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Yoko Ono
14 March 2014
3.26am
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IveJustSeenAFaceo said
I'd say she could be blamed for hooking him on it. Maybe Dylan gave it to him the first time, but I think Yoko made him a legitimate junkie (and really vice versa, John hurt Yoko pretty much as much as Yoko hurt John).

And Into The Sky, I'd go with poisonous.

Let's see now. Bob Dylan offers John heroin. He does heroin. Yoko Ono offers John heroin. He does heroin. It sounds to me like John wanted to do heroin. I never blamed the convenience store clerk who sold me cigarettes. And yet you people blame Yoko for John's actions? This is the kind of nonsense I'm talking about. People just blame Yoko because they want to.

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Von Bontee

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

14 March 2014
3.27am
Atlas
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Egroeg Evoli said
I do not hate her, but I don't love her, and that's all I'm going to say.

I found this a bit funny:

I was waiting for her head to spin around.

14 March 2014
12.43pm
WETSRoosa
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Atlas said 

You know in all the words written about Yoko,  I don't recall any friends speaking up for her. 

 

  

 

 

Well, to be fair, Yoko has always struck me as a bit of a loner anyways, and not one to accumulate a lot of friends or even acquaintances. (I can relate; I'm sort of the same way.) So while it may seem that she doesn't have a lot of friends to begin with, let alone those willing to defend her, maybe that's by design.

"There's no such thing as bad student... only bad teacher."
14 March 2014
3.12pm
Joe
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That Dylan/heroin thing, does that refer to the car scene in Eat The Document, and Lennon's 1970 Rolling Stone interview ("We were both on fuckin' junk", or words to that effect)? Because I've always taken that interview with a big bag of salt - Lennon mouthed off in every direction, exaggerating for effect wherever he could.

FWIW, in 1980 he spoke about Mr Kite!, and how Henry the Horse wasn't a heroin reference, saying he'd never even seen heroin in 1967. Just thought I'd mention it.

Also, from what I've been able to work out, Lennon and Ono probably started using heroin via Robert Fraser, who was really part of McCartney's circle. So I'm not sure it's really all that fair to single out Yoko as a key influence. Lennon was a huge drug user who would try just about anything.

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14 March 2014
4.13pm
Von Bontee
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Yeah, I think people are basically personally responsible for their own habits - unless they're held captive, bound in a chair, and forcibly injected with heroin until they're physically addicted, "French Connection II"-style.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
14 March 2014
5.52pm
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Joe said
That Dylan/heroin thing, does that refer to the car scene in Eat The Document, and Lennon's 1970 Rolling Stone interview ("We were both on fuckin' junk", or words to that effect)? Because I've always taken that interview with a big bag of salt - Lennon mouthed off in every direction, exaggerating for effect wherever he could.
FWIW, in 1980 he spoke about Mr Kite!, and how Henry the Horse wasn't a heroin reference, saying he'd never even seen heroin in 1967. Just thought I'd mention it.
Also, from what I've been able to work out, Lennon and Ono probably started using heroin via Robert Fraser, who was really part of McCartney's circle. So I'm not sure it's really all that fair to single out Yoko as a key influence. Lennon was a huge drug user who would try just about anything.

 Yes, it was Eat the Document I was referring to...thanks for the further information on that!

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

15 March 2014
3.07am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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@Expert Textpert 

Expert Texpert said, 

"Well, I see one big thing with your post that's wrong…John claimed Bob Dylan got him high on heroin in 1966, a good two years before he did heroin with Yoko, so I don't think she can be blamed.

Also, when John (and every other Beatle) turned against Paul, it was because of Paul, not Yoko.  Paul was being sneaky and getting the Eastmans involved, and buying up shares behind John's back.

As to Julian, there is plenty of evidence that he went on vacations with John and Yoko and visited the Dakota, so I don't think Julian's claims of "poor me" are 100% justified, at least while John was alive.  And John admitted that he had less to do with Julian because he was born during Beatlemania and he just had little time for him--so what does that have to do with Yoko?

True, she may not have liked seeing John with Julian because she was separated from her own child--that's selfish, but I understand it."

I never blamed the convenience store clerk who sold me cigarettes. And yet you people blame Yoko for John's actions? This is the kind of nonsense I'm talking about. People just blame Yoko because they want to.

OK, this is a good discussion. These are my thoughts on the above:

As pointed out by Joe, it's not clear that Dylan introduced him to heroin. I haven't seen that Dylan-Lennon-heroin before, but even assuming it's true, it's pretty clear that Lennon was not an addict until Yoko came around. The fact that he might have had heroin with Dylan is not relevant. For all we know, he might have even had some in Hamburg (not likely). When he hitched up with Yoko, it was either her idea to delve back into heroin - in which case she was the instigator - or it was Lennon's idea and she was the enabler.

McCartney's choice of his brother-in-law as a manager was not smart.  But Lennon was no angel either. (Consider his decision to bring Yoko into the studio or to give the Get Back tapes to Spector without consulting the other band members.) Lennon went totally ballistic and for quite a period of time. Perhaps it was drug-fueled anger, but Yoko was his partner in crime. Again, she was the enabler.

Yes, Julian went to the Dakota etc... but every account suggests that he was relatively poorly treated. Just look at Lennon's will. Did Julian get a fair shake? Expert Texpert, where are the sources suggesting that Julian was perfectly well treated and that he's just been playing 'poor me'? (I've actually rarely heard him publicly complain.)

The fact that you can understand why Yoko felt the way she did about Julian doesn't mean it was the right thing. I suppose that's the difference between an explanation and an excuse.

Of course you wouldn't blame the convenience store that sold you cigarettes. But if the store owner moved in with you and brought packs of cigarettes, that would be different, right? Or if you were the one who brought in the cigarettes and your partner jumped in and started smoking with you, then he or she would be part of the problem, no?

"This is the kind of nonsense I'm talking about." What makes another person's position more nonsense than yours? 

"People just blame Yoko because they want to." What do you mean by that? You mean for no particular reason? Why would anyone do that? I suppose if you're Chinese or Korean you might dislike her for the simple reason that she's Japanese. But I don't see that as being an issue here. I think that people who dislike her do so for all of the above reasons. If someone thinks she was just standing on the sidelines and had nothing to do with all the negatives surrounding Lennon in the late 60's and early 70's, well, you're entitled to your opinion of course. But I don't think you can label those who think differently as speaking nonsense.

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15 March 2014
3.36am
Atlas
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Apologies if this appears  elsewhere in this thread……….But this is the clincher for me. Julian talks about Yoko here. He has no doubts about Yoko's pre-meditated actions.

 

I'm sure the deflectors will deflect and the deniers deny. Hey it's a free world. Each to his/her own.

 

Yoko comes into the conversation around the 6 min mark.

 

15 March 2014
3.41am
IveJustSeenAFaceo
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15 March 2014
4.12pm
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Just my take:

Yoko was struggling, as most if not all artists do at some point. Even the Beatles struggled at first.

She then connected with John through a series of events which landed her in swinging London among others who shared her strong interest (passion?) in the avant-garde. 

I feel, if she never met John, we would not be discussing her based on her own merits. She would have either continued to struggle or perhaps experienced very little success.

I do not love her. I do not hate her. I am simply aware of her existence and her role in John's life. 

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16 March 2014
2.03am
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Into the Sky with Diamonds said
@Expert Textpert 

Expert Texpert said, 

"Well, I see one big thing with your post that's wrong…John claimed Bob Dylan got him high on heroin in 1966, a good two years before he did heroin with Yoko, so I don't think she can be blamed.

Also, when John (and every other Beatle) turned against Paul, it was because of Paul, not Yoko.  Paul was being sneaky and getting the Eastmans involved, and buying up shares behind John's back.

As to Julian, there is plenty of evidence that he went on vacations with John and Yoko and visited the Dakota, so I don't think Julian's claims of "poor me" are 100% justified, at least while John was alive.  And John admitted that he had less to do with Julian because he was born during Beatlemania and he just had little time for him--so what does that have to do with Yoko?

True, she may not have liked seeing John with Julian because she was separated from her own child--that's selfish, but I understand it."

I never blamed the convenience store clerk who sold me cigarettes. And yet you people blame Yoko for John's actions? This is the kind of nonsense I'm talking about. People just blame Yoko because they want to.

OK, this is a good discussion. These are my thoughts on the above:

As pointed out by Joe, it's not clear that Dylan introduced him to heroin. I haven't seen that Dylan-Lennon-heroin before, but even assuming it's true, it's pretty clear that Lennon was not an addict until Yoko came around. The fact that he might have had heroin with Dylan is not relevant. For all we know, he might have even had some in Hamburg (not likely). When he hitched up with Yoko, it was either her idea to delve back into heroin - in which case she was the instigator - or it was Lennon's idea and she was the enabler.

McCartney's choice of his brother-in-law as a manager was not smart.  But Lennon was no angel either. (Consider his decision to bring Yoko into the studio or to give the Get Back tapes to Spector without consulting the other band members.) Lennon went totally ballistic and for quite a period of time. Perhaps it was drug-fueled anger, but Yoko was his partner in crime. Again, she was the enabler.

Yes, Julian went to the Dakota etc... but every account suggests that he was relatively poorly treated. Just look at Lennon's will. Did Julian get a fair shake? Expert Texpert, where are the sources suggesting that Julian was perfectly well treated and that he's just been playing 'poor me'? (I've actually rarely heard him publicly complain.)

The fact that you can understand why Yoko felt the way she did about Julian doesn't mean it was the right thing. I suppose that's the difference between an explanation and an excuse.

Of course you wouldn't blame the convenience store that sold you cigarettes. But if the store owner moved in with you and brought packs of cigarettes, that would be different, right? Or if you were the one who brought in the cigarettes and your partner jumped in and started smoking with you, then he or she would be part of the problem, no?

"This is the kind of nonsense I'm talking about." What makes another person's position more nonsense than yours? 

"People just blame Yoko because they want to." What do you mean by that? You mean for no particular reason? Why would anyone do that? I suppose if you're Chinese or Korean you might dislike her for the simple reason that she's Japanese. But I don't see that as being an issue here. I think that people who dislike her do so for all of the above reasons. If someone thinks she was just standing on the sidelines and had nothing to do with all the negatives surrounding Lennon in the late 60's and early 70's, well, you're entitled to your opinion of course. But I don't think you can label those who think differently as speaking nonsense.

Joe also said above that it was someone in Paul McCartney's circle who introduced John and Yoko to heroin, so that pretty much shows that it wasn't Yoko's fault.  As far as Julian playing poor me, there is a particular video on Youtube where he's being interviewed on the beach and says that he only saw his father a few times in his whole life, which is not true.  I've heard him make other comments in interviews, but I don't really feel like collecting the sources here.  They are out there and not at all hard to find.

What I find nonsense is that people blame Yoko for hooking John on heroin when there is no evidence for that--and apparently just because they want to.  What we put into our own bodies is our choice.  Yoko didn't force him to do it.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

16 March 2014
2.05am
Atlas
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Of course we can't say what might have happened if she had not been sent to John by Paul after she appeared at Paul's house in St John's Wood…...

But we can ask on what did occur the question: Given that the impact of the Beatles on the world was huge, socially and politically, is the world a better place because of Yoko's influence in it?

 

I personally don't think we would have missed much.

 

17 March 2014
7.39pm
Von Bontee
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Well, personally I would miss those Yoko albums that I enjoy so much. Plus, I don't understand how Yoko's mere existence negates the Beatles' achievements. I think the band's breakup was pretty much inevitable.

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Expert Textpert
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17 March 2014
7.43pm
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I would miss the joy that I get from her insights and her uplifting Facebook posts.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

11 July 2014
12.49am
parlance
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Slate article on how Grapefruit inspired "Imagine."

parlance

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