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Sean Lennon

 
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Sean Lennon

In 1998 when Sean Lennon made a handful of talk show appearances to promote the release of his long anticipated Into the Sun album on Grand Royal Records, he was often asked why he chose Grand Royal over some of the larger and more widely distributed labels. More times than not his reply was that the Beastie Boys were his friends and that there was not the pressure to have a "hit" record with Grand Royal that there may have been had he opted to sign with a larger label. In fact at the time when the Beastie Boys first suggested putting it out there, Sean was very modest and was somewhat surprised that they liked his music well enough to consider releasing it.

The album had a built in audience of Beatles fans that would buy the album on name value along, just as we Beastie Boys fans would if Yauch's daughter had her own release. Yet, it did not take long for Sean to develop his own fan following. Having toured off and on with his girlfriend in Cibo Matto, Sean was no stranger to the road. He toured small clubs to promote the Into the Sun album, but it was not until the June 1998 Tibetan Freedom Concert that Sean played to an arena sized audience. Following the two day concert event at RFK Stadium in Washington DC, Sean brought his guitar along to the capitol lawn protest that Adam Yauch and Erin Potts helped to organize in order to gain political attention for their Free Tibet movement. At the protest, Sean seemed very comfortable playing with classic rock legends like David Crosby of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.

In addition to his solo releases, Sean has made numerous guest appearances on other Grand Royal releases. For example, he played bass on Money Mark's "Hand in Your Head" from Push the Button (1998). Two years earlier Sean played some background music on the Butter08 album Butter (1996), as well as keyboards on the Butter08 song "It's the Rage." Then in 1999, Sean lent his vocals to the Ben Lee song "Sandpaperback" off of Breathing Tornados, yet another Grand Royal album.

The Beastie Boys - Sean Lennon connection continues on. The band has been known to record on occasion at Sean's home, which features an intimate studio. Sean has often been spotted at Beastie Boys concerts and benefit events in the New York area, so it is not much of a stretch to speculate that their friendship has weathered the demise of Grand Royal Records.

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