The late Beatles icon John Lennon‘s official Instagram account recently posted the video of his and Yoko Ono’s journey to marriage, and in the caption, they included some of Lennon’s words about their wedding and about how its location reminded the couple of the foundation of their relationship.
Yoko Ono and John Lennon met in 1966 when Lennon attended an art show in London where Ono was exhibiting her conceptual, interactive art pieces. Even though they were both married at the time, in three years they would find themselves about to get married to each other.
The couple had decided to get married in March 1969, right after the wedding of Paul McCartney to Linda Eastman. First, they thought about getting married on a cross-channel ferry but they were told that ‘the captain is not allowed to do it anymore.’ Thus, Ono and Lennon decided to fly out to Paris hoping to get married there.
However, this ended in disappointment too as France required a certain time of residency to get married. Then John Lennon was advised by Peter Brown to go to Gibraltar which is a British colony so that they can both manage to get married and have the spontaneous and romantic wedding they wanted.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono ended up getting married on the Rock of Gibraltar, or ‘Pillar of Hercules’ which in the past was also called the ‘End of the World‘ because people didn’t know much about the outside world and that was a type of gateway to the world. Lennon said that they really liked this location for its symbolic sense and ‘the rock foundation of our relationship.’
Here’s what was written in the caption of the post:
“JOHN & YOKO GET MARRIED, 20 March 1969.
We wanted to get married on a cross-channel ferry. That was the romantic part. We went to Southampton and couldn’t get on because she wasn’t English, and she couldn’t get the Day Visa to go across. They said, ‘You can’t get married. The Captain‘s not allowed to do it anymore.’
‘THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO’
Standing in the dock at Southampton, trying to get to Holland or France. The man in the Mac said, ‘You’ve got to go back,’ you know, they didn’t even give us a chance. // Finally made the plane into Paris, honeymooning down by the Seine. Peter Brown called to say, you can make it okay, you can get married in Gibraltar near Spain.”
John Lennon went on to say:
“We went there and it was beautiful. It’s the ‘Pillar of Hercules’ and also they called it the ‘End of the World.’ They thought the world outside was a mystery, so it was like the Gateway to the World. We liked it in the symbolic sense and the rock foundation of our relationship.
We decided that if we were going to do anything like getting married that we would dedicate it to peace. And during that period, because we are what we are, it evolved that somehow we ended up being responsible to produce peace.
We thought, ‘Why don’t they have something nice in the newspapers?’ It didn’t matter what the reporters said because our commercial went out irrespective. After answering all these questions many, many times, it got down to: All we were saying was ‘Give Peace A Chance.'”
Click here to check out the video and you can listen to ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ below.