I got lucky this week.
I found out that Clinton LumberKings’ slugger Izaya Fullard, a standout baseball player at the University of Iowa, is a blood relative of Yoko Ono — widow of Beatles legend John Lennon.
It really is a small world.
I got the chance to nerd out about music with Fullard and talk more about his Beatles heritage.
BT: I saw you’re related to Yoko Ono, so I’ve got to ask you about that. What’s the story?
IF: My mom is from Japan. Her dad, Yoko is his sister, so that makes Yoko my mom’s aunt, so she’s my great aunt, so that’s how I’m related to her.
IF: I know. A lot of people are really shocked when they hear that. They don’t realize my real name is Izaya Ono-Fullard because I just put Fullard most of the time.
BT: When did you find out you were related to her?
IF: I knew from a pretty early age. I didn’t start to understand the impact of it and The Beatles and everything until I got to high school. That’s when I started to understand they’re a big deal and it’s pretty cool I’m related to them.
BT: Have you ever met her?
IF: I have met Yoko. I met her a couple times. I haven’t seen her in a while because I’ve been so busy with sports, but I was able to see her a couple times.
BT: What’s she like?
IF: I don’t remember much just because I was younger and it was when my mom’s whole family from Japan was here. They were doing a lot of talking in a language I didn’t understand, so I was just standing there observing. She was nice — she sends gifts for Christmas and I try to stay in contact with her. I’ve gone to dinner with Sean Lennon, her son, a couple times. He’s told some cool stories.
BT: What was he like?
IF: He’s a cool dude. He’s exactly what you’d expect John to be like — I think he’s really similar to his father. I think he does a good job of carrying on his legacy.
BT: So you’re obviously a big Beatles fan.
IF: Yeah, definitely.
BT: I’m a music nerd — my first love is music, so I have to ask — do you have a favorite album or song?
IF: My favorite song is Yellow Submarine just because I remember when I was younger, we had gotten a little yellow submarine I had and I just always remember that being in my room, so I think that song has always stuck with me.
BT: Are you a music fan besides the Beatles? How do they fit into your musical interests?
IF: I don’t really listen to them a lot. I don’t listen to them daily. I think it’s cool when I hear one of their songs on the radio or when I’m at dinner or something — I’ll make a joke about it like, ‘Hey, I’m related them.’ My dad’s a musician, so he’s big into music. We have music in the family.
BT: What does your dad play?
IF: He plays bass guitar. He plays in a group called, ‘The Funk Daddies.’ A little different name, but he enjoys it.
BT: Is he good?
IF: Yeah, I’ve seen him play a couple times. I think he needs to stop trying to sing. He does back-up singing a little bit — he needs to stop that (laughs).
BT: So my favorite band of all time is Oasis, and they were huge Beatles fans. Are you an Oasis fan by chance?
IZ: No, I’m more of a rap guy now.
BT: Who’s your favorite artist there?
IZ: Lil Durk right now.
BT: I’ll have to check him out. Thanks for your time today, man. Best of luck the rest of the season.
IF: Thank you.
It was great picking Izaya’s brain about the the most important band in music history. Now I have to go listen to some Beatles records.
I’ll see everyone next week.
What I’m watching: “The Beatles: Eight Days A Week (2016). This recent doc on the fab four is available on Netflix.
What I’m listening to: “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band” by John Lennon (1970). Did I have any other choice this week?
What I’m reading: “The Beatles Anthology” by The Beatles (2000). Great look at the band.
Quote of the Week: “People make music to get a reaction. Music is communication.” — Yoko Ono