FEW stars can be real idols to their children. Now John Lennon's younger son Sean has said that he regards his late father as a rather flawed human being and he wishes that fans would stop regarding the murdered Beatle as a kind of God.
Sean Lennon describes his father as a `macho pig', an adulterer and a `asshole' in memories of their time together. The image emerges of a strict father who shouted fiercely, denied him sweets and refused to let him see TV commercials.
Sean (22) is the son of Lennon's second wife, Yoko Ono. His disillusionment with his father is all the more poignant because Lennon took five years off work when his younger son was born, to devote himself exclusively to raising his child. Troubled by his estrangement from Julian, his older son by his first wife Cynthia, Lennon had hoped to ensure a better relationship and a better childhood. Sean was five years old when Lennon was shot dead in New York in December, 1980.
In an interview to be published in the July issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Sean says that his father once cheated brazenly on his mother while the two were at a party together: ``He was a macho pig in lots of ways, and he knew it. I think his greatest achievement was recognising that he was a macho asshole and trying to stop it.''
Sean, who recently released his first album, Into the Sun recorded with his girlfriend Yuka Honda, and members of her band Cibo Matto also speaks of his father's raging temper. ``I don't want to say it, but I have some less than happy memories of him screaming at me. My dad definitely had a violent temper.
``People forget how easy it is to overglorify a human being, to make a myth of them. The reality was that he was my dad. And sometimes he would yell at me for no reason and I would cry hysterically.
``I don't want people to think I'm being disrespectful. But then again, he's my dad. I know he was a great guy but he wasn't a God, he was like you and me, imperfect with doubts.
``My dad was really strict. When watching the Muppet Show with him he would always turn the TV off during the commercials. I would say, `Dad, we're going to miss some of it.' But he'd wait two minutes then put the TV back on. He told me that anything you ever see on a commercial is a I wasn't allowed to eat refined sugar. I wasn't allowed to eat dairy. I grew up completely macrobiotic.''
Wistfully, he says: ``I don't miss John Lennon the persona, I miss my dad. I don't miss the Beatle. I miss the guy who put me on his shoulders when we went to the beach. I miss him every day.''
( The Times, London)