09 Nov 1966: When John Met Yoko
Today marks a significant day in the career and the life of John Lennon, as the anniversary of the day he first met Yoko Ono
In 1966, Lennon decided to visit the Indica Gallery in London, where Ono was preparing a conceptual art exhibit. Lennon was reportedly unimpressed initially with the exhibits but soon found some pieces to his liking, including a ladder with a spyglass at the top. When looking through the spyglass, Lennon saw the word “YES” which he liked due to its positivity – most concept art he had encountered had been “anti” everything.
Lennon also became intrigued with a piece by Ono called Hammer a Nail where viewers would each hammer a nail into a board, thus creating the art piece. Lennon asked to hammer a nail but his request was initially refused by Ono as the exhibition had yet to open. Gallery owner John Dunbar, who introduced the two, was shocked by this and had to explain who Lennon and the Beatles were, after which Ono relented, on the condition he pay five shillings, to which Lennon replied, “I’ll give you an imaginary five shillings and hammer an imaginary nail in.”
The couples first encounter set a precedent for the rest of their relationship, which was tumultuous, creative and long. The pair worked together for the rest of Lennon’s life on music, art, poetry, writing and numerous other concepts, including the War Is Over! campaign.