“Finally made the plane into Paris
Honeymooning down by the Seine
Peter Brown called to say
You can make it OK
You can get married in Gibraltar near Spain...”
Those are a few of the lyrics to “The Ballad of John & Yoko,” the classic Beatles song written by John Lennon on his honeymoon, which recounts the events leading up to his marriage to performance artist Yoko Ono on this day in 1969.
According to Lennon in his 1980 Anthology, he and Yoko tried to marry in Paris a few days prior but were denied. So, at the advice of friend and Apple employee Peter Brown, Lennon decided to charter a plane to Gibraltar, then a British colony which made the process easier, instead.
The couple married at the famous Rock of Gibraltar in a ceremony that lasted only ten minutes, but their influence on music and culture together has lasted, and will continue to last, for decades.
It was right after their marriage that the couple flew to Amsterdam and staged the first ever “Bed-In;” a demonstration to protest war and violence. The song they sang in bed together, “Give Peace A Chance,” started an anti-war revolution and is still used today to promote peace.
Following the untimely death of John Lennon in 1980, Yoko Ono continued to spread the message that the couple held so dear, most recently, establishing the Lennon Ono Grant for Peace which awards $50,000 to artists and activists who are attempting to make the world a better place.
Last month, Yoko celebrated 80th birthday with a sold-out Plastic Ono Band concert, with son Sean Lennon on guitar, piano, and bass, in Berlin, Germany.
The wedding of John Lennon and Yoko Ono may be 44 years in the past, but their influence on the world as a couple will be forever felt.
For more on the lives on Yoko and John, and to see Yoko Ono's most recent projects, head to ImaginePeace.com.