It's no wonder that Julian Lennon, the eldest son of the late Beatles legend John Lennon, has a love-hate relationship with The Beatles' "Hey Jude."
After all, the classic rock song was written about Julian when he was a child, which undoubtedly still brings him joy. But the tune's creation was prompted by his father leaving him, which no doubt still gives Julian pain.
The rock star son has discussed The Beatles hit in the past, but he newly highlighted his uncertain attachment to it on Sunday's (Sept. 17) installment of Club Random With Bill Maher.
Discussing "Hey Jude" with host Maher, Julian says he has a "love-hate with it, I have to say. I've probably heard that song and heard renditions of [it] more than most people alive. And even my dear friends send me babies in nappies playing guitars singing 'Hey Jude,' which I really don't need."
He continues, "I'm thankful for the song without question. But … the other real thing is that people don't really understand that [the song is] a stark and dark reminder of actually what happened."
Julian adds, "The fact that dad walked out, walked away — left Mum and I. That was a point of complete change and complete disruption and complete darkness and sadness. I mean, I was only 3, but I recognized that something was up, you know?"
"Hey Jude" remains The Beatles' biggest hit, though it was a non-album track when it first arrived with "Revolution" as its B-side in August 1968. "Hey Jude" topped the charts in multiple countries. It spent nine weeks at No. 1 in the U.S. After the fact, "Hey Jude" was collected on several Beatles singles and hits compilations such as 1988's Past Masters.
In 1968, John Lennon was going through a divorce from his first wife, Cynthia, and starting a new relationship with the avant-garde artist Yoko Ono. During this tumultuous time, Julian was naturally affected by the changes in his family life.
The Beatles' Paul McCartney, who had a close relationship with Julian, wrote "Hey Jude" as emotional support. It was first called "Hey Jules."