The fab 15: One joined a religious cult. Another became an Exploding Nudist. As four of the Beatles' sons talk of forming a band, how have their siblings fared
10:42 GMT, 7 April 2012
This week, Sir Paul McCartney’s son James revealed he and three other Beatles offspring are considering forming the next generation of the Fab Four.
They are among 15 children and step-children John, Paul, George and Ringo had by eight women.
But how well have they all succeeded in emerging from the shadow of their famous fathers.
The fab four: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison. Between them they had 15 children and step-children by eight women
Zac Starkey's mother is Ringo's first wife, former Liverpool hairdresser Maureen Cox
1 ZAK (46)
Zak, who uses Ringo’s original surname Starkey, followed his father into a career as a successful rock drummer.
His mother is Ringo’s first wife, former Liverpool hairdresser Maureen Cox.
He grew up in Sunningdale, Berkshire, at his father’s mansion, Tittenhurst Park, but played truant from the local school and was educated at home by private tutors.
Following his parents’ divorce in 1975, ten-year-old Zak was given his first professional drum kit by his godfather, Keith Moon of The Who, and took over the late Moon’s role in the band in the mid-Nineties.
He has also played with his father’s group, Ringo’s All-Starr band.
In April 2006, he joined Oasis as their drummer.
When his mother Maureen was diagnosed with leukaemia, Zak donated bone marrow and blood platelets, but she died of the disease in December 1994.
At the age of 19, he married Sarah Menedikes, his sweetheart of three years, and they have a 26-year-old daughter, wannabe musician Tatia.
The couple separated in 2006.
Jason Starkey once said: 'Being Ringo Starr's son is the biggest drag of my life. It's a total pain'
2 JASON (44)
Jason, who was seven when Maureen and Ringo divorced, has struggled to cope with being the child of rock royalty.
In 1987, at the age of 19, he was fined 125 for stealing a car radio.
Two years later, he twice appeared in court on drugs charges.
A drummer like his dad, albeit less successful than his older brother, he has worked with various indie bands, including his own group Musty Jack Sponge And The Exploding Nudists.
He once said: ‘Being Ringo Starr’s son is the biggest drag of my life. It’s a total pain.’
Jason and his long-term partner, fashion designer Flora Evans, live in London and have three sons, Louie, 12, Sonny, nine, and two-year-old Rock.
Francesca Gregorini came out as a lesbian ten years ago
3 FRANCESCA (43)
Film director Francesca — or officially the Countess Francesca Gregorin — is Ringo’s step-daughter through his second wife, American actress Barbara Bach, whom he married in 1981.
er father is the millionaire Italian nobleman and industrialist Augusto Gregorini.
She was brought up in Rome, where she was educated at the Sacred Heart school until the age of eight. After her parents’ divorce, Miss Bach took her daughter back to the U.S.
Following her marriage to Ringo, however, the pair moved to his 80-acre estate he bought near Ascot.
The remainder of Francesca’s childhood was blighted by the drink and drug addictions of the couple.
They finally entered rehab in 1988.
In 1990, Francesca graduated from the Ivy League Brown University in Rhode Island and attempted to launch a music career, which ended in failure.
Ten years ago, she came out as a lesbian after she was photographed in a passionate clinch with Ally McBeal actress Portia de Rossi outside a celebrity restaurant.
Following her split from Miss de Rossi in 2004, Miss Gregorini — who lives in Los Angeles — was photographed last November kissing the American actress Amber Heard.
Lee Starkey lives in London with her boyfriend of six years, the Kasabian guitarist Jay Mehler
4 LEE (41)
After leaving the private King Alfred School in Hampstead, North London, without getting any qualifications, Ringo’s only natural daughter worked at Tower Records before briefly enrolling in drama school.
Just a year after her mother’s death, Lee collapsed and was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Her father flew her to Boston for a life-saving operation and radiotherapy treatment.
But in 2001, the tumour returned and she was again treated in American hospitals.
Having ditched her plans for a career in music, she is now a make-up artist and has been known to dabble with fashion design.
She lives in London with her boyfriend of six years, the Kasabian guitarist Jay Mehler.
In 2009, she gave birth to triplets.
Gianni Gregorini is now a businessman based in Los Angeles
5 GIANNI (39)
When Ringo’s stepson Gianni was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and the doctors misdiagnosed him with cerebral palsy.
In fact, he turned out to be quite healthy.
As with his sister Francesca, his father Augusto shared custody with former Bond girl Miss Bach.
A young, blond Gianni was a pageboy at the wedding of his mother and Starr in 1981.
He later worked for his father’s firm and is now a businessman based in Los Angeles, where his mother and step-father Ringo also live.
In her 20s, Heather McCartney was admitted to a Home Counties clinic suffering from depression
1 HEATHER (49)
The oldest child of the wide-ranging McCartney clan, Heather is Sir Paul’s adopted daughter from her mother Linda Eastman’s first troubled marriage to American geologist Melville See.
Heather — not to be confused with Macca’s second wife Heather Mills, from whom he acrimoniously divorced in 2008 — spent her early years growing up in Tucson, Arizona.
Following the collapse of her parents’ marriage in 1965, Linda brought her daughter to Britain and started dating McCartney.
After marrying Linda in 1969, Paul took action to legally adopt Heather as his own daughter.
Schooled by private tutors while following her parents around the world with McCartney’s band Wings, Heather was eventually enrolled in secondary school at Thomas Peacocke Comprehensive in Rye, East Sussex, staying close to the family home.
In her 20s, she was admitted to a Home Counties clinic suffering from depression.
Later she travelled to Mexico and spent several months living among the native Huichol and Tarahumara tribes. On her return home, she took up pottery and was acclaimed by Wedgwood as ‘one of Britain’s most exciting new talents’.
Two years after losing her mother to breast cancer in April 1998, her natural father, who was said never to have got over his divorce from Linda, killed himself.
Heather, who is single, lives in a cottage on McCartney’s Sussex estate.
Mary McCartney inherited her mother's talents and followed her into photography
2 MARY (42)
Paul and Linda’s first biological child, Mary inherited her mother’s talents and followed her into photography.
She was chosen by Tony and Cherie Blair to take the official first portraits of their son, Leo, in 2000.
She has also had her work exhibited at the National Portrait gallery and regularly works for society magazines Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair.
Her first marriage to television director and producer Alistair Donald — by whom she has two children, Arthur, 13, and nine-year-old Elliot — ended after seven years in 2005.
In June 2010, she secretly married her filmmaker boyfriend Simon Aboud at Marylebone Register Office (even her father was not told until afterwards).
It was the venue where her parents wed 41 years earlier and where Paul married Nancy Shevell last year.
She and Aboud have two boys, Sam, three, and seven-month-old Sid.
She lives in North London and runs the picture department of her father’s company, MPL Communications.
Stella McCartney supports animal rights and is a strict vegetarian
3 STELLA (40)
Fashion designer Stella was appointed creative director of Paris fashion house Chloe in 1997, before setting up her own eponymous label in 2001.
Always the most outspoken sibling, she branded her father a ‘tight bastard’ for sending his children to their local comprehensive school.
She also had a famously fraught relationship with former stepmother Paul’s second wife Heather Mills.
After she separated from Macca in 2006, Miss Mills claimed ‘jealous’ Stella had tried to wreck the marriage, even scratching Heather’s face off a family photo.
A close friend of Kate Moss, Stella married publisher Alasdhair Willis in a chapel on the Isle of Bute in 2003. They have four children, their sons Miller, seven, and Beckett, four, as well as daughters Bailey, five, and Reiley, one.
Like all the McCartney children, Stella supports animal rights and is a strict vegetarian.
James McCartney has inherited his fathers looks and love of music
4 JAMES (34)
Macca’s only son, James McCartney has inherited his father’s looks and love of music.
This week, the singer and guitarist played a sold out gig at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, where The Beatles originally made their name.
Naturally shy, he avoided the limelight for years, working as a painter and decorator in Brighton.
In the weeks after his mother Linda’s death, he moved back in with his father and the two men were even said to have shared a bedroom as they grieved.
James, who lives in a 1.5 million North London flat, played guitar on two of his father’s records, Flaming Pie and Driving Rain. His own album, The Complete EP Collection, was released in November last year.
This week, James told his Liverpool audience: ‘To me, Paul is just dad. He’s been a huge inspiration and I think you can spot his influence here and there.’
Arlen makes rare public appearances with his mother and stepfather at various New York events
5 ARLEN (19)
Paul’s stepson from his latest marriage to the American trucking heiress Nancy Shevell, Arlen’s father is her former husband, New York based lawyer Bruce Blakeman.
Arlen, who currently attends the prestigious Rollins College in Florida, took on the role of giving away his mother at her London wedding to McCartney seven months ago.
He makes rare public appearances with his mother and stepfather at various New York events, and he was spotted dancing with the couple at a Lady Gaga gig just last year.
6 BEATRICE (8)
Paul’s youngest daughter from his short-lived and troubled marriage to the model Heather Mills, Beatrice is named after her maternal grandmother.
In February, Macca made a public announcement that he was finally giving up cannabis so that he could be a better father to her.
Following Paul and Heather’s traumatic divorce in 2008, he and Miss Mills hold shared custody of Beatrice, who was a flower girl at her father’s third wedding last October.
Dhani Harrison studied at Brown University in the U.S., where he studied physics and design
The only child of Harrison and his Mexican-born second wife Olivia Arias, Dhani grew up at George’s gothic estate Friar Park in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.
He was educated at nearby public school Shiplake College and later at Brown University in the U.S., where he studied physics and design.
Like his father, he’s a guitarist, but has struggled to make a success of his career in music, despite appearing alongside the likes of Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney at a tribute concert for George at the Albert Hall a year after his death from cancer in 2001.
Dhani, who shares his late father’s looks and love of motor racing, formed a band, thenewno2, in 2006.
Two years ago, he started another band, Fist ful of Mercy. He lives in Los Angeles with the Icelandic former model Solveig Karadottir, to whom he announced his engagement in February.
Julian Lennon is still making music and pursuing a career as a photographer
1 JULIAN (48)
John’s son with his first wife Cynthia Powell was five when his parents divorced.
Lennon then effectively abandoned him. Julian has since said of his father: ‘I felt he was a hypocrite. Dad could talk about peace and love out loud to the world, but he could never show it to the people who supposedly meant the most to him: his wife and son.’
After Lennon was murdered in December 1980, Julian launched his own music career and went on to have Top Ten hits with Too Late For Goodbyes and Saltwater.
He has a famously difficult relationship with his stepmother, Yoko Ono. He was not named in John’s will, and it took 16 years and the threat of court action to persuade her to give him a share of Lennon’s 200 million fortune.
Julian is believed to have accepted 20 million in 1996.
He recently claimed he was being airbrushed out of The Beatles’ history after he wasn’t invited to Sir Paul’s wedding to Nancy Shevell last year.
Still making music and pursuing a career as a photographer, Julian recently split from his girlfriend of ten years Lucy and lives in Italy.
Kyoko was John Lennon's stepdaughter from Yoko's second marriage
2 KYOKO (49)
Lennon’s stepdaughter from Yoko’s second marriage to the American artist Tony Cox.
Japanese-born Yoko left Cox for Lennon in 1969, and two years later, at the height of a custody battle, Kyoko’s father kidnapped his eight-year-old daughter and vanished to Los Angeles.
While in hiding, Cox signed them both up to a Christian cult called The Living Word Fellowship, also known as The Walk.
Cox says he escaped from the sect in 1977 and then enrolled the young Kyoko at Walter Reed Junior High School in Hollywood.
After Lennon’s death, a teenage Kyoko sent her mother a telegram of condolence. But despite Yoko writing an open letter to her daughter, Kyoko did not agree to meet her mother again until 1997.
Mother and daughter are now said to be close.
Kyoko, who shuns publicity, is a teacher in America and married to a lawyer called Jim. They have two children.
Three years ago, Sean Lennon launched his band with his girlfriend, U.S. model Charlotte Kemp Muhl
3 SEAN (36)
The product of John’s marriage to Yoko Ono, Sean was five when his father died.
He was educated at Manhattan’s private Dalton School and the Swiss Institut Le Rosey — reputedly the world’s most expensive school with annual fees of 60,000. He later dropped out of New York’s Columbia University.
He also followed a career in music and released his first solo album, Into The Sun, in 1998.
Three years ago, he launched his band The Ghost Of A Sabre Tooth Tiger with his girlfriend, U.S. model Charlotte Kemp Muhl.
Previously he dated Mick Jagger’s daughter Elizabeth and Bijou Phillips, the daughter of John Phillips of Sixties group The Mamas And The Papas. Sean lives in New York.