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John Lennon on His Love for Yoko Ono

Blank on Blank is a video series, produced in association with PBS Digital Studios, that animates interviews with cultural icons, famous names and celebrities. They choose particularly illuminating sections of rare or unheard interviews and add animation to give life to the speakers.

Blank on Blank’s video features an interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the topic of love. Interviewer Howard Smith interviewed Lennon and Ono many times from 1969- 1971, and the audio comes from those tapes. That —paired with amazing, whimsical animation — makes this video a treat to watch.

The interview offers a glimpse into the love The Beatles and Ono shared. Lennon said he didn’t really know about love until he met Ono. He says: "I thought it was an abstract thing, you know, when I was singing about all you need is love. I was talking about something I hadn’t experienced."

John Lennon love quotes

Ono found their love equally life-changing. Before she met Lennon, Yoko said that she was “starting to give up hope, you know, that kind of thing... Becoming very cynical and all that. But it happened, and it’s very, very, very good.”

They also offer advice for anyone struggling to get along in their marriage. Lennon says, “It’s called love. And there’s nothing that splits that up, you know. I mean you got to work on it, like it is a precious gift and it’s a plant and you’ve got to look after it and water it and you can’t just sit on your backside and think, 'Oh well, we’re in love, so that’s all right.' But that’s the secret.”

Bonus info: The interviewer, Howard Smith, was an Oscar-winning film director, journalist and broadcaster. Between 1969 and 1972 he recorded interviews with musicians and cultural icons. These tapes were found and restored and can be heard here.