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Unfinished Music, Two Virgins

In October, 1968, John Lennon and Yoko Ono released, “Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins.”

Staying up all night at John’s home studio in Kenwood, John and Yoko created the music by recording tape loops of John on different instruments (piano, organ, drums) and sound effects (including reverb, delay and distortion). Yoko ad-libs in response to the sounds. At the end of the session, the story goes, they made love.

The title came, John said, from feeling like they were "two innocents, lost in a world gone mad."

John and Yoko used a camera with a self-timer to take the nude photographs of themselves for the album's cover; the front showed them standing naked facing the camera, the back cover showed them from behind. (The photos were taken at Ringo Starr's basement apartment at Montagu Square, where Lennon and Ono stayed later that year.)

Paul McCartney provided a note on the album cover, which read: "When two great Saints meet, it is a humbling experience. The long battles to prove he was a Saint."

The cover provoked an outrage, prompting distributors to sell the album in a plain brown wrapper. Copies of the album were impounded as obscene in several jurisdictions (including 30,000 copies in New Jersey). John commented that the uproar seemed to have less to do with the explicit nudity, and more to do with the fact that the two of them were rather unattractive and the photo unflattering; Lennon described it later as a picture of "two slightly overweight ex-junkies."

John Lennon and Yoko, you are my heroes. You bared it all for each other and your art. Thank you.

We miss you John. 

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