|Alma Cogan and The Beatles|
John had an affair with Alma Cogan, a singer eight years older than himself. According to Cynthia, he believed Alma to be the reincarnation of his mother Julia. After Cogan's death of ovarian cancer in 1966, Yoko appeared, just a fortnight into his grief. She was this obsessive fan who’d turn up and follow him around.
"She irritated the life out of John to begin with. But Alma died and something odd happened to John. Things turned. Yoko must have seen her opportunity and seized it. She wore the trousers and would control and dominate John for the rest of his life. Yoko was John’s new Aunt Mimi. She worked out what John needed in a woman, right under my nose, and she reinvented herself," Cynthia told Jones.
Cogan – who was known as ‘the girl with the laugh in her voice’ – was the highest-paid British woman entertainer of the 1950s. She became a household name with the advent of television. Born Alma Angela Cohen to a Russian-Romanian Jewish family in London’s Whitechapel, she had her first hit, Bell Bottom Blues, in April 1954 – four years before the death of John Lennon’s mother.
Cynthia said: "She was this typical East End Jewish glamour girl, with a heart of gold, a beehive and these amazing frocks – not the sort of thing I’d ever have been seen dead in myself. She was a bit passé. Her songs were all 1950s America froth like Dreamboat and Sugartime."
"When John and I were at Liverpool College of Art, Alma Cogan was a big star. John couldn’t stand her, he used to take the mickey out of her all the time. He’d do this wicked impersonation of her. At the time, I would never in a million years have thought that he could have fallen for a woman so much older than him, whose music he couldn’t bear and who he ridiculed mercilessly. But he couldn’t help himself."
When The Beatles became famous and shared a bill with Cogan on TV’s Sunday Night At The London Palladium, it was inevitable that they would join the guest list of Cogan’s legendary parties at her opulent flat in Kensington, West London. "I never got invited, I was kept under wraps,’ said Cynthia."
Lennon and Cogan started a secret relationship, but well-meaning friends told Cynthia that John and Alma were booking into hotels using aliases such as ‘Mr and Mrs Winston’ – and even sporting disguises.
When Alma died aged 34, John was inconsolable. Crazed with grief, he confessed to Cynthia that Alma was a reincarnation of his late mother. After her death, Cynthia believed that John found his new ‘Aunt Mimi replacement’ in Yoko Ono. Yoko was smart enough to realise what Lennon was looking for in a woman, and reinvented herself accordingly, Cynthia believed. "She wore the trousers and would control and dominate John for the rest of his life."
Read the full story: The Daily Mail
Of course, the fact that John Lennon did have an affair with Alma Cogan is not news in the fan community (see our post from 2013 about the Lennon/Cogan relationship), but we had no idea how serious Cynthia thought the relationship was, and the effect of Cogan's death on the upcoming Ono/Lennon affair.