‘The Ballad of John And Yoko’ & Me On Their Fiftieth [VIDEO]
It's been 50 years since John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married in Gibraltar on March 20, 1969. During their honeymoon in Paris, John wrote ‘The Ballad of John And Yoko.’ It is a snapshot of the events surrounding his marriage to Yoko. John is quoted as saying: “We chose Gibraltar because it is quiet, British and friendly. We tried everywhere else first. I set out to get married on the car ferry and we would have arrived in France married, but they wouldn’t do it. We were no more successful with cruise ships. We tried embassies, but three weeks residence in Germany or two in France were required.”
“So we were in Paris and we were calling Peter Brown, and said, ‘We want to get married. Where can we go?’ And he called back and said, ‘Gibraltar’s the only place.’ So – ‘OK, let’s go!’ And we went there and it was beautiful.”
I was on a day pass from advanced infantry training at Fort Lewis waiting in a coffee shop at the Tacoma Bus Station for a bus to go to Seattle. I walked over to the jukebox and put in my dime to play the new Beatles’ single.
The Ballad of John And Yoko was banned by a number of radio stations because of what they saw as sacrilegious use of the words ‘Christ’ and ‘crucify’ in the song. Others bleeped out the word ‘Christ’ from the chorus:
Christ, you know it ain’t easy,
You know how hard it can be,
The way things are going,
They’re gonna crucify me.
The cool thing was the song on the jukebox was not the edited radio version so I heard John blurting out for everyone in the coffee shop to hear “Christ, you know it ain’t easy.” There I sat waiting for the bus listening to John’s wild trip with Yoko looking for a place to get married.