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Why Julian Lennon Skipped the Beatles Anniversary Celebrations

Julian Lennon
Tiffany Rose, Getty Images

The world recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Beatles‘ first trip to America with a series of all-star affairs that included appearances from younger artists as well as former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr — and extended family members Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, and Olivia and Dhani Harrison. Conspicuously absent from the crowd was Julian Lennon, who discussed the reasons for his no-show during a recent interview.

“To me, the last thing I wanted to do was stand in the audience with everybody else,” Lennon told Brooklyn Vegan, adding he had no interest in “clapping my hands and being filmed in front of millions while watching a Beatles karaoke session.”

As it happened, Lennon wasn’t even in the country when it all went down — instead, his charity work for the White Feather Foundation took him to Africa, where he’s been trying to advance a number of initiatives on behalf of groups like Millennium Villages. Of particular importance to Lennon right now is his partnership with Charity: Water, which seeks to restore and increase clean water availability for people living without reliable access.

Even if he’d been available, Lennon insisted that he’d rather enjoy the band’s classic records anyway. “Give me the originals any day. I’ll listen or watch the originals any day, and that’s my cup of tea,” he explained. “That’s why I decided that I much more preferred to be in a state of reflection and appreciation and doing something much more subtle and much more heartfelt, in my mind, than the glitz and the glam of those kind of shows.”

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