Julian Lennon recently admitted that he was in fact not looking forward to the day he would have to perform his father’s song Imagine in front of the public.
Lennon, the son of former Beatles member John Lennon, recently performed the 1971 classic with Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt as part of the Global Citizen social media fundraising campaign Stand Up for Ukraine.
In the latest episode of Elton John’s Rocket Hour radio show, Lennon spoke of his apprehensions about covering the song and elaborated on why he went ahead with it anyway.
“Let me tell you … since I’ve been in the business, I’ve kind of been dreading the day,” the musician said. “Because I’d always said that I would only actually sing it if it felt like it was the end of the world, in many respects.”
“After watching what’s been going on over the past couple of years, and especially recently with Russia and Ukraine, the people of Global Citizen said, ‘Got anything up your sleeve?’” Lennon said. “And I’ve been watching the horrors on TV, as we all have. I just felt this is it. And once I’d said yes, if you thought I had anxiety before, once I’d said, yes, I went, ‘Oh, my God, how am I going to do this, that honours it, and is different and is my own take, but still respects it in every way, shape or form?’”
Lennon also talked about how he approached the cover, and revealed that he plans to release the song as a single “very soon” with all donations going to “refugees in Ukraine and around the world”.
“For me, the only way I could do that was, take it away from the piano, the plunky piano, and do it as raw, as unproduced as possible and as heartfelt as possible,” Lennon said.
Meanwhile, Lennon is gearing up for the release of his next album later this year, titled Jude, as a nod to his father’s band. Sharing about the album, he said: “It felt very much a sort of coming of age, I guess.”
Check out Lennon’s rendition of Imagine below.