Today in History: John Lennon and Yoko Ono Make Art in Syracuse

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Syracuse

On October 9th, 1971, John Lennon and Yoko Ono came to Syracuse to celebrate Ono’s exhibition opening at The Everson Museum titled, “This is Not Here.” Lennon would also celebrate his 31st birthday in Syracuse, and there was a rumor that the occasion might lead to a reunion of at least three of The Beatles for a small, impromptu concert at the museum. The rumor led to a near-riot at the Everson, so Lennon, Ono and several of their guests retreated to a room at the Hotel Syracuse for Lennon’s party. There, with other musicians, (including Eric Clapton and Beatle’s drummer Ringo Starr, who played percussion on a wastebasket) Lennon led the only “near” performance by The Beatles in Syracuse, playing over 20 songs, including “Peggy Sue,” “Yellow Submarine,” “Give Peace a Chance,” and “My Sweet Lord.