The Ballad of John and Yoko is a fun catchy tune, which gave John Lennon, as a songwriter, an overdue No.1 hit. (Paul had recently dominated the limelight with four of the last Beatles hits, which were all inspired by him.) The song relates the details of his marriage to Yoko in Gibraltar and their subsequent ‘honeymoon’.
John brought it to Paul’s attention in April 1969. He had to persuade Paul to come down to Abbey Road to record it. But Yoko Ono remembers that it didn’t take much for Paul to help John out. She added that Paul was aware how horrible people were to him during that period and simply wanted it to work well for John.
With George out of the country and Ringo making the film ‘The Magic Christian’, the two of them recorded the single alone. John played the guitar and sang, while Paul sang the harmony and played piano, bass and drums!
The song forever links the John and Yoko story with that of The Beatles.
A Hard Day’s Night (1964) was more than just a soundtrack to The Beatles first ever film – it was one of those rare albums of the early sixties, that a group as bold as The Beatles, dared to release entirely with their own material. In fact, if we break it down further, we could almost call it a John Lennon album. John contributed to all but three of the thirteen songs on the album, including the title track Hard Day’s Night.
The title track is the obvious standout, beginning with a massive chiming chord, something that critics still talk about today as pioneering. But as a whole, the collection of thirteen songs and their arrangements, were one of the finest examples of the Beatles, wanting to express their range and versatility as artists. Much of it is very simple, yet so trailblazing. From the classic rock of You Can’t Do That and Can’t Buy Me Love to the adult pop ballads of If I Fell and And I Love Her, the record ticks all the right boxes.
The Tokyo painting, also known as Images of a Woman is one of those rare Beatles memorabilia pieces that not many people have heard about. It is an abstract collaboration painted and signed by John, Paul, George and Ringo. In 1966, the fab four were holed up in a Toyko Hilton hotel room, scheduled to play at Budokan Hall in the centre of Tokyo. It was decided that it was too dangerous for them to look around the city, due to the hysteria surrounding their visit and the many reported death threats made against them. Completely bored, someone, possibly Brian Epstein or their Japanesse promoter, Tats Nagashima, suggested that they quietly paint to pass the time with a canvas and paints.
Working by lamp light, positioned in the centre of the canvas, the Beatles each painstakingly painted a corner of the canvas over two nights. Upon its completion, the Beatles signed their work in the centre where the lamp once sat. The painting was originally donated to charity and even disappeared, tucked underneath a bed, for safe keeping for almost twenty years. It has been auctioned off several times over the years, and was last reportedly auctioned in 2012 for around $150,000. It may not be a Picasso, but it is a marvelous expression of individual styles.