Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Christ, you know it ain't easy...


Yoko Ono was different, so it seemed. Yoko Ono had something that all the others did not: perseverance that bordered on obsession. It was a mixture of guts and gall that went beyond chutzpah into the range of something spooky. By now everyone in the household was a little wary of her. After meeting John at an art exhibit she had been unshakeable…
...in the beginning she showed up at the Apple business offices and demanded to see him… and she once threatened to chain herself to the gates (of the Abbey Road EMI recording studios) in an attempt to get in to see John. Then came a long-distance assault on Kenwood (Lennon’s home.) It began with a barrage of phone calls, and then, when John’s telephone number was changed three of four times, Yoko sent dozens of letters. The letters first insisted, then demanded, John’s support for her arts projects. Cynthia (Lennon’s first wife) intercepted many of the letters and began to save them when they turned dark and despairing, in case Yoko ever followed through on the threats to kill herself. She had already tried to do herself in once in Japan, and the letters sounded sincere. According to Cynthia, Yoko wrote: “I can’t carry on. You’re my last hope. If you don’t support me, that’s it, I’ll kill myself.” 
Very much alive, Yoko began to appear at Kenwood in person, waiting in the driveway of the house for John to come and go. She stood there from early in the morning until late at night, no matter what the weather, wearing the same scruffy black sweater and beat-up shoes, so intense and scowling that the housekeeper was afraid to go nearer. One day Cynthia’s mother took pity on the forlorn figure and let her into the house to make a phone call and have a glass of water. But Yoko only used the occasion to leave her ring behind, which gave her a pretense to return the next day and demand to be let inside. One morning a package arrived from Yoko which Cynthia and her mother opened; it contained a Kotex box in which Yoko had buried a broken china cup painted blood red. John had a laugh about it, but Cynthia and Lillian Powell didn’t find it one bit funny.  
Eventually, Yoko’s dogged pursuit of John became so blatant that it developed into something of a private joke between the married couple. Yoko’s grande atrocity occurred one night when she turned up at the Transcendental Meditation lecture John and Cynthia were attending in London. When it was over she followed them out of the lecture hall and into the backseat of John’s psychedelically hand-painted Rolls-Royce limousine and sat herself down between them. Cynthia and John exchanged embarrassed smiles over her head until the chauffeur dropped her off at Park Row, where she was living with her husband.
From "The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles" by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines.

That's the same Peter Brown who got a shout-out in "The Ballad of John and Yoko" - 
Peter Brown called to say
You can make it OK
You can get married in Gilbraltar near Spain.

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