Julian Lennon and Sean Lennon, the sons of John Lennon, are finally going to perform together in public.
Sources tell me that the Lennon boys have agreed to appear at a United Nations event here in New York on February 26th called the UN-Millenium Goal Awards. Other artists tentatively scheduled to appear include Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, as well as possibly Akon and Macy Gray.
The show is the brainchild of Rhodesian Sacha Stone, founder in 1999 of the Humanitad Foundation. Stone, who lives in the UK now, is said to have relationships with all involved and convinced the Lennons to come aboard. This would mean putting aside differences between the two former Lennon households.
When John Lennon was murdered in 1980, a rift grew because Sean’s mom, Yoko Ono, wouldn’t give Julian what he and his mom, Cynthia Lennon, considered a fair share of the estate. Julian Lennon wound up engaging lawyers, and a long legal situation followed. In May 2007 Julian told Howard Stern that he still hadn’t gotten any money from Yoko Ono. Unbelievable.
Over the years, there’s been plenty of animosity, mostly fueled by Ono. At a 2001 tribute to Lennon at Radio City Music Hall, she all but wiped out any reference to the Beatle’s first family. When Cirque du Soleil’s "Love" show opened in Las Vegas a few years ago, the severe Ono kept her distance from the amiable Cynthia and Julian. Sean was a no-show.
More recently, though, the two brothers have found more common ground, with Julian surprising Sean in Prague at a 2007 gig. Ironically, the brothers could not be more alike: soft spoken, friendly, and talented. Julian, of course, had success in his 20s with hits like "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes" in 1984-85. Sean has released a couple of indie albums and one on his dad’s old label, Capitol.
By the way, the MDG Awards will not be open to the hoi polloi. The Lennons will play in front of 3,000 invited guests inside the UN General Assembly Hall.
Our long national nightmare is over: Kelly Clarkson is back and having a hit.
You may recall Clarkson’s debacle at the RCA Music Group a year and a half ago. She insisted on releasing an album no wanted to hear, called "My December." She took on Clive Davis, and lost. It was a mess. The album tanked, Clarkson’s career went into the Bermuda Triangle.
But I told you she’d be back as long as she listened to Davis and his team. Now Pete Ganbarg has shephered her new album, due in March. The single, "My World Would Suck Without You," may contain inelegant wording, but it’s catchy as hell and already getting played everywhere. "December" has been forgotten.
Kelly’s days of rebellion are over. She’s back to being a playful pop icon instead of Alanis Morissette ten years too late. The Swedish Max Martin sound machine wrote "My World." My guess is Ganbarg has an album full of singles coming next month. All is right with the world.
Dionne Warwick, Chuck Jackson, and a marching band helped kick off the Apollo Theater’s 75th anniversary the other day. Richard Parsons, now head of Citigroup but still the chairman of the Apollo board, welcomed everyone, and did a little explaining about the immediate future. Next fall, "Dreamgirls" will launch its national tour from the Apollo with a whole new cast, for example. In the meantime, Harlem’s legendary theater is certain to have a year full of good bookings. And the theater has never looked better. All the seats were just reupholstered, and the place has a fresh coat of paint…
… Neil Diamond gets the legend treatment next Friday night in Los Angeles when MusiCares, one of the two Grammy foundations, honors him as Person of the Year. There are still some tickets left to hear a wide variety of contemporary stars tackle Neil’s most famous songs, from "Sweet Caroline" to "America." There’s a list that includes everyone from Coldplay to Jennifer Hudson. But who I really want to see is Micky Dolenz doing "I’m a Believer." Someone had better invite the ex-Monkee ASAP! Call 310-392-3777 for tickets. NARAS and the Grammy Foundation are the main charities of the record biz (other than T.J. Martell and UJA-Federation), doing great work not only supporting indigent musicians but also getting music into schools where programs have been cut …
…Episode 2 of the new season of Lost was completely without Matthew Fox and Evangeline Lilly. What gives here? Still hard to follow, the show did give some clues last night if you stuck it out: Penny’s father, Charles Widmore, went to the island 50 years ago with Richard Alpert’s group. This sort of explains Widmore’s obsession with the island, his sense of ownership, and why he funded Daniel Faraday’s time travel research. Alpert, according to Juliet, has "always" been around and is "very old." He’s also named for Ram Dass, the Harvard spiritual teacher and one of the fathers of LSD, as we all know, with Timothy Leary. Ram Dass has done a lot of time travel, that’s for sure! I just hope he’s getting a kick out of all this, whatever it is. The rest of it, who knows, but I doubt ratings will be any better as even passive viewers would have wondered where the core characters were … If it weren’t for Desmond and Penny, I’d throw in the towel…