The John Lennon-Yoko Ono Love Timeline

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44 years ago (March 20, 1969), John Lennon married Yoko Ono at The Rock Hotel in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. Their love affair began years earlier, causing the break-up of Lennon’s marriage to Cynthia Lennon and, as many like to believe, the disbandment of The Beatles.

For over a decade, their relationship was profuse with memorable events. Here are some of the most notable in what we call The Lennon-Ono Love Timeline.

John Meets Yoko For The First Time

AP Photo

AP Photo

There are two stories commonly accepted as the initial introduction between Lennon and One:

Lennon went to the Indica Gallery in London on November 9, 1966, where Ono was holding her conceptual art exhibit “Hammer A Nail;” guests hammered a nail into the piece of wood. Before the exhibit began, Lennon wanted to hammer a nail into the board, inciting a response from Ono asking him to pay five shillings. Lennon replied, “I’ll give you an imaginary five shillings and hammer an imaginary nail in.”

(Source: Playboy via)

The second story comes from Paul McCartney, who says Ono was looking for original musical scores in late 1965 for a book, Notations by John cage. When McCartney declined, he referred her to Lennon. He obliged by giving her the original handwritten sheet music to “The Word” from Rubber Soul.

(Source: Miles, Barry. Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. via)

Yoko Keeps Calling John

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AP Photo

While still married to Cynthia, Lennon began receiving calls from Ono at his home. When questioned by Cynthia for a reason, Lennon states Ono calls to request money for her “avant-garde bullshit.”

(Source: Harry, Bill. The John Lennon Encyclopedia.)

Two Virgins, Adultery And Divorce

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AP Photo

Lennon invited Ono over while his wife Cynthia was on a holiday in Greece. The two recorded music that would be included on the album Two Virgins and slept with each other later that night. Cynthia returned to find Ono in her bathrobe, drinking tea with Lennon. John merely said, “Oh, hi.”

Months later, John and Cynthia were divorced.

(Source: Lennon, Cynthia. A Twist of Lennon.)

Ono Has A Miscarriage

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AP Photo

Ono became pregnant in 1968, but miscarried on 21 November 1968. The child was named John Ono Lennon II.

(Source: Harry, Bill. The John Lennon Encyclopedia.)

Lennon And Ono Wed

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AP Photo

John Lennon and Yoko Ono are married on March 20, 1969 at The Rock Hotel in Gibraltar.

(Source: Harry, Bill. The John Lennon Encyclopedia.)

The Amsterdam Bed-in

FILES/AFP/Getty Images

FILES/AFP/Getty Images

Knowing their marriage would be a huge media event, Lennon and Ono held their first bed-in. The week-long “Bed-In for Peace” was held in Amsterdam at the Hilton Hotel from March 25th to the 31st.

(Source: YouTube)

Lennon Adds Ono To His Name

AP Photo/Tony Camerano

AP Photo/Tony Camerano

Lennon adds Ono as his middle name by deed poll on April 22, 1969.

(Source: Coleman, Ray. John Ono Lennon: Volume 2 1967–1980.)

Montreal Bed-in/”Give Peace a Chance”

AP Photo

AP Photo

Due to a cannabis conviction in 1968, Lennon wasn’t allowed to enter the US, so their second bed-in was held in Montreal. They spent seven days in rooms 1738, 1740, 1742 and 1744 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel where they performed “Give Peace a Chance.”

(Source: YouTube)

Ono’s King-Sized Bed On Abbey Road

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AP Photo

While Ono was recovering from a car accident, Lennon bought a king-sized bed into the studio while The Beatles recorded Abbey Road.

(Source: Emerick, Geoff; Massey, Howard. Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles.)

Lennon And Ono Move To NYC

AP Photo/Geffen Records/Kishin Shinoyama

AP Photo/Geffen Records/Kishin Shinoyama

Lennon and Ono moved to New York City in 1971, residing in several buildings until 1973.

(Source: “John & Yoko’s New York”. StopOver Magazine. 16 August 2010.)

Separation And John’s “Lost Weekend”

AP Photo/Steve Sands

AP Photo/Steve Sands

Due to several strains in their relationship, Lennon and Ono separate in 1973. Lennon began an 18-month relationship with their assistant May Pang, referred to as his “Lost Weekend.”

(Source: Harry, Bill. The John Lennon Encyclopedia.)

John Becomes A Househusband; Sean Is Born

AP Photo/Geffen Records/Kishin Shinoyama

AP Photo/Geffen Records/Kishin Shinoyama

Lennon and Ono reconciled and she became pregnant. Ono wanted an abortion (she previously suffered three miscarriages) but said she would reconsider is John became a househusband.

Sean Lennon was born on October 9, 1975 on John’s 35th birthday. Lennon would go on to say, “He didn’t come out of my belly but, by God, I made his bones, because I’ve attended to every meal, and to how he sleeps, and to the fact that he swims like a fish.”

(Source: Harry, Bill. The John Lennon Encyclopedia.)


John Lennon was murdered on December 8, 1980 after being shot by Mark David Chapman in front of his New York City building, The Dakota. Ono has since held several tributes and built memorials in Lennon’s honor, including the Strawberry Fields memorial in New York City’s Central Park on October 9, 1985 (Lennon’s 45th birthday), a world wide broadcast of “Imagine” in 1990 (Lennon’s 50th birthday) and the John Lennon Museum in Saitama, Japan on October 9, 2007.


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