Yoko Ono Opens Up About John Lennon’s Death

Thirty years ago on December 8, John Lennon was killed outside his home in New York City. In the January 2011 issue of Esquire — the “Meaning of Life” issue — Yoko Ono, his widower, reveals what she’s learned since his murder.

She opens up about John’s “negativity,” her friend Jackie O, her son Sean being biracial, and even her experience of widowhood, telling Esquire, “I started to see what a test it is to be a widow in this society.” After the jump, five things from her Esquire interview that you may not know about Yoko Ono.

  1. Her most frequent request is religious people asking her to change the lyrics in the song “Imagine” that go “No religion, too.” Thankfully, Yoko has always said “no” so far.
  2. Yoko is well aware haters call her “Dragon Lady”— a rather racist slur. She used to ignore that ugliness, until one day she said, “Thank you for calling me Dragon Lady, because the dragon is such a powerful animal. And thank you for thinking I’m so powerful.” Just like that, the slurs stopped.
  3. Apparently, John Lennon was the very first man in the history of time to push a baby stroller. (Hey, she’s been through a lot — let’s just go with her on this one.) Yoko likes to go to Central Park on Sundays and she’s just tickled pink to see men pushing babies. “They don’t know that John was the first one to do that,” she said. “The very first one. No man would be caught doing that before John.”
  4. She knew fellow famous widower Jackie O, but strangely, the pair never talked about the tragedies they had in common. “Women are very kind of protective of the situation that they’re in. … You don’t talk for your own survival.”
  5. Yoko kinda-sorta entertains conspiracy theories of John’s murder: “I’m not saying it was definitely just a deranged person.”

Definitely check out Yoko’s list of all the things she’s learned — it’s a little spacey but very wise, just like Yoko herself.