus. She had been battled the disease for 15 years and her health was declining. He sent her flowers with a personally written card and gift vouchers for a garden center, as she took solace from gardening and plants. She reacted by saying, “It was lovely of Julian.” In a recent interview she said “The last time I saw Julian was when we were in our early 20s and he asked me, “So how’s Lucy in the sky getting on?”‘

Sadly, Lucy O’Donnell Vodden died on September 22, 2009, at the age of 46. After her passing, Julian said that he is “shocked and saddened” by the death of his former classmate.

Barbara Bach and Ringo Starr in the film CavemanRingo Starr and actress Barbara Bach first met on the set of the film Caveman in February 1980. They married just over a year later on April 27, 1981, shortly after the film’s release.

Ringo and Barbara were dating and spending a holiday together in December 1980, when the news broke about the murder of John Lennon. The couple flew to New York to comfort John’s widow, Yoko, and the Lennon’s son Sean.

Over the years, Bach has appeared in some of Starr’s music videos, and has accompanied him on his tours. She also appears with Ringo in Paul McCartney’s 1984 film Give My Regards to Broad Street.

Just before her 18th birthday, Barbara was in attendance at the famous Beatles’ August 1965 concert at Shea Stadium in New York. Not really a Beatles fan, she was only there as a chaperone to her younger sister Marjorie, as Barbara preferred the music of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Bob Dylan. Coincidentally, another future Beatle wife, Linda Eastman, was also at the Shea Stadium concert.