On April 1, 1970, John Lennon and Yoko Ono announced they were undergoing dual sex change operations and said they’d already been to a clinic.
Since the couple was already known for their eccentricity and Guerilla style publicity stunts it was at least somewhat believable—unlikely, but not impossible for the duo. However, it was quickly made clear the two were keeping their genders intact.
This wasn’t the only prank they pulled. John and Yoko were the top arts and music power couple of the ‘70s—like the Beyoncé and Jay-Z of the hippies. And they loved using their fame to mess with people on April Fool’s Day.
On April Fool’s Day, 1969, they’d just returned from their honeymoon and Ono called a spontaneous press conference at Heathrow Airport. The couple told the British press they were “willing to be the world’s clowns” to spread peace, a snarky riposte for a media that constantly invaded their privacy and derided the couple’s relationship on the front page of tabloids and gossip columns.
On April Fool’s Day, 1973, three years after the dual sex change prank, the couple issued a declaration to be recognized by the UN by their “conceptual” country Nutopia.
This followed Lennon’s troubles dealing with immigration. The country had “no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people” and its flag was a white tissue. The UN obviously did not recognize this as an actual country, and Lennon was eventually deported from the US for some time, but its international anthem did end up in the liner notes of Mind Games.
Lennon’s love for jokes was evident in interviews and Beatles’ films. But he wasn’t the only member of the Fab Four who loved the art of pranking. The group was constantly messing with each other and their fellow musicians.
With April Fool’s Day around the corner, John and Yoko are the perfect rock ‘n’ roll couple to inspire your prank.