The year 2011 was a busy one for Julia Baird, John Lennon’s half-sister, who has remained outspoken about her brother and the Beatles. She opened up a website this year at www.juliabaird.eu.
“It’s not a big one, it’s only small. It’s quite specific,” she said. “Mal Holmes of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark is a friend and he’s actually done it for me.”
The image of the Beatles has changed a lot from their days in Liverpool. And Julia says that John and the Beatles have survived and have even become a Las Vegas show with “Love.”
“John was essentially, I think, I believe, he thought himself a rock ‘n’ roller. When he was out there being raucous as a rocker, he said himself that when the Sex Pistols were onstage, that’s what he still wanted to be. He said, ‘That was us. That’s who we were.” You know that type of raucous, raw energy. And they had by that time become something else, which is why the Beatles split up, isn’t it?
“Just because people aren’t here anymore doesn’t mean that future generations don’t admire their music, which is why we have the likes of Mozart and Beethoven and Frank Sinatra — I’m trying to think of different genres of music. We’ll always love their music no matter what. But whether you can take that music, you can, but it’s no longer the original music, is it?”
Will she go see “Love”? “It’s not for me because it’s no longer the Beatles’ music, is it?,” she says.
Baird was also critical of the portrait of her brother in the film “Nowhere Boy.” “Well, it wasn’t a true story, but then which film is, I understand that. But it was supposed to be based on my book. And they were saying all the way through it was going to be based on my book. And they’d gone so far away from it so quickly that it was no longer based on my book. So it’s a work of fiction, basically. A work of fiction. That’s all I can say.”
Is there a film that does come close to telling John’s story correctly? “ No, I don’t think so. Having said that, that’s not fair on the other films because I don’t tend to go out and see films about John because I find them very upsetting because I was there for a lot of the stuff that they’re depicting. And I know the story is different. And that’s why I’ve written the book (called “The Private John Lennon“ in the U.S, but titled “Imagine This” in England).
“The book is as near to what happened in our lives when I was there that did tell a special story of John. A much more truthful story of John in his childhood. But it’s obviously not sensational enough . Nobody’s bad enough. Nobody’s awkward enough. Nobody’s anything enough to make the film that they already have in mind until they start to make it.”
The book is available through her website. Also available is a CD with a wonderful conversation between her and Paul McCartney with his memories of the origins of the Beatles and their early days in topics not usually touched on in general interest interviews in newspapers.
But the book tells John’s story the way it should be told. “It’s in the book. If you want to know, read the book.”