George & John, their final photo together, at The Troubadour in Hollywood, 1974.
John Lennon performing Come Together in New-York, 1972.
“You might remember this better than I do. Something about a flattop, that’s all I know.”
McLennon on The Mad Day Out, July 28, 1968, by Don McCullin, second stop of the day: the Mercury Theatre at 2 Ladbroke Road in Notting Hill, London
Yoko Ono – Ceiling Painting (Yes Painting), 1966
From her exhibit at the Indica Gallery in London. John Lennon first met her there on November 9.
“You’re on this ladder – you feel like a fool, you could fall any minute – and you look through it and it just says ‘YES,’ ” he told David Sheff in 1980. “Well, all the so-called avant-garde art at the time, and everything that was supposedly interesting, was all negative; this smash-the-piano-with-a-hammer, break-the-sculpture, boring, negative crap. It was all anti-, anti-, anti-. Anti-art, anti-establishment. And just that ‘YES’ made me stay.“ More here.
Yoko Ono, Approximately Infinite Universe, 1972. An amazing album that still sounds like it’s from the future.
We got to know her as John’s muse of course, plus whatever horrible thing she’s been labeled with over the years, but she was an influential artist long before he was.
She’s also one of the true foremothers of political feminism. As well as the pictures above, the 1997 Rykodisk CD reissue of Approximately Infinite Universe includes her 1971 essay, “The Feminization of Society.” Here’s an excerpt:
Most of us, as women, hope that we can achieve our freedom within the existing social set-up, thinking that, somewhere, there must be a happy medium for men and women to share freedom and responsibility. But if we took the time to observe the very function of our society. we would soon see that there is no happy medium to be achieved.
We are now at a stage where we are eager to compete with men on all levels. But women will inevitably arrive at the next stage, and realize the futility of trying to be like men. Women will realize themselves as they are, and not as beings comparative to or in response to men. As a result, the feminist revolution will take a more positive step in the society by offering a more feminine direction.
What we can do is take the current society, which contains both masculine and feminine characteristics, and bring out its feminine nature, rather than its masculine force which is now at work. We must make more positive usage of the feminine tendencies of the society which, up to now, have been either suppressed or dismissed as something harmful, impractical, irrelevant, and ultimately shameful.
The aim of the female revolution will have to be a total one, eventually making it a revolution for the whole world.
John Lennon: alternate takes from Andy Warhol Polaroids for the cover of Imagine, 1971.