John Lennon And Yoko Ono: A Love Story For The Ages

Patricia Didelot

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were one of the greatest love stories of modern times and even after the famous musician's tragic murder, they remain one of the most iconic couples in history. But how they met, has conflicting versions.

The first one says that when John Lennon agreed to visit the Indica Gallery in Central London on November 9, 1966, to attend a private viewing of an exhibition called Unfinished Paintings and Objects, he wasn't only thinking about art.

Lennon was enticed by the gallery's co-owner who had told him that there would be an interesting event taking place during the affair featuring a Japanese woman from New York named, Yoko Ono.

Little did the legendary frontman know that he would be meeting his destiny.

The second version of how John Lennon and Yoko Ono met, was revealed by band member, Paul McCartney who said their first encounter happened in late 1965, when she was in London looking for original music scores for a book called Notations and McCartney refused to give her any of his writings and suggested that John might be interested in sharing his. He gave her his handwritten score to "The Word."

John Lennon

Whether it was 1965 or 1966, John Lennon was still married to his first wife, Cynthia, and had a son, Julian, who had been born in 1963 at the the height of "Beatlemania," but the marriage was on the rocks because of his constant womanizing and violence.

John Lennon confessed in an interview for Playboy to mistreating her:

"I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically -- any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I am always on about peace."

After meeting, Ono began calling Lennon on a regular basis and while Cynthia was away he invited her to visit, which resulted in them spending the night recording and then "made love at dawn," according to John's recollection.

Many have blamed The Beatles break-up on Yoko Ono and during the last two years as a member of the band, John Lennon was clearly more focused on her. They often staged anti-Vietnam protests and the British singer became known as an activist and revolutionary.

They married in Gibraltar -- the only place that would allow them to fulfill their wish of having the ceremony on a ferry -- on March 20, 1969, a week after McCartney married Linda Eastman and had a week-long "Bed-In-for-Peace" honeymoon at the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in their Bed-In-For-Peace

John changed his name to John Winston Ono Lennon on April 22, 1969 and the couple settled in Berkshire, Enlgand, but moved to New York in 1971 following The Beatles break-up to escape from the backlash they faced in the UK.

But it was not all wine and roses as they say. John Lennon left Yoko Ono for 18-months in 1973, when they were having marital problems and she suggested he should start a physical relationship with their assistant, May Pang, whom he liked a lot, according to Ono.

During that time, John Lennon was able to become close with his son Julian -- whom he had not seen for two years -- and also got in touch with former band members Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Lennon called this separation from Ono his "lost weekend."

John Lennon's relationship with May Pang ended when he agreed to a meeting with Yoko Ono in January of 1975 and he failed to return to her.

Sean Lennon was born on October 9, 1975 and John decided to become a full-time dad, spending all his time caring for his child and Yoko. He took a five-year break from the music industry.

John Lennon returned with the album Double Fantasy in 1980, which he released with Yoko Ono and was his last published work while alive.

On December 8, 1980, while John Lennon and Yoko Ono were returning to their apartment in New York, he was shot in the back four times by Mark David Chapman and pronounced dead upon arrival at 11:07 pm.

Later on a distraught Yoko Ono made the following statement:

"John loved and prayed for the human race. Please pray the same for him."

[Image via Jack Mitchell/Wikipedia]