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Did Yoko love John?
31 July 2017
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Dark Overlord said
I’m going to have to partially disagree with you there. While some of her hate may come from sexism and racism, a lot of it also comes from the idea that she broke up The Beatles because she supposedly tried to maneuver John towards her interests, although i’d argue that it was actually Paul who broke them up because of him caring too much about the way his songs came out and being a complete jerk about it.

I believe that John and Yoko’s love is one of the most truest loves in existence. To support my point, i will mention how after John’s death, Yoko didn’t remarry and she still supports his ideas and seems to really care about him.  

The very idea you are referring to is sexist. The idea that Yoko broke up The Beatles came from her being in the studio while they were recording. The reason this was an issue is because of her sex. The presence of women in the studio was frowned upon because it was considered a boys’ club. From the very beginning of her relationship with John, she was challenging male attitudes towards women.

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31 July 2017
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People don’t claim that the reason Yoko broke up The Beatles was because she was a girl who was in the recording studio. If that were the case, Carol Kaye would’ve broken up The Beach Boys years ago. The reason why people claim this is because she encouraged John to follow her beliefs. Let’s put it this way, John wasn’t a big peace loving war hating pacifist before Yoko came along, he even beat the living hell out of the DJ at Paul’s 21st birthday party for calling him a queer. But once Yoko came along, she convinced John to become this peace loving hippie who hates war, violence, killing, and the military and loves peace and love.

In reality though, Yoko didn’t break up The Beatles and Paul, George, and Ringo weren’t bothered by the fact that she was a female.

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31 July 2017
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How would you explain The Word , @Dark Overlord, written a year before John had heard of Yoko? They were reflecting the changes they were going through, and the new influences they were being exposed to.

Even after they met, Yoko remained a largely peripheral figure throughout 1967, the year in which John contributed the lines, “Man, I was mean, but I’m changing my scene / And I’m doing the best that I can,” to Getting Better , while also writing a song like All You Need Is Love .

To suggest that it was Yoko who turned John into a peace-loving hippie is demonstrably wrong.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

1 August 2017
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And just to further reiterate, DO, here are extracts from three press conferences and an interview that predate any knowledge that Yoko was out there by two months or more:

Press Conference: Tokyo, Japan 30 June 1966

Q: And what do you seek next?
J: Peace.
(laughter)
P & J: Peace.
P: Ban the bomb.
J: Ban the bomb, yeah.

Q: How much interest do you take in the war that is going on in Vietnam now?
J: Well, we think about it everyday, and we don’t agree with it and we think it’s wrong. That’s how much interest we take. That’s all we can do about it… and say that we don’t like it.

Press Conference: Toronto, Canada 17 August 1966

Q: John, I don’t want to get you too tangled in politics, but I read that you weren’t very excited about the situation in Vietnam. I would be interested in knowing your opinion, or any of the Beatles opinion, about the question of the United States involvement in Vietnam and whether or not you see this as a possibility of a world confrontation with China, and whether you think it’s dangerous, and whether you think it’s important for people to become informed and concerned on this issue.
J: Yes.
(laughter)
J: I mean, we all just don’t agree with war for any reason whatsoever. There’s no reason on earth why anybody should kill anybody else.
Q: Well, why don’t you say… Why don’t you come out and…
G: The main thing is…
J: Because somebody would shoot us for saying it, that’s why.
G: Somebody once said “Thou shalt not kill means THAT, not amend section A.” And there’s a lot of people who are amending section A and who are killing. And it’s up to them to sort themselves out.
P: But we can’t say things like that.
J: We’re not allowed to have opinions. You might have noticed, you know.
(laughter)
Q: Continuing in that line, what do you think of the youthful Americans who are coming across the border to Canada to escape the draft? Are you in favour of the draft or military discipline for the younger generation?
P: No.
G: I think anybody who doesn’t feel like fighting or feels like fighting is wrong has a right not to go in the army. There’s nobody can force you into going and killing someone.
J: But they do.
P: Shouldn’t be able to, really.
J: (sighs, and continues jokingly) Ahh, we’ve had it in Memphis now.

ITV Interview (for the UK): Memphis, Tennessee 19 August 1966

Q: But do you mind being asked questions, for example in America people keep asking you questions about Vietnam. Does this seem useful?
P: Well, I dunno, you know. If you can say that war is no good, and a few people believe you, then it may be good. I don’t know. You can’t say too much, though. That’s the trouble.
J: It seems a bit silly to be in America and for none of them to mention Vietnam as if nothing was happening.
Q: But why should they ask you about it? You’re successful entertainers.
J: Because Americans always ask showbiz people what they think, and so do the British. (comically) Showbiz… you know how it is!
R: (laughs)
J: But I mean you just gotta… You can’t keep quiet about anything that’s going on in the world, unless you’re a monk. (jokingly, with dramatic arm gestures) Sorry, monks! I didn’t mean it! I meant actually…
(Beatles laugh)
J: It doesn’t matter about people not liking our records, or not liking the way we look, or what we say. You know, they’re entitled to not like us. And we’re entitled not to have anything to do with them if we don’t want to, or not to regard them. We’ve all got our rights, you know, Harold.

Press Conference: New York City 22 August 1966

Q: Would any of you care to comment on any aspect of the war in Vietnam?
J: We don’t like it.
Q: Could you elaborate any?
J: No. I’ve elaborated enough, you know. We just don’t like it. We don’t like war.
G: It’s, you know… It’s just war is wrong, and it’s obvious it’s wrong. And that’s all that needs to be said about it.
(applause)
P: We can elaborate in England.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

1 August 2017
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Dark Overlord said
I’m going to have to partially disagree with you there. While some of her hate may come from sexism and racism, a lot of it also comes from the idea that she broke up The Beatles because she supposedly tried to maneuver John towards her interests, although i’d argue that it was actually Paul who broke them up because of him caring too much about the way his songs came out and being a complete jerk about it.

I believe that John and Yoko’s love is one of the most truest loves in existence. To support my point, i will mention how after John’s death, Yoko didn’t remarry and she still supports his ideas and seems to really care about him.  

She moved her lover into the Dakota apartment within days of John’s death.  I’m sure that she needed comfort and she certainly had the right to move on eventually, but really?  I think that it was very important to both of them to promote themselves as the Greatest Love Story Evah!, but I’m not sure that it was, especially in their last few years.

Throughout their relationship, she used and manipulated John to promote her career.

I don’t think that it was her mere presence in the studio that was so upsetting to the others, it was that they had a relative stranger suddenly appearing there that acted like they were a full member of the band.  And she did behave weirdly, at least in the others point of view.  She did break up the Beatles.  So did John, Paul, George, Ringo, Allen Klein, etc.  She was just one piece of the whole.

John was always quite disingenuous about the other’s reaction to Yoko in the studio.  If any of the others had brought their wives/girlfriends into the studio nonstop, not just on the odd occasion, and treated them as though they were a fifth band member, he would have had a fit.

As far as whether she truly loved John, I think that she did at one point, but quite frankly, there isn’t any way that we’ll ever know.

1 August 2017
10.43am
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Welcome to the forum, @Maisiesmom.

I’m afraid to say that much of your post comes across as if you have only read the accounts that have an axe to grind.

It would be interesting to know if have examined the accounts which disagree with this portrayal of her? Whilst, as with many couples, there was a degree of exaggeration, try books like Anthony Fawcett’s One Day at a Time, which gives a very different view, as does Chip Madinger’s Lennonology: Volume One – Strange Days Indeed – A Scrapbook of Madness, possibly the ultimate study of their relationship so far.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

1 August 2017
11.38am
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Hi Ron Nasty (waves)

It’s true that I’ve read a lot of negative things re Yoko from many different sources.  I don’t think that she was a rapacious Dragon Lady or mesmerized John with hypnotism or any of that claptrap.  I think that she had both a good and a bad effect on him.  She certainly encouraged him to explore the more personal and avant garde side of his music and didn’t put up with a lot of his macho posturing. Everyone has their good and bad sides.  However, she has always come across as quite calculating to me. I think that she initially saw John as another sugar daddy, but then fell in love with him.  And whenever I see a tape of her caterwhauling, it makes me want to punch a wall, but that is an aesthetic (and possibly humorless) reaction, I guess.

It will be interesting to see how Lewisohn portrays their relationship.

I will add your book suggestions to my ever growing list of Beatles books on Goodreads (it has its own category).  I’m hoping that Maddinger’s book is available via InterLibrary Loan, as I can’t afford it (not saying that it isn’t worth the price, but too high for me).

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1 August 2017
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Thanks for that @Ron Nasty i didn’t realize that John was already for peace before he met Yoko.

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1 August 2017
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I never have bought the argument that she was calculating. What was she supposed to do, keep it a secret that she was married to John and never use any of his resources? In a marriage, people act as a partnership. What you are really saying when you criticize that partnership is that you hate Yoko for being married to John.

If we take the argument that she used him from the start, are we to think that John was so ignorant that anyone could use him without his knowledge? This certainly doesn’t seem the case when we look at his interactions with others. And if she did use him, then he used her for something as well.

None of our relationships are so altruistic that we refuse to derive any benefit from them.

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1 August 2017
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She lied about not knowing who he was. Not an auspicious start. Maybe she did fall in love with him at some point for some time. But who wouldn’t?

1 August 2017
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I guess part of my problem with Yoko is that she viewed herself (or came off as viewing herself) as just as great an artist as John and on the same level. Which she wasn’t. The other part of my problem (and I do realize that it is my problem) is that I have little respect for her type of avant garde art. If I was more appreciative of that style of art, I would be more appreciative of her contributions.  

As far as I’ve read, she relentlessly pursued him for many months before their affair started.  That’s what I mean by calculating. On the other hand, I think that John was using her as well, to help him get the strength to escape from what he was starting to view as a Beatles straitjacket.  Less consciously calculating, but there, nonetheless.

Yes, John had a brilliant mind, but emotionally, he had issues….

Of course, she was an equal partner in the marriage, as she should be.  

I guess that we’ll have to disagree on the subject.  Perhaps, as I continue to read Beatles-related books my opinion on her will evolve. I’m open to the possibility.

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Neither John nor Yoko told the story that she relentlessly pursued him, so we don’t know whether it is true or not. There are lots of things written by people who had anti-Yoko agendas.

And anyway, what if she did pursue him? What is wrong with knowing what you want?

John’s Aunt Mimi said that Cynthia forcefully pursued John in a very off-putting way, and that John would frequently hide when she stopped by–so how is that any different?

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1 August 2017
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Maisiesmom said
Hi Ron Nasty (waves)

(snip)
I will add your book suggestions to my ever growing list of Beatles books on Goodreads (it has its own category).  I’m hoping that Maddinger’s book is available via InterLibrary Loan, as I can’t afford it (not saying that it isn’t worth the price, but too high for me).  

Oh, yay! You know about Interlibrary Loan! I am a librarian.

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Also, the notion that a woman can’t pursue a man is sexist. Most romantic comedies or dramas have as their plots the story of a man who relentlessly pursues a woman who is not interested at first.

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1 August 2017
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I guess that I have problems with someone pursuing a married man, especially someone who is a feminist, and yes, if John had been the one pursuing a married woman, I’d feel the same.  The fact that the marriage was on the rocks is sort of irrelevant to me.  And there is pursuing and there is Pursuing. I guess that we will have to disagree on some of this.

At any rate, we are straying rather far afield from the original question, as to whether she really loved him.  My assumption is yes, though perhaps not the entire length of their relationship.  But there’s no way of knowing.  

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Maisiesmom said
I guess that I have problems with someone pursuing a married man, especially someone who is a feminist, and yes, if John had been the one pursuing a married woman, I’d feel the same.  The fact that the marriage was on the rocks is sort of irrelevant to me.  And there is pursuing and there is Pursuing. I guess that we will have to disagree on some of this.

At any rate, we are straying rather far afield from the original question, as to whether she really loved him.  My assumption is yes, though perhaps not the entire length of their relationship.  But there’s no way of knowing.    

I can understand that, but if you don’t also have the same problem with John (for enjoying and encouraging the pursuit and reciprocating it while married), I would examine why. The responsibility for the situation doesn’t rest solely on the unmarried person.

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2 August 2017
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“I’m feminist so I can’t be sexiest”

Oh, and it might not look it from the outside but it might be a BDSM type pf relationship where they both get satisfaction from their roles.

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I really think they were in love. I mean, they did get married, and John helped Yoko the best he could to get Kyoto back. They also had Sean.

17 November 2017
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I think they were very much in love. I just get the impression that his love for her was stronger than hers for him. I think that she loved being in the Beatles inner circle, going to the album sessions etc. I think that,towards the end, she just loved being ‘associated’ with John. The love that had been there at the start had waned a bit, certainly on her side.  I could be wrong,but that’s just my opinion. 

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17 November 2017
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Ron Nasty said

Press Conference: Toronto, Canada 17 August 1966

Q: John, I don’t want to get you too tangled in politics, but I read that you weren’t very excited about the situation in Vietnam. I would be interested in knowing your opinion, or any of the Beatles opinion, about the question of the United States involvement in Vietnam and whether or not you see this as a possibility of a world confrontation with China, and whether you think it’s dangerous, and whether you think it’s important for people to become informed and concerned on this issue.
J: Yes.
(laughter)
J: I mean, we all just don’t agree with war for any reason whatsoever. There’s no reason on earth why anybody should kill anybody else.
 

Can I just say I’m thrilled that RN identified for me the exact source of that “There’s no reason on earth…” soundbite? In December of ’80 I cassette-recorded a lot of Lennon and Beatles memorial programming off the radio, and that snippet was juxtaposed with CBC news reports and people’s reactions to the murder, as part of a sound montage introducing the program. And I played those tapes so often over the weeks and months (lotsa then-new-to-me Beatles trax included) that the quote imprinted itself on my brain. I always wondered the exact source of the quote…assumed it was from 1969 or later.

Anyways, back on topic. Yoko loved John and John loved Yoko. (And love is complicated.)

GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions, Marvin Gaye. PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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