On John Lennon’s 35th birthday, his second son Sean was born in a New York hospital.
Sean Taro Ono Lennon was born by caesarean section, and weighed 8 pounds and 10 ounces. Yoko Ono had been admitted to hospital some days prior to the birth, and was encouraged to have the c-section due to her age and three previous miscarriages.
He had been conceived shortly after Lennon and Ono were reunited, following the infamous Lost Weekend in Los Angeles. Although the pair had met backstage after his performance with Elton John at Madison Square Garden on 28 November 1974, it was more than two months before he moved back into the Dakota.
Shortly after the birth, John Lennon was quoted as saying: “I feel higher than the Empire State Building!” Elton John was invited to become the baby’s godfather.
The birth of Sean marked the beginning of Lennon’s five-year retirement from public life, during which he dedicated his time to bringing up his son. The release of the Shaved Fish compilation in November 1975 left him without recording obligations, and when Ono became pregnant he abandoned plans for an album called Between The Lines, to have been recorded with black musicians recruited by Carlos Alomar.
Lennon established a routine of rising at 6am to plan and prepare meals and activities for Sean, while Ono took care of business matters elsewhere in the Dakota.
It is such a tremendous responsibility to see that the baby has the right amount of food and doesn’t overeat and gets the right amount of sleep. If I, as a housemother, had not put him to sleep and made sure that he was in the bath by 7.30, no one else would have. It’s a tremendous responsibility. Now I understand the frustration of those women because of all the work. And there’s no gold watch at the end of the day…
The joy is still there when I see Sean. 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. That’s because I took him to the Y [92nd Street Y]. I took him to the ocean. I’m so proud of those things. He is my biggest pride, you see.
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
Also on this day...
- 2017: New book! Riding So High – The Beatles and Drugs
- 2015: Ringo Starr live at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
- 2013: Paul McCartney live at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, New York
- 2011: Sir Paul McCartney marries Nancy Shevell
- 2010: Photograph of John Lennon is projected onto Liverpool’s Albert Dock
- 2010: “And the world will be as one”: Global tributes take place for John Lennon’s 70th birthday
- 2010: Yoko Ono requests a million tweets for John Lennon
- 2009: Yoko Ono unveils Imagine Peace Tower in Second Life
- 2000: Tributes for John Lennon’s 60th birthday
- 1998: Yoko Ono dedicates a tree to John Lennon in Strawberry Fields
- 1990: Imagine is broadcast around the world
- 1988: John Lennon tributes are broadcast on US television
- 1985: Strawberry Fields is opened in Central Park, New York City
- 1984: Yoko Ono donates $90,000 to Strawberry Field in Liverpool
- 1981: John Lennon statue is unveiled in Los Angeles
- 1980: John Lennon’s 40th birthday
- 1979: John Lennon’s 39th birthday party, Tavern On The Green, New York
- 1978: John Lennon’s 38th birthday party, Tavern On The Green, New York
- 1976: John Lennon’s 36th birthday
- 1971: John Lennon’s all-star 31st birthday party in Syracuse, New York
- 1971: Yoko Ono’s art exhibition This Is Not Here opens in Syracuse, New York
- 1970: Recording: Remember by John Lennon
- 1970: John Lennon sees his father Alf for the final time
- 1969: Yoko Ono is taken to hospital in London
- 1968: Recording, mixing: The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill, Long Long Long, Why Don’t We Do It In The Road
- 1967: John Lennon’s 27th birthday
- 1966: John Lennon celebrates his 26th birthday in Spain
- 1965: The Beatles celebrate John Lennon’s 25th birthday
- 1964: Live: Gaumont Cinema, Bradford
- 1963: Radio: The Ken Dodd Show
- 1962: The Beatles promote Love Me Do in London
- 1961: John Lennon celebrates his 21st birthday with Paul McCartney in Paris
- 1960: Live: Kaiserkeller, Hamburg
- 1956: John Lennon’s 16th birthday
- 1940: John Lennon is born
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.