The Last Days Of John Lennon
Review by R.E. Prindle
Green, John: Dakota Days: The True Story Of John Lennon’s Final Years, 1983, St. Martin’s
Haden-Guest, Anthony: The Last Party, Studio 54, Disco, And The Culture Of The Night,1997, William Morrow
Seaman, Frederic: The Last Days Of John Lennon: A Personal Memoir. 1991, Birch Lane
You know, someone once said
That the world’s a stage
And each must play a part.
Fate had me playin’ in love,
You as my sweetheart.
Act one was when we met,
I loved you at first glance,
You read your lines so cleverly
And never missed a cue.
Then came act two.
You seemed to change and acted strange,
And why, I’ll never know.
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me,
Now the stage is bare
And I’m standing here
With emptiness all around.
And if you don’t come back to me
Then make them bring the curtain down.
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
As Recited By Elvis Presley
The question here is what was Yoko’s attitude toward her conquest at the beginning of Act Two. Did she really fall in love with a relatively unsophisticated rube like John Lennon or were her motives more calculated. Yoko was a Japanese aristocrat which she never let John forget who could trace her ancestry back to the emperors of Japan. She came from major financial families on both sides. Her father had an illustrious diplomatic career while having artistic pretensions. She considered herself as one of the leading lights of the NYC avant garde. Although I haven’t seen it mentioned she acknowledged the authority of the reigning avant garde doyen, Marcel Du Champ who actually founded the NYC avant garde at the 1913 Armory Show. His greatest artistic feat was the display of an actual pissoir as an original work of art. Yoko followed his example of outre suggestions in her small volume Grapefruit. Andy Warhol to whom she was attracted can be considered a disciple of Du Champ. So, in one sense, she was in with the ultimate artistic in group. She then, had delusions of grandeur while probably looking down on and humouring, John Lennon.
She used this background to baffle the mind of Lennon. At the least Lennon was a very unsophisticated young man from what in America would be considered the boondocks. Bad enough that he grew up in a cultural but vital backwater but barely out of high school he and his band were immersed in the criminal underworld of Hamburg. They were at one point under the protection of the master criminal of Europe. This in some of your most impressionable years.
So, in comparison with Yoko Lennon felt insignificant. As he said Yoko had all these attributes while what did he have- nothing. Lennon had actually achieved the impossible but he had very low self-esteem. Like many musicians he longed for recognition but was terrified of actual success. Unlike some bands who can’t get beyond the rehearsal stage Lennon had the drive and ability to realize his stated goal, to be ‘the toppermost of the poppemost.’ He probably didn’t believe he’d ever make it but when that goal had been reached, in spades, he began to falter not believing his success was deserved. The first step in rejecting his role was the abandonment of touring. He then sank into a fairly severe depression not unlike that between 1975 and 1980. Whether he might then have scotched his role, his intent was aborted by the drive and ambition of partner Paul McCartney who having reached the toppermost of the poppermost intended to stay there, make a career of being no. 1 if possible. Any conflicts are secondary to Lennon’s feeling of unworthiness. That was the rock on which the Beatles broke.
It would have taken Yoko two seconds to analyze Lennon’s psychological state. That she exploited it is clear from Lennon’s abject servility that she cultivated and most likely induced.
In point of fact Lennon was everything while Yoko was nothing. Quite against his will he had made himself more of a spokesman for his generation than his cross-ocean rival, Bob Dylan. His social capital was enormous while his fortune, even being grossly mismanaged, was gigantic. He and the Beatles had created intellectual properties that extended 0ut over fifty years were worth billions. Yoko managed to finesse this enormous legacy of money and prestige.
How did she do it?
Quite simply she hypnotized Lennon. As Lennon complained to the Tarot reader, John Green, Yoko wanted to play the Count To Ten Game. Lennon lay his head in her lap while she stroked his hair and counted slowly back from ten to one. Classic hypnotism. The essence of hypnotism is the suggestion, more especially the post-hypnotic suggestion. This means that, while hypnotized it is suggested to the subject that he will perform certain acts at a later date after he has been awakened. Once the suggestion is in the subject’s mind he will act on the suggestion. Hypnotism would then explain the seemingly irrational acts of Lennon at the very least from 1973 to 1980 and probably before. May Pang describes how Yoko hypnotized her to take up with John while in all probability she hypnotized John to run off with May. Thus John’s reputation was compromised to some extent.
While Lennon was in LA Yoko was on the phone to him many times a day. Anyone who has seen the movie, The Manchurian Candidate, realizes the importance of post-hynotic trigger words. Thus Lennon’s peculiarly destructive and bizarre behavior in LA was probably programmed by Yoko to make him appear weird in comparison to her ‘stability.’
Thus when he and May Pang returned to New York Yoko made a phone call, John put down the phone, walked out of his and May’s apartment and returned to Yoko. According to May John said he was essentially made captive while being put through some horrible hypnotic indoctrination for a couple of days by ‘them.’ We don’t know who ‘they’ were except for Yoko but I’m guessing probably she and John Green or perhaps some other occult accomplices of which she had several.
This brings up another important side of Yoko. She was a devotee of black magic, or, perhaps, magick. She even recorded a song titled: Yes, I’m A Witch. Yoko had an extensive library of magical texts that she apparantly studied plus she was into all the great conspiracy theories as is evidenced on one of the multitude of Ono and Lennon sites on the web today. Imagine Peace for instance is a remarkable site.
At the basis of her magic was a return to the most primitive form of magical shamanism. She combined this magical shamanism with her Feminism to found an organization named One On One which is designed to aid female shamans of the Pacific Islands. Certainly a specialized foundation, one would think.
In 1974 just prior to John’s return Yoko hired John Green as her Tarot reader cum curioso. Green was an accomplished magician affiliated with the Santeria religion of the African Yoruba tribe of Nigeria. He was also familiar with the Caribbean magicians known as curanderas if female and curiosos if male.
When Yoko and John Green traveled to Colombia SA to barter with Satan for her soul it was necessary for Green to offer his curioso credentials to the curandera which he successfully did. Thus, to obtain her heart’s desire in 1977 Yoko sold her soul to the Devil, or believed she did which is the same thing.
The point is that Yoko was thoroughly immersed in hypnotism and magical practices. Put into practice we have the remarkable incident in John’s immigration hearings. To ensure success Yoko contacted a Black witch to provide assisstance. This witch was apparently well versed in the techniques of aromatherapy. She gave John a package folded in a recondite way that he was to unfold in court in a specified way. John concealing the folded paper in his lap did so. He said the courtroom filled with an unpleasant aroma. the judge asked what that smell was and ordered the windows opened. John repeated the act the next day after which, he says, the judge’s attitude softened toward him.
Thus, we have a pattern of Yoko resorting to magical means to gain her ends.
Now, let’s consider Lennon’s attachment to this rather eccentric woman. Contrary to Yoko’s assertion that she was just so darn cute John had to fall head over heels in love with her, the evidence is that he required a great deal of active persuasion. Yoko showed up unannounced at his door completely violating the sanctity of Cynthia’s home. At one point as John and Cynthia were leaving an event Yoko appeared and got into the car with John and Cynthia. At the time it was reported that Yoko sat between them but in her memoir, John, Cynthia says that Yoko entered first sitting on her left side. Yoko sat silently, mysteriously, exiting the car without a word. A hypnotic technique.
Yoko bombarded Lennon with cards and letters through the mails including one with the suggestion: Look at the sky, see a cloud, that cloud is me. In other words- Je suis partout. I surround you.
Thus when Cynthia was gone on vacation Yoko spent the night with John in Cynthia’s house once again violating the sanctity of her private space, displacing her as it were. Drugs were involved which would have made John more susceptible to hypnotic suggestion. The fact that the duo recorded ‘Two Virgins’ at this session and John wasn’t revolted at her so-called singing proves he must have been hypnotized to me.
The fact that he was depressed, overwhelmed by his success, and unhappy in his marriage to Cynthia merely means that he was very susceptible. Perhaps the turning point in their relationship came with the death of the Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein just the Beatles were leaving for a Transcendental Meditation retreat in India.
Up to Epstein’s death the Beatles had had no responsibilities; Epstein had managed all business and monetary matters for them. Now, bereft of their management the Beatles were cast adrift on their own with disastrous or near disastrous consequences. In his personal desperation Lennon undoubtedly clung to Yoko Ono as his security blanket and surrogate mother. Yoko had obtained her goal, she had captured a Beatle and the Beatle’s reputation was nearly that of a secular saint; he was held in religious awe by the Beatles’ fans.
Yoko exploited her opportunity with brilliance. As I think, through hypnosis she had John make the attempt to insinuate her into the group as the Fifth Beatle. Not content with Two Virgins she intended to screech her way through a few Beatles’ side thus attributing their success to herself. Because of her friendship with the experimental composer, John Cage, she considered herself a better musician than the combined Beatles. She failed in her attempt to join the boys breaking up the band instead.
Nothing daunted she decided to exploit John with her astouonding avant garde performance art. Thus she organized the Bed-In events which were actually successes of sorts. From there she persuaded John to form the Plastic Ono Band to gain some musical credentials. Despite sensational packaging the record flopped.
At this point Yoko decided to return to New York City and reestablish her art connections. By this time, in my estimation, the avant garde was dead, killed by Andy Warhol and perhaps by diffusion into the general culture by groups like the Beatles.
At this point, I believe, John became a liability. Still Yoko was nothing without him. She wanted to connect up with Andy Warhol but her intro to Warhol was Lennon. Nevertheless John, Andy and Yoko did become fairly intimate.
Two years after her return she sent John away with May Pang. Act Two was well under way. Then eighteen months later she called him back again. I have to believe that from ’66 to ’75 John was under hypnotic influence. That’s about the only thing that explains his bizarre behavior then and certainly is the only thing that can explain his even more bizarre behavior in the five years leading up to his death.
It seems certain that at least upon Lennon’s return he was being regularly hypnotized by Yoko. As I mention with my ‘Look at the sky’ reference it is clear to me that Yoko was using hypnotic techniques and suggestion from ’66. Even the story of John climbing the ladder at the Indica Gallery to look through a magnifying glass to decipher the word ‘Yes’ can be construed as a technique of hypnosis or suggestion. Climbing the ladder is well know sexual symbolism.
Unless hypnotized it is difficult for me to understand how a man could emasculate himself so far as to turn his identity over to a woman of whom John Green, himself, advised Lennon to be suspicious. And Green who read Yoko’s Tarot hundreds of times over those five years would have been able to figure out what Yoko was thinking. She was unguarded.
Yoko’s first step in emasculating Lennon was to tell the media that he was withdrawing from the world to become a house husband. There were few men in the world who didn’t understand that to mean that Lennon had been deballed. This was also a Feminist revolutionary move to turn the Patriarchy back to the Matriarchy.
Having made Lennon ex-communicado the story of his withdrawal from life during this period into clinical depression was also released. From a careful reading of John Green and Fred Seaman this notion can be disrgarded. He may have been entering a period of what Dynamic Psychologists call a ‘creative illness’ but he wasn’t just brooding. He had to have a period to sort out the crowded years from 1958 to 1974 and deal with what must have been some very painful memories. Keeping the channel button on his remote depressed to let the channels flip thorugh continuously could be construe as an attempt to deal with multitudinous memories flashing through his mind.
While supposedly in this inert state, Warhol records in his diaries that Lennon while eating lunch at another table in a fashionable eatery came over to Warhol’s table surprising him by laying on the floor by his chair on his back with arms and legs simulating a puppy and panting with his tongue lolling out. Now, that is lack of self-esteem.
So his so-called depression was more an attempt to understand the past more than just depressive brooding. In fact he did get his life organized. While he claimed he was incapable of writing during this period as his muse had left him, which is to say he had writer’s block, by 1980 he had resolved his problems and was ready to go back to work. Personally I have to admire the guy for achieving this regeneration. He had a lot of fortune and misfortune to sort through while coming to terms with being a success he had never hoped to be.
Now, what was Yoko doing during these five years?
First, let’s keep track of the various revolutions subsumed under the Warhol umbrella. Andy was shot by Valerie Solonas in 1969 which effectively shut down Factory #1 although #2 was already in existence. The seventies were a dull period for Warhol as he recovered his lustre after actually having been declared dead. The homosexual nightlife was burgeoning however, while reaching a dfinitive point in 1977 when the nightclub Studio 54 was created by Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. It was the serendipitous moment for the Homo Revos and Rubell and Schrager hit the groove as sharp as a knife. The criminal/revolutionary elements working out of Andy’s old Factory had found a new home. Andy had found a new home; he apparently haunted the place nearly every night of its existence. A real fixture.
There’s a very interesting book that was issued in 1997 by Anthony Haden-Guest titled: The Last Party, Studio 54, Disco And the Culture Of The Night. The book sank but left traces. A remainder copy, first edition, can be picked up new for a couple dollars on the internet. If you’re interested in this topic you should do it.
As an example of how vile these revolutionaries were conducting, say the sexual revolution, Haden-Guest tells an alarming story. Now, Studio 54 was in existence only eighteen months before the Feds loaded them into the vans. I’m sure Rubell and Schrader were not involved directly in this escapade but while Warhol at the Factory was using the Undermen as his foils in ’77 and ’78 some unnamed revolutionaries, perhaps Warhol among them, set out to corrupt the WASP students at prep schools. This must have been on the drawing boards for some time waiting for the opportunity because there wasn’t much time to act. The students were fourteen, fifteen and sixteen year olds. Lists of students were compiled and approached. Haden-Guest says likely subjects were pointed out by ‘moles’ in the schools. We all know what moles are from spy novels so already having moles in the schools shows some advanced planning. What they were doing while waiting for opportunity is a question worth pursuing.
Now, these decidedly underage kids were enticed to the come to Studio 54, bussed to it, where they were given free admittance as bait to entice other underage children. At Studio 54 they were systematically debauched with free drinks and free drugs. The perves then were delivered young boys and girls drunk or on drugs to seduce which was done.
Many if not most of these kids beca,e drunks and debased drug addicts, heroin and what all. Haden-Guest draws an astonishing picture. While Haden-Guest doesn’t say Warhol was one behind this plan to debauch the most priviliged of Young America he leaves room for conjecture. So, things were getting rough in this toughest of American cities.
Yoko had set her cap for Warhol. She cultivated his acquaintance with Lennon as celebrity bait. She befriended his associate Sam Green who was an art dealer and procurer of desirable legal or illegal items for those with the money. In 1977, for instance, he was able to procure tickets to the Carter inauguration for himself, John and Yoko. Sam Green’s associate Bart Gorin also delivered Yoko’s heroin to her. This is interesting.
Anthony Haden-Guest in his The Last Party says in his coded way that a major heroin dealer lived in a gothic apartment house on Central Park West, that would be the Dakota. He calls the dealer The Elfin Queen, that’s a small eccentric woman. I don’t know how many small eccentric women lived at the Dakota but the specifics do describe Yoko Ono. The Elfin Queen was also a denizen of Nightworld which would seem to narrow things further.
Yoko in the late seventies was a heroin addict which is an additional point. She had her paper delivered daily by Sam Green’s assistant Bart Gorin. That means that Sam Green was holding. It is also clear that Yoko only held her daily dose so she was smart enough to have no evidence around. If this is true there had to be contact with an underworld wholesaler. Whether that was Sam Green or another buffer to distance themselves or not isn’t known. It is beyond dispute however that Sam Green was the supplier for Yoko.
I find little evidence that Yoko was a financial genius who went from John’s current income to 25 million in three years with the usual figure of 150 million being mentioned. There might have been some sub-rosa dealing.
It is also true that Sam Green was active as an agent obtaining items for Yoko’s various art collection. He was undoubtedly her gigilo, there being hope for him to replace Lennon after he was shot in 1980.
Sam Green and John Green were both known to each other while there is some speculation that the Greens collaborated to overcharge Yoko for items. It may be true but whatever she overpaid was insignficant as in the seventies the prices of all collectibles just sky rocketed. The 70s was the decade of the collector.
In ’77 Yoko met Sam Havadtoy while on one of her shopping expeditions who became a fast friend while actually replacing Lennon on the day of his death.
Now, during John’s absence in ’74 Yoko had tested the waters for her solo screeching and found the temperature tepid. She still needed John for his reputation as well as his money. John had her on the short leash of 300 K during his absence which Yoko found irksome. She now set out to gain control of John’s entire fortune and income. She secured a Power of Attorney and the legal assumption of his entire identity so that she acted not only in his name but as himself. I can’t believe Lennon would agree to this, which isn’t to say he didn’t, but I find it more likely he was following a post-hypnotic suggestion. Now in control of his money and having assumed his identity as well as her own Yoko had little use for him. As Seaman records during ’79 and ’80 she sent him out to Long Island for long stretches of time and then on a dangerous sea voyage to the Bahamas that almost claimed his life which would have been very fortuitous for Yoko. John stayed in the Bahamas several months.
It was there his writer’s block unblocked or, as he might express it, his muse returned and he was able to begin writing again. Thus, perhaps to Yoko’s surprise, he returned to NYC with a packet of new songs ready to go back into the studio. Here the plot thickens.
Yoko had John out of the Dakota for much of 1980. During that time her relations with both Sam Green and Sam Havadtoy intensified, so there was a reason John was sent away. That he was so complaisant to her wishes is truly amazing unless he was controlled through post-hypnotic suggestion. When John came back from the Bahamas he went into the studio. At this point Yoko and he were inseparable. She insisted on alternating songs on the LP- one of his, one of hers. There was a giveaway there. One of John’s songs was I’m Losing You followed by Yoko’s I’m Moving On.
A reading of Seaman’s memoir shows a Yoko who was inconsiderately entertaining both Sams in a closed room at the studio not only in front of John but the whole band. It seems clear that that the two song titles were more than relevant.
Now, by this time Yoko had all the money in her control and possibly in her name and this was legally irrevocable although John could revoke future use of his identity and cancel the POA and possibly regain control of his royalties unless Yoko had also assigned those to herself. So the day she ‘moved on’ John would be effectively penniless. If you thought Colonel Parker was the manager from hell Yoko was the topper. She literally was from hell as she had sold her soul to Satan.
There remained the matter of popularity. It seems clear that Yoko thought she had created a mega chart buster, not John. She sincerely thought that the success of the record would depend on her contributions, but the record sold well on the basis of Lennon’s reputation alone. This was a setback for Yoko necessitating a change in procedures.
In any event Lennon was assassinated by a ‘lone nut’ on December 8, 1980. John lost Yoko and she moved on.
The case against Mark Chapman, the man who shot Lennon, would seem to have been open and shut. Several witnesses saw him shoot Lennon while he quietly laid the gun down and quietly assumed responsibility, never denying it. Attorney’s wanted to plead insanity but Chapman refused. As often happens in ‘lone nut’ assassinations many found the fact inconclusive. And, indeed, there are reasons to believe that Mark Chapman was just a tool, a pawn in someone’s game. The question has been, who? Many people believe Chapman was a Manchurian Candidate hypnotized to commit the murder. The Manchurian Candidate is a book and movie in which a former American soldier ws given a post-hypnotic code word that activated certain instructions. The question once again was, who? Some suggested the government. There is no clear solution so one can’t rule a Fed hit out but the Ono-Lennon’s quarrel was with the Nixon White House. The Carter administration was then in office while John and Yoko had wrangled tickets to Carter’s inauguration. I don’t think the Carter administration probable.
There is also a sizeable group who believe Yoko herself was involved. The idea involves more of a how than the government accusation. What seems clear to doubters is that Chapman seemed to act programmed rather then autonomous. Before I tackle a probable how let’s review Yoko’s situation before and after the assassination. There seems to be an incongruous continuity.
Lennon had been away from the Dakota for much of 1980 returning from the Bahamas mid-year to go into the recording studio. We know that a close associate of Yoko, Sam Green, was at the very least a conduit for Yoko’s heroin. Heroin may account for his presence in the Studio and Yoko’s need for a private room.
She also became close to Sam Havadtoy, another art dealer, who has the appearance of an enforcer. Indeed, he moved into the Dakota the day John died where he remained for twenty years. Shortly after John’s death Havadtoy sent for two Hungarian ‘cooks’ from then Soviet ruled Hungary. Why Yoko would need two cooks isn’t clear so let us assume that the two were bodyguards or assistant enforcers.
The peaceable Yoko turned violent after John’s death. As Fred Seaman records she had a couple of thugs beat him in the attempt to force him to give up John’s diaries. I would think that peaceable attempts to recover the diaries would have worked just as well on Seaman.
Yoko had wanted to connect up with Andy Warhol since about 1965. On her return to NYC in 1971 she cultivated Warhol assiduously but John was in the way and for various reasons she couldn’t just divorce him. I am convinced her only iinterest in him had been for monetary and publicity reasons.
Three months after John’s death she offered herself to Andy Warhol. Warhol’s diary entry for Friday, March 20, 1981, three months after the murder reads:
We had to do our Rex Smith interview, Bob (Colacello) and I, so I decided it was easier to stay uptown because it was going to be at Quo Vadis. We fell in love with him. He had the curly Vitas Gerulaitis look but better looking.
And then we heard a voice say, “Andy!” It was Yoko Ono. We were so stunned. She looked so elegant, like the Duchess of Windsor with her hair back and dark wraparound glasses, and beautiful makeup and Fendi furs and jewelry- an emerald ring with a big ruby in it and Elso Peritte diamond earrings. So I said that I wanted to call her for lunch and so she gave me her phone number. It was really strange, a whole new Yoko.
And all Andy had to do to unify the whole avant garde was to climb that ladder, take the magnifying glass and read out loud one little word- YES. Some little time later when he thought he might need a woman who could accompany him to parties he did think of Yoko but then nixed the idea. He’d already been shot once.
So, not only was there no period of mourning for Yoko but three months after she in effect proposed to the man who she thought of as her dream husband.
So that is Yoko’s situation in the period on both sides of John’s death. His was a convenient murder releasing Yoko to attempt to gratify her secret ambitions.
Let us assume that Yoko programmed or had Chapman programmed. Yoko was connected to a number of magical networks that could have located Chapman as a perpetrator. John Green was a Santeria priest and curioso. Santeria was functioning all up and down the East Coast and especially in Atlanta where Chapman was from and which he visited before the shooting. Plus the religion is dispersed around.
‘Magic’ had been employed to help John’s immigration problem, apparently provided by a Black witch from Chicago. Chapman stopped over in Chicago on one of his trips to NYC to dispose of a painting. Yoko was Japanese, her numerologist was Japanese and Gloria Abe, Chapman’s new wife was Japanese. Yoko’s One On One Foundation was involved with female Shamanistic magicians from the Pacific Islands that might have included Hawaii so, shall we say, he was mentally unstable which is an aid in hypnotism?
Thus there are ways Chapman could have been recruited and having been recruited and brought under mind control so that a telephone call from anywhere in the world could have been used to utter the trigger word. And then there is the question of where the money came from for Chapman’s frequent air flights especially his flight around the world with several layovers. He had in excess of two thousand dollars on him at the time of his arrest.
None of this is conclusive, of course, there is always the chance that Chapman was a ‘lone nut.’ These things do happen. On the other hand someone who had provided for herself so well and was so prepared to weather the shock must be equally rare. Those things happen too.
As Seaman notes, he was more grief stricken than Yoko. And at the same time Yoko had sold her soul to Satan to obtain desires that were never revealed. The astonishing coincidence is the Satanic stuff took place not only in the Dakota of Rosemary’s Baby but on the same floor and in some of the same rooms. An early candidate for the mother of Satan’s baby threw herself from the seventh floor window landing on nearly the spot where Lennon was shot. Very eerie, almost Rosemary’s Baby II.
The Last Days Of John Lennon
Review by R.E. Prindle
How The Fifties Became The Sixties
The sixties seem to have erupted by some process of autogenesis. They seem to be a decade unrelated to the fifties but nothing could be further from the truth. The sixties were very carefully structured in the fifties, that supposedly somnolent decade. The fifties themselves evolved from the fantasy notion of The United States Of America- the American Dream. In truth there had never been a united America and an American Dream only in the mind of certain immigrants who believed they had reached the Promised Land of their dreams. The country has always been one of conflict with conflicting peoples. There was no mythological age as in distant times so no mythopoeic era preceded the scientific one. America was born in science.
The warfare against the aboriginal peoples to clear the land for the European invaders created the first layer of conflict. The second layer of conflict was the importation of Africans as slave labor. This created a second irreconcilable conflict that erupted in 1954 when the Black revolution began in earnest and began to accelerate in the sixties. This was what Eric Foner described as America’s unfinished revolution in his writings.
Each succeeding group of immigrants created its own friction but assimilation did go on with most peoples. In the fifties the sort of ethnic identities in song and humor that makes the talkies of the thirties now seem quaint was coun
teracted. While visibly subdued ethnicism simmered below the surface until the sixties when it burst out again in a new form and triumphed.
I am unable to tell the education received in schools of the twenties and thirties but by the time I was in high school from 1953-56 the whole concept of revolutiuon was romanticized and this continued through my college years in the sixties. It was iterated over and over again that revolution was an absolute virtue. To be revolutionary was to be a person in full. Kids in the walls ran around saying are you revolutionary, I’m revolutionary. Thus they embraced any idea that was the opposite of the status quo. This notion of revolution was combined with the notion of the absolute virtue of being an American. This would result in Kennedy’s idiotic Peace Corps begun in the sixties. Raw American youths were supposed to be able to tell the less favored peoples how to run their lives. The war in Europe was treated as a crusade against Germans, a war of absolute black and white, no shades of grey. I truly believed that no American in either the European or Pacific war ever committed an act of wanton brutality no matter what the provocation. I would have dismissed out of hand that as a matter of policy millions of Germans were exposed to Winter weather in the years following the war unprotected while being denied any kind of nourishment and, yet, it was so. In subsequent years this would have been described as ‘American’ brutality while in fact it was instigated by revolutionary American Jews seeking vengeance. Americanism was not involved.
At the same time the new medium of television exposed us to unprecedented doses of propaganda disguised as the truth, doses far in excess of anything the hated Nazis devised. Chief among those TV shows was a cartoon called Crusader Rabbit. Now, Crusader Rabbit in reality is a vigilante dispensing vigilante justice. He acted on his own ‘righting’ what he perceived as wrongs. Of course those of us who read comic books in the late forties had already been exposed to vigilantism in the form of comic book heroes like the Blackhawks. Or, for that matter Batman and Robin and Superman among many others, Plastic Man. I sort of thought of myself as Plastic Man.
So this whole age cadre was stoked up on revolution and vigilantism with no venues to express it. The sixties then was a god send as the existing revolutions- the Undermen, the Jews, the Blacks, the Homosexuals, the Feminists, the Communists had merely to whisper the word REVOLUTION to get a positive response for their ideologies. The generation was primed for revolution of any sort- a revolution in bubble gum for instance.
Thus at Berkeley in ’64′s so-called Free Speech Movement you had the spectacle of the most advantaged members of the generation participating in what was a part of the Jewish Revolution in the guise of voluntary Undermen.
Thus as the sixties dawned the way was cleared of any resistance to revolutionary schemes as hordes of self-righteous vigilantes confident that their perception and judgment was received from god himself began to act on their assumptions taken from their misguided elders.
The center of this maelstrom in the sixties was New York City. The Bohemian life style stewing in Lower Manhattan since the Armory Show of 1913 was about to conquer the mind of the country. Perhaps the leader of the sixties Bohos was Andy Warhol. Certainly with a kind of genius he made himself the center of the storm.
This most influential Bohemian attitude toward life was both stratified and diverse. The first out of the box were the uptown Beats. These men seized the attention of the country in the mid-fifties when Allen Ginsberg, a leader of the Jewish, Homosexual and Underman revolutions, gained prominence with his so-called poem, Howl. He then dragged Jack Kerouac through with his On The Road and William S. Burroughs with his Naked Lunch. All three works have been incredibly influential in creating a new Underclass of Undermen, in thought if not in fact.
The Beats hung out in upper Manhattan around Kerouac’s alma mater, Columbia, although Ginsberg gravitated downtown in an effort to pair up with the Beat musical epigone, Bob Dylan. As Ginsberg represented four revolutions it could be said of him- Il est partout, a very important if disgusting figure. Burroughs also gravitated to lower Manhattan before departing for the corn fields of Kansas.
The well-to-do or rich Bohos, to which John and Yoko would belong, sometimes known as Cafe Society, were the upper crust of Bohemia. And then there was the middle Bohemia and it Lower Depths.
Running through all was the old avant garde which excluded the Beats who were not avant garde.
Warhol, John Cage, La Monte Young and a host of artists and writers including Yoko Ono were part of the old garde. Yoko dragged Lennon in but he was not constitutionally avant garde and probably not even a real Boho. Fred Seaman seems to have had no affinity for Bohemia or revolution.
As the sixties dawned Lennon coming from then obscure Liverpool was of the lower middle class but of the English art school background. He spent a couple years in the German underworld before skyrocketing to super world fame with the Beatles so that while he and the Beatles were instrumental in forming the sixties and subsuming the avant garde they were not actually of it. Thus when Lennon came to earth around 1970 he was virtually a Rip Van Winkle who had slept through the decade. The new reolutionary world he and Yoko entered in New York could have been barely understood by them. It wasn’t even really understood by those in the thick of it. Dylan’s ‘Something’s happening here but you don’t know what it is do you Mr. Jones’ could have applied to himself and everyone else.
Yoko Ono was a committed Feminist and key member of that revolution. In a world of eccentric and unusual characters she was a standout. Her career as an avant gardist began as a ‘performance artist’. Essentially a stunt man. Back in the twenties and thirties would be celebrities used their bodies to gain fame performing stunts. One going by the name of The Mighty Atom attached ropes to his hair holding back an airplane. This is essentially what Yoko was doing as a ‘performance artist.’ Her ‘Cut Piece’ urged viewers to come up on stage and cut away a piece of her clothing. She and Tony Cox crawling into a black bag? Whew!
But she was thereby connected to the avant garde. She knew John Cage, Andy Warhol, Sam Green and the lot as early as 1960. The friendships remained enduring as she maintained them throughout the seventies and eighties.
As a performing artist Yoko was a sort of chameleon forming her art to suit the circumstances. Having once captured John Lennon she first became a peacenik as peace was the prevailing notion- love and peace- returning to New York amid the wreckage of the peace, love and happiness bit she got up from her bed of peace and strapped a fully loaded bandolier of bullets around her hips and became a sullen revolutionary a la Bernardine Dorhn. It all art and art is holy, isn’t it?
The Ono-Lennon’s very serious looking revolutionary activities quite naturally brought the Heat down on them. It should be clear that these were not lightweight posturings but she and John were financing the disruption of the Republican National Convention forcing a move of the site from San Diego to Miami. There is small wonder the elected Nixon administration sought to deport them. Neither John nor Yoko were American citizens but essentially part of an international conspiracy, she being a Japanese and he an English national. Thus in addition to being a leader in the Feminist and Sexual revolutions she lent herself to the Judaeo-Communist revolution. Nearly all her revolutionary associates were of the Jewish revolution. Plus John essentially represented the Undermen. Thus Fred Seaman was employed by not only a celebrity household but a notorious one. Nor was Fred an American but a German national. No Americans involved.
Warhol And Bob Dylan
Down below the subway’s screamin’
As I lay here halfway dreamin’
And face the long evenin’
Layin’ close beside my radio
Imaginin’ the kisses of the girl who sings the song
Lookin’ at the ceiling
Wonderin’ where the dream went wrong.
Last Morning- Shel Silverstein
As sung by Ray Sawyer and Dr. Hook.
New York City was indeed a tough cold city. It was enough to make you crazy as you ‘fought the crowds, avoided the traffic and watched the world turn grey.’ Coming from Pittsburgh Andy Warhol had no trouble with the skies turning grey, he was used to much worse. For Dylan coming from Hibbing, Minnesota way, way out on the edge of civilization the change must have been traumatic. Both men, however, were uniquely equipped to succeed in such a tough environment although it turned both crazy, cruel and mean. Both became paragons of the revolutions.
Warhol, the older of the two, forged the revolution of the Undermen and the Homosexuals while acquiring great wealth. Dylan, too, made his appeal to the undermen (the confused, abused, strung out ones and worse) basing his career on the misfits and malcontents. At the same time he was a key player in fundamental Jewish revolution. Both men affected innocent harmless personas so as to deflect attention from what they were really up to. As both had complementary strategies it is quite possible that each saw through the other. Warhol certainly saw through Dylan but I’m not sure if the reverse was true. Both were heavily into drugs which altered their perceptions.
Warhol preceded Dylan on the scene by a decade arriving in NYC in 1950. His homosexual agenda was clear to him from the start even if its implementation wasn’t. He was immediately successful upon his arrival easily gaining entry into the commerical art field. Dylan too would have no trouble gaining both entry and prominence within a year, phenomenal success in two and preeminence in three.
Warhol commanded a large perhaps even great income within a matter of four or five years. He spent madly but invested wisely.
He was always interested in mass production techniques where the original was merely a prototype like a car model. His original drawings were mass replicated by the newspaper ads. Amazingly, new in New York, he sent a letter to CBS asking if he could design record covers and received assignments by return mail. While his record covers are not among his best known works he did design at least fifty while perhaps more remain to be discovered. While his designs were for very low selling jazz and classical records they are obviously the work of a homosexual or, as they are described- fey.
Thus they advance the Homosexual revolution. True, they are tiny drops but by the time he designed the Sticky Fingers cover for the Rolling Stones his design, it can be confidently asserted, was seen by every single member of two generations while selling in the millions. The title and cover are an ode to masturbation, one of the favorite thems of both the Homosexual and Sexual revolutions. The illustration was of a male crotch clothed in blue jeans with a workable zipper. It was a retailing nightmare but effective in sexually conditioning the minds of his audience. The zipper was irresistible to record fans who broke the plastic on every single cover making them nearly unsaleable. Success actually unimaginable to Warhol in 1950.
In addition Warhol designed ‘fey’ book covers, frequently for homosexually oriented titles thus adding a few additional drops, pushing toward 9cc. Andy had his sticky fingers in everywhere- stationery, wrapping paper…all with his fey designs.
While he gained great success as a commercial artist he had his eye on the fine arts; about 1960 he made his move into ‘serious’ art- painting. He called his style Pop Art. Pop Art had its antecedents in the fifties of which Warhol would have been aware. Here are a couple examples by Ray Johnson from the mid-fifties. Johnson is described as proto-Pop.
Having made his splash in Pop Art, becoming a major celebrity, Warhol was ready to move into his next phase in the subversion of art and society. In 1964 he established his famous atelier known as the Factory. There he continued his paintings while beginning an influential if unremunerative secondary career as a film auteur.
There seem to be revolutionary motives in the founding of the Factory. Warhol gathered about him a collection of the Undermen. These were all Homosexuals, druggies, hustlers and prostitutes.
There is an interesting passage in the Weathermen founder’s autobiography Fugitive Days where the author, Bill Ayers, says:
…the most interesting alliance to me was struck in the first months underground, and it was with a kind of eccentric shadowy group that would become fast and reliable friends for decades to come.
The group was without a name, contained hundreds of members in half a dozen cities, and was organized by a charismatic leader and psychologist who called himself Kaz. They were all former heroin addicts, former beatniks, former hustlers, and prostitutes, five, ten, twenty years older than us, now living in luxury and working downtown but thinking of themselves primarily as deep, deep underground, a kind of fifth column waiting patiently for the revolution.
What Ayers appears to be describing is the Haut Boheme Cafe Society of New York. Now, Warhol with the Factory created a place where all Bohemia, high and low, could gather under the reasonable pretext of partying which is what happened. Many attendees would be innocents of course providing even better cover for the revos. To get some idea of what the scene was like review the lyrics to Shel Silverstein’s Freakin’ At The Freakers Ball appended. Silverstein seems to be describing the Factory exactly.
The police had the Factory under surveillance as well as one supposes, the FBI. The deep underground wasn’t deep enough to conceal these characters. The Factory would be forced out by ’68 giving it a four year run. Bereft of a gathering place Bohemia would have to wait until 1977 for another when Rubell and Schrager put together Studio 54. 54 was better than the Factory because attendance could be monitored allowing only the Haut Boheme and other chosen in; the undesirables could be left out. 54 was run in contempt of all existing laws and moral codes. Suspicious from the beginning it took the Feds only eighteen months to shut it down. Like The Factory however Studio 54 had its revolutionary effect especially along sexual lines- unisex toilets for instance.
The multi-talented Warhol, a perfect Prince of Bohemia added authorship to his achievements with his novel ‘a’ while moving into publishing in the seventies when he established the successful magazine Interview.
He added several notable record covers, while forming in ’66 the immensely influential Exploding Plastic Inevitable centered around ‘his’ rock band The Velvet Underground.
So, in promoting several different revolutions- the Undermen, the drug culture, the so-called sexual revolution and undoubtedly many others Warhol was one of the most successful and important revolutionary figures of the decade.
Along the way he formed a close relationship with the Feminist revolutionary, the Japanese citizen, Yoko Ono. As a bona fide member of the avant garde she tried to enter Warhol’s entourage before she left for England in ’66. However at the time she was outspokenly antipathetic to homosexuality which probably necessitated her retreating to London to think things over before returning in 1971.
She returned in grand style leading the founder of the Beatles, John Lennon, as though by a rope around the neck. She and Lennon immediately threw themselves into the revolutionary movement associating themselves with various members of the Jewish revolution. they apparently gave large sums of money while lending their personas and prestige to raise much larger sums. It was the fear of their popularity being used to rouse young Americans in this first election in which eighteen year olds could participate that put him under surveillance, quite justifiably so, by the FBI and the Nixon White House. Thus for the next several years they were harassed by deportation threats as undesirable aliens.
Having achieved her goal of reentry into New York avant garde society even becoming an intimate of Andy Warhol Yoko lost interest in Lennon. The two split up for eighteen months or so from 1973 to 1975 then reuniting. Yoko had employed her Tarot reader John Green in 1974 while Fred Seaman was added to the entourage as Lennon’s personal assistant in 1979.
While the memoirs of Green and Seaman have been disparaged by the faithful I see little reason to do so on an objective basis although Yoko Ono may find them offensive for personal reasons.
Part III follows
Freakin’ At The Freaker’s Ball
As Performed By Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
Well, there’s gonna be a freaker’s ball
Tonight at the Freaker’s Hall
And you know you’re invited one and all.
Come on Babys grease your lips
And don’t forget to bring your whips
We’re goin’ to the Freaker’s Ball.
Blow your whistle and bang your gong
Roll up something to take along
It feels so good it must be wrong
We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.
Well, all the fags and dykes they’re boogie’n together
The leather freaks dressed in all kinds of leather
The greatest of the sadists and the masochists too
Screamin’ please hit me and I’ll hit you
The FBI dancin’ with the junkies
All the straights swingin’ with the funkies
Across the floor and up the wall
We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball y’all
We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.
Everybody’s kissing each other
Brother with sister, son with mother
Smear my body up with butter
And take me to the freaker’s ball.
Pass that roach please and pour the wine
I’ll kiss yours if you kiss mine
I’m gonna boogie ’til I’m cold blind
Freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.
White ones, black ones, yellow ones, red ones
Necrophiliacs lookin’ for dead ones
The greatest of the sadists and the masochists too
Screamin’ please hit me and I’ll hit you.
Everybody ballin’ in batches
Pyromaniacs strikin’ matches
Freakin’ at the freaker’s ball, y’all
We’re freakin’ at the freaker’s ball.
May 18, 2010
The Last Days Of John Lennon
Review by R.E. Prindle
Seaman Fred: The Last Days Of John Lennon, A Personal Memoir. Citadel Press, 1991.
The Ghost Of Elvis Presley
In order to understand the zeitgeist of the sixties one has to go back to the fifties. The central event of the fifties was the annunciation of Elvis Presley. The post-war world was a grey world of fear. The country and the world had emerged from the greatest of all catastrophes, the Second World War. WWII itself was fought in the shadow of the Great War of 1914-18, afterwards known as WWI.
Most of the older generation had lived through both wars which was a terrifically horrifying experience. In 1950 those who were seventy or older had memories of the Indian Wars of the late nineteenth century also. In addition perhaps the most terrifying memory of the pre-WWII generations was that of the Great Depression of the thirties. From 1945 to 1960 they lived in terror that the Depression would return. There was thus a great generational divide between them and those of us who had no memory of the Depression and only vague memories of the second world cataclysm.
The older generations were struggling to restore the normalcy of the period between the wars as they wished it might have been. Technology had made this impossible. Not only had the Atomic Bomb come into existence but almost immediately after the war the sky was filled with the most extraordinary of phenomena- the faster than the speed of sound jet plane. The pilots of this wondrous piece of technology delighted in flying low over cities breaking the sound barrier as they did and sending a sonic boom shimmering down. If you’ve never experienced a sonic boom you have yet to be there.
The miracle of the age however was television. (Some people call it the boring fifties but they obviously weren’t there.) Television made the greatest threat to civilization yet known to man possible. That threat was Elvis Presley. Elvis simple announced by his presence that the pre-war world would not be returning- ever. The younger generation would fashion the world in his image.
More than that Presley wasn’t an image of the upper class college youth like Pat Boone but the avatar of the downtrodden and suppressed not unlike Jesus the Christ himself. They took one look at Elvis and realized that he was the Atomic Bomb that would blow up their world. And he did.
Every move Elvis made was an insult to them. Things that had no relevance to them they took as a personal insult. One such was the innocuous anthem by the songwriters Leiber and Stoller originally written as a Negro ghetto sex anthem, Hound Dog. When Elvis sang You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog, for some reason they projected it as a reference to themselves and they deeply resented it.
Of course every attempt to suppress Elvis deepened the generational divide. Not only did Elvis himself exist but it seemed as though every upcoming rock n’ roll singer wanted to be Elvis. Before the Presley clones of Vegas there were the Elvis imitators in every family’s living room like Gene Vincent, Ricky Nelson, Eddie Cochran and nearly the whole roster of Sun Records, plus, plus, plus….
For most of the old folks rock n’ roll itself was a mystery. They thought it was a Communist plot, might have been I don’t rule it out, but if so we were not conspirators but dupes. We just reveled in it. They almost succeeded in destroying it. Elvis got drafted, in his absence the great rock n’ rollers were driven out, discredited and in some cases killed. When Presley returned in 1960 he was different from when he went in. He had been contained.
John Lennon famously said in 1977 after Elvis died that he died the day he went into the army. While a relevant statement it was not quite true. The first stage in Elvis long immolation was when he fell under the control of his manager Col. Tom Parker, the second stage in his demise was when Parker delivered him to RCA Records, the third stage in his death was when RCA assigned Steve Sholes as his producer.
For those of us who were there the real Elvis Presley ceased to exist when he left the Sun record label. RCA was in no position to understand rock n’ roll values. It wasn’t that they willfully sabotaged Elvis it was just that they didn’t know how to rock. Their idea of rock was Neil Sedaka. Sholes himself was antipathetic to rock ‘n roll no less than his crosstown rival Mitch Miller over at Columbia Records. Both men hated the concept. This was made evident in Sholes arrangement of Gene Austin’s Are You Lonesome Tonight with its plodding guitar riff and Elvis’ imitation of the thirties crooner. Sholes failed to ruin Elvis’ career but it took Mitch Miller one LP to trash the career of the great Dion of the Belmonts.
Very few if any of the great rock records were produced by the majors. Nearly everything of value was produced by independent labels, many of them one shot efforts. Gene Vincent and his Be-Bop-A-Lula was a notable exception although his label, Capitol, soon had him singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
After the first run of actual imitators Elvis and rock worked their way into the subconscious of the next wave that included Lennon and the Beatles to produce an extension of rock.
Upon Presley’s return from the army his manager, Parker, removed him from recording and put Elvis into the movies almost exclusively. The movie Elvis was an extension of the personality of Tom Parker. Elvis was Elvis and his appearance was always galvanic. His charisma could be diminished but it couldn’t be destroyed. I was as disappointed by his movies as much as anyone dropping in only occasionally over the sixties to see if anything had changed. It hadn’t.
Thus as we all moved into the sixties while Presley still lived it was only as the ghost of the Sun Records innovator.
The Ghost of Elvis Presley was captured by the artist Andy Warhol in a number of renderings.
He presented Elvis in various single screens or multiples of two, three and up to the eight as in the image above. He ignored the musical Elvis in favor of an image taken from a Western movie. As Warhol was a homosexual he rendered Elvis as a gay cowboy. In truth Elvis had an ambiguous persona. Many people thought he was queer. Any male fan felt himself under the accusation. Elements of his persona indicate a severely emasculated personality that lend credence to at least a latent feeling of homosexuality. Elvis’ fellow students called him ‘squirrel.’ Indeed, the use of eye shadow, pants with a stripe down the leg and pink shirts in 1951-52 and ’53 would have led to open accusations of homosexuality. And yet, even though I identified with his obvious emasculation when I was only sixteen and seventeen it never occurred to me that he might have been one. I don’t think he ever was. Had he been his more than macho entourage would have had nothing to do with him. Nevertheless his portraitist Warhol perfectly captured his ambivalence and androgyny.
The number of portraits by the artist clearly betrays Warhol’s own hero worship. Perhaps his own gay cowboy movie owed some reverence to his idol. Oddly enough Warhol never designed a record cover for Presley even though he designed over fifty during a career from 1949 to 1987.
Andy had always been a pop music fan. This was very unusual for a man born in 1928. This would have made him 26 if one assumes ’54 as the birth of rock and 28 in ’56 when Presley exploded onto the scene. Anyone older than 18 in ’56 rejected rock. It is true that Warhol was dualistic, capabhle of listening to opera and rock at the same time, I mean simultaneously, so he may have had his personality split by the times. At any rate Warhol who apparently wished to excel in all the arts attempted to enter the music field by managing a band, while establishing a rock venue. In 1965 he took The Velvet Underground in as his house band while setting up a venue called The Dom. Not stopping there he also created an ambient experience, or light show, he called The Exploding Plastic Inevitable. The combination of music and light was innovative and widely imitated. Unfortunately Warhol didn’t have a secure lease and the venue got away from him. Perhaps realzing he was spreading himself too thin he never followed up letting the Velvets go their own way.
Warhol nevertheless established close bonds with other musicians. His attempted connection to Bob Dylan failed. Whether sour grapes or not he comitted this thought to his diary in July of 1985:
Watched the Live-Aid thing on TV. Bobby Zaren’s office had been calling, wanting me to go down there, but with that many big celebrities you never get any publicity. Later on that night Jack Nicholson introduced Bob Dylan and called him “transcendental.” But to me, Dylan was never really real- he was just mimicking real people and the amphetamine made it come out magic. With amphetamine he could copy words and make it all sound right. But that boy never felt a thing- (laughs) I just never bought it.
Warhol did succeed with Mick and Bianca Jagger and the Rolling Stones. While his cover for the first Velvet Underground album was considered innovative (read: weird) his cover for the Stones’ Sticky Fingers album with its functional zipper was as the term of the time went, mindblowing.
While Warhol never established contact with the Beatles, when his fellow artist Yoko Ono led her trophy husband, John Lennon, from London to New York in 1970 another firm connection to musicians and the inheritor of Elvis Presley’s mantle as the Savior was formed. Over all floated the Ghost of Elvis Presley.
Part II: John & Yoko In New York follows.
Yoko Ono And The Men Who Influenced Her
Review by R.E. Prindle
Clayson, Alan: Woman: The Incredible Life Of Yoko Ono, Chrome Dreams, 2004.
Yoko Ono involved herself with several of the most influential men in the arts during the sixties, seventies and eighties of the twentieth century. She drew her inspiration from them patterning her own efforts after them. At the same time she was one of the leading feminists of the day having her share in shaping and furthering the movement. The mantra was female liberation, equality between men and women. In fact women were equal to men in the West but only by acknowledging the biological differences between men and women. The fact is the differences are real and not social constructs as women would have us believe. The fact is women are women and men are men. So, in seeking ‘female liberation’ feminists were seeking much more than ‘equality’ however the term may be defined.
The fact is that in the Ages old war between the sexes feminists are seeking to restore the Matriarchy and destroy the Patriarchy. That is why many men favor feminism, they prefer the Matriarchy. Thus the feminists are atavistic. Yoko and her cohorts wished, in her words, to restore ‘heart’ as she viewed the Matriarchy and eliminate ‘reason’ as she viewed quite rightly the basis of Patriarchalism. Nevermind that bilogical science has invalidated the concepts of Matriarachy and Patriarchy. This is a post Matriarchy and Patriarchy world.
Circa -2000 in the West men revolted against the mind stifling Matriarchy and the vaginal swamp of the ‘heart’ seeking to establish
the authority of the infinite power of the mind of Zeus on ethereal Olympus. This is the story of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and the Greek myths in general recording the struggle.
The Western male was able to impose the ascendency of reason over the heart for 3000 years until the disestablishment of the old order by science about mid-nineteenth century. The center could not hold during this period of extreme change as W.B. Yeats put it as the rearrangement of the intellectual order moved into the twentieth century.
Yoko Ono sought with her feminist fellows to return to the biological innocence of 2000 BC. She herself had no talent. Filled with audacity she pitted her ‘heart’ against the reason of John Cage, Andy Warhol and John Lennon. I’m sure she had a mentor for her so-called performance art but I am as yet unaware of who he may be. Perhaps Maciunas and the Fluxus group.
Thus her first manifestation as an artist was based on the musical ideas of John Cage while her artistic efforts were at least based in the avant garde ideas of the Fluxus group. Her first assault on the NYC art world failed so in 1961 she returned in defeat to Japan. When she returned to NYC in 1964 she found an entirely different art scene. On the musical side the focus was on Bobby Dylan and the Beatles while on the artistic side Andy Warhol and his Factory had destroyed the Abstract Expressionists and the old avant garde. Dylan, the Beatles and Warhol had in fact usurped the avant garde which now had little meaning. From my point of view held at the time the avant garde had ceased to exist. Of course I didn’t understand exactly why or how.
From 1964 when Yoko returned to NYC until 1966 when she left for London I’m sure Yoko was at a loss. She developed her silly
notion of Bagism at this time even having a black bag on a stand in Max’s Kansas City that some one or ones were supposed to slide into. This seems to have been thought a lame idea at the time as it seems now.
At this time while retaining allegiance to John Cage’s musical ideas she was falling under the influence of Andy Warhol’s artistic notions. Warhol’s intent had been to destroy the idea of ‘fine art’. In this he pretty well succeeded. As Yoko expressed it you didn’t need any talent to be an artist. She seems to demonstrate this notion in her own artistic efforts. Warhol had also redefined the notion of film with his static studies. He then sought to combine his film ideas with live music, probably in competition with Bob Dylan who was also attempting to move in that direction. Warhol adopted Lou Reed and his band the Velvet Underground as the Factory house band while creating a multi-media show called the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, innovative for its time. Thus a concert at his hall, the Dom, was an ‘experience.’
While Yoko makes no mention about how this, actually, incredible development affected her there can be no doubt that she was well aware of Dylan, the Beatles and the Warhol Experience and was affected by it. Indeed, the first manifestation was the making of her Warhol style films such as Bottoms.
The second manifestation was her removal to London to seduce either Lennon or McCartney of the Beatles, thus in the manner of Warhol’s adoption of the Velvet Underground she sought to co-opt the Beatles, the premier rock group in the world. Real chutzpah and more than one upping Warhol. I think it would be nonsense to think she had any other goal in mind.
She undoubteldy learned that Paul McCartney was actively involved with John Dunbar and his Indica Gallery that opened in 1965.
Some say she first set her sights on McCartney but the more vulnerable Lennon showed up and the Spider Woman spread her web.
She was still married to her second husband, Tony Cox, but, regardless of what she says she very aggressively pursued, or attacked, Lennon. Lennon was emotionally under water unable to handle his success while drugging himself out of his mind. He was unwillingly married to his wife Cynthia. It appears that he married Cynthia out of duty when she became pregnant. He doesn’t seem to have been happy in his virtue. Yoko had no difficulty in capturing his affections.
Now, just as Warhol had adopted the Velvets and imposed his female singer, Nico, on the band Yoko sought to imp[ose herself on the Beatles through Lennon. At this time she was still musically completely in thrall to John Cage understanding nothing about Rock music. She and Lennon had made a ridiculous LP called Two Virgins in 1968. She combined her cagian screechings while using an avant garde 'performance' notion of the couple posing nude on the cover; full frontal on the obverse, full posterior on the reverse. As no store would carry the cover the couple reverted to Yoko's idea of Bagism placing the cover inside a plain manila envelope or bag. While it didn't sell the record this form of Bagism was actually a successful artistic statement. The nude cover given an outer garment so to speak.
Well, the public was prepared to forgive the Beatles anything but the other three Beatles weren't prepared to forgive Yoko for forcing herself on them thus she broke up the most successful act of the sixties. Still, she had succeeded according to her wildest dream. Lennon and his wonderful reputation and fortune were hers. She had gone from a neglected, nondescript 'performance' artist to center stage, not on her own womanly talents but by attaching herself to a talented man. Yoko's 'heart' was useless without the male intellect. Yoko was now the most influencial feminist in the world. She knew what to do with that.
After several 'performance' acts such as the 'Bed In For Peace' the couple left England to return to the place Yoko wished to subjugate artistically, New York City. She had raised herself to a par with Andy Warhol. She now had to meld her musical and artistic goals through Lennon and Warhol.
On the musical side she began to develop her rock n' roll skills under the tutelage of Lennon. While not abandoning the avant garde notions of John Cage she now emasculated her husband. Always semi-delusional or perhaps completely so, she fantasized that she was not only equal to Lennon in skill and popularity but superior to him. She imagined herself more popular than Lennon. Thus one has such travesties as the LP Double Fantasy. It was only after Lennon's death that she was forced to recognize than Lennon's fans did not appreciate her efforts. So she failed as a musician.
She quickly tired of being Mrs. Lennon. Thus she and Lennon separated for eighteen months or so during the years 1973-75. She then realized that her financial well being and musical acceptance depended on Lennon. In 1975 she called him back resuming their relationship until his death in 1980. But, things had changed.
She began to adopt Warhol's life style on her return to NYC. While she propagated the notion that she was some sort of business whiz Iam having difficulties discovering any such skills. It appears that with the enormous income of Lennon she emulated Warhol in
spending her way to prosperity.
She was in a position to not only match Warhol’s spending but exceeding it by many times. Through the seventies and eighties Warhol came into his own as an artist while reaping a fortune doing portraits. There appears to have been no effort on his part to invest in income producing vehicles. Rather he bought stuff. He purchased buildings in NYC and elsewhere while acquring undeveloped acreage in places like Aspen. He shopped nearly every day buying antiques from furniture to objets d’ art by the bushel almost as though he were trying to excel the incredible W.R. Hearst.
He usually didn’t even look at the stuff once he bought it merely filling rooms with his shopping bags. At his death all this junk was auctioned off for 25 million dollars, a nice appreciation in value.
Yoko followed the exact pattern buying apartments and houses as well as an extensive dairy farm with a herd of prize cows. She not only had but has five apartments in her principal dwelling, the Dakota apartment building and many other houses scattered around.
Like Warhol the Dakota apartments are stuffed with junk. Valuable, but, you know, stuff. She bought at good prices. Her extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities was mostly purchased before a steep rise in value.
Like the Rothschilds of old Yoko didn’t do all her own shopping but employed agents to search things out. Chief among these was an associate of Warhol’s, Sam Green, and an Hungarian immigrant by the name of Sam Havadtoy.
There should be no surprise then that she now has an extensive collection of Warhol’s artwork as well as his portraits of Lennon. The Warhols would have been purchased for form 25 to 50K while now being listed on her assets at tens of millions. She also has been said to have a good collection of Magrittes as well as one assumes other artists. So, much of her net worth is tied up in artwork purchased through Sam Green.
Sam Havadtoy was an antiques dealer as well as an interior designer. He appears to have been a somewhat shady character. It is very difficult to find much about him, however there is a sharp portrait available from the notorious A.J. Weberman ( http://www.acid-trip.org/lennon/ )
…(the Lennons) hired a sleazy Eastern European bisexual to renovate the pad. (Dakota) I had heard of this dude, whose name escapes me, from an asswipe named BRUCE KIRSH, who worked for him. KIRSH told me that the dude, who worked for the King of Morocco, would form a dummy renovation company, hire employees like Kirsch who were willing to work under false names, then, when it came time to pay taxes, everyone would disappear. I learned of him long before he was hired by John and Yoko, and I was taken aback when Yoko took up with him after John’s death.
I know that Weberman is not particularly well thought of by fandom but this is because of his harassment of Dylan who did, after all, misrepresent himself to the revolutionaries like Weberman. A.J. himself is an intelligent observer who was wading through it when it was deep. I do believe he knows what he’s talking about although his interpretations of Dylan’s lyrics seem absurd.
I would have to question Yoko’s judgment in taking him in. Both he and Sam Green were candidates as successors to Lennon with
whom she consorted in front of Lennon before he died while Yoko chose Havadtoy as his successor the day he died.
Perhaps she selected Havadtoy over Green because he was more rough trade. With Lennon while managing to reconcile revolution with peace and love with Havadtoy she discarded peace and love in favor of strong arm methods against her former employee Fred Seaman when it was totally unnecessary.
Havadtoy was living in a homosexual arrangement with his business partner when Yoko beckoned him to switch to her. Apparently an able switch hitter he was lured by the money to this much older woman. The arrangement did last for twenty years before Havadtoy removed to his native Hungary taking a nice cash settlement and several of the Warhols.
Thus, just as Warhol had his live-in homosexual arrangement so after Lennon’s death Yoko adopted the exact arrrangement. Today she apparently lives alone, a seventy-eight year old woman.
After Lennon’s death there was an accession of from 30 million to a possible 100 million dollars as their last album, Double Fantasy, sold into the millions while the rest of Lennon’s catalog and one assumes the Beatles’ catalog was reinvigorated while all things Lennon sold. This is, of course, no reflection on Yoko but the inevitable result with intellectual properties when the maker dies.
Post-Lennon, then, Yoko realized that her recording and art careers were nil. Heart without intellect is worthless. She then became the caretaker of the Lennon legacy. His recordings, of course, continued to sell, but even his artwork eclipsed that of Yoko. So she suffered the humiliation of being a mere appendage to a man. The feminine dismal swamp was eclipsed by the Olympian heights of the male intellect. As in ancient times the God had trumped the Goddess. And yet as with Hera and Zeus the Goddess gets her way. Yoko came up with the money and goods while Lennon’s spirit was wafted into the stratosphere.
As any reader of mythology knows Hera ruled the Lernean swamps of Argolis while Zeus ruled the gods on ethereal Olympus. Thus one has the symbolism of the biological difference between the male and female.
In ancient times the female had her share in magic. She knew herbs and plants, was familiar with poisons and cures as with the arch witch of the ancient world, Medea. The reputation of the female witch even as a consort of Satan persisted down through medieval and post-medieval times, indeed, even up to the dawn of the scientific enlightenment. One would have thought that magic and witchery were a thing of the past in the 1960s and yet Yoko embodied the whole female swamp mentality.
She established something called the Spirit Foundation attributing the direction to Lennon who in fact knew nothing of these matters but followed her lead. The Spirit Foundation celebrated the ancient art of the Shaman or witch doctor. Shamanism itself even preceded the Matriarchal swamps of Argolis. It was a rich repository of magical tradition. Further the Foundation was feminist in that it was dedicated to preserving the magical traditions of the women of the Pacific islands still living in such archaic societies. The wealth generated by the male intellect was appropriated by the female vagina or ‘heart.’
In her own life and that of Lennon’s Yoko was addicted to a variety of magical practices- astrology, numerology, Tarot readings, and indeed she traveled to the Caribbean to sell her soul to Satan through the offices of a female curandera. Her Tarot reader, John Green, was a priest in the shamanistic, magical, Yoruban African cult of Santeria.
Her feminism was more a magical effort to restory Matriarchal supremacy over the Patriarchy thus reversing the Patriarchal victory of three thousand years previously. Indeed, what has been called the movement for female equality is nothing more than a covert campaign to restore the Matriarchy.
Thus while Yoko o9riginatd nothing she usurped the abilities of the reason of men- Cage, Warhol, Lennon and male magicians such as John Green. Indeed the Trojan War itself was a war of men in service of women.
In her associations with men she preferrred to deal with emasculated types such as homosexuals like Cage, Warhol, Sam Green and Sam Havadtoy. Lennon claimed to have always been dependent of women for comfort and guidance while Yoko caught him at his most confused and vulnerable.
While she received direction from Cage and Warhol she was able to manipulate Lennon out of his talent somewhat as Vivian did that of Merlin of the Arthurian saga. When Vivian had usurped Merlin’s magical knowledge she buried him deep much as Lennon was put out of the way. Yoko then appropriated his wealth and residual income after his death. It was this constant inflow of cash that allowed her to propagate the notion that she was a financial genius.
Then as the female of the ‘heart’ or vaginal swamp she managed and appropriated the reason of Olympus through Cage, Warhol and Lennon. What she got from Havadtoy other than brute strength is not clear to me.
As such Yoko is Woman. In her case a seeming reversion to the archetypal Shaman of the most ancient times.
April 3, 2010
Mourning Becomes Yoko Ono
The Passing Of John Lennon Part III
When John Lennon met Yoko Ono he knew very little of art and nothing of the New York art scene. His high school years had been spent in open and futile rebellion; the next few years had been spent only in the German underworld with no time for cultivation. From there he went into the whirl of the Beatles years so one might say he had been in cultural suspended animation for all his adult life.
Yoko Ono since 1960 had been engaged in the New York avant garde art scene. She was au courant when she left for London in 1966. Hooking up with Lennon she began to educate him according to her understanding of art. By the time the Ono-Lennons arrived in New York in the late sixties that scene was dominated by the POP art of Andy Warhol while the world both she and Lennon knew in 1960 was unrecognizable. Yoko wasted no time in ingratiating herself with Andy but not the factory. After he was shot in 1969 the old Factory disappeared and after his recovery Warhol began a new life. It is possible that she tried to establish
contact with him between ’64 and ’66. She did know warhol’s associate, Sam Green, from her first days in the Village in 1960.
By the time of her return to NYC Yoko had achieved world wide fame by using Lennon and his fame in their charades for ‘Peace.’ Now she had the perfect entree to enter Warhol’s circle. Warhol was a sucker for celebrities, he did Lennon’s portrait, so he was flattered when Yoko asked him to introduce she and John into society. If Warhol could pester, Yoko was unstoppable. While Andy wasn’t exactly persona gratis at that time he was thick with Sam Adams Green who did have entree to society. Between the the two of them they set up a party to introduce the Ono-Lennons.
John was, of course, no Mick Jagger. While Mick adapted himself quickly to the demands of his fame and moved easily in society, John was awkward being out of the element of his self-styled working class hero. Yoko, too, was no mixer so at the party Yoko and John sat silently in a corner as though in one of Yoko’s bags watching the party goers.
It might be apropos to point out that Jagger and Warhol were fairly close. Jagger was one of the few people attending Warhol’s funeral in Pittsburgh while Bianca was in Warhol’s entourage in the eighties. Warhol also painted a portfolio of Jagger pictures that today command healthy prices.
Yoko still persisted with Warhol but Andy having been disappointed once was not up for it twice. He distanced himself from the pair describing them to Sam Green as boring. An ultimate putdown.
Initially the Lennons lived in the Bohemian scene downtown. Mickey Ruskin, the owner of Max’s Kansas City, described the Bohemian scene thusly: the well-to-do Bohos, the middle and the lower class. Those associated with the Kettle of Fish and its environs of which Dylan was a member were of the lower class while the Kettle of Fish itself was owned by the Mafia. He believed Max’s was in the middle. John and Yoko first lived in New York in the West Village at 105 Bank Street next door to Yoko’s her, John Cage. They took over Joe Butler’s apartment, he formerly the drummer of Lovin’ Spoonful so Ruskin would have classed John and Yoko as haut ton beatniks.
At any rate they soon left those environs to migrate to the Upper West Side where they secured apartments in the famous, or soon to be famous, Dakota. It was then that their NYC life took its definitive form.
I have been to NYC a few times so that I know the general layout and have some feel for the place but I have by no means an intimate knowledge so essentially I’m working from maps. I know where MOMA and some few prominent art landmarks are from experience but not that many.
At any rate the Dakota is a famous landmark.. Acceptance as a tenant is by committee approval. John and Yoko were strenuously vetted but finally admitted. They took over actor Robert Ryan’s apartment #72. If you have seen the movie Rosemary’s Baby the camera pans past apartments 71 and 72. No filming was allowed inside the Dakota so while the exterior shots are authentic the interiors were shot on sets. Thus the apartment of the Satanists is a fictional 7E. The apartment next to it in which the young couple resided may have been number 72. The man of the couple who was an actor sold his wife’s body to Satan as the carrier of his child for success in the theatre which he was granted. Thus the Ono-Lennons moved into an apartment closely associated with devil worship, the occult and witchcraft.. This will become more important as Yoko associated herself with all three. In fact, Yoko through John Green would have been familiar with the Yoruban Santeria religion that she in all likelihood would have reverenced. The Spirit Foundation that she established is concerned with the preservation of just such tribal institutions.
These are magnificent apartments that I presume Rosemary’s Baby duplicates. Huge fifty foot long living rooms as part of a ten room apartment. The Ono-Lennons would soon own both 71 and 72 lacking only the fictional 7E while having a Studio apartment as well.
Being now permanently settled Yoko having access to John’s superb income began to spend it. Of course, she virtually cleaned out department stores on her buying binges, any girl’s dream. But, she also began to buy heavily into art and antiques as investments. This brought Warhol’s friend Sam Adams Green into a close association with her. Rich society women were Sam’s forte. He has an interesting story. He was actually descended from the second president of the United States, Samuel Adams. He arrived in New york in 1960 about the same time Andy Warhol was trying to establish himself as a fine artist and Yoko the same. Warhol of course began as a commercial artist doing shoe ads but in 1960 he changed the emphasis of his career.
In the fine arts field one of the first gallery people Andy met was Sam Green of the Green Gallery. Different Green, Sam only
worked there and shared the name. He and Andy hit it off. By 1965 Green was associated with the art department of UPennsylvania where he staged a Warhol exhibition in the same year. From there he gravitated bck to NYC where he began a career as art consultant to rich women on both continents. They liked him. Through the socialite Cecile Rothschild he was introduced to Greta Garbo with whom he was sort of a trusted companion for 15 years.
He was very knowledgeable about art as an investment traveling between Euorpe and the US advising socialites on the most investment worthy art. He apparently derived a more than comfortable income from his efforts. He was a trusted advisor of Yoko. Some say that he and Yoko’s Tarot reader, John Green, who would enter John and Yoko’s life at about this time, combined to bilk Yoko for overpriced objects. This presumes that both men were dishonest and that Yoko was a fool. As Yoko’s investments have prospered I think we can dismiss the latter, although Yoko did take pride in being able to spend vast sums. She would have taken pleasure in overpaying.
Rather I would say that Sam Green was a very knowledgeable expert whose task was to find art that would appreciate in value. Thus the question is did he perform that function and the answer is, yes. Yoko’s acquistions increased in value far above her purchase prices. I think it is unfair then to say that the Greens bilked her. Surely the laborer is worth his hire.
Now, Sam Green as her agent had to buy the items he acquired for her. Being knowledgeable as to who in society wanted to sell what at distressed prices he may have made some excellent buys that he then tacked on his margin which of course meant that he sold to Yoko for ‘more than they were worth.’ But, heck, even Christie’s and Sotheby’s take twenty per cent each from the buyer and seller. That’s a forty per cent surcharge. However Sam served his function of providing investment pieces so I see no evidence of bilking.
Sam Green also formed a close, probably romantic, liaison with Yoko that persisted until after John’s death. Another art dealser she became close to was a Sam Havadtoy with whom she subsequently lived for twenty years beginning immediately the day after John’s death.
Now the men Yoko associated herself with were all effetes, that were either emasculated when she found them or who she emasculated. Strangely Lennon was the strongest of the lot. Both her first Japanese husband and Tony Cox appear to have been heterosexuals but both Sam Green and Sam Havadtoy were dependent homosexuals. With Havadtoy Yoko may have had her ideal relationship. He was thoroughly emasculated while with the fortune Yoko inherited from Lennon he was totally dependent on her. The classic toy boy a couple decades younger than herself. He, by the way, after his twenty year stint as live-in retired to Hungary with an abundant palimony but he isn’t talking.
In my reading of the situation then, a not particularly compliant John became somewhat of a liability to her, especially as he began to reassert himself with the return to the recording studio in 1980. The problem has the surface appearance of separating the man form his money and discarding the man.
Yoko began building her entourage, Sam Green, John Green, Sam Havadtoy and her various occult people with what appears to be an admiration for and some sort of connection with Andy Warhol. Sam Green and Havadtoy would be a troublesome presence in Lennon’s life during the recording of Double Fantasy while he does not appear to have been enchanted with the Warhol connection
As has been mentioned Yoko became involved in occult practices. She did practice hypnotism on Lennon and was an adept at suggestion which is the essence of hypnotism. Thus on the one hand she suggested forcefully to May Pang that she take up with Lennon while it is probable she hypnotized Lennon into taking up with May Pang. Post hypnotic suggestion would give her a command over all Lennon’s actions. Once implanted she would only have to say the word and Lennon would follow her suggestions.
How complicit John Green would have been in this isn’t exactly clear but any of Yoko’s suggestions to John could have been complemented by a reading. John Green was after all dependent on Yoko for a very generous income beyond whatever he may have scammed.
John Green is another interesting case. He was apparently successful as a Tarot reader before he met Yoko while he is reported to hae been a student of the African Yoruba religion called Santeria. The Yoruba are a tribe in Nigeria, middle river, Western side. He would have obtained much of the magic information he displayed in Cartagena, Columbia, SA from that source. The sixties themselves were the great period of the dissolution of the American mind and personality. One of the key items in the disintegration was the 1962 movie, Mondo Cane. (It’s A Dog’s World). It is difficult to assess the impact of this movie on the malleable college age mind of the times.
I saw the movie then and while it passed out of my conscious mind it struck me most forcibly and lodged in my subconscious mind. I, of course, reviewed the movie for this essay and while I at first remembered little gradually my conscious mind recovered the images so that I remember almost all. The viewing at the time was very repulsive and unsettling to my mind as it was for everyone I talked to about it and every college kid saw it. Still, consciously I missed the true import of the movie completely.
The filmmakers equated some New Guinea stone age people with modern Whites and equated them- said both states of
consciousness were the same- and that there had been no advance between the primitive and modern. Then they showed Whites at their goofiest and most ridiculous. Drunks at a German Oktoberfest, aged tourists clumsily trying to do a hula. The movie was a real exercise in moral relativity. It was shortly after viewing the movie that I first remember hearing the phrase ‘Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.’ I don’t want to philosophize on this but my thought was that if I think something is bad therefore it must be because I think it and I can’t be wrong.
The movie had a devastating effect on the attitude of the generation. It was a form of hypnosis with a great deal of post-hypnotic suggestion. Whether John Green saw the movie or not I can’t say but if he had it would have prepared him for accepting Yoruban Santeria. In fact these primitive forms of religion and what not flourished in the wake of Mondo Cane. At the same, as I indicated, Yoko would have been very open to Santeria. I think there is little doubt that Green and she at least discussed the religion and its African tribal origin. Especially as she established something she calls the Spirit Foundation. In the online prospectus she describes the foundation thusly:
The Spirit Foundation is…concerned with the protection and promotion of creative and cultural diversity amongst shamanic tribal communities worldwide. Part of the foundations work is the International Shamanic Network which aims at promoting the ancient creative archetypes of man and their binding ecological realtionship to the world.
Our emphasis is on education for action.
As mentioned Yoko and Lennon moved into the suites used in Rosemary’s Baby with its Satanic overtones. In the movie a young woman living with the Satanic couple either jumps or is pushed to her death not far from where Lennon was shot. In this very location Yoko took up Satanism. She decided she wanted to make a pact with the Devil to obtain her wishes. The ubiquitous Sam Green knew of a witch who could serve as an intermediary between Yoko and Satan. (Remember I am only retailing the story, I don’t believe Satan exists.)
Sam Green who had prospered as an art consultant had used some of his earnings to purchase what he called a castle in Cartagena, Colombia. He recommended his witch to Yoko who asked John Green to take her to the witch as he doubled as Tarot reader and Wizard. John Green did so and the witch duly negotiated a deal between Yoko and the Lord of Fire. When it came time to sign the pact Yoko asked Green to do it for her which he did. She was aghast when he told her he didn’t sign his name but hers. Yoko trying to cheat the devil.
We don’t know what she asked Satan for but we are compelled to believe she got it.
As I believe she hypnotized Lennon into taking the Long Weekend I don’t know exactly why she wanted him out of the house. She certainly closely monitored his activities while he was away both in NYC and LA. During his absence Yoko didn’t have a Power of Attorney so she was somewhat constrained as John had her on a 300K budget. When he returned she quickly obtained his POA so that she had unlimited use of his money and, in fact, his identity.
Lennon is criticized for being a recluse in the years between 1975-80. He certainly wasn’t a recluse in that he withdrew from the world. He merely limited his contacts with it. It is said there was a fifteen month period when he was completely withdrawn. While he was obviously suffering from a mental malise in my opinion the withdrawal was completely justified. He had mental issues that had to be resolved. He had the money and time to work at it as he did.
He had a mother/father fixation he had to resolve. he had the feeling that he had been either a genius or a lunatic from boyhood. In a remarkable rant within the 1970 Rolling Stone interview he rants for pages because no one recognized him as a genius in his youth while he had now convinced himself that he was and had been a genius. The fact that he never did his schoolwork doesn’t seem to him that that may have a reason why people missed his genius and though him somewhat mad. What would theyhave done if they had? So he had to reconcile the issue in his mind.
He seems to have made no advance past his school years except in music. The years between leaving school and taking up with Yoko were completely wasted intellectually while the pressures of phenomenal success and wealth disoriented him completely not to mention the massive doses of drugs. At some time then he had to come down and organize his mind and life. From 1968 to let us say 1980 he was completely dependent on Yoko for his mental balance. In NYC he went where she did and did what she did. Hence the connection to Andy Warhol and Sam Green.
There are numerous pictures of Yoko, Lennon and Warhol. Yoko even patterned some of her work after Warhol’s style as in the ‘work’ below patterned after Warhol’s double Elvis. Thus she associates herself and Lennon with Presley.
As I mentioned before the social entree arranged by Warhol and Sam Green failed because of the social ineptness of the Ono-Lennons.
While we have a full record of what Lennon was doing during his ‘Lost Weekend’ we have a less full account of what Yoko was doing. She seems to have had romantic liaisons with at least three men- Sam Green, Sam Havadtoy and the guitarist David Spinozza.
Perhaps she wanted to see how well she could do on her own as a musician, to see if her reputation as a performance artist and, in her mind, musician, was sufficient to maintain a career on her own without John. If so, she was brutally disappointed as in her only solo performance she failed miserably. Thus she realized that as of 1974 her reputation as well as her wealth depended on Lennon.
It was during Lennon’s absence that John Green came into her life. While John Green tells a fairly smooth story in his Dakota Years one has the feeling that he is being highly selective in what he tells while he slyly ridicules the Ono-Lennons as their superior. The attitude easily leads to contempt and from contempt to abuse. Of course he would have to dissimulate both the contempt and abuse as Ono would be reading the book. As I imagine, a priest in the Santeria religion, he would have been in the company of some shady characters. I don’t know how many actual Yorubas were in NYC but I have met a couple elsewhere.
One imagines most of the hierarchy Green came into contact with was African or American Blacks. Santeria involves a deal of ritual sacrifice while money would be needed. I suspect that John Green was involved in the extortion attempt on the Ono-Lennons. This may have been Santeria related. Thus a sort of Black Hand organization was created. Rather than go for the big money that would have created a stir, the group settled for hitting up people with millions for a mere 200K each. An unpleasant tax for being rich but one more conveniently paid than to die resisting.
We have only Green’s version of the extortion and his relationship to it. He paints himself in a relatively good light. The Ono-Lennons did call in the FBI, they did give the extortionists newspaper rather than cash as the FBI advised. But then things went wrong. The FBI apparently had only one tail on the extortionist who came for the money rather than a series of back ups. The agent inexplicably lost his man. The Ono-Lennons never received another call but they had been warned that if they failed to pay Lennon would be killed whether it took one, two or more years. In December of 1980 the bill fell due. On December 8th he was shot. December 7th is Pearl Harbor Day so there may be a Japanese connection. Yoko Ono being Japanese, her numerologist and the assassin’s wife while Chapman missed the appointed day by one.
The question then hangs on Mark David Chapman the shooter. He is still alive and in prison. He was an assassin as the classic lone nut like Lee Harvey Oswald and any number of assassins who pay the law for the crime while the organizers go free. The technique has been well known to criminals for centuries. Any time a lone nut assassinates someone you may be sure that they were a patsy as Oswald announced over TV he was.
It seems likely that Chapman had been hypnotized. Witnesses said Chapman acted as though in a trance and he himself said he heard a voice in his head saying: Do it. Do it. Do it. The problem would be how he was recruited. I, of course, can say nothing for certain while what I am saying now is merely an hypothesis or inquiry. The main thing is that Chapman was supposed to be a lone nut. Ridiculous.
The most obvious recruitment method was the Santeria of which John Green was a member and to which Yoko Ono was
sympathetic. There are some oddities in the Chapman story that have to be explained not least of which are the large sums of money expended by Chapman in relation to his income. He was a married man therefore had a wife to support. Yet in 1978 he was in Japan at the same time as the Ono-Lennons beginning an around the world flight.
Perhaps Tokyo was the first stop of the trip around the world that then led to Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Delhi, Israel, Geneva, Paris, London, Dublin, Atlanta and back to Hawaii. His travel agent was a Japanese woman, Gloria Abe, who he then courted and married. She is reported to have been involved in occult circles. She may have seen so involved that, through Takahashi Yoshikawa, Yoko’s numerologist she was brought in to arrange the trip. Such an around the world trip in a Westerly direction- sundown to sunup- according to Yoshikawa’s numerology would be characteristic of Yoko Ono. She and Lennon made a round the world trip for occult reasons as did both Lennon individually and John Green at her instance. Green made his trip in 59 1/2 hours only leaving a plane once to change to another. As the financing of Chapman’s trip is unknown I would suggest Yoko Ono.
Two years after this very costly trip around the world Chapman flew from Hawaii to first Chicago, then Atlanta, then to New York where he landed a few days before the assassination. Once again, well beyond his means. It is said that he took paintings to Chicago that he sold. Where he would have gotten the paintings isn’t known but once again Yoko is the obvious source. She had an art gallery of valuable art work.
While in Atlanta he contacted a former roommate, then a Deputy Sheriff, Gene Scott, who gave him the hollow point exploding
bullets for a handgun. One assumes such bullets couldn’t be bought over the counter. One wonders why Scott didn’t ask what Chapman intended to do with them. And if he did and Chapman told him Gene Scott is clearly an accomplice and should be questioned.
Chapman himself came from Atlanta where in his teen years he was known to ingest any and all drugs. Atlanta was also a Santeria center with several weird Black cults. Lennon’s death took place at the same time as the Atlanta child murders for which Wayne Williams was later convicted. The Santeria religion has been suspected in these obvious sacrificial murders while John Green establishes a Santeria connection to the Ono-Lennons and Yoko in particular.
Yoko was an excellent hypnotist who understood the use and power of suggestion. The Santerists as Africans would be well versed in the use of suggestion and hypnotism.
Chapman said he was possessed by the Devil while appearing to be in a hypnotic trance. All this rather amusingly is taking place at the Dakota, the scene of the Devil’s birth in Rosemary’s Baby. Indeed, the identical apartment.
After Lennon’s death there was no period of mourning or sense of loss by Yoko. All Lennon’s assets were in her control and name before his death. The so-called will of Lennon is suspicious, although the will was unnecessary becaue I doubt if Lennon thought of a will while the will appointed the art dealer Sam Green as the gaurdian of son Sean in the event the Ono-Lennons perished together. Lennon wasn’t that enamored of Sam Green.
Within a few days Sam Havadtoy was installed as Yoko’s live-in where he remained for twenty years.
While Yoko’s success as an artist and rock n’ roller wasn’t affected by Lennon’s death she now had the money to pay to have her art exhibited. Even then she found her reputation was indissolubly linked to her dead husband. She has become a caretaker for the Lennon legend parceling out old recordings while humiliatingly Lennon’s artwork is more in demand than hers.
She seems to have patterned her later career on that of Andy Warhol who as he acquired fame and fortune managed to insinutate himself into certain society circles. So has Yoko. Now, at 78, she has attained a certain status although still extremely self-centered while having an appearance of terminal aloneness.
March 13, 2010
Mourning Becomes Yoko
The Passing Of John Lennon
This magic moment
So different and so new
Was like any other
Until there was you.
To understand the sixties one has to go back in time to the foundation of Astrology. In Time beyond Ancient, Astrology and Astronomy were one. The very old gods and the sky were one. It was only when science, a more clear understanding of ‘creation’, if you will, removed the sky from the gods’ purview that Astronomy and Astrology separated. Astrology in those days had meaning that is not apparent today when the sky is just part of our natural surroundings.
The Zodiac was divided into twelve periods of roughly 2000 years each which formed the Great Year. The periods were called Ages with each Age having its own avatars. The avatars of the current Piscean Age have been Jesus the Christ for the first thousand years, and for the succeeding thousand years Artemis or Diana in northern Europe and Mother Mary to the south. Sometime within a few hundred years near the end of an Age a new avatar begins to form.
The first intimation of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius that I am aware of occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century. While not the first, the chief proponent seems to have been Edgar Rice Burroughs and his creation, Tarzan The Ape Man. Not one to
be dogmatic Burroughs left his intent open only to, dare I use the word again, the initiated.
Tarzan is timeless, he represents the past, being associated with the Atlanteans and the range of evolution, the present and, as the exemplar of the perfect man, the future. While rejecting organized religion Burroughs also rejected the Piscean avatar, Jesus The Christ in favor of the coming man-god. Thus the coming man-god must be a projection of the Aquarian avatar. Tarzan, a magnificent specimen is both physically and mentally the perfect man and hence representative of the future Aquarian man-god. Do not confuse the movie Tarzan with the literary creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The longing then for a new messiah had been developing for half a century, at least, when circumstances came together for the appearance of a new avatar pointing toward the Age of Aquarius. This manifestation appeared on the stage of Ed Sullivan, in of all places, New York City. It was the Tupelo Mississippi Flash himself, Elvis Presley. In that brief magic moment on Sullivan’s stage he revealed himself and was recognized by his people.
Interestingly the appearance on 10/9 coincided with the birthday of John Lennon.
In that moment Presley’s future was cast. Whether the old order recognized who he was they knew how he was perceived and made every effort to slander, denigrate and destroy him short of actual murder. All to no avail. They might have been able to kill him, murder him, but he was inviolable to any defamation. It made no difference that they ridiculed him in a couple dozen fatuous films, he was the man-god. People endured his humiliations with bowed heads and resentful miens.
From him succeeding generations have taken their guidance. The first awe struck generation took the stage in direct emulation of him. While many had better songs (Gene Vincen’ts Be-Bop-A-Lula) none of the generation were anointed thereby developing a devoted following in the magnitude of Presley.
Elvis was not the last word but the first in what will be a procession. While the American Pharisees persecuted and scattered the faithful a new, younger generation was growing up in Elvis’ shadow. Their epiphany, that Magic Moment, would take place on the same Ed Sullivan stage in that same strange city of destiny, NYC, nine years later.
The gestation of this second manifestation of the godhead would take place in Liverpool, England. Inspired by Elvis Presley four young men of the second manifestation would be filtered through the persona of a young Scottish musician named Lonnie Donegan
When the settlers from the British Isles settled America they brought their musical traditions with them, most prominently to the Southern tier of States. Thus both the White and Black musical traditions of America stem from essentially the Celtic peoples. In the mid-fifties Donegan brought this music in the form of American Folk back to England in a form he named Skiffle Music. It swept England and its youth up being combined with Presley. Donegan added a ferocious beat to the music that evolved into the form termed the Big Beat. Thus the British musicians were schooled in American music as it had evolved from their own.
Now, the Magic Moment requires the man who has been prepared for the moment. If all goes right he is equal to his destiny, if not the moment fails.
While Presley was the man, the second avatar would be four men seemingly acting as one. The four men seemed to represent four archetypal personalities as in the four faces of the godhead. Those of us who didn’t ‘get’ them, of which I was one, were mystified by their apotheosis.
Just as Elvis had his unique preparation so did this fabulous foursome. Raised as four ordinary kids from varying levels of poverty and varying psychological backgrounds they were united by the music of Presley and Donegan.
They began a grueling and astonishing apprenticeship in the red light district of Hamburg, Germany. Unable to speak German they were thus compelled to rely on each other for companionship which created a unique bond. They were required to be on stage for up to twelve hours at a stretch for weeks at a time thus honing their musical skills apparently to perfection.
Thus the four aspects of humanity, one might say, were placed in a unique situation creating a unique combination of personalities seemingly as one. In those circumstances they were forced to be able to communicate instantly with their audience night after night. Valuable training.
Returning to Liverpool with their abilities seemingly uniquely developed they were adrift with no direction home and no other future than earning their livelihoods as best they might. But then, as by a miracle, a man appeared with no managerial experience who said he could take them to the top. Amazingly he got them launched. Even more astonishing they were assigned to perhaps the only record producer in the world who could bring out their unique talents. Thus this Fab Foursome took their home British Isles by storm succeeding as no other had succeeded before them but their Magic Moment, that lunge for the Golden Ring had not yet arrived.
The Magic Moment was awaiting them in NYC. A big jetliner brought the foursome to America’s shores in January of 1964 to appear on the Ed Sullivan show where they were to stand in Elvis’ footsteps so to speak. The difference in presentation between the two is interesting. With Elvis, he and his backing duo were standing in front of the drawn curtains on the edge of the stage, no set, his two band members were huddled behind him while the guitar player is turned sideways not even facing the audience. Presley is directly in front of them cavorting on a minuscule part of the stage. Mort Sahl would do his standup routine a few years later in the same manner with a newspaper as a prop.
In contrast the Beatles were given an open stage with decor behind them while the group was spaced dramatically and attractively. A very positive image which from long experience they knew how to take advantage of . But the appearance on the Sullivan stage merely confirmed their Magic Moment placing it indelibly in the American psyche.
The actual Magic Moment occurred when the Beatles announced themselves on the tarmac. Gods descending from the skies. For
whatever reason there were thousands of screaming girls awaiting them and a battery of newsmen and photographers. Some say the girls were bussed in, it isn’t unlikely that the astute promotion men of Capitol had a hand in the arrangements, but on the receiving end of the tube it looked genuine. Mystifying but genuine.
Posed a bunch of questions by the news cameras all four Beatles fielded them with aplomb, the cheekiest and most confident acting was John Lennon himself. All four personalities established themselves at that time as one- the Beatles. In that little flash of time the role of the Beatles was established for all time.
While each individual Beatle was adored for the face of mankind he presented each had only an identity as an aspect of the Beatles. When they split they became merely humans rising or falling based solely on the musical merits. Of the four, Lennon adopted the messianic mantle, was accorded it, and took it when he left. In one sense the Magic Moment had been his.
There would be argument about when the Beatles began to break up over the years but the when was coincidental with their annunciation. John Lennon was the weak link in the chain. Having now won what he had been struggling for for so long John Lennon discovered he wasn’t worthy. Incredibly he wrote, and the Beatles recorded his song, ‘I’m A Loser.’ He was a loser, not the winner he appeared. Now conflicted he tried to both accept and reject the role of ‘messiah.’ He was well on his way to losing the role two short years later in 1966.
The course of his career was affected by two people, Bob Dylan in 1964 and Yoko Ono in 1966. Historical ifs are difficult. It seems impossible that Bob Dylan’s career would have been possible without the overwhelming success of the Beatles. Dylan lacked commercial appeal then as he does now. He appealed to a minority audience- as opposed to the majority audience of the Beatles. Dylan lacked universal appeal then as he does now.
While the Beatles were one as a group they were two as the songwriting team of Lennon-McCartney. Since 1962 they had been turning out a steady stream of million sellers both for their own use and that of others. They were catchy tunes in the Tin Pan Alley manner that could be sung and whistled but very introspective at the same time. Dylan on the other hand wrote tortured introspective lyrics that resisted anything close to whistling or a Mitch Miller singalong.
Dylan considered his stuff amazingly thoughtful and profound. He apparently put himself in the same class as Elliot and Pound. He fooled most of his audience for a long time too. The Beatles for whatever reason became the top news story of the day; for months they either were, or seemed to be, on the news every night. Seriously, one had to ask: What’s Going On?
Just as mysteriously Dylan began getting the same treatment. Now, the Beatles were selling unprecedented millions of records on both sides of the Atlantic, at one time occupying the top five spots of the Top 10. Dylan was doing diddly squat with his tortured lyrics. He wasn’t selling records in any quantities while having essentially a cult following. Now, mysteriously he began to be given the same treatment as the Beatles. Time Magazine sent a reporter to interview him on camera. Dylan imitated the Beatles by giving smart ass answers. The Time reporter took his jibes seriously. Sitting out in front of the tube my eyebrows shot up. What is this? The rest of the world went wild in their applause of the Beatle’s and Dylan’s cheekiness. God, they were giving the finger to the Greatest Generation. The latter may have crushed Elvis but these boys were getting their own back.
Maybe Dylan got the attention because he was the only American act available, to balance the relative status of Britain and the US. Perhaps in the emerging racial politics of the time he was offered as Jewish competition to the great goy champions of Elvis and the Beatles. He entered the Beatles’ life in August of ’64 when the Jewish journalist Al Aronowitz took it upon himself to introduce him to the four-in-one. The meeting was more momentous for the Beatles than Dylan.
The story goes that Dylan introduced the boys to marijuana at that meeting. More importantly he lectured Lennon-McCartney on songwriting. Dylan told them in effect that they should stop writing hit songs and write the pretentious crap he did. Now, consider, the Beatles were incredibly successful at what they wrote, Dylan couldn’t do what they did and what he did do couldn’t compete in the marketplace with the Beatles. I mean, they should have been lecturing him, but they didn’t while accepting his viewpoint at the same time. They listened to the little twerp and fell under his infuence to begin trying to imitate him.
The imitation was not very good but as the current avatar of the messiah the Beatles were industructible, as the leader, for whatever reason, John Lennon was accorded the role of messianic leader, a role that he took quite seriously.
While the Beatles had always used various pill forms of speed or amphetamines after Dylan’s introduction to pot they quickly expanded their repertoire to include Acid or LSD. The other three seem not to have been so conflicted in their personalities not becoming as drug dependent as Lennon. He claims perhaps with exaggeration, perhaps not, to have taken LSD thousands of times in the next few years. Under the influence of LSD his personality already distressed by the transition from failure to success disintegrated completely. As he says, he lost his ego totally.
If so, adrift, he was open to a strongly directed personality to manage his. This personality appeared in 1966 in the person of Yoko Ono. She quickly commandeered his personality displacing his British wife, Cynthia. It would be two years before Lennon divorced Cynthia but he left her a year earlier.
Since signing with Brian Epstein as their manager the Beatles had had an ideal artists arrangement. Trusting him they left the business details to him which allowed them full time to devote to their creative efforts. If they needed money they asked for it while all business details such as negotiations, titles and even check writing were handled by Epstein so that the Beatles had no worldly business experience. In 1967 Epstein died.
With Brian gone the Beatles were left rudderless with no one they could trust to manage their corporate and personal finances. Forming Apple as their business alter ego they attempted to manage their affairs themselves resulting in a business regime of such dissolute ineptitude that it has been referred to as The Longest Weekend.
Having attached herself to Lennon, Yoko Ono now tried to insinuate herself into the group as the ego of John Lennon. Thus the group would have been comprised of McCartney, Harrison, Starr and Lennon-Ono. A clear impossibility, the Beatles would be dissolved. As the avatar of the sixties the era had no choice but to disappear along with them.
This was now the late sixties. The world as it had been , the world that gave birth to the Beatles c. 1960 had all but disappeared. Blown away in the wind, so to speak. Just as the sixties called for the Beatles as the messiah of the period so it called forth its anti-messiah of satanism. In 1966 Time Magazine’s cover story was Is God Dead? A title that offended Bob Dylan who petulantly asked: How would you like to be talked about like that? Right.
In 1966 Roman Polansky began filming a movie titled Rosemary’s Baby that actually portrayed the birth of Satan’s child. The story took place in the future home of the Onos- The Dakota Apartments. And then the Rolling Stones released their rather bizarre record, Their Satanic Majesty’s Request with its famous song Sympathy For The Devil. Right about then the Broadway musical Hair was staged that celebrated the Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarius. Synchronicity? Not a bit.
As the messiahs had abdicated it remained for the anti-messiahs the Rolling Stones to place the epitaph on the period which they did in 1969 at Altamont.
However John Lennon as the messianic figurehead was rescued by Yoko Ono. As an unsuccessful performance artist now with Lennon’s audience and financial clout to realize her wildest fantasies she, using Lennon, organized some of the most outrageous extravaganzas that catapulted she and Lennon onto the world stage playing messianic figures. The Bed-In was the most jaw dropping stunt since flag p0le sitting.
Part III will consist of the career of the Ono-Lennon’s to John Lennon’s death in 1980 and perhaps a little beyond. There’s some really interesting stuff involving John Green and a possible associate, Sam Green. The latter is an interesting story.
March 1, 2010
Mourning Becomes Yoko: Part I
The Passing Of John Lennon:
Goldman, Albert: The Lives Of John Lennon, Chicago Review Press, 1988
Green, John: Dakota Days, St. Martin’s, 1983
Norman, Philip: John Lennon, Ecco, 2008
Pang, May: Loving John
Seaman, Frederic: The Last Days Of John Lennon, 1991
Warhol, Andy: POPism: Harcourt, Brace, 1980
Numerous internet sites of the many thousands, most of which I haven’t investigated, concerning principal and minor characters of which Warholstars is most prominent.
There were many changes that ushered in the sixties, changes that made the sixties possible. Not least of these was the introduction of the commercial jet fleet. Gone were the much smaller, less comfortable propeller planes, slow and relatively uncomfortable with limited range. The Boeing 707s, DC 8s, mammoth in their time quickly evolved into the flying cities of the 747s and DC10s. With the big jets came the envy of the sixties, The Jet Set. Golden people off to the capitols of Europe so stunningly portrayed in Hollywood movies and travel posters. One can’t imagine the effect of travel posters today but then they created unfulfillable desires.
With ease not only were the capitols of Europe within spitting distance but also the exotic cities of the East- Tokyo.
The entertainment industry was about to spike as technology revolutionized the recording studio as well as the stage. Guitar amps as the sixties began were small, portable units. Amplifiers rapidly grew in size. Massive arrays of Marshalls rose behind the first of the heavy metal bands, Blue Cheer, like a low mountain towering above the group. Greatful Dead took the stage in front of tens of thousands of dollars of electronic equipment. Four guys could sound like Krakatoa on that fateful day.
In those far off sunny days when our world began the old world crumbled before the onsllught of bold intrepid pioneers, and behind them came the leeches and parasites.
The sixties started slowly almost imperceptibly changing until the Beatles stepped off one of those big jetliners in 1964. Seemingly innocuous, their arrival was to change the whole paradigm. Through the fifties and early sixties, before the Jet Set, was the Avant Garde, those bold experimenters moving in advance, well to the fore, of the dull plodding Middletown Babbitry and those mental habits the hip, the aware, the Avant Garde despised. There were still such things as modern art, experimental novels, cutting edge jazz. They were all swept away in ’64 when the Beatles led the British Invasion. All of a sudden the Avant Garde was turned inside out as Pop took possession of the field.
The first intimations of change took place in Art. As the 50s ended the dominant art form was Abstract Expressionism. From those ranks rose what would be known as POPart. Roy Lichtenstein with his comic book panels, Jasper Johns with his flags, Robert Rauschenberg with his messy effort and, of course, Andy Warhol and his soup cans. Interestingly they were all homosexuals. With the exception of Warhol they were all discreet, in the closet, Warhol was a man with an agenda, he wanted to legitimize himself and
whatever he liked or did. He was an advocate.
One of the big changes of the sixties was the rise of the cult of the homosexual. Let Leroi Jones as a Negro spokesman rail against the cult as he might he was powerless to resist its course. Homosexuality was then illegal all over America until the great homosexual revolt at Manhattan’s Stonewall Bar in 1969 as the decade drew to a close. Homosexuals were aggressively out of the closet roaring for revenge. One item on Warhol’s agenda in fact.
Warhol began his fine art career about 1960. By 1964 when the Beatles deplaned he had completed another item on his agenda, the destruction of fine art. Thus, although few of us realized it at that time POPism was overtaking Euroamerica like a tidal wave lifting the level of the sea.
The Beatles would of course be the core, the heart of the sixties. They defined the sixties and gave the decade its form. While they were busy conquering the world a little Japanese woman who desperately wished to incarnate and represent the Avant Garde was beginning her career on the Lower East Side as a ‘performance’ artist. Zany beyond description was Yoko Ono. By 1967 she will have entrapped the leader of the free musical world and the Beatles, John Lennon. Together they will dominate what became of the Avant Garde until Lennon’s passing in 1980.
A description of Yoko to begin. A Spider Woman, a self professed witch, a psychotic obsessive-compulsive who was driven and completely organized to realize her goals. She however lacked the talent to realize those goals. As she searched for a way the seemingly unrelated success of the Beatles fortuitously occurred.
The success of the Beatles was uprecedented. Once their success had been achieved then the parasites and exploiters moved in to get whatever they could steal. While the Beatles were revered for their success one member, John Lennon, was selected to fill the almost messianic needs of the sixties.
Needless to say succes on the order of the Beatles who were after all of lower middle class origins with no preparation for dealing with success of the magnitude they achieved were completely overwhelmed while nevertheless comporting themselves creditably. Still, as Paul McCartney’s song Fool On The Hill demonstrates their heads were swimming. John Lennon even issued a musical plea in his song Help! which was a forthright request for guidance for whoever might recognize it while being able to fill his need.
As it was, this young Japanese avant garde artist, Yoko Ono, understood the plea and acted on it. John Lennon was tailor made to fulfill her own needs and ambitions.
Yoko Ono was born in Japan in 1933 as the Japanese were initiating their plan to impose the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere on the whole of the East from India through China to Japan. In 1942 when she was ten the Japanese made their move to annex the oil reserves of Indonesia, bombing Pearl Harbor at the same time in the attempt to secure their ocean perimeter. The invasion did not come off as planned so a short three years later in 1945 the B-29s unloaded their incendiary devices over the capitol city of Tokyo where Yoko Ono’s family lived.
Now thirteen she was aware of what was happening. Moved to the country outside Tokyo Yoko Ono witnessed the massive clouds of smoke obscurring the blue sky, one presumes, for hundreds of square miles. Within a few days Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been wholly obliterated by atomic bombs. Yoko imagined the blue sky over those two cities obscured as was the sky of Tokyo. This made an indelible impression on her mind causing a psychological disturbance. She would be haunted by the memory. Thus having appropriated John Lennon in the late sixties she and he created the Plastic Ono Band whose LP was a picture of a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. After 1973 she had her office in the Dakota painted in replica of the cover. Thus she would always have a blue sky above her.
Even though the Japanese had attacked the United States first in this instance, not without provocation to my mind, thereby acquiring guilt for beginning the war there can be little doubt that Yoko blamed the West for Japan’s shame.
While Yoko experienced some discomfort after the bombing of Tokyo, as her father was a banking executive with experience in dealing with Westerners, she shortly after the war moved to the US where she lived in luxurious circumstances eventually attending Sarah Lawrence College from 1957 to 1960 but leaving without a degree.
As of 1960 Yoko Ono had experienced little of the hardships caused by the Wars in Europe and Asia. Indeed, as Philip Norman points out John Lennon’s England suffered greater hardship from 1945 to the sixties. Japan, once defeated, was given extremely benevolent treatment by the US. The paternalistic approach of the US can be seen in the picture of the tiny five foot Emperor, Hirohito, beside the relatively giant protective figure of Douglas MacArthur. Efforts began immediatly to rebuild the Japanese economy. The millions of Japanese soldiers throughout the Pacific and China were repatriated to Japan without consequences, forgiven as it were. In contrast to Europe where the carnage had been enormous there was relatively little damge to the Japanese homeland. If you watch Japanese movies of the late forties and early fifties there is only a slight indication that there has been a war. A few references are made to soldiers who never returned but the landscape is intact and undisturbed.
In Europe Germany had been flattened, German civilians slaughtered in the millions. Armies of German soldiers disappeared into the Gulag never to be seen live again. The allies exposed millions of Germans in the depth of winter while depriving them of food. The entire continent was desolated, England itself had suffered terrific bombing damage that was still being repaired into the sixties. POP star Marianne Faithfull in her biography tells of sitting aove a bomb crater in the mid-sixties. Thus any complaits of racism against the Japanese are ridiculous.
In 1957 when Yoko Ono was beginning her cushy life at Sarah Lawrence I was sailing into Tokyo Bay aboard a US Navy Destroyer Escort. We docked in Yokosuka across the strait from Yokohama. There was absolutely no evidence of there ever having been war damage to Yokosuka. Looking across the strait to the shipyards of Yokohama one was astonished at the glittering brand new derricks of the most modern design. The stuff made ours look positively medieval. Twelve years after the war Japanese shipbuilders were becoming the dominant force in that industry displacing the West under the guidance of the US which complacently ceded the industry to them.
In 1960 as Yoko Ono was beginning her career as an avant garde artist in NYC the first Japanese autos were being landed on the West Coast.
Now, Philip Norman tut tuts the English for supposedly outrageous racist comments against Yoko Ono in the late sixties as though the English had no grievances against their own racial treatment by the Japanese in WWII. In point of fact the Japanese Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere was a racist organization directed at the West. The Pacific war was a racist war if you wish to put things in those terms. There are other definitions. This isn’t the place to discuss the racial antecedents to the Co-Prosperity Sphere so I won’t but one should look into the historical background which is very complex.
The question is, did Japanese racism end with their defeat and if it didn’t how was the war carried on by other means? In 1964 Yoko Ono published a small book of haiku style statements called Grapefruit ‘which aimed to make words like the commands of musical notation’: “Steal a moon on the water with a bucket. Keep stealing until no moon is seen on the water.” Norman, John Lennon p. 475.
I have a feeling the image is not original to Yoko but is part of Japanese culture much as Bob Dylan used commonplace mid-western phrases like It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue appropriating them to himself. Of interest here is that Yoko used the verb ‘to steal.’ Her mental state then was one of taking what doesn’t belong to oneself much as in the Jewish prophecy that they will live in houses they didn’t build. While the command seems nonsensical the results will not be. The reflection of the moon on the water is beautiful but is only the image of the moon. Removing buckets of water will not destroy the reflection unless and until all the water or substance on which the image is reflected is removed. Thus the substance has been stolen while the image is disappears. At the same time, one imagines, the moon is flattered by the attempt not realizing what is being done.
Yoko Ono will apply the method to John Lennon while the Japanese applied the method to the US and the West. All those unpunished repatriated Japanese warriors lost none of the hatred of the West now reinforced by the ignominy of defeat. They could even believe that they were better warriors than the Americans being defeated by greater American resources for which there was some justification. So, in 1957 under American tutelage the Japanese had lost noe of their aggressive hatred when I and my shipmates came ashore.
Now, as Americans we were never allowed to celebrate our victory thus relieving the hardships we endured. After three years of being taught ourtrageous racial caricatures of demonic enemies we were now the day after victory forbidden to call them Japs, for instance, upon pain of disciplining. We were commanded to believe that our victury had been evil and unjustified. Shortly after the war the Hiroshima ‘maidens’ were brought over to receive free medical treatment. You won’t find anything in history books but there was a strong murmur of protest. Less than a decade after ‘The Day Of Infamy’ we were commanded to shut up or we would be shut up and we wouldn’t like it. I don’t know what the exact effect of what this was on the American psyche but their was a serious reaction.
Now going into Japan in 1957, ostensibly as conquerors, remember the Korean War had only ended in 1954, we were told that if we had any confrontations with the Japanese we would automatically be considered the aggressors, judged guilty and punished regardless of the facts. This was Tom Brokaw’s Greatest Generation speaking to its sons. So, our fathers castrated their sons for whatever idiotic reason they had. Is it any wonder we revolted against the bastards in the sixties?
The Japanese knew of the conditions imposed on us and used them to aggrandize themselves at our expense. Of course, as epigoni we were callow teenage boys rather than the fierce warriors who had driven them through the islands. As an example of what we were compelled to endure being unable to resist on pain of punishment was something like this. As might be expected the souvenir joints exploiting us were set up next to the docks. I entered a booth where I was treated insultingly by the middle aged female clerk. As I turned to leave the booth she slugged me with a shore patrol baton, which they sold, between the shoulders on the upper vertebrae. the sound was terrific but I was unhurt. Expecting me to retaliate a couple of repatriated soldiers of the Bataan Death March started moving toward me to pound me to dust while mah fellow Americans moved away from me as though poison. Heeding the advice of my Captain I walked unconcernedly away to the jeers of the former Death Marchers trying to further provoke me. This is what the Greatest Generation did to their sons. I would imagine that the lesson to the Japanese was that they had nothing to fear from Americans, young or old, while my own feeling of betrayal left me with an abiding distaste even hatred for the fathers that would turn me, a victor, over to the mercies of the defeated.
So, by flattering the Americans (the reflection of the moon on the unresisting water) the Japanese began to ladle out the American substance itself. With the simple minded Americans there to instruct them the Japanese studied American technological achievements and began to reproduce them much more cheaply because of their lower wage differential. At first the reproductions were clumsy, the first cars were laughable but they quickly honed their skills even, eventually, making improvements.
Because of their relatively quick and easy victory over Japan the American veterans in Detroit refused to take the Japanese seriously even though they were warned by quicker witted countrymen. The Japanese kept ladling the image out until today the
American auto industry is all but defunct today while Toyota has replaced GM as the dominant auto maker worldwide. I won’t say the bastards of the ‘Greatest Generation’ didn’t have it coming but I still regret it for my country’s sake.
In 1960 then Yoko Ono left Sarah Lawrence as I left the Navy to attempt a career as an artist in NYC. In 1960 John Lennon was at the very beginning of his career as, actually, an avant garde musician although he may not have realized it. It would be six years before their paths crossed in London.
In the meantime Yoko attempted to storm avant garde New York demanding instant success and considering herself so talented that she couldn’t contemplate failure. She took up with the unlistenable avant garde composers, John Cage, the premier electronic composer Robert Maxwell and people of that ilk. At one time I wanted to be avant garde so I actually listened to people like Cage, Maxwell, Pauline Oliveros, Steve Reich and people like that. If you want to you can make yourself listen to anything but I don’t want to make myself do it again. Once was more education than I needed.
So, Yoko was breaking into a very minority taste, even at the height of my enthusiasm I couldn’t make anyone sit through the stuff. At the same time Yoko was trying to appeal to the uptown crowd who cut her cold creating deep resentment in her.
Having stormed the gates and failed Yoko fled back to Japan awhere she had a psychotic reaction, nervous breakdown or depression. At any rate she was committed to a mental hospital where she was heavily sedated, massive drugging. Interestingly Norman say that before she went to London she had never used drugs. I don’t know what you would call the stuff given to her at the hospital but I’d call them drugs. Just because a dentist gave me Nembutal doesn’t mean I never had drugs although I never used them otherwise. As incredible as it may seem a fellow named Tony Cox heard stories about Yoko in New York that he found so intriguing he hopped a big jetliner and flew to Tokyo to find her. Real fairy tale stuff. Maybe he heard she came from a fabulously wealthy family.
And Tony did find Yoko stumbling through the halls of the asylum under the influence. He discovered a means to get her released then only had to deal with her Japanese husband Yoko had picked up along the way. Apparently a smooth talker Tony convinced hubby to form a menage a trois. This, of course, disintegrated the marriage 1964 finding Yoko and Tony back in New York.
Now, back in 1960-61 Yoko had been sleeping around, she had a menage a trois in Japan while subsequently not taking the marriage vows to Tony overly seriously. Yet in Norman’s biography she repeatedly tries to pass herself off as some virginal girl unable to deal with the rabid sexuality of her third husband. Clearly Yoko suffers from cognitive dissonance, meaning her version of things is always questionable if not immediately dismissable.
Yoko as a feminist wrote the song Woman Is The Nigger Of The World. In rebellion of what she saw as the status of women she became what we boys call a man eater. She emasculated the men of her life assigning them traditional female roles while she assumed the male role. Thus all three of her husbands assumed the role of house husbands, housewife being a demeaning term in her lexicon while she tried to play the role of provider through her art although unsuccessfully. Needless to say that she was a failure as a provider in all three marriages although in her last she proved an efficient money manager of the millions provided by her last house husband, John Lennon.
Cox and Yoko left NYC for London in 1966. By 1966 the decade was well along in its formation actually tipping into its demise. By 1966 the British invasion of musical groups was entering its second phase. A dozen or so groups had succeeded very well chief among them the Beatles and Rolling Stones. They had pre-empted the avant garde becoming themselves an avant garde. The chief American representative who had survived the British onslaught was Bob Dylan.
The art scene Yoko was trying to influence had been taken over lock, stock and barrelo by POPart whose leading representative was
Andy Warhol who had a zoo of addicts and perverts known as the Factory. Warhol, himself a homosexual, had always been a connoisseur of pop music playing 45s constantly. He would have been aware, perhaps uniquely, of the significance of the British Invasion for POPart and the old Abstract Expressionist avant garde. By 1965 he had aligned himself with the musical scene by adopting the Velvet Underground as the Factory house band. He attempted to form connections with all the top musicians from Lennon, Mick Jagger, Dylan and on to Jim Morrison of the Doors not always successfully. Most of the musicians waere as psychotic as he was, recotgnized him for what he was and were too canny to become involved with him.
Yoko on her return from Japan, then, was dealing with a very different art scene than in her first foray. She had to at some time between ’64-’66 make contact with Warhol. As she left NYC in ’66 for London Dylan’s evaluation of her relayed through George Harrison as quoted in Norman p. 671 must refer to this period:
George by contrast, despite long marinading in soft-tongued Buddha-speak, was his most bluntly charmless. “[He] insulted [Yoko] right to her face in the Apple office,” John would remember. “Just being straightforward, that game of ‘Well, I’m going to be upfront because this is what I’ve heard, and Dylan and a few people said you’ve got a lousy name in New York and you give off bad vibes.’ That’s what George said to her and we both sat through it.”
Dylan would have been speaking of Yoko in NYC from ’64 to ’66. During the latter part of that period Dylan was in conrflict with Warhol and his Factory crowd because of Edie Sedgwick. That Yoko Ono could have come within his ken is interesting. Yoko wouldn’t have know of Warhol during her first assault on NYC but as she kowtowed to Warhol on her return after 1968 that might indicate that she might have visited the Factory, which was open to all, met and conversed with Warhol. I haven’t found a mention of her on the main Warhol site, Warholstars, as yet but there must be a connection no matter how slight. It is impossible to know what was said between them but as Yoko got into making Warhol style avant garde movies she must have at least made some notes.
Whether music in relation to the avant garde came up with Warhol’s preference for Rock n’ Roll and possibly he Beatles isn’t known although she did drag Lennon down to do obeisance to Warhol when they eturned. Then, too, she used Sam Green, Samuel Adams Green had presented the Warhol exhibition at UPennsylvania a couple years previously, as her agent for acquistion of art.
In 1980 she was thick with Sam Green leading Lennon to express discomfort because of Green’s association with the Warhol crowd. There seems to have been a rather strong conection of Yoko to Warhol. Certainly her husband of the time, Tony Cox, was well known around the Factory having stolen one of their cars and taken it to California. Cox, who had criminal tendencies, is worth a little study too. It would seem impossible that he knew nothing of the Beatles- I think Yoko Ono’s claim to have never heard of them can be dismissed too- as Cox seemed to have been always scheming he may have heard Lennon songs like Help and I’m A Loser and drawn the obvious conclusions. Lennon in the right hands could be used.
In 1966 then, Cox and Ono left for London presumably to take that art world by storm. I think it quite probable that Yoko believed she could get inside Lennon’s head to use his wealth to further her art career. Her bagism notion was well conceived by 1965 in NYC. Her displays at London’s Indica gallery seem designed to get Lennon’s attention. An apple on a stand priced at 200 pounds…how obvious can you get? The tinyYES on the ceiling. Yoko was very good at hypnotic suggestion.
How did she find her way to the Indica anyway? The gallery had just opened in 1965 and would only survive for two years, which isn’t to say Yoko’s exhibit killed it.
Her claim that she had never heard of Lennon before the show is contradicted by both John Dunbar, the owner, and Barry Miles, who wrote under the name of Miles. He says that instead of coolly walking away not overly impressed with Lennon she actually tried to force her way into his car. Certainly flooding his mailbox with cards and letters doesn’t indicate indifference. No. Yoko wanted access to Lennon’s money and she got it.
There’s no need here to recount how she forced Cynthia Lennon out. Suffice it to say that she quickly captured Lennon; by 1968 they were back in ‘her town’, NYC. For a person who was there for maybe two years in 1960-61 and two more years in ’64-’66 I think it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to call New York ‘your town.’
Once in New York she had Lennon dependent on her while with the acquisition of the Dakota Apartment in 1973 the real action began. First let us do a character review of Lennon before beginning the denouement.
I am assuming that any readers will be familiar with the main lines of Ono’s and Lennon’s biographies. If I’ve glided too quickly over certain points don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. There are literally thousands of websites dedicated to all principals and minor characters, some of them very extensive so my exploration of all these sites is ongoing.
The True Story Of John Lennon’s Final Years
Review by R.E. Prindle
Green, John: Dakota Days- The True Story Of John Lennon’s Final Years, St. Martin’s Press, 1983
The book should perhaps be subtitled: A True Story. John Green has crafted very nice portraits here of Yoko Ono and John Lennon, especially that of Yoko. She was very superstitious being dedicated to the occult from witchcraft to Japanese numerology to Tarot readings. It was the last that brought Green within her ken. She not only wanted a reading of the Tarot cards but she kept Green hopping day and night giving her readings on whatever little problem that pressed her mind. So for six years Green made a very good living reading for John and Yoko while developing a profound familiarity with their characters; in other words, he knows whereof he speaks.
Neither he nor the Japanese numerologist who he mever met were the only occultists Yoko was consulting but Green seems to have been unaware of the others. He is very careful and doesn’t overstep the bounds of what he knows first hand. There was a great deal that Green wasn’t privy to making this A rather than The true story.
While I know that many people know what the Tarot is I will give an explanation for those who don’t. While I don’t participate in Tarot myself I do have a deck of cards on hand to study for historical reasons.
The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards of some psychological subtlety. It arose as a means to preserve the Egyptian religion when after the various invasions of the first millennium BC the matrix of the religion was shattered. The Tarot was devised as a means of perpetuating the religion. The various spreads of cards provide means of interpreting responses to a problem.
Over the centuries many different decks have evolved representing various time periods. I have the Egyptian deck. It would be
interesting to know which deck Green used. He fails to tell us.
To be able to read well one must have an implicit understanding of each of the cards as well as being a subtle enough psychologist to apply the meanings to he or she for whom you read. Green apparently had both qualifications. Thus over thousands of readings over the six years he became very familiar with the characters and personalities of his subjects John and Yoko. Still, they seem to have been very successful in letting him know only what they wanted him to know.
As he apparently didn’t take notes, limiting in itself, he relies on his memory and familiarity with the Ono’s mental processes to reconstruct a continuum of the six years. While one may question the veracity of his method he seems to capture the mental and vocal traits of both John and Yoko. I have no trouble accepting the portraits while as the details can be corroborated elsewhere I see no reason to question Green’s general accuracy. Otherwise there is no one who doesn’t make mistakes in fact or interpretation.
His two portraits while revealing conflict with other accounts such as that of May Pang or Fred Seaman the obvious reason is that
the Onos are only letting him see what they want him to see. For instance, in their 1980 interview the Onos state that Yoko had brought the estate up to 150 million dollars yet Green has Yoko spending so fast that they are always on the brink of insolvency. At times expenditures seem to exceed cash on hand.
Green believes himself to be their only investment advisor but that isn’t the case. Just as Yoko had her Japanese numerologist who Green didn’t come into contact with and other occult advisors she must have had other financial advisors.
The picture Green paints of Yoko is far from pretty while he never openly denigrates her yet as he creates his layers of detail she not only becomes but goes beyond eccentric. Her dependence on the occult is such that when someone advised her of a ‘genuine’ witch in Colombia she dragged Green along on the trip to South America to visit the woman. Always lavish in her expenditures, she gave one medium a blank check for her to fill out, she gave this woman 60,000 dollars for her ministrations. When Green protested that the woman had meant pesetas rather than dollars Yoko was unfazed.
Thus while Yoko denied any dependence on John she only was able to realize her vision of herself through the former Beatle’s wealth and influence.
This was no more evident than in Yoko’s competition with her mother. For two successive summers John and Yoko visited Japan. According to Yoko the intent was to establish some rapport so that her son Sean wouldn’t be cut out of the family fortune that was considerable. The trips were conducted on such an extravagant scale that according to Green the Onos were cash poor as a result. Nevertheless Yoko went on spending so either they had funds of which Green knew nothing or they got money from somewhere.
The fact that they always seemed to have enough cash to do anything from spending a few millions on dairy farms and cows to Japanese vacations that it seems strange that when they received an extortion attempt for 200,000 dollars Yoko said they had no money. The extortion attempt seems to have been a protection racket- pay and live or go the police and die. As the extortioners told Yoko that if she went to the cops they would only protect her for a while. When they left whether a year or two later the extortioners would strike.
The Onos refused to comply calling in the FBI. The FBI advised them to substitute newspaper for money and they would arrest the pickup man. Strangely the pick up man was able to elude the FBI. And then two years or so later Lennon was hit by exploding bullets and killed on his doorstep. While one cannot say the two events are connected yet the assassination followed the extortionists plans. Chapman did make a stop to speak to an unidentified party before he pulled the trigger. But nothing is clear.
Yoko first contacted Green during Lennon’s ‘Lost Weekend.’ While Lennon believed, and it seems clear, that Yoko had informants watching John while he was in LA, Green has her denying this saying that it was his card readings that kept her informed of John’s doings. In all likelihood she checked her spies’ information against his readings.
From ’75 to ’80 Lennon was in a severe depression being unable or unwilling to function in a normal way. Of course there was no reason for him to act ‘normal’ as he was able to deal with his funk in his own way. Who is there to say that ‘normal’ was better? As he told Green his muse had left him leaving him unable to write. As he said, call it writer’s block or whatever, he couldn’t work. Enough reason for depression in an artist.
Then in 1980 when he came out of it being again able to write, Yoko in her desperate attempt to be his equal insisted on being part of the new record she called Double Fantasy. John adamantly refused to let her perform on his own tracks while she didn’t want her tracks all on one side for fear that no one would listen to side B, so they alternated tracks.
Thus, even though Yoko insisted that she was the most talented artistically and musically of the two she was forced to hitch her wagon to John’s star.
I found Green’s treatment of Lennon to be more sympathetic than his treatment of Yoko. The inevitable conclusion one comes to about Yoko is that at best she was a pathetic human being while at worst an obsessive-compulsive and a dangerous one at that.
The portrait he depicted of John is that of a man with a completely disintegrated personality entering the mid-life crisis. During this five year period he begins a process of reintegration. Actually his course is that of the mythological hero who experiences his ‘madness’ at this period of the mid-life crisis.
During this period Lennon is essentially egoless. Part of Timothy Leary’s LSD mantra was that one should abandon the ego. Of course to abandon the ego leaves one defenseless and a prey to sharpers who use their ego only too well, nevertheless Lennon bought in and abandoned his ego, or so he says. As he abdicated his identity to the use of Yoko Ono this was obviously the case.
So, he allowed himself to be manipulated by Yoko spending long periods of months over years ruminating naked in his bed, totally exposed as it were protected only by the good will of Yoko. Then, for whatever ulterior motive, Yoko sent John on a solo trip around the world. This was her mistake.
While in Macau, China Lennon had an epiphany in his hotel room. This is a fairly common one but self-revelatory. One might name it the peeling of the onion. In Lennon’s case he obviously felt that he had multiple personalities acquired through various traumatic events in his life.
As he described it to Green he was in his hotel room when he succeeded in peeling a layer of the onion, a personality, off which appeared as real and visible to him as shirt or a suit of clothes. He draped the personality over a chair then began to peel off layer after layer hanging them about the room or draping them over the furniture. When he awoke the next morning he could see them just where he put them. He then conceived the notion of leaving them there as he ran away from their influence.
This is a beautiful little fantasy. But then he turned the corner and there was oneof his selves waiting for him. Visualize the Rock And Roll cover and I think you begin to have it. He then realized he couldn’t escape in that fashion so he went back to his hotel and said ‘C’mon’ to his personalities and continued on his journey. However having identified his ‘problems’ by name, as it were, the seeds for resolving those problems had been sown.
He then returned to the Dakota and while he confined himself to his room rather than merely sinking into depression he began working through those layers of fixations or depression gradually recovering his muse and removing his writer’s block enabling him to compose again.
It would seem that Yoko preferred John psychologically incapacitated so that she could either control him or make herself believe that she was the more talented. Green notes that as John improved Yoko seemed to deteriorate. He quotes her as saying that she had heard some of John’s new songs and they were not very good while hers were.
Dissociated from reality as she was then she couldn’t let John record an LP of songs that might be a hit while anything she recorded on her own would be relegated to the garbage. She even refused to record one side all John and one side all her for fear that no one would listen to her side so she demanded they alternate tracks. I presume that is one reason the LP is entitled Double Fantasy.
While Yoko actually believed in the Tarot and her Japanese numerology, witchcraft and whatever John intelligently disregarded the occult aspects while he might have seen the utility of the Egyptian religous aspects to reveal character and motivation. In fact the innumerable readings of the Tarot might have led up to the revelatory epiphany in China and hence the lifting of his depression.
If that were the case then there would have been little difference between the Egyptian system of Tarot and psychoanalysis. But, as I say, I have no idea of which deck Green was using although the principle remains the same.
After having been on 24/7 call for six years as the Onos moved into what seems to have been a new phase Green lost his usefulness to Yoko sitting by a phone that never rang.
Green had succeeded too well. As he has John explain to him when Yoko first employed him she set him seven tasks. He had successfully completed all seven being now redundant. While John promised to look out for him, of course events eliminated any such possibility.
Regardless of whether the Ono Lennons were the subject of Green’s book I found the whole concept interesting. I like the way Green told his story, his tone and his outlook. His telling made me take an interest in himself. Unfortunately his name being so common makes it too difficult to search out anything of his subsequent career other than he moved to Washington DC.
Perhaps he could write a sequel to Dakota Days from another angle and with more detail. Pressing issues might not be so pressing now. I’d be interested.
January 14, 2010
One Giant Step For Somebody
Review by R.E. Prindle
Lennon, Cythia: John, Three Rivers Press, 2005
Remember what the door knob said…
We built this city on Rock and Roll.
If you want to be a girl of mine
You’d better bring it with you when you come,
Cynthia Lennon’s autobiography of her life with John Lennon opens the door to a number of possibilities of which I’ll explore one, at least, here.
Let’s begin with Lonnie Donegan’s 1955 hit The Rock Island Line. Lonnie was the originator of his own genre- Skiffle Music. Skiffle was all the rage in the British world from England to Australia to New Zealand while passing very lightly over the States except for the fortunate few of which I was one. Rock Island Line was a major hit in the US though.
Lonnie, may he rest in peace, was also the originator of the Big Beat. Of course Lennon and most of the young English rockers studied at Lonnie’s feet. The first band Lennon formed, the Quarrymen, was a Skiffle band. That was back in the fifties before the second stage of the big change kicked off. The first stage began about 1950 with Johnny Ray and his song Cry.
Eisenhower had the world pretty well organized in 1960 before John Kennedy stole the baton from the intended successor, Richard Nixon. With the accession of Kennedy the American personality or identity, such as it was, began to disintegrate- I mean in the psychological sense.
The Celts tried to establish Kennedy as the second coming of King Arthur and his Camelot. Not the smartest thing they could have done; a couple bullets fired in Dallas on November 22, 1963 put a period to that dream. By the then the sixties were fairly launched about to begin in earnest in January of 1964 when Lennon’s next group, the Beatles, hit.
The Beatles began as a Big Beat band rooted in the fifties. Seized by the avant garde they were made the avatar of the sixties. In their own way they launched the sixties although the makins’ were already out of the can. Kennedy was shot almost in December and in January the Fab Four washed his memory out on the Ed Sullivan Show. The Kennedy assassination was so then, then. The Beatles were NOW. IS in capital letters.
While the Beatles were revamping fifties music they edged into the future with modified Prince Valiant haircuts and collarless suit jackets. They were then NEW emerging into a brave new world.
Almost at the beginning of 1960 the art world was shaken by the emergence of Pop Art. Jasper Johns, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and especially Andy Warhol with his Campbell’s Soup Can set the sixties on its ear. On
the film scene the James Bond series with its new sensibility began. Bond also was a revelation portending changes with unintended consequences.
Pop Art would figure signficantly in Cynthia Lennon’s life in a few years when one of its more laughable practitioners, Yoko Ono, would step into her life and filch her husband from her. In fact Pop Art would be inextricably linked with the record industry. All the pop motifs would find their way onto record covers with increasing frequency. Tiny Alice would have a cover that opened like a match book. Talking Head’s colored disc would even become a happening designed by Rauschenberg himself. The burgeoning poster business would find its way into record sleeves. Astonishing packages never seen before in the record business although perhaps anticipated by the experimental ESP label of NYC. Some interesting stuff. Perhaps Milton Glaser’s poster of Bob Dylan could run for the distinction of the most popular poster design of the whole era. It was innovation itself at the time although not quite so fresh today.
Now, all this was happening so fast and from so many directions that it was impossible to get it all or even keep up on what you did get; after all people had lives to live.
In the San Francisco Bay Area where I was during the sixties the Scene was especially heavy. I wasn’t in the thick of things but a little off to the side. Thus while the UC Berkeley Free Speech Brouhaha took center stage in the East Bay, Ken Kesey, the Merry Pranksters and the Acid Tests were simmering on the Peninsula, but actually invading the middle class especially at Stanford and UC Berkeley. The San Fransciso Mime Troupe was very important in the early stages while Bill Graham was commercializing the Trips Festival with his Fillmore shows and Chet Helms was organizing the Avalon Ballroom out at the beach. The posters for the ballrooms which epitomized the psychedelic was the first inkling I had that something ‘new’ was happening. I don’t know how quick on the uptake I was but the first inkling of New York Pop I had was 1966-67 when I opened a poster store soon to be a record store.
LA, always commercial, would nevertheless provide the great Ron Cobb political cartoons for the LA Free Press one of the best of the Hippie papers soon to degenerate into porn as did the Berkeley Barb and all the rest. R. Crumb in San Francisco became the king of Hippie porn which characterized the movement from then on. The scene was then set for George and Pattie Harrison’s famous descent on the Haight-Ashbury that disappointed them so.
This brief sketch only contains a few of the highlights of the period. It was into this world that John and Cynthia Lennon stepped unprepared. Both Cynthia and John came from a background of very low expectations. Cynthia’s dreams were very modest while per her John’s dreaming was no bigger than reaching the tops of the pops in England.
Indeed the much touted German clubs showed no promise of a future whatever. Essentially playing in brothels in Hamburg one wonders what the ‘lads’ were thinking of the whole process. The wonder is that they paid enough attention to hone their skills. One of those making lemonade from lemons situations.
Only the greatest good luck showed them to success and fortune. They would have labored in the vineyard for a while and then drifted off into jobs but for the fact that an entrepreneurial romantic by the name of Brian Epstein saw them as the vehicle to realize his own dreams. He had the direction and energy to galvanize their careers. Still they were rejected by all the labels until a producer, George Martin, apparently heard what the rest of the world would hear and agreed to record them. It was then that the unbelievable happened elevating the Beatles into the most successful pop group ever. It was success far beyond their imaginations. With that success came challenges that neither John nor Cynthia could meet. The fact that they failed is no reflection on either one; they came from very low expectations and having fallen down the rabbit hole they were slightly unprepared. ‘One side makes you larger, the other side makes you smaller.’
To this time in their lives neither had even eaten at anything other than the English equivalent of McDonald’s, fish and chips or whatever. Now in one great step they were introduced into the haut ton by their manager Brian Epstein. Cynthia leads us to believe that Epstein gave special attention to John over the other ‘lads.’ As Epstein was a homosexual and as other sources, Peter Brown, Goldman actually state that Epstein seduced Lennon he obviously had a crush on John seeking to mold him in his own image. Indeed, John may have been his incentive for taking the Beatles on. Lust at first sight.
John had an attractive flip attitude that left the impression that he was much better educated than he was. Actually he left Art School, already a step down from the top, flunked out or whatever preferring to devote himself to his guitar chords. Most of the rockers were in the same situation. It’s amazing that their fans looked to them for salvation. This was tragic, because the generation invested all their hopes and dreams in these muscians attributing universal knowledge and genius to them, each and everyone. While they all did changes on certain political and social themes there was an appearance of ‘deep’ knowledge. Being anti-pollution was a badge of authority. Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane made the mistake if, one hopes, jesting that one should never trust anyone over thirty; this while she, John and others were about twenty-nine.
The phrase stuck. Those under thirty trusted these youthful, perhaps well-meaning rock stars. Being somewhat older at the time I could only see some very ordinary boys and girls who were just youthful wiseacres as we all were in that phase of our journey through life. Give me a break.
The most revered of all were the three Beatles John, Paul and George with Ringo thought of more as the court jester. John seemed to take his role most seriously as the guru of the generation, especially after he abandoned Cynthia for, spare me, the psychotic Yoko Ono.
Her abandonment by John for Yoko Ono is of course the most traumatic incident in her story. One can only commiserate with Cynthia. Then one has to search for reasons why; there was certainly no physical attraction there. Lennon did release a solo album called Mind Games so perhaps the best place to look is the mental. Lennon’s success must have placed great stresses of various kinds on him. The transition from a fair degree of poverty to one of a very large income to great wealth under the management of Yoko Ono would be psychologically unsettling in itself. Cynthia was unable to transit from poverty to wealth always remaining a lower middle class haus frau while John appears to have lacked the social climbing instincts of, say, Mick Jagger.
Musicians in general are held in very low esteem by the social elite so without unbounded desire and chutzpah, an ability to endure slights of the most painful kind it is highly unlikely that a musician would ever find acceptance in society. The aristocrats, Marrianne Faithfull describes as associating with Jagger appear to me to be more of the Black Sheep variety. So, Lennon may have been experiencing some frustration at that level.
At the same time there are numerous flatterers who are adept at putting ideas of omnipotence into your head not only intimating but saying that you are godlike. Even though one rejects the notion on the conscious level still a feeling of super powers creeps into your subliminal mind. One feels invulnerable, that one can do what’s never been done, that one can do drugs with impunity. There was never a time when the availability of drugs was ever greater or more socially acceptable.
At the time rumors abounded which have since turned into facts. During the Kennedy administration there was one Dr. Feelgood operating in New York to whom the social elite went for their drugs. His name was Dr. Max Jacobson and he was your friendly amphetamine pusher. His speed cocktails were extraordinary and they lasted for days. It’s comforting to know that President John F. Kennedy was amphetamine fueled while he was making those difficult international decisions- like Cuba. Nothing like having an A-man on the job. He wasn’t alone, VP Lyndon Johnson, followed in his footsteps into the office of Dr. Feelgood. He would have found his place at the end of the line of the NYC elite.
One person who took the good doctor’s prescription said that he went blind for three days staying high for several. Max was the economic type, dirty needles too.
At the same time Dr. Timothy Leary was sending everyone from prison inmates to Beat poet Allen Ginsberg tripping into inner space with his free handed distribution of LSD. Kennedy was involved in that too.
Prior to their arrival for the Sullivan show we are led to believe that the Mop Tops had only used pep pills in Hamburg to fuel their twelve hour sets. We are told that Bob Dylan was the one who turned them on to La Cucuracha, the most mild of the intoxicants. From there the boys graduated to LSD through spiked drinks or food.
Just as Harrison’s wife, Patti, records a spiked introduction to LSD so does Cynthia Lennon. Cynthia quite properly was revolted by drugs having no use for them. John was quite the opposite. He embraced LSD apparently ingesting regularly for long periods of time. As he would describe it, thousands of trips. At that point in my estimation the marriage was over. There is nothing for which Cynthia has to reproach herself except for her small divorce settlement. Nothing disintegrates the personality like drugs.
The drug influence was followed by a change in their music patterned after Dylan. When I first heard the Rubber Soul album I found it extremely noisy and unpleasant. This album was probably influenced by the Band’s playing behind Dylan on the ’65-’66 tour or perhaps the Bringing It All Back Home and Highway ’61 albums. It seems p;robable to me that the song Norwegian Wood commemorated Dylan’s turning them on to marijuana. The girl obviously represents Dylan.
Succeeding albums would aim for a ‘heavier’ feel with more social significance. As Lennon said in his ’80 Playboy interview, I Am The Walrus was written in imitation of Dylan.
The cover of Rubber Soul was traditional uninfluenced by pop art trends. The succeeding cover in the US, the famous ‘Butcher’ cover would be widely interpreted in the US as a comment on the Viet Nam War. It may have been meant as a pun- prime cuts of both meat and record tracks, but I don’t know. Whether there was a Pop Art influence isn’t clear.
The cover for the following Revolver by Klaus Voorman seems to indicate an awareness of Pop. For a band that was thought to be on the cutting edge of everything there are only two covers very avant garde with neither being very satisfying to me.
Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band that follows Revolver is a complete Pop Art package. A bizarre and macabre conception it does succeed. The grave in the foreground with the floral Beatles is chilling, perhaps a presage of the break up of the band. As Dylan said: If you’re not busy being born you’re busy dying.’ The Beatles are pictured in dead black and white looking down mournfully on their grave while the newly born Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band stand front and center in vibrant living color. Obviously the one has risen from the other.
Behind the band are row on row of ‘ancestors’ or, as was commonly assumed, influences. In fact members of the band contributed only a few of the names while the rest were contributed by others. Dylan is certainly among the pictures. The album comes complete with a childhood toy, a sheet of cut outs, making a complete Pop Art package. They could have had a designed inner sleeve but they overlooked that. Peter Blake, the main designer, is known as a Pop Artist.
The musical content follows the downer social significance motif with aural pyrotechnics such as had not been heard on record before. The release, as everyone is aware, was a complete smash, but it went beyond smash into realms not achieved until Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Thriller failed to excite as did Sgt. Peppers. That summer of ’67 was literally a surround of Sgt. Peppers. It was almost the only record anyone played. The Beatles easily trumped Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde of the summer of ’66.
The rest of the Beatles’ covers are pedestrian. The White LP probably influenced by One was trite at the time.
Cynthia seems to lack all understanding of what tremendous pressures the very unstable Lennon was subjected to , how his mind was being affected by adulation from the fans and respect from the world at large. Kid me, being named one of the three most influential men in the world wouldn’t have inflated the head of a Liverpool loser? My god, the Beatles even sung ‘I’m a loser.’ I couldn’t believe anyhone would sing such a song much less the Beatles who were clearly winners. How does one endure thinking of oneself as a loser on one hand and one of the most influential men in the world on the other?
At the same time that Lennon was enlarged Cynthia shrunk into the Liverpool realities of her youth. The couple had a mansion but unfamiliar with so much space Cynthia preferred to live in one small room! Clearly she was not equal to the demands of her situation.
The situation became critical when Lennon began mass consumption of drugs, including heroin, which Cynthia correctly declined to do while at the same time the poisonous Yoko Ono injected herself into Lennon’s life. There was no hope for Cynthia. Yoko Ono was a walking disaster looking for a place to happen- and then there was John.
Quite frankly Yoko Ono’s ‘career’ was going nowhere. Born in 1933 she was 33 in 1966 when she began her assault on John who was 25.
The sexual dynamic is that Lennon seemed to prefer older women than himself having a masochistic submission impulse. Cynthia herself was a year older. She too apparently sought security in younger men. Her second husband was two years younger and her third six. She seemed to lack the dominating impulse to make such marriages work. Ono had it in spades.
While John was by this time psychotic, Ono had been so from childhood, in addition she seems to suffer from extreme cognitive dissonance. Ono got the rock critic Robert Palmer to shill for her in her 1992 release, Onobox. In the essay Palmer states:
It is quite likely that having John Lennon fall in love with her was the worst thing that could have happened to Yoko Ono’s career as an artist.
Notice the lack of mention of falling in love with Lennon. This was written, I almost said, dictated to Palmer, in 1992 twelve years after Lennon’s death. No serious critic could have written that line so one must assume that it was dictated by Ono herself. The line shows how far she has distanced herself from reality.
Ono was in fact, a poor little rich girl. As a woman she felt inferior to the male writing such pieces as ‘Woman Is The Nigger Of The World.’ Once again cognitive dissonance. Yoko Ono was never in the position of being ‘a nigger in the world.’ It is true that her father advised her against attempting composing believing that women didn’t make good composers. How wrong was he, hey? Ono milked every man she was ever with before actually going into the dairy business herself. Secondly, having chosen to enter the Western world as an Asian she places her artistic neglect on the twin facts that he is a woman and an Asian. It never occurs to her that her art is unpleasing.
As an artist, whether woman or not, Asian or not, she had nothing to offer the art loving peoples of the world. In this increasingly globalized world of the sixties being Asian meant nothing while being a woman held no one with talent back. Indeed, male artists were increasingly being suppressed in favor of women in all the arts. If all girl rock bands isn’t an oxymoron I don’t know what is.
By her own admission she thought she was an influential person in the New York City art world of the early sixties after an apprenticeship of one year even gaining ’an international reputation.’ As she told May Pang: I was famous before I met John. So, one asks how does one reconcile her imagined great success with the feeling of being held back as an Asian and woman?
She rented a loft for fifty dollars a month which she coyly implies that as a starving artist the money was not easy to find. Well, Daddy was only a phone call away, she should have reached out and touched him. You can be sure he wasn’t going to let his little girl starve. By comparison I was paying 125.00 a month for an apartment in the Bay Area. I think we can dismiss the impoverished struggling artist scenario as so much more cognitive dissonance.
Ono spread herself pretty thin apparently attempting to cover all aspects of the avant garde. She’s keen on belonging to the avant garde. In music she patterned herself after John Cage and that weird contemporary ‘classical music’ approach with perhaps more than a nod to the early electronic composers such as Robert Maxwell who she mentions. She began her career in 1969 between the end of the Absract Expression mode and the beginningof the Pop movement so she was too late for the one and too early for the other. She and Lennon would try to rectify this in 1971 by doing obeisance to the Pop guru, Andy Warhol.
In 1961 she threw a party and was devastated that a snow storm discouraged the uptown crowd she had invited from coming. At least she said there was a snow storm. This may be another instance of cognitive dissonance. As she was an actual nobody she had no reason to expect society people to attend, snow storm or no snow storm. Nevertheless she was devastated, leaving town for Japan shortly thereafter. One may question where she obtained the fare for that flight when she had difficulty of meeting a fifty dollar rent bill.
In Japan she acquired her first husband simultaneously being committed to an insane asylum. As difficult as it may be to believe, her soon to be second husband, Tony Cox, heard these marvelous things about Ono in NYC deciding to fly to Japan to look her up. He found her thoroughly doped staggering around the halls of the asylum. He succeeded in getting her released then he, Ono and her first husband formed a menage a trois. The first husband wisely was the first to leave so Cox claimed the prize and the couple returned to NYC in 1964 so she is having an eventful four years. Shortly after their arrival they pulled up stakes and headed further East to London. Of the move Ono says:
I thought (the) avant garde world in New York was still very exciting but that it was starting to become an institution in itself, and there were rules and regulations in an invisible way, and I just wanted to get out of it. I never considered myself a member of any group. I was just doing my own thing.
That is just another way of saying that the art scene was a cliquish group in its terminal stages that was difficult or impossible to break into so unable to do so Ono was ‘just doing her own thing.’ It might be noted however that the NYC art scene was or was in becoming a nearly totally homosexual affair. At any rate we have evidence of sour grapes- I never considered myself a member of any group. And the result of rejection- I was just doing my own thing.
After her rejection she ‘composed’ a musical piece called Wall Piece For Orchestra in which she knelt on a stage and repeatedly banged her heard on the floor. Today that would be called ‘acting out.’
Off to new worlds to conquer in London and at the Indica Gallery of John Dunbar, the resident ‘head’ art gallery. Now, at this point she ‘ruined her career’ by pursuing John Lennon until he caught her. I imagine that she had been shrewdly observing his career and undoubtedly came to the psychological conclusion that he was a dependent personality who could be easily manipulated by the older maternal type with the right touch. That John Lennon could be made dependent on this woman eight years his senior is proof positive. Indeed, John even referred to her as Mother.
Cynthia for whom the role was impossible correctly assessed the situation noting the influence of Lennon’s Aunt Mimi who brought him up. Ono courted Lennon, interfering directly in his marriage. Ono was quite willing to drug herself along with Lennon so that both were heroin addicts. Ono thus established a sado-masochistic control over Lennon that Cynthia had no chance of breaking.
Rather than ruining Ono’s career the ‘third most influential man’ in the world gave her a stage on which to perform that she could never have found on her own. She now considered herself a collaborator with the Beatles. The injection of the Cage and Maxwell garbage combined with Lennon’s erratic behavior produced the nonsense of Revolution #9 on the White Album.
Lennon on drugs and under the influenceof Ono, who had her motives, according to Dire Corrector’s blog quoting the biographer of Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now, says:
The meditation had essentially precipitated a nervous breakdnown which was not helped by John’s tremendous drug intake. On May 18, 1966 he summoned a meeting of the Beatles at Apple and announced to them that he was Jesus Christ…the night after he told the other Beatles that he was the Savior, he finally called Yoko Ono and told her to come over.
Quite obviously Lennon was either teetering on the brink or had fallen over the edge. If he hadn’t broken with Cynthia by this time it is quite clear that apart from a certain inappropriateness of being wed to the Savior she was quite innocent of causing the break in any manner and should have a clear conscience.
Lennon’s state of mind would explain the insensitive manner in which he broke with Cynthia and its aftermath. The man must not have been in his right mind. While easing Cynthia out was relatively easy, from Ono’s end Tony Cox to whom she was still married was not such a simple matter. One wonders why he would fight so hard to keep a women who was so psychotic. Perhaps it was their daughter who he later took into hiding to keep her away from Ono. Justly so, it seems.
At any rate by ’69 Ono and Lennon were free to marry. Definitely by this point Lennon had all but surrendered his identity to Ono. She was now in possession of the reputation of one of the three most influential men in the world. Blending her identity with his she was about to become hermaphroditic. Perhaps Lennon was overawed by her avant garde credentials, such as they were, as well as whatever passed for her musical sensibilities.
She became Yoko Ono Lennon while he legally changed his name to John Ono Lennon so they both became Ono Lennons. After a number of happenings which one must believe were entirely Ono’s conceptions, such as the ‘bed in’ in Holland and the organization of the Plastic Ono Band, the pair settled in New York in an apartment building known as the Dakota. The Dakota was a connection to Ono’s past fulfilling an old desire to surpass those uptown types who she felt had slighted her.
In that connection also the cover of the Plastic Ono Band is a fulfillment of an old desire of Ono’s. While a child she witnessed the fire bombing of Tokyo in the US attempt to bring an end to the war. The blue sky was obliterated by the billowing clouds of smoke. While she didn’t witness Hiroshima yet she imagined the same sky as that over Tokyo. She then developed a blue sky obsession. If you notice the cover of the Plastic Ono Band is just a blue sky. One assumes then that Ono’s plans were coming together.
The NYC art world of 1960-’61 had shifted totally, the Abstract Expressionists she had tried to piggyback on were gone having been replaced by Pop Art of which Andy Warhol was the reigning doyen. If the Abstract Expressionists had been exclusive Warhol was nothing if not inclusive. He worshipped celebrities and Lennon was the number one celebrity. Himself a groupie and maximum social climber he welcomed an association with the Onos. For Yoko Ono the association with the leaderof the NYC art scene was her dream come true. Nothing but blue skies from now on.
In the accompanying picture you will notice that Warhol is seated in between a standing Yoko Ono with one hand on her right tit while his hand is on a drugged out looking John Ono with his hand on Warhol’s crotch. The symbolism is quite clear. The standing Yoko
is the master of two emasculated males who happen to be two of the most influential men in the world. She ain’t no nigger no more, Maggie’s Farm is a thing of the past, yes, men are now niggers in relation to herself. Warhol as an artist takes precedence over the disposable oafish John Ono. Yoko is tallest and standing, Warhol is second tallest and sitting while the now disposable John is lowest, lying on his back. The future is clear. Study John’s face; study all three faces.
The sexually besotted John Ono has surrendered his entire identity even as a musician allowing Yoko Ono to usurp his place by putting out those horrid hideous LP musical montrosities. Robert Palmer aside, with song titles reminiscent of her head bashing days: What A Bastard The World Is, I Felt Like Smashing My Face In A Glass Window, Woman Of Salem (Witches), Coffin Car, Hell In Paradise and Walking On Thin Ice. Clearly this woman had an unsettled, disturbed mind.
Having usuped Lennon’s role and identity he became expendable. Her problem now was to transfer his past and his wealth to herself thereby becoming Yoko-John Ono, Double Fantasy. Two fantasies melding into her one personality.
John Ono’s finances were, of course, in complete disorder. As Yoko was soon to show billions of dollars were disappearing down a sink hole. She rapidly organized his finances turning his money green. Within short order the Onos were worth a hundred million or so which she would swell to a billion or more after John’s death.
I imagine it was fairly easy to have John Ono give her a power of attorney, indeed he forked over his identity allowing her to function in his stead as himself. An awesome abdication. A POA would negate the need for a will, and indeed having made herself not only co-owner of John’s assets as well as his identity Yoko Ono would merely acquire full ownership leaving no assets to be willed. Indeed, she could have turned him out penniless at any time. When Cynthia was clamoring for a reading of the will she was wasting her breath; if a will existed, unlikely in itself, there would have been no assets to bequeath.
Yoko Ono having now incorporated John Ono’s reputation and identity into her own had also incorporated the assets and with the assets the legacy of all copyrights held by John Lennon as the double fantasy melded into one fantasy. The only obstacle to Yoko’s apotheosis into man-woman was John himself as he was alive. However John was only thirty-five. To wait thirty-five years or more with a man she didn’t love or even like would be unbearable. Some hard thinking was in order.
She manipulated the poor dolt into thinking he was a boorish oaf who needed to go off to get himself together. Rather than just sending him off she chose an employee, May Pang, an Asian like herself, to be John’s consort while away.
In reading May Pang’s book, Loving John, it becomes clear that Yoko Ono was a master hypnotist. She knew how to make suggestions and have people act on them. Acccording to Pang she fixed an hypnotic glare on one, assuming an authoritative posture while intoning her suggestion. She had the reputation of always getting her way.
Of course her version of what happened is different than Pang’s. Yoko having suggested she go off with John, the act was soon consummated. Pang insists she and John were in love, yet a year and a half later when Yoko called John back he came running.
Thus, from 1975 to Double Fantasy in 1980 Yoko and John Ono were out of public life living as a double fantasy of Howard Hughes. Then in 1980 Mark Chapman became the man who shot John Lennon. There have been speculations that Chapman was hypnotized when he committed his deed. Conspiracy theories therefore have sprung up.
One must ask who the death of John Lennon benefited. Two possible people. Yoko One on one hand and possibly Chapman on the other. On the one hand Yoko Ono achieved the psychotic desire to escape being the ‘nigger of the world’ by becoming John Ono Lennon while physically remaining the sweet little girl she had been before the fire bombing of Tokyo. She was unable to manage the memory of that transformative experience. In her mind, then, she became the prominent artist-musician of the world.
I don’t believe the government had anything to do with the assassination.
As we know Yoko Ono was a master hypnotist; the question is how did she find Mark Chapman and how did she hypnotize him?
Earlier in the day Chapman had approached Lennon for an autograph. He can be seen worshipfully smiling beside his hero in the picture. There appears to be no indication he meant to harm Lennon. He might easily have shot him point blank at the time, yet when he came back in the afternoon with a voice in his head insistently saying: Do it. Do it. Do it. he gunned his hero down.
At the time Yoko Ono had dropped a few steps behind John. In similar murder attempts, people step away from the intended victim so as not to be caught in the line of fire. This may have been the case with Yoko.
Certainly Yoko is opposed to Chapman’s release from prison even though he has fulfilled the twenty year requirement of twenty to life. I doubt if he is a threat to society however he may be a threat to Yoko Ono if he were to remember or reveal the details leading up to his shooting of John Ono Lennon.
Of course, I don’t know why Chapman shot but I do know that Yoko Ono Lennon was the sole beneficiary. She left Cynthia holding the bag while she realized her double fantasy.