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The story of how John Lennon and Yoko Ono met each other


The story of how John Lennon and Yoko Ono met each other

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were one of the most popular couples in the history of Rock and Roll music and she sadly was elected by most Beatles fans as the one who was responsible by the end of the band, which wasn’t entirely true. The Beatle was first married to Cynthia Powell from 1962 to 1968 and from that relationship his first son, Julian Lennon, was born.


He first met the Japanese artist Yoko Ono in 1966 in England and they got married in 1969, briefly separating in the early 70s, opening room for Lennon to start dating May Pang, who used to be his personal assistant. Yoko and Lennon officially got together again in the mid-70s and remained married until his tragic death in 1980.

But how did John Lennon and Yoko Ono first meet? How was the first interaction between the two?

The story of how John Lennon and Yoko Ono met each other

In an interview with Playboy magazine in 1980, just a few days before he was killed at the age of 40 outside the building he lived in New York, Lennon recalled how he first met Yoko. It was in 1966, when he was still married to Cynthia Powell, that someone told him about an event, which had a Japanese avant-garde artist in London.

“It was in 1966 in England. I’d been told about this ‘event’… this Japanese avant-garde artist coming from America. I was looking around the gallery and I saw this ladder and climbed up. (Then I) got a look in this spyglass on the top of the ladder. You feel like a fool and it just said, ‘Yes.’ Now, at the time, all the avant-garde was smash the piano with a hammer and break the sculpture and anti-, anti-, anti-, anti-, anti. It was all boring negative crap, you know.”

“And just that Yes made me stay in a gallery full of apples and nails. There was a sign that said, ‘Hammer A Nail In’. So I said, ‘Can I hammer a nail in?’ But Yoko said no. Because the show wasn’t opening until the next day. But the owner came up and whispered to her, ‘Let him hammer a nail in. You know, he’s a millionaire, he might buy it.’  So there was this little conference. Finally she said, ‘OK, you can hammer a nail in for five shillings.'”

“So smartass says, ‘Well, I’ll give you an imaginary five shillings and hammer an imaginary nail in.’ And that’s when we really met. That’s when we locked eyes and she got it and I got it. As they say in all the interviews we do, the rest is history,” John Lennon said.

He already wanted to leave The Beatles before they met each other

According to him, they didn’t get together right away and he had to go to Almeria, Spain to make a movie called “How I Won The War”. The musician said that it was really important for him to get away from all The Beatles’ entourage. He was there for six weeks and wrote the track “Strawberry Fields Forever” during the movie. It gave him time away from everyone to really decide what he wanted to do in his life.

“It gave me time to think on my own, away from the others. From then on, I was looking for somewhere to go. But I didn’t have the nerve to really step out on the boat by myself and push it off. But when I fell in love with Yoko, I knew, My God, this is different from anything I’ve ever known. This is something other. This is more than a hit record, more than gold, more than everything. It is indescribable,” John Lennon said.

John Lennon said that after finding the woman he loved, it was time to leave his friends behind

During the same interview he said that unlike fans think, Yoko had nothing to do with his idea of leaving The Beatles. He wanted that for years before it finally happened but he also said that when a man falls in love with a woman, he usually leaves his friends behind and it means that another chapter of his life starts. So his relationship with her made him decide to go and do other things in his life.

“As I said, I had already begun to want to leave, but when I met Yoko is like when you meet your first woman. You leave the guys at the bar, you don’t go play football anymore. You don’t go play snooker or billiards. Maybe some guys do it on Friday night or something. But once I found the woman, the boys became of no interest whatsoever other than being old school friends.”

“‘Those wedding bells are breaking up that old gang of mine.’ We got married three years later, in 1969. That was the end of the boys. And it just so happened that the boys were well known and weren’t just local guys at the bar. Everybody got so upset over it. There was a lot of shit thrown at us. A lot of hateful stuff,” John Lennon said.

He also commented that he felt like Paul McCartney was singing the line “Get Back Where You Belong” from the song “Get Back”, during the recording sessions, looking at Yoko. But then he said that he was probably just being paranoid about it.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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