Yoko Ono's songwriting credit for John Lennon's massive, culture-defining hit, Imagine, is 46 years overdue but it may soon become a reality. At the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) annual meeting on Wednesday -- where Yoko and son Sean Lennon accepted the inaugural Centennial Song award for the 1971 song -- NMPA CEO David Israelite announced that Yoko would be added to the songwriting credit in accordance with John Lennon's wishes.
Israelite played footage from a 1980 video of John speaking about Yoko's "influence and inspiration on it," Variety report. It was presumably the BBC interview conducted just two days before Lennon was shot dead, in which he says: "[Imagine] should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it -- the lyric and the concept -- came from Yoko". John is open about the pretty shameful reasons for leaving Yoko out of the original credits: "[In] those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of Grapefruit, her book."
As the Guardian note, he sounds "embarrassed at his earlier sexism" when he says, "If it had been a male, you know -- Harry Nilsson's Old Dirt Road, it's 'Lennon-Nilsson'. But when we did [Imagine] I just put 'Lennon' because, you know, she's just the wife and you don't put her name on, right?". Getting on for half a century later, times have hopefully changed and Yoko's creative input will soon receive the recognition it deserves.
The addition of Yoko's credit has not yet been confirmed, Variety report David Israelite telling their reporter at the event, but he noted that the process is well underway, and that despite some expected obstacles, they are "hopeful that it will be confirmed".
Following Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon's speech accepting the award -- during which Yoko is reported to have said "This is the best time of my life" -- Patti Smith performed Imagine accompanied by her daughter Jessie.
Text Charlotte Gush
Image via Wikipedia