John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark Chapman outside the home he shared with Yoko Ono in Manhattan, New York, on December 8, 1980. As the 39th anniversary of his death approaches, an unearthed interview with Ono sees her opening up about losing her husband in such a sudden and devastating way.
Back in 2012, Ono spoke out about her approach to life, telling The Telegraph: “I want to tell you this story.
“When I was in elementary school in Japan they had a textbook with a picture of a Japanese warrior who asked to be given seven sufferings and eight disasters, because he wanted to take over everybody’s suffering and disasters,” she recalled.
“It’s a courageous thing to do, and I was only a little girl and I thought that sounds good and I wanted to be like him. Do good for the world in the sense of taking everyone’s pain away.
“I asked for the seven sufferings and my life became terribly difficult. All sorts of misery,” Lennon’s wife explained.
“And when it got to around 1979 I thought, ‘What did I do wrong?’ So I said I’m going to change it. Give me seven lots of luck and eight treasures.
“My disaster became my treasure. I reversed it,” she added.
When asked if she did this in 1980 when her husband, The Beatles legend Lennon, died, she addressed the impact of his death, calling it “the worst of everything.”
“No. My karma didn’t affect him,” she replied. “John’s death was the worst of everything.
Lennon was taken to the nearby Roosevelt Hospital, where medics tried and failed to save him and he was ultimately pronounced dead.
Chapman his still in prison after being sentenced to 20 years to life having pleaded guilty to second-degree murder at trial in 1981.
Imagine hitmaker Lennon first met artist Ono in 1966 and, looking back on their relationship, she said, though they weren’t aware of it at the time, that it “ruined” both their careers.
Ono bore the brunt of The Beatles fans’ anger after the band broke up, with many claiming she was the reason behind the split.
When asked if she believed she had to chose between art and love, she replied: “Definitely. I was a proud person thinking my work was any good anyway.”
She also opened up on Lennon’s now infamous “lost weekend”, the 18-month affair he had with their assistant May Pang, during which he moved to Los Angeles with her and out of his home with Ono.
“The affair was something that was not hurtful to me,” she told the publication. “I needed a rest. I needed space.
“Can you imagine every day getting this vibration from people of hate? You want to get out of that.
“Also, we were so close John didn’t even want me to go to the bathroom by myself,” she recalled. “‘I will come with you,’” he would say. And this would be in public places like the EMI recording studios.”