McGinnis: Julian Lennon leads “theRevolution” in musicWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | email@example.com
Imagine that you’re the son of a man who revolutionized music and changed the art form forever.
Imagine that you have your own artistic gifts and desires.
Imagine that everything you do will be compared and contrasted to your father’s already-immortal work.
Imagine that you walk away, pursue other dreams, virtually divorce yourself from the musical world – and by extension your father’s legacy – for nearly a decade.
Now, imagine that when you return, your goal is to not only leave your own imprint on the art form your father helped re-invent – but also to help others, artists and otherwise, find their own path.
These are the goals of Julian Lennon. With his business partners Michael Birch and Todd Meagher, the son of music legend John Lennon recently announced the formation of theRevolution LLC, a music services company with a focus on helping new and established artists build exposure while maintaining artistic control over their work.
“I got so tired and fed up with the industry as it was being run so many years ago for so many reasons. I just didn’t feel that the artist was getting a fair deal and/or control of their work in any way, shape or form,” Lennon said in a conference call on Thursday, December 10th.
He said the idea behind theRevolution was born in conversation with his collaborators on the project. “A few of us, who are now the founders of theRevolution, were literally sitting around the table discussing all of these issues. And we just felt that maybe we could come up with a newer model that would work for all of us.”
That model involves the artists in question starting their own company, funded by theRevolution, resulting in “a transparent 50/50 ‘artist partnership,’” according to theRevolution press release. The musician would own equity in their own company.
“It’s, from literally nothing a few months ago, it’s seriously turned around and now we’re here. Really, it’s been a quick maneuver but the timing seems to have been perfect for all of us with the demise, I believe, of the labels as we know them,” Lennon said. “They’re very much becoming, I think, more like catalog companies just raking in the publishing, etc., from previously signed artists.”
One of the first releases to come from the new partnership is the single “Lucy,” co-written by Lennon and James Scott Cook, as part of a four-track EP which was released on December 15 on iTunes. A portion of the proceeds from the single will be donated to Lupus research.
The subject of the autoimmune disease is close to the heart of both Lennon and Cook. Lennon’s childhood friend Lucy Vodden, the inspiration for his father’s immortal “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” recently passed away as a result of Lupus, and Cook’s grandmother (who is also named Lucy) suffers from the disease.
“So it was very much a time and a place and, obviously, the stars aligned,” Lennon said. “It was pretty straight forward, straight from the heart and just about reminiscing about someone in the past that we love very dearly.”
“Lucy” is the first single from his upcoming album “Everything Changes.” And although Lennon is just beginning to re-emerge in the musical world, he has been working on the new album for quite some time.
“I was writing purely from the point of view of writing songs and just getting music and moments and ideas and emotions out of my system from a cathartic point of view,” he said. “If I stop writing for too long, I literally start hearing ideas whether they’re musical or lyrical or arrangements or entire songs in my head and I have to get them out of my system. It’s something I feel the need to do.”
And there is also catharsis for Lennon in the composition of “Lucy,” as it relates to his father and his legacy.
“It just felt a very, very natural thing to do and almost to a certain degree, felt like I was closing a circle in many respects,” Lennon said.
“I’d always sort of said to myself, ‘Yes, I forgive Dad for some of the scenarios that I was left in, and Mom too.’ But I also have to realize what he went through was quite an incredible scenario. And looking on that and reflecting on that, I can be in a place of forgiveness this far down the line, so to speak, and I just think that this in a roundabout way is almost an homage to him, too, as much as to Lucy Vodden.”