More Than Rock

Rock & Friendship

Lucy Vodden was known by her maiden name, Lucy O’Donnell, when she was a classmate of Julian Lennon, son of John Lennon.  The story goes that one day, the four-year-old Julian came home from school with a drawing he made.  He told his father that it was Lucy in the sky with diamonds.  John, who was working with the other Beatles on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club band, took those words and that image and wrote their classic song, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”  Early on, many believed the song was actually about L.S.D. – “Lucy In The Sky With “Diamonds.”  Vodden was diagnosed with Lupus in recent years, and when Julian discovered that in early 2009, he reconnected with her for the first time since childhood.  He helped her deal with the illness by corresponding with her and sending her gift vouchers for a garden centre since she had a fondness for gardening. 


Lucy Vodden was 46 when she passed away. She died on 22 September 2009, with her husband, father, sister and brother at her bedside.Julian Lennon and his mother, Cynthia, released a statement saying they were "shocked and saddened" by Vodden's death.


On December 15, 2009, Julian Lennon released a single, "Lucy," dedicated to his late friend. The video draws heavily on that history, with Lennon seen colouring with crayons -- 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' came from a drawing young Julian did of his friend -- and a young girl, presumably a Lucy, seen playing on a schoolyard with friends.

For Lennon, the song, which raises money for Lupus research, is a fitting tribute to his childhood friend. "After hearing of her passing, the least I could do was something in her honour and her name that would bring more awareness and light to the disease she died of," he says. "I knew nothing about it before Lucy, so I just felt it was an opportunity to do something not only in her memory, but also to try and help the cause at the same time."

Julian Lennon he recorded with James Scott Cook. Both of whom had a Lucy in their lives who suffered from Lupus. For Scott, it's his 89-year-old grandmother, and for Lennon, it was childhood friend Lucy Vodden, who his father had immortalized in pop music history on 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.'