Executive Honorary Members

Sir Paul McCartney
Ringo Starr

Executive Patrons

Sir George Martin
Julian Lennon

Patron

Astrid Kirchherr

Honorary Members

Cynthia Lennon
Pete Best
Yoko Ono
Gay Byrne
Geoff Rhind
Gerry Marsden
Allan Williams
Richard Lester
Harry Prytherch
(The Original Quarrymen):-
Rod Davis
Colin Hanton
Eric Griffiths
Len Garry
Pete Shotton

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John Lennon

 

 

 

John Lennon

 

1940 - 1980

 

 

John Lennon Remembered

 

 

 

 

The little girl who will inherit half of John Lennon's fortune

 

Bundled up against the freezing New York winter, a pretty little girl with mischievous eyes and pink butterfly hairslides sits happily on her grandmother’s knee, her mother by her side.

 

But this is no ordinary family snap. It records the first time that Yoko Ono, John Lennon’s widow, met her granddaughter Emi, three. Until this moment her mother, Yoko’s daughter Kyoko Cox, 37, had kept the child away from Yoko because of an extraordinary 30-year feud. Yoko is so delighted by the reconciliation that she has told friends and lawyers that half her vast fortune, estimated at more than £400 million, will be settled on Emi in a trust fund, and that eventually she will share the Lennon legacy with her mother’s half-brother Sean — John and Yoko’s son.

 

Yet three years ago Yoko, 67, did not even know that Kyoko was alive, let alone that she had made her a grandmother. For years, Kyoko had lived in hiding after being abducted at the age of eight by her father, the eccentric American film-maker Tony Lox, Yoko’s second husband. He was deeply resentful when she left him for Lennon and vowed that The Beatle, whom he accused of being a depraved drug addict, would never get custody of their child.

 

A Christian fundamentalist, Loxinitiated Kyoko into bizarre Doomsday cult The Walk and, for three decades, moving from continent to continent, she would evade the FBI agents and private investigators who Yoko set on their trail. In November 1997, three weeks after Emi’s birth, Kyoko finally re-established contact with the woman she was brought up to believe was, like Lennon, the personification of evil.

 

Kyoko, a charity worker, said: "I didn’t feel it right for me to become a mother without at least letting my mother know that I’m alive and well". Haltingly, the women struck up an acquaintance. At first, it was in phone calls which Kyoko initiated from Denver, Colorado, where, after marrying a devout Christian, she is attempting to settle down. In 1998, she agreed to meet Yoko and Sean, now 25.

But it wasn’t until a cold, blustery day last week that a Mail on Sunday photographer was able to witness this emotional reunion. Kyoko was five when John and Yoko became lovers and left her in the care of Lox. Later they tried to kidnap the child while she was in Majorca with her father. After this, Loxdisappeared with Kyoko.

 

Cox’s long-term friend and cult member David Clark said: "Kyoko's childhood was clouded by the battle between three control freaks —Yoko, John and her natural father. Her father told her he was rescuing her because her mother was involved in drugs and the occult. Her mother stood for corruption". Yoko did not file for custody of her daughter until she was eight. She had not particularly wanted the baby when she discovered that she was pregnant by Cox. According to Peter Brown, The Beatles biographer, she feared children would ruin her career as an avant-garde artist, but she had had so many abortions that the doctors advised against another.

 

Yoko would claim it was Lennon who initially decreed that the toddler should move in with Cox. But friends of Lennon contend that he had strong paternal instincts. In 1969, soon after marrying, the couple made their opening, tasteless salvo in a campaign for Kyoko’s heart. Their song Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow) featured Yoko yodeling the words with Lennon on guitar. The fight moved to America, where the couple formally sought custody in 1971. Coxretaliated by testifying that Yoko and John were drug users.

 

A judge ruled the child should live with John and Yoko. But by then Coxhad snatched Kyoko. Coxeventually became disillusioned with the cult and, in 1977, told Kyoko they were going on the run again, warning the 14-year-old that her ties to Lennon would make the group determined to wreak revenge on her.

 

For the three years before his murder, Lennon was obsessed with finding Kyoko. He employed private detectives but to no avail. Each year, on Kyoko’s birthday, Yoko would place adverts in newspapers, appealing for her to get in touch. Finally she responded, to her father’s ‘horror’. A friend says: ‘She genuinely feels sad for her mother, because she lost her only daughter and then went on to lose Lennon.

It is as much for Yoko’s sake that Kyoko is trying to reach out and get to know her.’

Yoko, in her excitement over the reunion, has lavished presents on Emi. But as she clutches the little girl in her lap she knows, for her, the greatest gift is to have a granddaughter.

By Sharon Churche

 

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I should have been with John - instead I wrote his obituary

 

When I received the phone call from Yoko Ono urging me to fly immediately to New York on the afternoon of December 8, 1980, John Lennon had just twelve hours to live.

 

Yoko and I had talked about my going over to do a newspaper interview with John several times, but never organised it, Now they were wondering why I hadn’t yet gone. I told her I would fly out the following morning, and after booking my flight, I called Lennon’s home and told his assistant there that I would be in New York around lunchtime.

 

I went to bed, excited. It was midnight. I had to be up early. Then at 4:3Oam a friend rang with the bad news. John had never arrived home from the recording studio. He’d been shot dead outside his home on West 72nd St , New York, by a fan. I cancelled my flight. Instead of spending the day with him. I spent it in England writing his obituary.

 

As a journalist I had always got in well with John Lennon. We had both been brought up on Merseyside, and my journalistic training had been at the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo. At one time he had fancied himself as a journalist. The fact that I was just a few months younger than him and had fallen in love, at the age of 15, with all the same records no doubt helped a bit, too.

 

"If you'd been in my class at school I'd have had you in the Quarrymen", he said once as we were driving through up-state New York singing old Fats Domino songs. "My mother wouldn't have let me", I replied. I'd have forced you to join to rebel against your mother", he insisted.

 

I first met him in 1967, when I was given a job in London, and told to follow The Beatles on the Magical Mystery Tour in South West England. I was scared of his sharp tongue at first, but I soon realised John was funny more often than he was scathing. Then in 1969 I was speaking to him on the phone one evening about his songs, when he suddenly invited me to Canada. When I arrived, he told me his big secret. "I’ve left the Beatles," he said, "but don’t tell anyone yet."

 

I didn’t, but perhaps he secretly wanted me to. Because several months later when Paul announced that he had no plans to record with The Beatles, and was then condemned (unfairly) for having broken them up, John berated me for not having told the world when he’d let me in on the secret.

 

"But you asked me not to," I protested. "You’re the bloody journalist, not me," he roared. We remained friends, however, through his "Pardon James Hanratty" campaign, his Michael xperiod, his Bed-Ins, War Is Over and Primal Scream therapy. At one point he even offered me a job as his assistant, but I turned it down. I didn’t want to be anyone’s assistant, not even John’s.

 

I never saw John after he went to live in New York in 1971. We kept vaguely in touch while he was in America. He sent me letters and cards now and again, and Yoko would call. But in the five years after Sean’s birth to just before the time of John’s death in 1980 there was no contact as he became a "househusband".

 

Then, after the phone calls with Yoko in the autumn of 1980, we were just about to resume our relationship when Mark Chapman stepped in. Chapman got his moment of glory. And John died. What a terrible waste. He was a complete one-off. And he always made me laugh.

By Ray Connoll

 

John Lennon Remembered

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