June 22, 2015

20,000 Vinyl LPs 44: John Lennon & Yoko Ono ~ Wedding Album

vinyl LP boxed set
cover photo by David Nutter
package design by John Kosh
photo of album box by Styrous®

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I've started the Vinyl LP series because I have a collection of over 20,000 vinyl record albums I am selling; each blog entry is about an album from my collection. Inquire for information here.   

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There are two major anniversaries this year. The first, John Lennon was born 75 years ago on October 9, 1940. The second, he died 35 years ago on December 8, 1980, almost exactly two months after his 40th birthday. This is my tribute to him.       

The Wedding Album, by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, commemorated their wedding in Gibraltar on the 20th of March, 1969. It was intended to be a sharing of their betrothal with the world, according to John Lennon, "We chose Gibraltar because it is quiet, British and friendly." 

Wedding is the final part of a trilogy of experimental collaborations by Lennon and Ono, that began with Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (1968) and Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions (1969). There is only one track on each side (link below to the tracks on YouTube). 

The album is totally unique not only for the avant-garde/experimental music/sounds (descriptions below), but for the elaborate packaging and the amazing contents. The Wedding Album came in a box and included the following inserts:

Vinyl LP album
Copy of the wedding certificate, glued to the inside box lid
12" square mylar bag with "Bagism" printed on it
11-1/2" square photo of a piece of wedding cake inserted in the mylar bag
1-1/2" x 6" photo strip
3-1/2" x 5-1/2" postcard
24" x 36" poster of wedding photos
12" x 36" poster of John and Yoko lithographs
"The Press" (17 page black cover booklet of wedding photos and clippings)

The photographs in the set are by Richard De Lallo, John Kelly, Nico Koster, John Ono Lennon, Yoko Ono Lennon and David Nutter.

Wedding Album was available on vinyl LP, cassette tape and 8-track tape. The elaborate packaging led to a delay in the album being issued. It eventually appeared in the United States on 20 October 1969.  
When I was researching for this article, as I always do, I found dozens of timelines for John Lennon but nothing for Yoko Ono; who was born on February 18, 1933; how sad a comment that is about our culture.

As I had done with many albums I have liked, I recorded this album on reel-to-reel tape and played that instead of the record; thus, the record was played only once and is in mint condition.

What's inside

Attached inside the box cover top, there is a facsimile of the Entry of Marriage certificate, # A15697, from the City and Garrison of Gibraltar. Album credits are on the certificate. 

Entry of Marriage certificate, # A15697
package design by John Kosh
photo of album box by Styrous®

the album

gatefold album front
photo of album by Styrous®

gatefold album interior
photo of album by Styrous®

the white mylar bag that has "Bagism" printed on it . . . . . .

white mylar bag
photo by Styrous®

. . . the photo of a slice of wedding cake which is inside the bag.

slice of wedding cake photo
photo of wedding cake photo by Styrous®

the film strip from the photo booth machine

photo of photo strip by Styrous®

the postcard


photo of postcard by Styrous®

photo of postcard by Styrous®

the poster

photos of poster by Styrous®

the drawings   

photos of the drawings by Styrous®

detail of drawings


the "Press" book 
photos by Styrous® 

(click on any image to see larger size)

and, finally, the record 
side one: John and Yoko

side one: John and Yoko label

John and Yoko is a 22-minute recording of Lennon and Ono crying, whispering, speaking and screaming each others' names, at varying volumes and tempos, over the sound of their heartbeats.

      side two: Amsterdam  

      side two: Amsterdam label   

Amsterdam featured recordings made during their first bed-in for peace. Ono and Lennon held two week-long Bed-Ins for Peace, one at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam and one in Montreal, each of which were intended to be non-violent protests against wars, and experimental tests of new ways to promote peace. The idea is derived from a "sit-in", in which a group of protesters remains seated in front of an establishment until they are evicted, arrested, or their demands are met.

Much of Amsterdam consisted of interviews given by Lennon and Ono, explaining their campaigns for peace, and discussions with each other. The speech was also interspersed with the sounds of seagulls, industrial noises, traffic, children playing and sitars.  

- from The Beatles Bible:  
"Amsterdam began with Ono singing John John (Let's Hope For Peace). Four other musical interludes were also included: Lennon performing a brief blues-style composition on an acoustic guitar, featuring the words "Goodbye Amsterdam Goodbye"; Ono singing Grow Your Hair, a song about peace and staying in bed, with Lennon on guitar; an a capella rendition of The Beatles' song Good Night; and Bed Peace, a brief recitation of the words 'Bed peace' and 'Hair peace'."  

Track listing:   
Side 1: 
John and Yoko - 22:44

Side 2: 
Amsterdam - 25:00


Apple Records - SMAX-3361

Barcode and Other Identifiers:

    Matrix / Runout (A-side): SMAX-1-3361-X2
    Matrix / Runout (B-side): SMAX-2-3361-X2
    Rights Society: BMI

Net links:  
John and Yoko on YouTube          
Amsterdam on YouTube  
John Lennon discography   
Yoko Ono discography    
The Beatles Bible Gibraltar marriage     
                              Recording, mixing         

John & Yoko, thank you for pushing the limits!

Styrous® ~ Thursday, June 18, 2015 



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