On this day in 1969, John Lennon (1940-1980) and Yoko Ono (1933-) wed in Gibraltar. As chronicled in the Beatles's song The Ballad of John and Yoko, the newlyweds honeymooned via a media-hyped "bed-in" for world peace at the Amsterdam Hilton.
Unfairly blamed for the Beatles breakup in 1970, Ono was perhaps one of contemporary culture's most misunderstood women. Born to a wealthy banking family in Tokyo, Japan, Yoko ("ocean child") once said, "Subservience was never in my dictionary. Never."
Ono studied philosophy in Japan and moved to New York City in 1953. She became an avant-garde artist, experimenting with music, performance, and interactive conceptual art.
She performed an infamous solo Carnegie Recital, toured briefly with John Cage, and made a controversial documentary of naked butts. Twice-wed, talented, and ambitious, she was successful with her vision by the time she met Lennon in 1966.
She said, "Music is in all our souls. We are actually surviving because of the rhythm and vibration of music."
Yoko was there on the night her husband was shot in 1980. Of his death, she said, "I saw that nothing was permanent. You donít want to possess anything that is dear to you because you might lose it."
Today, Yoko still lives at the Dakota apartments which overlooks Central Park's Strawberry Fields. She has protected Lennon's legacy and increased his financial worth. "His spiritual influence is all over the place, through his music and his memory," she said.
Coming full circle as an artist, in recent years Ono has been called a "feminist trailblazer" instead of "the dragon lady."
"The only thing we can do is our best," Ono said. "And I'm trying to do my best as a person, that's all."
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