John Lennon’s Son Wrote a Song About Being Friends With Michael Jackson’s Chimpanzee

John Lennon‘s son, Sean Ono Lennon, crossed paths with Michael Jackson. Specifically, Sean spent time with Jackson when he was a child and befriended the King of Pop’s chimpanzee, Bubbles. During an interview, Sean discussed that time in his life.

Michael Jackson sitting at a table with his chimpanzee Bubbles
Michael Jackson with his chimpanzee Bubbles | Sankei Archive via Getty Images

John Lennon’s son said spending time with Michael Jackson and Bubbles was like ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’

Since he made his musical debut in the 1990s, Sean has been involved in a number of musical projects. One of them is The Claypool Lennon Delirium. The Claypool Lennon Delirium is a duo composed of Sean and Primus’ Les Claypool. During a 2019 interview with Exclaim!, Sean said one of the duo’s songs is about Bubbles.

“I actually wrote a song about it, ‘Bubbles Burst,’ on the last Delirium album,” Sean said. “I think it’s just one of many stories I have that are interesting from having a different kind of childhood but it’s a song about being friends with Bubbles, Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee, and spending time out at Michael’s house in California with Bubbles and the boa constrictor and a bunch of other animals.”

Sean opened up about his time with the King of Pop. “I think that was a super strange time, but not in a dark way,” he said. “In an odd way, in a unique way. It was odd because Bubbles was all dressed up in dandy outfits and we were all running around playing video games with this chimpanzee.” Sean compared his time at Neverland Ranch to a combination of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Motown’s Greatest Hits, and Dr. Dolittle.

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What John Lennon’s son was trying to say about Michael Jackson in ‘Bubbles Burst’

Sean has fond memories of Jackson. “He was the coolest dude I’d ever met for sure,” he said. “I mean people, you know, they have a lot of opinions about him and like anything else, my opinions can only be based on my experience.”

Sean said some listeners interpreted “Bubbles Burst” as criticism of the King of Pop — or as a defense of him. Sean said it was neither. Rather, “Bubbles Burst” was a document of Sean’s surreal experiences with Bubbles.

John Lennon's son, Sean Ono Lennon, wearing a blue shirt
John Lennon’s son, Sean Ono Lennon | Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

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The way listeners in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s ‘Bubbles Burst’

“Bubbles Burst” appeared on The Claypool Lennon Delirium’s album Monolith of Phobos. For one week, Monolith of Phobos reached No. 84 on the Billboard 200. In the United States, Monolith of Phobos charted higher than any of Sean’s solo albums.

“Bubbles Burst” wasn’t a hit in the United Kingdom either. According to The Official Charts Company, the track didn’t chart there. Monolith of Phobos did not chart in the U.K. either.

“Bubbles Burst” wasn’t a hit — but it serves as an interesting connection between Sean and Jackson.

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