Sean Ono Lennon says collaboration with James McCartney came about ‘naturally’

The duo teamed up to released the single Primrose Hill.

Yoko Ono and her son Sean
Yoko Ono and her son Sean (Tony Harris/PA)

Sean Ono Lennon, the son of John and Yoko, has said his music collaboration with Sir Paul McCartney’s son James came about “naturally” and was not to “fulfil something for the Beatles fans”.

The multi-instrumentalist, 48, has released a song called Primrose Hill with McCartney, an ode to London’s panoramic viewing spot in Regent’s Park.

Speaking about the track to Chris Hawkins on BBC Radio 6 Music, Ono Lennon said: “It was really special for me. It actually happened quite some time ago, so I wasn’t sure if the song was going to come out or not.

“He had made another record since we’d worked on that song.

“And so I was very surprised when he gave me a text and said ‘Hey, can we put Primrose Hill out?’ and I was like ‘Well, it’s about time I was hoping you would put it out!’ So yeah, I was thrilled you know. I thought he had forgotten about it or whatever.

“But it happened very naturally. I think a lot of people, I’ve been seeing just the comments section (which I guess one should avoid) but I’ve noticed that people kind of assume we’re trying to start something or we were doing it in order to fulfil something for the Beatles fans.

“But actually it came about very naturally. I was just at his flat in London and he was telling me about a girl he had a crush on, and he was sort of writing a song about it and he kind of wanted me to help him.

“And so all I really did was say ‘Well hey, where did you guys go on your first date?’

“And he was like ‘Well we went and had a picnic on Primrose Hill and we sat on Primrose Hill’ and I said ‘Alright’, and I just wrote that down ‘We sat on Primrose Hill’ – ‘Next, what happened next?’ and I just sort of took a dictation really of him telling me the story about his memories and his feelings.

James McCartney in 2012
James McCartney in 2012 (Yui Mok/PA)

“So that’s all I really did. I didn’t do much. I just sort of helped him get his ideas down, you know?.”

Discussing whether he would collaborate with other Beatles children, he said: “That seems like it would take a lot more planning than we’re probably able to deal with. But we all like each other and we’re all friends and I do support what they do.

“I mean I love Zak’s new band Mantra Of The Cosmos, it’s really cool. It’s really cool, what I’ve heard so far.”

Drummer Zak Starkey is the son of Sir Ringo Starr and he is part of a new alternative musical group formed by Shaun Ryder from the Happy Mondays.

Ono Lennon said he is close with George Harrison’s son Dhani as well, who is also a musician.

Sir Paul McCartney and his daughter Mary McCartney
Sir Paul McCartney and his daughter Mary McCartney (Yui Mok/PA)

“Dhani and I are very close because we’ve been working together indirectly I guess through Beatles stuff”, he said.

He added: “I mean it’s unlikely that we would do something, cause the only reason we would do that is because of the Beatles and it’s a bit too much.

“It would be a bit weird I think. But I’m not against playing with anybody that I like. I’m very open.

“I write a lot of songs with a lot of people and I produce a lot of records, so when James wanted help with the song I wasn’t going to say no to that because it felt natural and basically I’m open to working with people with whom I feel a natural affinity.

“But I’m not gonna do it because of some expectation or some other idea, if that makes sense.”

The Beatles
The Beatles

The Beatles formed in Liverpool in 1960 and went on to become one of the most famous bands in the word.

This month a remastered version of their 1970 documentary Let It Be is to be released on Disney+.

The film follows on from Peter Jackson’s 2021 docuseries The Beatles: Get Back which used audio restoration technology that allowed vocals, music, and conversations among the band to be isolated, enabling a new mix of the Revolver album, sourced directly from the four-track master tapes, in 2022.

After this, filmmaker Jackson and his sound team, led by Emile de la Rey, used software to help separate Lennon’s vocals from the piano in song Now And Then, which was released last year.