Skip to main content

John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a more fruitful musical partnership than many Beatles fans acknowledge. John thought one of Yoko’s songs was so good he wanted it to be an A-side single. The track later influenced the work of the couple’s only child, Sean Ono Lennon.

John Lennon loved Yoko Ono’s ‘Walking on Thin Ice’

During a 1980 interview with Rolling Stone, John discussed “Walking on Thin Ice,” Yoko song he co-produced. “We were thinking that this song is so damn good that she should put her own single out, with me on the B side,” he said. “I’d love to be on the B-side of a hit record after all these years.” Several of John’s most famous songs, such as “(Just Like) Starting Over,” “Woman,” and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” had Yoko tunes as B-sides.

“I’d love to be the guitarist — I’m playing backwards guitar on this song,” John added. “I’d settle for it any day. Yoko deserves it, it’s been a long haul. I wouldn’t fight about it at all.” Yoko had a huge impact on popular music, having produced the album Imagine and co-written the title track.

John Lennon compared himself to Ike Turner and his wife to Tina Turner

John dismissed musicians who didn’t like the way he collaborated with Yoko. “Everybody has pictures they want you to live up to,” he opined. “But that’s the same as living up to your parents’ expectations, or to society’s expectations, or to so-called critics who are just guys with a pen or typewriter in a little room, smoking and drinking beer and having their dreams and nightmares, too, but somehow pretending that they’re living in a different, separate world. That’s all right. But there are people who break out of their bags.”

John said he sometimes felt like Ike Turner to Yoko’s Tina Turner. However, he felt Yoko was more avant-garde than Tina ever was. “Walking on Thin Ice” became one of Yoko’s most famous songs. Its new wave dance beat and soft vocals make it a lot more accessible to a wide audience than some of her early work. While Yoko generally wasn’t too interested in following trends, “Walking on Thin Ice”‘s throbbing 1980s synthesizer beat proves she could make mainstream music.


John Lennon Said The Beatles’ ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ Was About His Desire for Someone Like Yoko Ono

The impact Yoko Ono’s ‘Walking on Thin Ice’ had on her son’s music

“Walking on Thin Ice” had a legacy beyond the 1980s. During a 2009 interview with New York, Yoko discussed her record Between My Head and the Sky. She co-produced the record with her son, Sean Ono Lennon.

Sean revealed he wanted Yoko to mimic her vocal performance on “Walking on Thin Ice” for the Between My Head and the Sky track “The Sun Is Down!” Sean felt his mother played a “cold and sexy” character in “Walking on Thin Ice.” Yoko was fine with recreating the character because she was “disco.” Yoko once performed “The Sun Is Down!” with fellow avant-gardist Lady Gaga.

“Walking on Thin Ice” is a classic song and John knew it was special.