As one of the greatest singers and songwriters in history, John Lennon will continue to be remembered for changing rock ‘n’ roll with The Beatles. His life, however, was forever changed after meeting Yoko Ono, and today marks the 45th anniversary of the couple’s wedding!
Lennon met Ono in 1966 in London at one of her showings. Two years later, the Ono visited Lennon at his home and they recorded the tapes for Two Virgins. Lennon soon divorced his wife and became inseparable from Ono.
The couple would go on to get married on March 20, 1969 during a brief and private ceremony in Gibraltar, after failing to get married in Paris a few days earlier. Lennon chronicled their marriage in “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” which he co-wrote with Paul McCartney:
“Finally made the plane into Paris / Honeymooning down by the Seine / Peter Brown called to say/ You can make it okay / You can get married in Gibraltar near Spain.”
For the first four years, the couple spent every waking moment together. Never seen without each other, Lennon and Ono worked, slept and enjoyed each other’s company. Problems arose later on though, as Lennon’s independent streak did not fade away. For the next 18 months, Ono and Lennon endured what became known as the “Lost Weekend.”
Lennon moved out to Los Angeles and Ono stayed in New York. During that time, he begged to return to Ono in New York, and though she would not agree, they remained in near-constant contact. After his last public performance with Elton John in 1974, Ono and Lennon came back together, and form that point on, they were back to being inseparable.
For the next five years, Lennon left the recording industry and made his son, Julian, his top priority, along with their second child, Sean. It wasn’t until one month before Lennon’s death that the couple released any new material.
In November 1980, the pair released their Double Fantasy album together. Just one month later on December 8, Lennon was shot and killed while holding a tape of Ono’s “Walking on Thin Ice” in his hand.
Though his life was tragically cut short, their marriage became a symbol of true love for generations to come, and Ono helped pay tribute to the Beatles’ 50th anniversary at the Grammys this year.