Yoko Stirs It With Macca’s Spoon

Yoko Ono livened up The Q Awards by taking a pop at Paul McCartney for coming up with crass lyrics, complaining that his songwriting ability amounts to little more than rhyming “June with spoon.”

Taking the stage at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel to accept a lifetime achievement gong on behalf of her late husband John Lennon, Ono said that he often asked her why McCartney’s songs were covered more often than his own.

Yoko’s anecdotal evidence came in a story about Lennon’s habit of waking up in the middle of the night and asking this question, which she would answer by saying, “It’s because you are a talented songwriter. You don’t just rhyme June with spoon.

“Then I would make him a cup of tea, and he would be OK. I just miss that sort of moment we had.”

Ono’s comments will do little to heal the rift that’s opened up between her and her husband’s former songwriting partner, which included her threatening to sue him when he changed the famous Lennon-McCartney songwriting credit around. In December, she stopped him from using “Yesterday” on a solo album of love songs on the grounds that it was a Beatles number.

Fueled by a new episode, the national papers have gone back to the on-running saga of the enigmatic Ono and the ubiquitous McCartney, with The Guardian, The Times and the The Daily Mail all weighing in with pieces about which of the former Beatles wrote the best words.

Although Q magazine’s annual bash has developed a reputation as being rather a sedate affair, the October 10th reunion wasn’t the first to be spiced with a touch of controversy. Last year, Sir Elton John had a go at Madonna for miming when supposedly appearing live on stage. That caused such a fuss that the flamboyant knight had to put out a public apology.

The U.K.’s tabloids also reported an earlier moment of friction, when Coldplay singer Chris Martin took the chance to show up Liam Gallagher for remarks he’d made about Martin’s wife, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Collecting the “best act in the world today” award on behalf of his band immediately after Gallagher had picked up one of Oasis’ two awards, Martin made a point of raising the microphone stand before saying, “Sorry, Liam’s a lot shorter than me.”

Among the other Q winners were U2 (best live act), James Blunt (best newcomer), Jimmy Page (“Q Icon”), Bee Gees (lifetime achievement) and Oasis (best album and people’s choice).

— John Gammon