Yoko Ono Was ‘Aggressive’ Enough To ‘Save [John Lennon]’ From His Previous Marriage

John Lennon is an award-winning artist, creating songs with the Beatles, as a solo artist, and with his partner Yoko Ono. When Lennon first met Ono, however, both performers were already in committed relationships. Here’s what Lennon said about how Ono “save[d]” him from his first marriage. 

Who was John Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia Powell?

Musician John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono at a press conference from their bed in 1969
Musician John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono at a press conference from their bed in 1969 | Bettmann via Getty Images

Lennon is one of the artists behind “Come Together,” “Don’t Let Me Down,” “In My Life,” and “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away.” Aside from his role with the Beatles, Lennon was the husband of Cynthia Powell. 

The couple got married on Aug. 23, 1962. However, Lennon’s “boredom” in marriage was changed after meeting the artist and activist Ono.

John Lennon wrote that Yoko Ono was his ‘equal in every way imaginable’

Thanks to Skywriting by Word of Mouth, fans could read essays by the Beatles member. In one excerpt, Lennon described his perfect woman. That would be someone intelligent and dark-haired, among other things. (The songwriter acknowledged his first wife had naturally auburn hair that eventually became blonde with bangs.)

Lennon wrote that his “dream became a reality” after meeting Yoko Ono at a London art gallery. He added that she was the only woman who “was my equal in every way imaginable. My better, actually. Although I’d had numerous interesting ‘affairs’ in my previous incarnation, I’d never met anyone worth breaking up a happily-married state of boredom for.”

“Since I was extraordinarily shy (especially around beautiful women), my daydreams necessitated that she be aggressive enough to ‘save me,’ i.e., ‘take me away from all this,’” Lennon wrote. The artist’s divorce from his first wife became official in November 1968.

“Yoko, although shy herself, picked up my spirits enough to give me the courage to get the hell out,” he continued, “just in time for me to avoid having to live with my ex-wife’s new nose. She also had had side-interests, much to the surprise of my pre-liberated male ego.”

In March 1969, Lennon and Ono married. The two spent their honeymoon doing their infamous “bed-in for peace.” As a nonviolent protest, this couple invited journalists and photographers to speak to them about the Vietnam War in their Amsterdam Hilton Hotel room.

Of course, Lennon and Ono released original songs together, including the holiday fan-favorite, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” “Give Peace a Chance” currently holds over 14 million Spotify plays.

Was Yoko Ono married before dating John Lennon?

Lennon was not Ono’s first husband — this activist married and divorced avant-garde composer and pianist Toshi Ichiyanagi. Ono then married film producer Anthony Cox, although their relationship ended in 1969, just months before Ono’s wedding to Lennon.

Skywriting by Word of Mouth by Lennon is available for purchase physically and digitally at most book retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the official John Lennon website.

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