I don't care for this woman much.
John and Yoko were saved from heroin addiction by greedy drug dealer
Yoko Ono reveals how she and John Lennon escaped heroin addiction
Yoko Ono, widow of John Lennon, gave Desert Island Discs listeners an insight into the world she shared with the former Beatle, including revelations that the couple were regular heroin and users and that she almost aborted their only son, Sean.
Yoko Ono has claimed that a greedy heroin dealer was all that kept her and John Lennon from a deadly addiction.
Because the dealer mixed baby powder with the drug to maximise his profits, she said, it meant the couple were exposed to lower concentrations than many of their contemporaries.
She said the combination of the pair's fear of needles and the diluted nature of the drugs they were taken meant they had been able to kick the habit of heroin, which she described as "the big one".
"Luckily we never injected because both of us were totally scared about needles. So that probably saved us and the other thing that saved us was our connection was not very good.
"But that saved us actually."
On Desert Island Discs, the murdered Beatle's 74-year-old widow also revealed that their son Sean might never have been born. When she discovered she was pregnant, she had been prepared to have an abortion but left the decision up to Lennon.
She also revealed how Lennon's insistence on going to see his son might have cost him his life. In the moments before Lennon was gunned down by a crazed fan outside their New York apartment on December 8, 1980, she had suggested going for a meal - but Lennon was adamant he wanted to go home and see his child.
"We were returning from the studio, and I said, 'Should we go and have dinner before we go home?' and John was saying, 'No, let's go home because I want to see Sean before he goes to sleep'. That was the last thing he said."
Interviewed by Kirsty Young for the Radio 4 show, Japanese-born Yoko admitted that she and Lennon had been "narcissistic" by staging their honeymoon "bed-in" for peace at the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969.
She blamed the massive public affection for Lennon combined with an element of racism for the way she was vilified over her relationship-with him.
Yoko chose Lennon's song Beautiful Boy, about Sean, as the one she would take to a desert island above all else. Her eight selections also included Sean's own song, Magic.
The rest comprised Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien by Edith Piaf; Lili Marlene by Lale Andersen; Liverpool Lou by Dominic Behan; One Love/People Get Ready by Bob Marley; When I Grow Too Old To Dream, by Gracie Fields; and Seoul, by the Icelandic group Amiina. There were no Beatles songs.
by Ray Connolly, a close friend of John Lennon who has been writing about the Beatles for the past 40 years
What Sean Lennon feels about how close he came to never existing we don't know. But if he listened to what his mother had to say on Desert Island Discs he might have had more than a moment's pause for thought.
Yoko explained to Kirsty Young how, when she found that she was pregnant at the age of 42 in 1975, she considered having an abortion.
She and John Lennon had just become reconciled after an 18-month separation, and, as she explained on the programme, she "didn't know if it was the right moment to have a child. I just didn't want to burden him with something he didn't want".
Lennon's response was, she said: "Of course we're gonna keep it." It was "like he was really upset with my remark. And, I thought, well, we'll go ahead with this".
She is, of course, eternally grateful now that between them they made that decision. Less than six years later John would be dead, shot down by a mad fan on the pavement outside their apartment. And Sean would, for Yoko, become a living, growing embodiment of his father.
A woman with "an incredible sense of myself", as she told listeners, she was never the most likely person to be contented in the role of simply being a mother, but she certainly seemed to be very happy when, shortly after discovering she was pregnant, she sent me, an old friend, a postcard from New York. It read:
"Dear Ray. Here's a hard one for you to take - John and Yoko have not only come back together, but they're having a baby due October. Love Yoko!"
Actually at the time it was more than hard to take. It was astonishing. An announcement that she was suing for divorce would have seemed more likely. But the arrival of Sean was, in a sense, a statement of commitment from the couple, as though they were renewing their vows after what had been a difficult few years.
And the ballad of John and Yoko, as Lennon would jokily refer to their story, in and out of song, was rarely less than a rollercoaster ride.
The Lennons had gone to live in New York in 1971 after the Beatles' break-up a year earlier. Their marriage - her third, John's second - had met problems from the beginning.
In Britain she'd been vilified for seeming to have broken up Lennon's marriage to his first wife, Cynthia, while Beatle fans blamed her for the demise of the band and for turning him into a loony avant-garde exhibitionist.
At first they'd wanted a baby, and soon after they'd begun living together she'd become pregnant, only for her to suffer a miscarriage. Two more followed in the next few years, made more painful by the fact that in 1969 Yoko had lost her five-year-old daughter, Kyoko, when her second husband, film maker Tony Cox, had disappeared with the child into a religious cult. She wouldn't see her again until 1985 when Kyoko was 23, and Lennon was dead. Scroll down for more ...
The Beautiful Boy and apple of his father's eye, Sean with John and Yoko
Then there was the angst about the Beatles' break-up which caused Lennon great stress, and the spying on him by the FBI, when the U.S. Department of Immigration tried to get him deported because he was seen as a focus for anti-Vietnam War sentiments.
These things in themselves might not have put a crippling strain on the Lennons' marriage, although they can't have helped.
But John's inability to hold his drink, drug problems, and finally the humiliation and pain of Yoko being at a party and having to listen, along with other guests, as her husband had sex with a girl in the next room where the coats had been left, certainly did.
"He was," she would say later in something of an understatement, "becoming very difficult to live with."
Many women might, reasonably, have considered suing for divorce. But Yoko hit on another solution. She sent John off to California with their secretary, the pretty, personable May Pang, until he'd got what looked like a seriously-delayed adolescence out of his system.
He stayed away for 18 months, a period he would later self-mockingly refer to as his "lost weekend'", after the Billy Wilder film of that name.
Living in a beachside Santa Monica house - the place, incidentally, where Bobby Kennedy used to meet Marilyn Monroe for sex - he would carouse up and down Sunset Strip with hard-case rock self-destructors such as Keith Moon and Harry Nilsson, not to mention Phil Spector.
But in the end that life palled. He wasn't quite as wild as his druggy drinking companions, and could see that disaster would certainly come if he didn't mend his ways.
Returning to New York, he asked Yoko if he could come home. She kept him waiting before she allowed him back. It was Yoko's decision and it would be on her terms. She made the rules. He probably liked that. It made things so much easier.
John was ready to try for a baby again to cement the reunion. A Chinese doctor had told him a few years earlier that he had a low sperm count and that if he wanted to make a healthy baby he would have to give up his excessive use of drugs and drink.
His "lost weekend" had got in the way of these plans but he now began a clean-living regimen of a macrobiotic diet, no drugs and little alcohol. And, just as the doctor had predicted, Yoko got pregnant.
From what she said on Desert Island Discs, she appears to have had second thoughts about becoming a mother again in her forties. But John obviously had no reservations about fatherhood.
For the next five years he devoted himself to bringing up baby - albeit in a millionaire's style with a nanny to help, while Yoko concentrated on the Lennon business.
The daughter of a wealthy Japanese banker, this kooky, off-the-wall artist was brilliant at doing deals. John couldn't care less about money, but she made him very, very rich.
Oddly, too, he took to calling her "mother", although she was never the motherly sort in any way. Still, as long as Yoko was there taking care of everything through her staff, Lennon didn't have to bother.
From the moment they were reunited in 1975 Lennon withdrew from his life as a rock star. Literally hanging up his guitar on a peg behind his bed, he became happily reclusive and enjoyed as near to normal a life as he'd known since the Beatles' success 12 years earlier. Asked why he wasn't working, he would answer: "I think I've already made my contribution to society."
Sean, for his part, became the apple of his father's eye and the subject of his song Beautiful Boy, written only months before Lennon's murder. What always seemed cruel was that Sean was treated in exactly the opposite way to the thoughtless emotional neglect Lennon had shown towards Julian, the child of his first marriage.
After his parents' divorce, Julian rarely saw his father. Christmas and birthday presents would be sent to him by a secretary at the Beatles' London office.
Later when he visited John and Yoko in New York he would see that his father lavished affection and gifts on Sean, his stepbrother. It was cruel and, as Julian admits, it left its lasting mark on him.
Perhaps, though, Sean has been left with an unwelcome Lennon legacy, too. For years Julian made records which sounded like those made by his father, although they weren't as good. But look at Sean Lennon's photograph and what do you find? A mini-John.
I met Sean only once, some time after his father's death when he was a likeable but a slightly cheeky little boy who was probably getting everything he wanted, I thought.
Perhaps he did. But now he's had to live with being his father's artistic heir, a role it sometimes seems he might have taken on to make his mother happy, in times that have radically changed. Like Julian, he too, joined the music business, but with even less commercial success.
Listeners to Desert Island Discs will undoubtedly have discovered a new Yoko Ono. Perhaps she was naive in mentioning that she'd considered an abortion before continuing her pregnancy with Sean.
But she was also guarded. Only one mention was made of the existence of Kyoko, her first child, and none of her first two husbands and her very long affair with Sam Havadtoy, John's art expert, following Lennon's death.
She's certainly kept the Lennon flame burning for a very long time, years during which she's finally been accepted as a conceptual artist in her own right. Indeed having suffered ridicule for many years she's now positively lionised in artistic circles.
When I knew them both quite well I could see how she had influenced Lennon artistically, and not always for the better, but often I found it difficult to understand the reverse - what she got intellectually from him, apart from the wit and zaniness.
Listening to her choice of records it suddenly struck me how much his influence, and that of the jukebox he had in their home, has been a comfort blanket for her.
She might have known the song When I Grow Too Old To Dream, but would she have ever known the Gracie Fields version without him? I doubt it.
But Lennon loved Gracie's voice and had lots of her records. As for Dominic Behan's Liverpool Lou, you could almost hear Lennon singing it around the house as he nursed the baby.
Since John died that night in 1980, Sean has become his mother's closest friend and companion, certainly so far as the public is concerned.
It must be strange, therefore, and, one would imagine, slightly frightening for her to remember the conversation she had before he was born when the possibility of abortion was raised. "Of course we're gonna keep it," said Lennon.
Luckily for Sean and Yoko, that's what they did.
John and Yoko were saved from heroin addiction by greedy drug dealer | the Daily Mail
Is it just me but does anyone else find it appalling that she said she almost aborted Sean? Way to make a person feel wanted.
There are some things the world and your child does not need to know.
She is a real nasty piece of work.
I don't think it was racism that caused her to be villified. Some people just have the knack of being able to spot a nsaty person by looking into their eyes, or watching their body language.
I don't like this woman. She robbed the world of great music.
They both sound like a pair of selfish dickheads if you ask me. Sure, he might have written some great songs, but I don't think much of him.
I met John and Yoko in May of 1969 when they were doing their bed-in thing in Montreal.
I have to admit that Yoko was far nicer to my friend and me than John was; John was very snarly.
John MUST have been high to have been so into Yoko. The way he treated Julian breaks my heart.
she was 42 and had just reconciled with her husband. that would make lots of women pause and consider whether or not to go ahead with a pregnancy. i don't see why that would make her 32 year-old son feel unloved and unwanted, unless he's a whiny immature baby. usually by the time you're an adult you realise that life is a little more complicated and that just because a pregnancy isn't planned, doesn't mean your parents don't love you.
i never met yoko ono but my father met both her and her sister and had nothing but good things to say about her. and i also know a guy whose mother was very close friends to ono, and when his mother died (killed by his father, no less), yoko was like a surrogate mother to him. he also has nothing but good things to say about her.
i think she is very smart and somewhat cold and doesn't really know how to sell herself well so people project all these nasty qualities on her.
Last edited by sputnik; June 11th, 2007 at 11:18 AM.
I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld
All I have to say is poor Julian.
I think her and John both suck.
She's was and still is ugly too. lol
I couldn't read all of this as I still have the report in my head of her spitting out her mouthful of half chewed food into the air hostess' hand & proclaiming it "disgusting".... Manners STILL cost nothing & you're not THAT bigger star Yoko....John was but he's been dead a lifetime now.... Get over your-nothing-self!
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