John Lennon would have been 81 years old today, and the family he left behind took to social media to remember him. His widow Yoko Ono tweeted a quote from his song Beautiful Boy Darling Boy saying that she missed him every day. John’s son Sean said that his father was more alive now than he ever was. And Sean’s younger half-sister Lennon’s daughter with Yoko, named Kyoko Chan Cox – said that she loved him very much.
After 40 years of living as a recluse, Kyoko decided to open up for a BBC documentary called The Beatles The Lost Concert. In it, she talked about how her father died and how his absence affected her life. I was 20, an age at which most people are independent and studying away from home, but I couldn’t do that, Kyoko told the cameras. My mother was prone to depression and could become quite suicidal, so it wasn’t safe for me to be on my own.
After Lennon left The Beatles in September 1969, he and Yoko decided to go on a retreat. They wanted to live as simply as possible so they could focus on their art. They planned to stay away from the public for at least five years. Kyoko went with them, living with her mother in Montreal one week, Hong Kong the next, then Bali, New York, and Amsterdam.
When The Beatles split up, there was a lot of tension surrounding the group’s royalties. No one knew if they were going to be able to survive as musicians, so as a precaution Kyoko said that her father opened an account in her name at Coutts Bank in London for $500,000 equaling 1.6 million in today’s money. He put the rights to nine of his songs in there, which was all he could do at that point.
And then came December 8, 1980, when Lennon signed a will leaving everything to Yoko saying that Kyoko would get it after she turned 25, but if anything happened to her mother, it would all go to Sean. That’s what he told Kyoko too during a visit to Bermuda, but before he got back to New York, Yoko signed another will leaving everything to her.
The day after that, December 9th, 1980, Lennon was shot four times in the back by Mark David Chapman as they were entering the Dakota building. Yoko called Kyoko in Japan where she was living at the time, but she couldn’t believe it. She didn’t want to have anything to do with her inheritance if it meant that now her dad was gone too.
Her mother continued to decline mentally over the years, living off Lennon’s royalties and trust fund. But then in 1995 Yoko had a stroke and was in bad shape. That’s when Kyoko decided to ask for her inheritance so she could go take care of her. Yoko said no, but after thinking about it overnight, she gave Kyoko half of the rights to his songs which allowed her to get money every year from them until last year. She did that because she didn’t want to give me everything, Kyoko explained.
Yoko died in November of last year and left everything to Sean, but since he was just 9 years old at the time, his uncle and father figure Jeff Jones became the trustee. A few months after that John and Yoko were honored on Time’s 100 most influential people in the world list. Kyoko was not mentioned.
After watching The Beatles The Lost Concert, Kyoko said that she found it fun and therapeutic to see how happy John seemed on stage before he died and said that she loved him very much.
The Beatles The Lost Concert For a time Kyoko lived in Bermuda with her mother and father. She was allowed to stay there for independence practice before she must leave her nanny behind at that time. And now Kyoko lives in Japan as a restaurant owner. Her house is still filled with Yoko’s things, which she has no intention of getting rid of.