Lennon’s ‘Midnight Sun’ a mom-and-pop project 

click to enlarge The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
  • courtesy photo
  • Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl — who make up the duo The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger — have released their second recording.
Sean Lennon never has rested on his rock-royalty laurels. After pursuing a solo career with his 1998 debut, “Into the Sun,” on the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal imprint, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono has been making music in do-it-yourself fashion lately. In April, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, the duo he formed in 2008 with girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl (a model, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist), released neo-psychedelic sophomore disc “Midnight Sun” on Chimera Music. The couple literally runs the label out of their New York apartment. The pair’s company also releases music from Lennon’s longtime cohorts Cibo Matto, his mother’s Plastic Ono Band, plus his own film soundtracks.

As a kid living in San Francisco with your mom, didn’t you and your friends regularly hold court at Double Rainbow ice cream on Polk Street? That’s crazy! I was at a San Francisco day school for one semester, and I was the only person with brown rice and no candy in their lunch box. And it was very humiliating. I’d open my lunch, and I’d just have a brown rice ball, and I’d see the other kids eating their Devil Dogs. I might as well have taken out an alien brain or an eyeball. And I remember them all eating candy, and I wasn’t allowed to eat candy, because I was supposed to eat healthy. And you can’t trade a rice ball for a Devil Dog.

Besides a good diet, what other wisdom did your mother instill in you? To be honest, she leads by example. She’s an amazing artist, and she’s an amazing intellectual, and she takes care of business. She never dropped the ball for a second. She’s just very focused in her life, and the fact that I saw someone that strong in her gave me something to model my own life after.

What is an average day like for you and Charlotte? Right now, I’m in the studio, which is also our house, which is also where we ship all of our records out of — our kitchen, downstairs in the basement. So we take all the orders from here, we make all the music, we record it, we mix it, and then we master it up the street at Sterling Sound. It’s a really mom-and-pop shop.

No relaxing getaways? We took a vacation when we met — we went to Papua New Guinea. But it was close to Japan, where we were working. And we haven’t had a vacation since — we just work. We’ve never even gone on a weekend in Vermont. And that’s really f---ed up, actually!


The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger

Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.

When: 9 p.m. Tuesday

Tickets: $15

Contact: (415) 885-0750, www.slimspresents.com

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Tom Lanham

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