May 20, 2014
Happy Birthday John Lennon, War Is Over
I interviewed Yoko Ono once, years ago (really, so very many years ago), and before I did, I asked about a dozen people what they would ask her. In every single case, every woman had a question about Ono’s art, or her music, or her love for John Lennon, or their bed-in. And in every single case, in the exact same words, every man sneered, “Ask her what it was like to break up the Beatles.”
So I did. I asked her what it was like to break up the Beatles. And she was fucking great about it.
“OK, I NEED TO ANSWER THAT!” she sort of yelled but not really yelled over the phone, in the absolute nicest way possible. “I DID NOT BREAK UP THE BEATLES!” Then she told me that it was more about Paul and Linda wanting her dad to manage the Beatles or something, I think? I don’t know, the interview was before I had an internet.
I was mortified to ask, but I was asking all the questions that had been passed on to me. She was so gracious. And bitchen. And a fucking artist. Here is the only part of the interview I still have, about how Yoko Ono and John Lennon met. It takes place, of course, at her art show. The legend was that he was the only one who thought to climb the ladder in her installation, and that this was some sort of win-the-princess level of bravery and hero’s journey pluck.
“He climbed the ladder. But lots of people climbed the ladder. He was the only one who bit into the apple. I had this apple, a beautiful fresh apple, on this beautiful pedestal. I thought this apple should keep on deteriorating, like apples do, until the seeds just scattered to the wind. But he bit into it! I was thinking, ‘How dare you?!’ I was totally turning pale. And he had this look, like he’d been caught by the schoolteacher, you know? He put it back.”
Don’t like Ono’s music? Fuck you, you are just jealous because she is not being your Angel.
or kissing you while sort of ripping off Serge Gainsbourgh and Jane Birkin’s sexxxxytime, while also adding in some proto-Diamanda Galas shrieking and screaming, like how our vagina dentata would scream during sex, if they could talk.
Also, you probably just hate women.