The Beatles never performed in Palma, but John Lennon and Yoko Ono paid a visit to the island in April 1971 which was surrounded by controversy and charges of kidnapping. The story has been highlighted once again on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the murder of John Lennon outside the Dakota Building in New York. Lennon and Ono arrived in Majorca on the evening of April 19, 1971, and registered at the Hotel Meliá Mallorca as Mr and Mrs Smith. They left instructions that no telephone calls “especially from reporters”, were to be passed to their room. The couple spent most of the day in the hotel, leaving in the evening to dine in El Patio in Plaza Gomila, at that time one of the most fashionable spots in Palma.

They were reported to be in a good mood and friendly towards fellow diners, even when spotted by a local reporter. At 9am they left by car for Cala Murada, where Ono's ex-husband Anthony Cox and his wife Melinda were taking part in a course in transcendental meditation. While they were at the course, a couple, who according to eyewitnesses could have been Lennon and Ono, entered a nursery and left with Ono's daughter by Cox, Kyoko, then aged seven, despite the protests of the nursery owners, who contacted Cox immediately. Cox reported the matter to the Guardia Civil in Porto Colom and a watch was set up at all the exits to the island. By 3pm, Lennon and Ono, with Kyoko, were back at the Melia Mallorca, and did not leave their room until two hours later, when the police asked them to go to headquarters to make a statement. After a pause in the Bar Formentor, where Lennon signed autographs for everyone who recognised him, they went to police headquarters, Lennon carrying Kyoko in his arms. The picture taken by Juanet, the photographer of the paper Baleares, was flashed around the world. But these were the days before paparazzi and Juanet, who was a correspondent for the EFE news agency, just received his regular fee and the picture was sent out to all the agency's subscribers. By the following day, the city was a hotbed of reporters from the national and foreign media, sent to cover the story. At 8pm, after the police report was filed, the couple were taken to court, where Cox and his wife were already waiting. It then transpired that Cox did not have custody of his daughter because no agreement had been reached during divorce proceedings, in the Virgin Islands. Lennon and Ono had come to Majorca to negotiate visiting rights, but Cox had refused their proposal. Ono then decided to take her daughter so that she could at least spend an afternoon with her.


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