Christopher Joel "Kipp" Lennon (born March 12, 1960) is an American musician, and a founding member of the folk rock band Venice. His role in the band includes performing as a lead vocalist and percussionist.
Early and personal life
Lennon was born in Venice, California, the son of William and Isabelle Lennon. His given name is Christopher. The explanation he gives for his nickname is: "When I was brought home from the hospital as a brand new baby, March 1960, everyone was calling me 'Chrissy', like people do with newborns. You add an 'e' or 'y' or whatever to their name as an instant nickname. Okay, so my brother Joe was 3 years old and he couldn't say 'Chrissy', and kept saying 'Kippy'. My brother Dan, who was ten, thought that was hilarious, and from that day on, literally my first day at home, I was dubbed Kippy, never to be called Christopher again except by doctors, teachers, cops, and my mom if she was mad at me."
When Lennon was nine years old, he and his family endured the shooting death of their father, William. Chet Young, a stalker who believed himself to be married to Kipp's sister Peggy (of The Lennon Sisters) felt that the father stood in the way and had to be eliminated. Lying in wait, Young shot him in the parking lot of the Marina Del Rey golf course and two months later used the same gun to commit suicide. The family later discovered an unopened letter having a cutout of Mr. Lennon, a picture of a gun pointed at his head, and the words "High Noon" (the time of the murder) (source Dr. Doreen Orion, I Know You Really Love Me).
Venice was founded in 1977; the band was initially founded by him and his cousin Michael Lennon. The following year Michael's brother Mark joined, with Kipp's brother Pat joining in 1980. Since that time, the two pairs of cousins have performed and released albums, in 1978 sharing lead vocals with his cousin Michael Lennon, in 1977 by cousins Michael and Kipp Lennon. Kipp plays percussion and writes songs for the band Venice, with whom he has released 13 albums and other works since 1986. He also sings for the Pine Mountain Logs, a band containing many of the members of Venice and playing only cover versions of rock songs.
He performed with the rest of the band on their live DVD, "Venice, Live at the Royal Carre Theater." Additionally, Lennon released one solo album, "Boom Boom Party" (CBS/Sony), in 1987.
Lennon sang with David Crosby on his solo album Thousand Roads, and also performed vocals for the song "Suspension," which was the main title of the movie and TV series versions of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Lennon is the youngest brother of the popular female quartet The Lennon Sisters, who rose to fame on The Lawrence Welk Show and continued a successful singing career in the subsequent decades.
Although Kipp Lennon did not appear in the Disney movie Double Switch, he did perform the vocals for the songs used in the soundtrack, "Turn up the Radio", "All Day, All Night", and "One Step Closer".
Lennon has contributed to several episodes of The Simpsons: in season 3's "Stark Raving Dad", although Michael Jackson (credited as "John Jay Smith") performed the speaking part of Leon Kompowsky, a character who pretended he was Michael Jackson, Lennon sang the songs due to contractual obligations from Jackson with his record company at the time. Most notably he sang the song "Happy Birthday Lisa," written by Jackson within the episode. He also provides Jackson's singing voice in The Jacksons: An American Dream. Lennon returned as Kompowsky to sing the extra verses Bart wrote for his sister in season 29's "Mr. Lisa's Opus".
Lennon also sang the songs "Flaming Moe's" (a spoof of the theme song from the TV series Cheers) in the episode "Flaming Moe's", "The Sound of Grandpa" from "Lady Bouvier's Lover", and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" from "Duffless". He sang the original song "I'm Checking In" featured in the Betty Ford musical in "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson".
In addition to The Simpsons, Lennon voiced Michael Jackstone on The Flintstone Kids' Just Say No Special, and various roles in The Story of Santa Claus, The Fall Guy, Eight Is Enough, and the TV series of Herbie the Love Bug.
Lennon also sang the theme songs to C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. and the theatrical pilot of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
Lennon sang "Secret Agent Man" in the movie Can't Buy Me Love.
He also sang for the actor John Scott Clough in the Sidney Poitier-directed dance/musical film Fast Forward.
Starting September 2010, Lennon toured singing backup vocals in Roger Waters' The Wall.