Monday, October 7, 2013

9 Days Of Lennon: Day 7 John meeting Yoko Ono

 "It is very difficult for us to know we love somebody because it is an insecure position to be in. But in the end, it is important to be honest about your love because life is not that long."- Yoko Ono
We all know Yoko Ono, the avant- garde artist who stole
John's heart in the mid 60s and would later become an inspiration to his songs like "oh, Yoko!", "Dear Yoko" and others. She would also be the one who would have John's second child, Sean and who he would marry in 1969. Many people blame Yoko for The Beatles break up, which in my opinion isn't completely true. She took part in many events like the Bed In's for Peace and even had a band named after her, The Plastic Ono Band. Yoko Ono had made a profound impact in John Lennon's life and here's the story of how they met. 

Yoko Ono was born on February 18,1933 in Tokyo, she was an only child and lived with her mother, Isoko Yasuda, who was granddaughter to Zenijiro Yasuda, founder of Yasuda Bank. She didn't meet her father, Eisuke Ono, who was a decedent of the 9th century Emperor of Japan, till she was two years old in California. She shortly headed back to Japan before World War II and survived the bombing over Tokyo in 1945. Yoko went to the same school as Emperor Hirohito's sons, although the girls and boys were separated she and Emperor Hirohito's son, Yoshi would visit each other.

In the early 50s the Ono's moved to New York and Yoko attended Sarah Lawrence College studying and singing music where she might a Julliard student, Toshi Ichiyanagi and would later marry him. The two moved to Manhattan where Yoko found herself becoming interested in the arts from inspirations like Fraz Kafka, Vincent Van Gogh, and Arnold Schonberg. During these times she worked as a waitress, apartment manager, and a music teacher in public schools in New York. Her parents didn't say much but Yoko always knew they were disappointed.
"It was all right for me to be an artist or a musician, but they were thinking of a more conservative route."
In 1962 she separated Toshi and moved back to Japan with her parents, there she found herself clinical depressed and was put into a mental hospital. Once released she married an art promoter from the United States, Tony Cox. She later had a child with Tony Cox, named Kyoko. In 1964 Tony had left Japan and headed back to New York where Yoko and Kyoko would follow. Tony had became Yoko's art assistant during their marriage. The two stayed married up until Tony had found out that Yoko had been seeing the great John Lennon.

During late October or  early November of 1966 John Lennon was talking to John Dunbar, an owner of an art gallery in London. Dunbar told John that there was some Japanese women who was having an art show at his gallery and was going to literally  be in a black bag. When Lennon heard this he thought it was some crazy sex thing and went to the gallery on November 9 just to see what it was all about. To his surprise there was no woman in the black bag, she was just walking around the gallery fixing little pieces of art. When John first saw Yoko and her work he dismissed her as a "crazy artist". He saw a fresh apple just sitting there that was priced for £200 and a bag of nails priced for £100.

"I thought this was a con; what the hell is this," John told BBC interviewer Andy Peebles.
Approaching John, Yoko handed him a card that just said "Breathe". John was then distracted by a ladder and a canvas on the wall. He climbed the ladder up to the top where in fine print the canvas just read "YES". 
"You're on the ladder -- you feel like a fool, you could fall any minute -- and you look through and it just says "YES". Well,  All the so- called avant - garde art at the time, and everything that was supposedly interesting was all negative; the smash-the-piano-with-a-hammer, break-the-sculpture, boring, negative crap. It was all anti-, anti-, anti-, anti-art. Anti- establishment. And just that "YES" made me stay in a gallery full of apples and nails, instead of just walking out. Saying, 'I'm not gonna by any of this crap."- John Lennnon
After he stepped down from the ladder he headed to a board with a chain and a hammer at the end. Underneath the board was a bag of nails and John asked if he could nail one in, Ono replied no. Dunbar was the one who told Yoko that that's not the way you treat  a Beatle. Yoko told John that he can nail one for 5 shillings. John looked at her and told her he'd pay her an imaginary shilling for an imaginary nail and there he hammered his imaginary nail. 
"And that's when we really met. That's when we locked eyes and she got it and I got it, and that was it."

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