I hate all the Yoko hate. I think it’s misguided and generally racist and sexist hogwash. She didn’t break up the Beatles and she didn’t dupe John Lennon. Yoko does occasionally makes some really odd and heavy handed legal moves and this week’s action might just take the cake.
In what appears to be yet another overzealous attempt to protect the legacy (or more likely, the value) of her late husband’s name, Yoko Ono has filed suit against singer/songwriter Lennon Murphy for performing under the stage name “Lennon.” This despite the singer’s claim that she actually consulted Ono about the matter early in her career. Update: It now appears that Yoko merely sought to stop Murphy from getting the exclusive right to the name Lennon for performance purposes.
The NME reports that Ono apparently made no objection at the time but is now stating that Murphy “fraudulently” registered the name as a trademark.
She also added that Murphy’s use of late husband John Lennon’s name is “tarnishment” towards the deceased member.
In her own defense, Lennon Murphy posted the following on her website:
Lennon is my first name by birth and I am regualarly asked if I was named after the Beatle, having always replied no. My mother named me after “John Lennon that wrote songs, painted, and baked bread with his son”. She named me for the man, not the pop star.
In 2000 Arista Records addressed the issue of Yoko Ono potentially having a problem with our use of the name. My product manager at Arista was ironically the son of the lawyer who actually represents Yoko. So he approached Yoko, to make her aware of the use, evidently giving her blessing as Arista proceeded forward with the album release and at the same time filing for the trademark. Its takes time for all of the legal work to go through, but finally in 2003 I was granted by the United States Patent & Trademark office the ownership in the name Lennon for musical use.
8 long hard years pass and no one says a word. Just 2 days before the statue of limitations was up this very same lawyer we went to in 2000 filed their complain. I accusing me of falsly representing myself and causing confusion in the market place that has damaged to the John Lennon name.
I have a feeling Yoko would be fine if Lennon simply changed her name to McCartney and got on with it.