The Ballad of John and Yoko

18 Feb

On the 78th birthday of Yoko Ono. Blame her if you want for the breakup of the Beatles, but it seems more likely she was merely the conduit for what was inevitable.

Born into a wealthy family in Japan which lost much in World War II, educated at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, married twice previously before Lennon. She was accomplished in the art world before she ever met Lennon, which happened when he came to her exhibit; he was much more interested in her professional career than she was in his. Lennon spent the final five years of his life devoted to Ono and their son Sean. Lennon’s final album, Double Fantasy, was done in collaboration with Ono.

The Ballad of John and Yoko is Lennon’s song about their 1969 wedding and honeymoon. It was recorded without Ringo and George Harrison because they were unavailable and Lennon wanted to record it quickly. It was the Beatles’ 17th and final No. 1 hit in Great Britain; in the U.S. some stations refused to air it because of the word Christ in the chorus.

Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton,
Talking in our beds for a week.
The newspapers said, say what you doing in bed?
I said, we’re only trying to get us some peace.

Next: Lee Morgan


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