John Lennon and Yoko Ono Nudity Seriously Freaking People Out


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.
January 23, 1969, Vol. XIV, No. 15

by Howard Smith

VALERIE [SOLANAS] was back in court last Friday. This time to find out whether the court psychiatric clinic report agreed with Mattawan State Hospital’s verdict when it released her early in December: that she is fit to stand trial for shooting Andy Warhol last June.

It did. And the D.A.’s office promptly asked for $100,000 bail because of alleged new threats to Warhol, her recent history as a mental patient, and because the report was not made public (even the D.A. did not see it). Bail was set at $50,000.

Valerie’s counsel, Samuel Siegel, requested that the judge relieve him from the case and he did. Asked whether she wanted a new lawyer appointed to her, she demured, informing the court that she would prefer to defend herself. She is now in jail, awaiting a new trial date…

THAT UNCLOTHED John Lennon-Yoko Ono “Two Virgins” album has scarcely been released and already has lots of results. Like being a fast seller and like having instant troubles. Thirty thousand copies were seized in Newark. The Association of Record Dealers of New York and New Jersey made a strong anti-cover statement. Stores that do carry it have been hassled but many of them have partially covered up in plain brown paper with ovals cut out around the faces. One store in Coral Gables stuck Santa Claus Christmas seals over Yoko’s torso and John’s groin.

Meanwhile the whole rock album cover world has begun molting. There’s a new Lovin’ Spoonful with Joe Butler racing with a girl and a lion, all three nude; and there’s “The Naked Truth,” an anthology of bubble-gum things like “Chewy, Chewy” and “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.” So far, though, all the post-“Virgins” au naturels cleverly avoid anything like genitals.

What do the fans think? Will there be a bareness backlash? Will all those nubile cheerleaders turn up their freckled noses at John and his brazen inamorata?…

PRESIDENT NIXON is going to solve the war in Vietnam by giving the Long Island Railroad the right of way to the Ho Chi Minh trail. “Let them try to move supplies south on that thing,” he was heard to remark.

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