“Most people don’t live with Yoko Ono”

“It’s not like I’m some wondrous, mystic prince from the rock-‘n’-roll world dabbling in strange music with this exotic, Oriental dragon lady…”

John Lennon and Yoko Ono interviewed by Playboy magazine in 1980.

LENNON: “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 and 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.’ And so there was this little conference, and 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 and, as they say in all the interviews we do, the rest is history.”

lennon_ono_trudeau_1969_b.jpg

ONO: “Well, he had a lot of experience before he met me, the kind of experience I never had, so I learned a lot from him, too. It’s both ways. Maybe it’s that I have strength, a feminine strength. Because women develop it… in a relationship, I think women really have the inner wisdom and they’re carrying that while men have sort of the wisdom to cope with society, since they created it. Men never developed the inner wisdom; they didn’t have time. So most men do rely on women’s inner wisdom, whether they express that or not […] So maybe both of us learned a lot about how men and women suffer because of the social structure. And the only way to change it is to be aware of it. It sounds simple, but important things are simple.”

***

John and Yoko are the anti-Pierre and Margaret. I concluded this was clearly because Yoko is rad. Then I saw her at the opening of the John Lennon documentary at the Toronto Film Fest, and she was wearing a floppy velvet hat and sunglasses inside the theatre. When someone asked her a question about the Iraq war she said (in falsetto) that peace was clearly happening all around us and we just weren’t paying attention.

Maybe the $150,000,000 and assassination of her husband finally got to her.

~ Reilly

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