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The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Yoko Ono rumors regarding The Beatles completely undeserved

About three weeks ago, I mindlessly shared a photo from Rolling Stone’s Facebook page wishing Yoko Ono a happy birthday. A few hours and more than 50 Facebook comments later, I found myself headfirst in a debate in which I was Ono’s sole defender against an onslaught of criticism.

Although I was mildly annoyed, I can’t say I was surprised. Hating Yoko Ono is basically a rite of passage into the magical, mystical world of Beatles fandom. An extremely ridiculous rite of passage, but a rite of passage nonetheless.

Now, I wouldn’t by any means call myself a Yoko Ono fan. I suppose the best way to describe my feelings toward her would be to say that I passionately tolerate her. I don’t like her, but I think all of the hatred directed towards her is completely undeserved. So here’s a list of some of the most common complaints I’ve heard against Ono, followed by a short description of why they’re wrong and stupid.

“She broke up The Beatles.”

Stop. Just stop. Yoko Ono did not break up The Beatles.

Do you really think that one woman could break up a 10-year union? Do you think a lone human being could separate a bond as strong as the one between John, Paul, George and Ringo? Does it really seem possible that the disintegration of perhaps the most famous and influential band in history could be traced to one single root cause?

Of course not. The Beatles broke up for a variety of complex reasons that had been bubbling under the surface for years before the group’s 1969 demise. Lennon and McCartney’s friendship, the band’s foundation, was hanging by its final threads. Brian Epstein, the band’s manager, died in 1967, causing more tension in the group. The four band members were constantly fighting; McCartney would later refer to the “White Album” as “the Tension Album.”

The Beatles stopped touring in 1966, and according to a six-page Rolling Stone cover story on the band’s breakup, Lennon later said, “That’s when I really started considering life without The Beatles – what would it be? And that’s when the seed was planted that I had to somehow get out of [The Beatles] without being thrown out by the others. But I could never step out of the palace because it was too frightening.”

Lennon was already imagining life without The Beatles in 1966. It wasn’t until 1968 that Lennon and Ono became serious about their relationship.

So although Lennon’s relationship with Ono may have caused some distress between the band members, to blame the band’s breakup entirely on her doesn’t even begin to tell the entire story.

“She used John Lennon to become famous.”

John Lennon was a genius. I know it; you know it; he most certainly knew it. Does it make sense that someone as smart as Lennon would allow himself to be manipulated like that?

Absolutely not. Next question.

“She was a bad person.”

I won’t argue with you that some of Ono’s decisions are questionable at best. I’m certainly not a fan of how she treated Cynthia and Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s first wife and son.

Isn’t it a bit hypocritical, though, to hate Ono for being a “bad person” and not hold the same opinion of Lennon himself? If you read up on some Beatles history, you’ll discover that none of the Beatles were particularly nice people, at least when they first started out. It’s well known that John Lennon, in particular, cheated on and abused Cynthia Lennon. The other Beatles are said to have cheated on their wives and girlfriends multiple times as well.

We still love the Beatles, despite their wrongdoings, so why should we use Ono’s as an excuse to hate her?

“Her music is awful.”

Seriously? Yoko Ono’s talent, creativity and artistic vision surpass that of all four Beatles combined, and to say anything otherwise is completely absurd.

Just kidding. Yoko Ono’s music sucks; I’ll give you that. Her voice sounds like the rare combination of a dying chimpanzee mixed with the sound of a garbage disposal with a fork jammed inside. However, is that really a reason to hate her? Hating a person’s music and hating the person themselves are two entirely different things.

If you’ve read this far and you still hate Yoko Ono, consider this: John Lennon loved her with all his heart, and that’s all that should matter. I’ll leave you with this final Lennon quote, the one that originally inspired my own change of heart about Yoko Ono.

“They want to hold onto something they never had in the first place. Anybody who claims to have some interest in me as an individual artist, or even as part of The Beatles, has absolutely misunderstood everything I ever said if they can’t see why I’m with Yoko. And if they can’t see that, they don’t see anything.”

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