Sean Lennon’s father, famous though he may be, has been gone for 33 of the musician’s 38 years. In the meantime, Sean has established his own career as co-leader of Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger. He’s also worked extensively with his mother Yoko Ono on new music as part of the Plastic Ono Band.
Sean’s first music appearance, in fact, was as part of Ono’s 1981 project Season of Glass, issued well after John Lennon’s brutal murder at the hands of a deranged fan. He’s co-written a song with Lenny Kravitz, “All I Ever Wanted” for 1991’s Mama Said. He’s worked with Cibo Matto, the Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. and Mark Ronson, among others.
Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger began even as Lennon launched his own record label, both collaborations with Charlotte Kemp Muhl. They released Acoustic Sessions in 2010, the EP La Carotte Bleue in 2011 and Midnight Sun this year.
And yet, most of the questions — not to mention the comparisons — remain focused on his dad, the lost legend.
If the younger Lennon’s music actually has a closer relationship with Syd Barrett than it does the Beatles, that’s lost on a culture more interested in deifying John Lennon than actually listening to Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.
Sean takes it all in stride. Perhaps, because it’s all he’s ever known.
“I’m so used to it,” Lennon tells the Chronicle Herald, chuckling. “I’m more taken aback when I’m asked something that isn’t about my dad — that’s when I get really surprised. I mean, my whole life has been responding to questions about him. It doesn’t bother me at all. It’s beyond being bothered. You can’t be bothered by, you know, wind.”