Julian Lennon on inspiring the Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’: ‘Someone was thinking about you’

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As the celebrations marking 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America reach a fever pitch, Julian Lennon remembers their legacy — and his role in it.

Lennon, son of Beatles star John Lennon and his first wife Cynthia Powell, curated a photography show that opened this week at SoHo’s Morrison Hotel Gallery. Twenty-five images, hand selected by the younger Lennon, will be on display through the end of the month.

Most fans remember Lennon, of course, as the early inspiration for the Beatles’ 1968 smash “Hey Jude” — and he continues to be touched by the long-ago gesture.

“It’s pretty special,” Lennon tells CBS. “I certainly appreciate it — no question about that. I’ve heard it a few times now, though. (Laughs.) But one can’t not appreciate the fact that someone was thinking about you and you life, and your situation. So, there’s nothing but being grateful, really.”

One of Lennon’s youthful works of art had earlier sparked “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” a key album track off 1967’s Sgt. Pepper. The youngster even played drums on his father’s 1974 take on Lee Dorsey’s 1961 hit “Ya Ya,” from Walls and Bridges.

Still, Lennon didn’t exactly have a front-row seat for Beatlemania, since his parents divorced when he was very young. He’s amassed a large collection of Beatles-related memorabilia, some some of which was featured in a 2010 book, but many of those items were discovered second hand.

“When dad moved away when I was, I don’t know, three or four,” Lennon adds, “I lived with mum, and we lived a totally isolated life from the world of what was going on with the Beatles. I probably saw as much as anybody else, really — or maybe even less.”

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