This Year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s wedding as well as the original release of their legendary “Wedding Album”, which is being re-released for this occasion.
“Wedding Album”, famous in part due to its unique packaging designed by John Kosh, full of memorabilia celebrating the couple’s wedding, is an album that anticipated the era of social media and the sharing our private lives typical of today’s society.
The box was a gift for their fans who weren’t able to physically participate in the wedding, it contained various wedding photographs, a copy of the wedding certificate, sketches from Yoko Ono and Lennon as well as an image of the wedding cake.
The Album: A work of art as well as a communicative medium
“It has been our way of sharing the wedding with everyone willing to take part” stated Lennon. “Couples print their wedding album to show it to their relatives. Our family is… well, everyone you call a fan or, anyway people that follow us”
In 60’s and 70’s, before smartphones and social media had arrived, the medium chosen by the two artists to share their lives with their audience was their album covers and the sound tracks within.
Yoko Ono and John Lennon: Sharing Before Social Media
Before it was commonplace, John Lennon and Yoko Ono discovered the power of sharing by opening up their private lives though the storytelling of their music and album covers. Though its typical of today’s younger generations to post important events like family celebrations, successes and failures on social media, this wasn’t something that was easily accomplished before the 21st century and thus was seldom seen.
The first example of this was seen in their “Unfinished music n.2 – Life with lions” album (released in May 1969) which presented a picture of Yoko Ono in a hospital bed and Lennon in a sleeping bag as the album cover. An extremely private and heartfelt moment; Ono, only four months pregnant had just lost her baby.
On the back of the same album was a picture of Lennon and Ono being arrested for marijuana possession, a transparent view of their shortcomings and their lives without filters, showing them for who they genuinely were. “No Bed for Beatle John” is the song in which the couple sang a cappella various titles and fragments of articles published about their lives and “Baby’s Heartbeat” a rhythmic loop of their baby’s heartbeat, recorded from ultrasounds (like influencers Chiara Ferragni and Fedez did on Instagram when she was pregnant last year).
“Wedding Album”, in comparison, was composed by a mere two tracks, one for each side of the vinyl. In the first one, “John & Yoko” the voices of the two artists are calling out to each other while playing in the background were their heartbeats, beating like “African drums” (as John described). The second sound track, “Amsterdam” is a collection of interviews, conversations and sounds caught during their first experience inside the 902 Hilton Hotel’s room in Amsterdam.
The Anti-Litteram Social Network of Yoko Ono and John Lennon
Filing each other suffering and at improper times, but also during times of happiness and celebration such as their honeymoon, and now 50 years anniversary, John Lennon and Yoko Ono started a revolution of the “anti-litteram social network”.
Today, we are used to seeing celebrities share important moments of their lives with their followers such as their pregnancy, wedding celebrations, diseases and divorces, but this gesture of total transparency wasn’t appreciated by everyone.
The death of John Lennon was chosen by Yoko Ono as another moment to share with her fans, with the release of her “Season of Glass” album depicting an image of John’s blood covered glasses that he was wearing at the time he was murdered. “Everybody advised her against it, but I believe that she made her most important artwork” says B. Bianchi inside the book “Yoko Ono: Love Declarations for a woman surrounded by hate” – “it was her reality in that moment, so for me it’s the most beautiful album cover of the history”.
Image Credits Wikipedia