John Lennon married his first wife, Cynthia Lennon, in 1962. The pair were childhood sweethearts who had a whirlwind marriage during the early years of The Beatles. But, for Lennon, everything changed in November 1966 when he first met Yoko Ono.
Lennon met Ono in a London art gallery and was instantly attracted to her when she handed him an exercise card that said: “breathe”.
Despite the fact Lennon already had a child, Julian Lennon, he couldn’t resist starting a relationship with Ono in the weeks that followed. Less than three years after meeting Ono, Lennon divorced Cynthia. And on March 20, 1969, Lennon and Ono were married.
After this, the Fab Four star confessed he “didn’t know” love until he had met her.
Lennon explained: “I can’t give you the formula for meeting the person that you’re going to love, but it’s around, you know. And it happens. I mean it happened to me at 29 and Yoko Ono at 32.”
Despite having written such iconic love-filled hits as All You Need Is Love, Girl, And I Love Her, etc, he said he had not truly experienced the emotion.
Lennon continued: “It’s a long wait, you know, I didn’t think it was. I thought it was an abstract thing, you know, when I was singing about all you need is love. I was talking about something I hadn’t experienced.”
Lennon did defend himself, however.
Ono, who was showing off her avant-garde art at the time, had a unique installation on display at the London gallery – an apple on a stand.
Lennon, who was new to the art world, found it fascinating. In an attempt to become one with the art, he picked up the apple and took a bite out of it.
Ono remembered: “I was so furious, I didn’t know what to say. And it all showed in my face: How dare this person mess around with my work? So he just said: ‘I’m sorry,’ and just put it on the stand again.”
Their relationship blossomed behind the scenes, while Lennon’s relationship with Cynthia, his wife, crumbled.
Cynthia wrote in her book, John, about when she knew something was wrong.
She said: “John was becoming increasingly cold and aloof toward me. He would get up early and leave our room.”
Cynthia later learned that he got up early every morning to check the post office for a letter from Ono.
She continued: “He spoke to me very little, and after a week or two, he announced that he wanted to move into a separate room to give himself more space.”