Ono is to receive a credit for co-writing 'Imagine', 46 years after it was released.
The move was apparently announced at an event for the National Publishers Association in New York City on Wednesday (June 14th), according to Variety. The association’s CEO, David Israelite, played an audio recording of Lennon arguing that Yoko should receive such a credit because of her influence in writing the 1971 track. The process to make the credit official is under way but has not yet been completed.
Yoko Ono is to get a songwriting credit for John Lennon's 'Imagine'
The resplendent and simple piano track, which became a number one hit around the world after the former Beatle was murdered in 1980, was actually inspired by Ono’s book of poetry, titled ‘Grapefruit’, according to Lennon.
A clip was played of a BBC interview from 1980, just before he was killed, in which Lennon said: “[‘Imagine’] should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it – the lyric and the concept – came from Yoko. But 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.”
Then, in a voice suggesting that he regretted his earlier act of sexism, 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?”
Meanwhile, at the event in New York, 84 year old Ono was accompanied by her son Sean Lennon as she accepted the association’s Centennial Song award for ‘Imagine’. The track itself was then performed live by Patti Smith.
“When they officially acknowledged - through my father's account - that my mother co-wrote Imagine, the song of the century, it may have been the happiest day of mine and [my] mother's life,” her son said while accepting the award.