Apparently it’s not enough that Lindsay Lohan has a role in “Chapter 27,” the forthcoming movie about John Lennon's murder.
Now she’s acting in a short film with John’s son Sean Lennon to promote his new album.
His CD “Friendly Fire” hits stores in late September, a few days before the Grammy eligibility deadline. If it’s a hit, Sean will be following in the footsteps of older brother Julian, who scored big-time in the 1980s with his album “Valotte.” Recently, Julian told me he’s also working on a new CD and should have it finished soon.
I do want to interject here: Sean Lennon is one of the nicest celebrity children I’ve ever met. He is soft-spoken, respectful, articulate and intelligent. His mom, Yoko Ono, takes a lot of hits, especially in this column, but she was obviously a good parent.
In the short film version of "Friendly Fire," Lohan is one of many young celebs, including Sean Lennon’s sometime girlfriend Bijou Phillips, daughter of the late John Phillips; Harper Simon, son of Paul Simon; Devon Aoki, daughter of Benihana founder Rocky Aoki; Asia Argento; Jordana Brewster and Simon’s former stepmom, Carrie Fisher.
The irony in Lohan’s appearance is that in “Chapter 27,” she plays a groupie who hung out at the Dakota, where John Lennon was gunned down. Sean’s mother, Yoko Ono, still lives there, and Sean grew up there.
But maybe Lohan's appearance in the film is more important for her notoriety, and perhaps is even worth a little bit of gossip. Sean Lennon, who turns 31 in October, has not been a prolific musician. His only other album was released eight years ago on an independent label. But “Friendly Fire” is coming out on Capitol Records, home of the Beatles since 1964.
And what does it sound like? The snippet of music available on the Capitol Web site, along with the Michele Civetta promo video, is very much John Lennon-like. It’s no surprise that “Friendly Fire” sounds not only a lot like the father’s work, but like Julian’s too. Sean has the mixed blessing of a voice that combines both his parents, hence the little extra nasal sound when his mom’s genetics come through.
The melody of the song that’s available is quite lovely, however. And based on the one line I could make out, the lyrics sound tantalizing: “If I had to die tonight/I’d rather be with you.”
The "Friendly Fire" album video is interesting, in light of the Beatles' Cirque du Soleil show — which Sean did not attend. It begins with scenes from a kind of circus or carnival, very much in the vein of “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.” And Sean’s natural resemblance to his father, especially when wearing what we used to call “granny glasses," adds to the comparisons.
There are scenes of young Lennon as a swashbuckler, and a separate story of a man and woman (Lohan) and their infidelities. From the preview, it looks like the typical rock-'n'-roll movie: melodramatic, incoherent, pretentious and a lot of fun. Think Bob Dylan directing “Renaldo and Clara.”
All in all, Civetta is said to have made several short vignettes for the film, one for each song. With the production looking sleek, it’s probably accurate to say "Friendly Fire" cost a pretty penny. If this all works out, Civetta is scheduled to make a feature film next year called "Coin Locker Babies," co-written by Lennon and starring him as well as Val Kilmer, Liv Tyler and Argento.
On Lennon’s MySpace.com page, he talks about both the album and the film. First, he lists among the musicians with whom he’s recently worked former Lennon drummer Jim Keltner, as well as Jon Brion, the Beatlesque producer of Aimee Mann, who sounds like he’s given Sean a “Beatles” sound with heavy bass and melancholy chords (ironic, no?).
Sean also names the difficult actor-director Vincent Gallo, Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. and P. Diddy umbrella-carrier and protégé Fonzworth Bentley. There is no mention of Sean’s former best pal, singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. At the TNT John Lennon special five years ago, Sean and Rufus sang a duet of “Across the Universe.”
Similarly, Sean offers about 60 names of writers, artists and musicians who have influenced him, starting with his parents. They are people that “have all moved me to continue living and to seek out the light.” Again, no Wainwright, nor the other Beatles. On the upside, there’s at least no reference to Elephants Memory.
Lennon’s MySpace page also contains a blog, which was last updated on July 5. Here, much in his father’s style, he addresses a few things that he can’t escape.
“And finally,” Sean writes, “to the puny pinheads who think they're being 'rebellious,' by writing me letters like, 'Hey, yerr mom's lame...' or, 'You'll never be az good az ur dad, or some other such witticism, just try and think for a moment, with that inconceivably small brain of yours, try for a moment to concentrate all of your powers, to rev up that one single brain cell in your head, which admittedly, may be shared by your ENTIRE family, think how embarrassing your life is, that you sit around and write pathetically boring letters, that instead of aggravate me, actually lull me into a narcotic daze of dullness, while you could be out there watching the trees wave their hello to the sky each morning, or the flowers stretching out their finger-shaped petals towards the soaring sunlight saying, 'Good day to you sir!' Yes! That's right! It's a beautiful world, so get out there and enjoy it before you die!”
Bebe Buell’s birthday party and rock show last night at The Cutting Room turned out to be the highlight of the week. She was feted by daughter Liv Tyler, who made it to the show just in time with pals Jimmy Fallon and Kate Hudson.
The latter was fun to see, considering she played a character — Penny Lane — in “Almost Famous” that was inspired by Buell. But what a show: with husband Jim Wallerstein as one of three guitarists, Bebe’s show was a hit. Her cover of Leon Russell’s Carpenters hit, “Superstar,” went over like gangbusters.
The word is that The Cutting Room wants Bebe and the band back on a regular basis. Opening act The Rudds, from Boston, lived up to their stellar reputation as well. …
Uma Thurman is hinting that her relationship with hotel owner Andre Balazs is over. But just 10 days ago, they were in Paris together, hobnobbing with royalty and hanging out with supermodel Petra Nemcova. I know this because Uma’s nanny was spotted on a flight back to the States, taking Thurman’s two kids home to spend time with dad, Ethan Hawke.
Former Paramount chief Sherry Lansing dined with ex-producing partner Stanley Jaffe the other day at Michael’s. They caught up on each other before Sherry and hubby William Friedkin headed for Botswana and Namibia on a photo safari.
Her new life must agree with Sherry. She’s never looked better, and you know, she always looked pretty good.
Barnard Hughes died the other day at age 90 just as I was preparing a list of the all the great nonagenarians. The Tony winner, from the hit play “Da,” was one of those exceptional actors who was beloved no matter what he did. He will be sorely missed and well remembered.