March 20: John Lennon And Yoko Ono Get hitched

On March 20, 1969, John Lennon and long-time partner Yoko Ono tied the knot. John […]

On March 20, 1969, John Lennon and long-time partner Yoko Ono tied the knot. John and Yoko had been together since 1966. They met when Yoko was planning to open an art exhibit below a bookstore supported by Paul McCartney.

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The two met while John was still married to his previous wife, Cynthia, whom he had married in 1962. Cynthia and John had a child together, Julian Lennon, who went on to release music of his own later in life.

Cynthia filed for divorce from John in 1968 after finding out he was being unfaithful. By that time though, John and Yoko were already a couple and planned on getting married as soon as the divorce was final.

The couple planned on getting married on the way to Paris but hit an unexpected snag in the plan. When they tried to get on the boat to Paris, Yoko couldn’t board because she wasn’t English. The couple also had some trouble getting the one-day visa to get on the boat as well.

That wasn’t the only issue with the plan though. They originally wanted the captain to perform the ceremony as they traveled. However, the crew told them that the captain was no longer allowed to do that… bummer all around for the duo.

After the original plan crumbled they learned about Gibraltar, a British colony near Spain. Because it was a British colony and John was English, they were able to get married without an issue. Their marriage became official after a 10-minute ceremony performed by Cecil Wheeler.

They celebrated their honeymoon in Amsterdam, where they campaigned for an international “bed-in” for peace before heading to Montreal. Where they recorded “Give Peace A Chance”

John was so inspired by the way everything went down that he later wrote a song called “The Ballad Of John And Yoko”, which chronicles the events surrounding John and Yoko’s wedding. The song, performed by The Beatles, was released as a non-album single. You can check it out below…

Other Notable Rock Events From March 20

1965 – Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Richie Furay, and Jim Mesina were arrested in Los Angeles for reported marijuana use. Clapton was later found innocent and the others went on to pay small fines for the indiscretion. 

1970 – David Bowie married Angela Bowie in London. They later divorced in 1980.

1971 – Janis Joplin’s hit “Me And Bobby McGee” started a 2-week run at number 1 on the US singles chart. She passed away the year before from a drug overdose at the age of 27.

1971 – The Rolling Stones paid for a full-page ad in all UK music magazines disclaiming any connection with Decca’s Stone Age album. Saying “In our opinion, the content is below the standard we try to keep.” 

1977 – Lou Reed was banned from appearing at The London Palladium because of his punk image.

1980 – Joseph Riviera held up the Asylum Records office in New York. He demanded to speak with either Jackson Browne or The Eagles. He wanted to ask them about financing a trucking company and turned himself in when he found out neither act was in the studio.

1982 – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” started a 7-week run at number one on the US singles chart

1991 – Eric Clapton’s son, Conor, tragically fell from the 53rd story of a New York apartment after a cleaner left a window open. Conor was 4 years old and in his mother’s custody at the time. The tragedy inspired Clapton’s song “Tears In Heaven”

Rock Birthdays

1976 – Chester Bennington of Linkin Park (vocals). He would have been 48 years old.

1972 – Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand (Vocals)

1967 – David Shuttleworth of Terrorvision (drums)

On This Day In History – March 20

March 20th, was a wild day for rock history. With so many things happening in artists’ personal lives, it’s no wonder Rock and Roll has evolved so much over the years!