Well, she’s not admitting to being an intentional saboteur, but Yoko did confess that her relationship with John came at a cost to their potential. Via Contact:

In a way, both John and I ruined our careers by getting together, though we weren’t aware of it at the time. My initial reaction to rock music was, “Oh dear, how simple can you get?” At first I thought John would carry on with The Beatles and I would do my own things, but he felt it wasn’t right that we were working separately, that the union we had might not last, because of the pressure of the world.

So she’s implicitly saying that John’s career would have been different (and better) had they never married. Fair to say that she’s suggesting The Beatles may never have broken up if it wasn’t for her “how simple can you get?” disposition? That question doesn’t even matter, though; based on her quote, an army of anti-Onos all over the world just shouted “Told ya so.”


[Pic from Yoko's set at Øya Festivalen '06.]

Comments (61)
  1. But…Lennon’s music became more simplistic once he went solo. Hell, if anything, his rock stuff could have used more of Yoko’s sonic influence.

  2. WALKING ON THIN ICE

    listen to lennon’s guitar playing. WOW.

  3. Jackhammer  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    I hate Yoko

  4. I’m with Scott. Let’s not forget that Yoko was one of the most interesting conceptual artists of her era. Small wonder John found her to be so exciting… he’d already been a Beatle for almost a decade, and they were starting to hate each other with or without Yoko. Hell, who wouldn’t start to hate Paul??

  5. nick  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    I hate Paul.

  6. richard  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    This is complete bullshit. You people act like John & Yoko both personally have an expressed responsibility to entertain you, like they owe you something! In the scheme of their lives, of course the union they had was more important than and crappy rock band.

    It’s so cliche to blame Yoko for breaking up the Beatles. In fact, I think that more people hate Yoko than Mark D. Chapman!

  7. Spencer  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    Yoko’s the best. Fuck the Beatles. They made their albums. They were done.

  8. Brian  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    Paul-haters are funny.

    I guess ‘Helter Skelter’ really isn’t cool enough.

  9. Alex  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    Without Yoko and family I wonder if Lennon would’ve come up with “Watching the Wheels.” Forget the later day Beatles, that song would’ve been a real loss for me.

  10. KingHarvest  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    The Beatles were out of gas anyway, as far as I’m concerned. Their last couple of albums were good, but I doubt they could have maintained that level for much longer.

    Yoko takes far too much shit.

  11. Jaime  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    I don’t hate Paul THEN. I hate Paul NOW.

    I think Yoko is pretty cool. Considering that John was sucessful without the Beatles, I’d hardly say she ruined his musical career. I agree with Scott, and personally, with his tragically short life, I’d rather see Lennon making good music happily than making legendary music miserably.

  12. mickey  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    i guess stereogum readers will always go against the grain. yay, team yoko

    * shrugs

    just ask cynthia and julian lennon how benevolent yoko is…

    i suppose courtney love wasn’t an enabler for kurts self destruction either

  13. Ron  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    Um, no shit?

  14. kevin  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    Despite what everyone is saying to support Yoko and all, she did help to break up the Beatles. The reason why people get mad at her influence in the Beatles’ breakup is because she was an outside force that lent to the breakup of a close knit group. Paul and John’s relationship breaking up the Beatles is one thing, but she was not in the band.

    Also, anyone who reads an interview with Paul knows that he is, well, a dick. Yeah, he wrote some of their great songs. Blackbird. Get Back. Helter Skelter. Hey Jude. Yesterday. Still a dick.

  15. god  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    paul fucked up the beatles.

    john fucked up yoko’s career, decades later and still some of the most important conceptual art of the twentieth century is being dismissed just because the artist was fucking a pop singer.

  16. Greg  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    I’m happy the Beatles broke up because it gave us Lennon’s amazing solo career. If Yoko is responsible for that, more power to her. Let me add that Yoko bashing looks really childish once people start taking it seriously.

  17. cyndi  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    Yoko helped John to express himself more creatively, and let’s face it, she made him happy. Do you think you would care as much if he we’re still alive?

  18. Michael  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    well I don’t know much at all about Yoko Ono’s work away from John Lennon, so I guess I really shouldn’t comment on that.

    the Beatles made more albums, and more good albums, than most rock bands ever did and ever will, and they were bound to break up sooner or later. I remember hearing a Lennon interview where he said something to the effect that the Beatles could have stayed together, and they might have made some more good albums, but they probably would have made several bad ones too, and it would have gotten stale.

    so we got Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, McCartney, All Things Must Pass, and several other classic solo Beatle albums instead. Also remember, that George Harrison probably would have quit too if Lennon/McCartney didn’t beat him to it. He was sick of writing so many tunes and only being granted two songs per album.
    they had run their course and walked away with their legend intact. let it be.

  19. jif  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    She broke up the Beatles. In retrospect, though, that’s a good thing – they went out on top, after (almost) a decade of perfect albums.

    They could have dragged on like the Stones – now *that* would have sucked.

  20. Scotta  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    Ugh, can you imagine what kind of albums they would be making if they stuck around like the stones? I sure as fuck cannot, something along the lines of extremely boring “rock n’ roll” or bland droning ballads. It’s probably good they went out when they did, Abbey Road was a good way to end (Yeah, Let it Be came out after but it was recorded before so it doesn’t count). Glad they didn’t stick around to be honest.

    Plus John had some cool solo stuff.

  21. yeppy  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    “Bow down to the queen of noise”

    Thurston moore Ono Soul

    In other words F**k the haters

  22. FrankieLee  |   Posted on Mar 1st, 2007 0

    I don’t know who’s dumber, the anti-Oasis fans or these idiots backing Yoko. “Let’s not forget that Yoko was one of the most interesting conceptual artists of her era.” Really people, you wouldn’t even know who the fuck she was if it weren’t for John Lennon. She destroyed the greatest band in rock history and everyone knows it.

  23. “Rock music- How simple can you get?” The woman pushed a piano off a building. She wrote a one-word poem, entitled “Water.” Guess what the word was? “Water.” How could she downplay ‘simplicity’ in the Beatles’ music, when her own art was simplicity exemplified?

    I don’t really think she’s that great of an artist.

  24. bryan  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    so what? john lennon solo is just as good as the beatles.

  25. babezero  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    Sure, why not blame the wife. Never mind that John was a complete asshole & junkie who treated women like crap, Paul was letting HIS wife’s family run the Beatles finances and George was artistically stiffled by the bigger egos in the band. I’m sure sexism & racism plays no part in history’s view of Yoko either…

    …and I say this as a HUGE Beatles fan.

  26. dannygutters  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    What Michael said. There were other stresses in the band at the time they broke up other than yoko.

    For what it’s worth, I think the beatles added more to the pop world than yoko gives them credit for. They were one of the few bands who were both the best and most popular when they were doing it. And practically invented the concept of popular music as ART. (thank you dylan, but that’s another kettle of fish)

    Also, fuck paul and john, george is where it’s at.

  27. Jordan  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    Of course it’s her fault and of course it was a tragic, malevolent act.

    Just read the Bob Spitz book from two years ago. She did it on purpose. She was arrogant, self-absorbed, manipulative, greedy (for fame and worldly goods) and dishonest.

    Sure, Lennon was such an emotional wreck that he refused to enter the studio or do anything else without her sitting next to him…but that’s not the kind of thing that happens in a vacuum. She deliberately took that role. No self-respecting person would silently sit next to their spouse at the spouse’s job, even if that was what the spouse wanted, because they would realize that they were getting into a weird area of pathology or whatever and would have a conversation about it. “Listen, dear, I’m worried about you. Why can’t you do anything without me sitting next to you?” But that wasn’t Yoko’s style. She loved the weak, confused John who wouldn’t do anything (even musically!) without checking with her.

    Her role was thoroughly exploitative and everyone could see it but Lennon. If I were Harrison, Starr or McCartney I would take Lennon aside and say, “Listen, get her out of the fucking room while we record or wr’e going to either beat you up or sue you. Get help, you nutter!”

    And I would have an easier time respecting her “art” if she stayed away from vinyl. Anyone praising Yoko’s art doesn’t know anything about art (or, specifically, the post-abstract-expressionism art world of the late ‘sixties). Even in the world of “conceptual art” she was nothing.

    Yoko was the Kevin Federline of the sixties.

  28. Jack  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    I hate Ringo.

  29. mike  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    Odd quote from Yoko, but there may be some truth in it.

    I think we might have lost Lennon much earlier if he hadn’t met her. For all of her faults, and despite what their marriage was really like – the good and the bad – I think she kept him alive.
    Even if he had never off’ed himself by ODing, he quite possibly could have ended up a junkie.

    So, if nothing else, we can thank her for that.

  30. Jon  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    Anyone who says “Fuck the Beatles” or “Fuck Paul” should never be allowed to listen to music ever again, idiots. Also it wasn’t Yoko, the beatles were done as a band anyway…

  31. FrankieLee  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    “Yoko was the Kevin Federline of the 60′s.” Couldn’t have said it any better myself, Jordan.

  32. I’ve read, seen, heard so much about the effing Beatles, that I’ve been around the block with my opinions. I say that if it wasn’t for Brian’s overdose, Paul might not have been so “I’m in charge” with everyone and there wouldn’t have been such a power struggle between him and John. Also, they wouldn’t have come crashing down financially like they did. The formula turned bad, so the Beatles had to break up. Yoko was just John’s inspiration and he needed to explore elsewhere. Face it, Cynthia was a square and John didn’t dig it. If you’re blaming, blame circumstance or if it must be a person, let it be John cause he broke the “no girlfriend/wives in the recording studio” policy. Am I right or am I right? OH and I LIKE YOKO! :P

  33. I find Onobox much more interesting than the Lennon boxset. That said the best Lennon tunes are far better than the best Ono tunes.
    What I do not like is Yoko howling over John’s songs in live performances. As for the Beatles I think Paul was the best guitar player and drummer.

  34. will  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on The Beatles.

  35. Toto  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    Fuck, people its soo far in the past. Just let it go. Geezuz.

  36. raoul duke  |   Posted on Mar 2nd, 2007 0

    I still blame those damn Jew-minded liberal pinko commies for breaking up the Beatles.

  37. themn  |   Posted on Mar 6th, 2007 0

    I don’t care if she was at fault for the demise of The Beatles.

    I just want her to stop making music.

  38. Samskara  |   Posted on Mar 6th, 2007 0

    After having watched the documentary “The U.S. vs. John Lennon” this past weekend, I finally got a feel for how creepily co-dependent the Lennon’s relationship was. Manipulative? Greedy? Self-serving? Yes, Ono was that and more. I’ve no doubt in my mind that she and John Lennon would have divorced in the early 80′s had it not been for his untimely demise. He was finally starting to come into his own and figure out that he didn’t need Mama Ono’s stamp of approval on his every word and deed. That said, the blame falls solely on John Lennon for permitting Ono to take the helm. He was weak, he was insecure; he needed an emotional woobie, and Ono fit the bill perfectly. He was also a grown adult who was responsible for his own choices. It was ultimately his job to tell her to get out of the studio, not one of the other Beatles.

  39. meg  |   Posted on Mar 8th, 2007 0

    john was in love, give the guy a break. it wasn’t yoko’s fault that everyone hated her. it had to give at some point and everyone including the beatles used her as a chance to go crazy. they made great music and still are, the reason they broke doesn’t really matter.

  40. Paul  |   Posted on Mar 9th, 2007 0

    There were many many reasons why The Beatles split, laying it all at Yoko’s feet is way too simplistic.
    Her relationship with John (or rather, HOW they went about that relationship) was only one of many other factors going on.

  41. C Gaja  |   Posted on Jun 7th, 2007 0

    Yoko Ono was a con artist who was married to a con artist when she met John Lennon. She wasn’t a conceptual artist she’d been run out of New York because she kept conning people into financing her shows and then not producing anything. All that bag crap and acorns, people laughed at it and her and John, no on took it serious or takes her serious. Her only talent is marrying John, who wsa a heroin addict at the time and whached out of his mind. She broke up the beatles and used John for his money and fame, and now she’s got it all. But she’s still a no talent wanna be.

    Real shame, John even if he didnt stay with the Beatles still had something to offer, but she sabatoged his career every step of the way.

  42. phlip templey  |   Posted on Jun 8th, 2007 0

    Hi I’ve just read this blog on this site. The Beatles as a band were the best thing to happen to music EVER! I mean just listen to the charts what a great big stinking pile of shit! John is dead face it. He lived his life the way he wanted to. We could all be here till the cows come home talking about who broke up the beatles but for whatever reason thats is we as mere mortals will never know. Paul isnt gonna say on his death bed oh it was me I killed the beatles! We must remember the music and how it touched our lives in so many ways. We must stop Yoko “singing” cause she just cant! john was a legend and will live on in our hearts and minds forever in 50years will anyone go oh Britney Spears what a great musician!

  43. nails  |   Posted on Jun 9th, 2007 0

    Yoko’s a bitch. i think Julian Lennon summed things up pretty well: “the only thing Yoko will never have is the Lennon blood and talent. She has everything else.”
    Yoko is a terrible musician, she can’t sing, can’t write songs and can’t do much else. I honestly hope she isn’t around for much longer.

  44. axxxxxxxxxxx  |   Posted on Jun 23rd, 2007 0

    Yoko is a bitch She is a Fucking terrible Singer

  45. mike  |   Posted on Jul 24th, 2007 0

    Yoko as an artist is comparable to a monkey throwing crap at a wall and calling it conceptual art.It is only natural for Beatles fans to lament the breakup of the band,it was coming with or w/o Ono.I remember the comments of people at the time of the breakup,mainly it was an expression of wonder at how Lennon could fall for a homely goofy Japanese woman when he could have had a beautiful woman.Regardless of the public he evidently loved her and he seemed happy.True love is blind and sometimes dumb but it feels right.

  46. axxxxxxxxxxxx  |   Posted on Jul 30th, 2007 0

    u guys are fags lol

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