Published On: Wed, Nov 27th, 2019

John Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono’s CLASH with Elton John after The Beatles star’s death | Music | Entertainment

John Lennon died on December 8, 1980, after he was fatally shot outside his New York City home by Mark Chapman. In his recent autobiography, Me: Elton John, Rocket Man hitmaker Elton John spoke out about a special request he had received from Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono following his death.

“She said she needed to see me, it was urgent, I had to come to New York right away. So I got on a plane,” John wrote.

“She told me she’d found a load of tapes with unfinished songs John had been working on just before he died. She asked me if I would complete them, so they could be released.”

However, the musician, who had been good friends with Lennon before he died, said he “absolutely didn’t want” to complete the songs The Beatles star had been working on prior to his death, feeling it was “too soon”.

“Actually, I didn’t think the time woud ever be right,” he added. “Trying to work out how to finish songs John Lennon had started writing — I wouldn’t be so presumptuous.”


“And the idea off putting my voice on the same record as his — I thought its was horrible,” John said. “Yoko was insistent, but so was I.”

John said he felt “terrible” after his “uncomfortable meeting” with Ono, adding: “Yoko thought she was honouring John’s legacy, trying to fulfil his wishes, and I was refusing to help.

“I knew I was right, but that didn’t make it any less depressing,” he said of their clash of opinions.

“In the end, she put the songs out as they were, on an album called Milk and Honey.”

“He asked me to play on Whatever Gets You Through The Night and I went into the session in New York,” he said.

“I made a bet like, ‘John, if this makes it to number one, would you come on stage with me?’ And he said, ‘Sure.’”

Laughing, John added: “Silly him, because it did get to number one and at Madison Square Gardens in 1975, on Thanksgiving, he came onto the stage with the biggest round of applause I’ve ever heard for anyone throughout my entire life.”

The Your Song singer went on to recall the “moving” reaction from the crowd when Lennon arrived on stage, making his first live performance since his appearance at the Toronto Peace Concert six years earlier.

“He was literally, physically sick before he came onto stage,” John said. “I’ll never forget that night, I think all of us in the band cried, we had tears streaming down our cheeks because [of] the love those New Yorkers had for him…

“He didn’t realise. He was embroiled in an FBI investigation. He had no idea there was so much love.

“When he came onto that stage and got that reception I think it really shook him and it gave him confidence, and quite rightly so,” he added.

An Evening with Elton John is available to view on Facebook Watch via Elton John’s official Facebook page.

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