There is no doubt that John Lennon was inspired by wife Yoko Ono throughout his career. But now, thanks to a handwritten letter that sold at auction for $28,000, it’s evident just how much he cared to help promote his wife’s musical career.
According to Rolling Stone, the former Beatle wrote a heartfelt letter in 1971 to New York-based television host Joe Franklin in an attempt to help promote Yoko Ono’s new record at the time, called Fly. The album, according to Lennon, was “far out,” and he hoped Franklin would give it a listen:
“Of course Yoko can explain her music better in person, this is a kind of introduction. For something rather more ‘straight,’ a track called ‘Mrs. Lennon’ on Fly is an example of her more conservative side. “She was trained as a classical musician, and took music composition in Sarah Lawrence College as her major. It’s far out, but don’t let it frighten you.”
And according to the New York Daily News, Franklin was not frightened by John’s letter or Yoko’s music.
“Yoko was on my show nine times,” Franklin said recently. “John Lennon was on three times. Yoko was only with him one of those times. Part of his whole thing was to convince her to be confident enough to do it on her own.”
Of course, many fans of the Beatles blame Yoko for breaking up their all-time favorite rock band. But John Lennon insisted for years that it was not the case. He also mentioned many times in interviews how his wife inspired his own creative process. This letter shows a passionate husband simply trying to return the favor.
In other Lennon news, National Geographic is reporting that scientists in Africa have named a new species of tarantula after John. And yes, the irony of the situation is inescapable that a spider and not a beetle would be named after the revered songwriter.
Bumba lennoni is the new species of tarantula that lives in the Amazonian state of Pará, Brazil, according to a study published October 20 in the journal ZooKeys. Study leader Fernando Pérez-Miles explains the story behind the naming.
“I have been waiting for a while to dedicate a species to Lennon because I am a fan of the Beatles,” he stated to National Geographic. “I decided not to wait anymore.”
Bumba lennoni was discovered in a trap at a scientific station in Caxiuana, a national forest in 2005.
[John Lennon/Yoko Ono photo courtesy of Billboard]