Most people know I’m a huge Beatles fan, but few know my case of Beatlemania extends all the way to being a fan of Yoko Ono. Being a fan of Yoko ain’t easy. Between her mystifying performance art and eardrum rattling screams, I’ve learned to be ready for the weird and unexpected. Unfortunately, I was not prepared for one weird and unexpected thing Yoko did – block me on Twitter.
I bought my first Yoko album in college. I’d already acquired every Beatles album – not to mention all of the lads’ solo albums – so when I heard John and Ringo played on her early solo albums I picked one up. I put it in my CD player, sat down to have a relaxing listening session, then heard:
My roommate, Andrew, came running out of his room.
“What the hell is that?”
“Uh, Yoko Ono.”
“Wow, Spohr. I think it might be time to stage a Beatles intervention with you.”
“But John’s on guitar. And Ringo’s on drums!”
Andrew eyed me with an expression that would one day belong to McKayla Maroney, then returned to his room and shut the door. In time my friends tolerated Yoko’s albums (at an agreed upon low volume), and when Yoko and her son, Sean, announced a concert at the Roxy on Sunset, my friend Nora even agreed to go with me! I think she realized it would make a good cocktail party anecdote one day.
On the night of the concert Nora and I were packed like sardines in the little club when Yoko came out and, from only ten feet away, unleashed her trademark howl. It was pretty cool. A little wacky, but cool. Soon, however, I noticed a creepy dude with a natty beard making bizarre hand gestures at Yoko. Then, most disturbingly, he mouthed, “Kill you!”
Yoko motioned for security, but in the throng of people they couldn’t find the culprit. Seeing this, I pointed out the weirdo, and security nabbed him. Yoko nodded at me, appreciative.
Wow, I thought. I just saved Yoko! I was feeling pretty good about myself, I must say.
But then for the encore Yoko wanted everyone to pump their fist in the air, and being the awkward nineteen year old that I was, I was too self-conscious to do it. Yoko gestured over and over for me to join in, but for some reason I just couldn’t. She finally frowned and turned away.
For years I regretted not doing the stupid fist pump and wished there was a way to explain myself. That wasn’t possible, of course, so I put it out of my mind… until four years ago when Heather introduced me to Twitter.
“Lots of people are on it,” she said. “Even Yoko Ono.”
Intrigued, I got an account and made the ill-advised decision to tell Yoko my story. I’d only started typing when Twitter told me I was over the limit.
“You only get 140 characters per tweet,” Heather said.
I nodded, then, not understanding how Twitter worked, told myself my story was going to take a bunch of tweets to tell. I typed away, sending tweet after tweet (way too many tweets), then went to dinner. When I returned I got online to see if Yoko had responded and saw this:
“You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user.”
Heather broke into hysterical laughter. “Yoko blocked you! That is the best thing ever!”
She laughed some more then asked, “How many tweets did you send her?”
“I don’t know. Like fourteen? Is that bad?”
Heather laughed even harder. “You know that scene in ‘Swingers’ where Jon Favreau keeps leaving messages on that girl’s machine?”
“This is worse.”
Heather still finds this story endlessly amusing, and teases me that I got blocked on Twitter by a woman who knows from creepy stalkers. I’ve resisted writing about it until now because I’m aware it makes me sound like a complete moron. The thing is, you have to understand that this was back in 2008 and…. Eh, who am I kidding. There’s no looking good on this one.
Sorry, Yoko! (he says, while fist pumping)