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Interview with Yoko Ono

Submitted by Commandrea on April 14, 2024 – 10:02 pmNo Comment

By Jacob Calle

Yoko Ono. What else is there to say? A woman who needs no introduction. A woman who was in love with the most significant musician in the world. When the press was released that Yoko Ono would be performing in Austin, TX with her Plastic Ono Band for SXSW I immediately jumped at this opportunity to see something that billions would not. Not only did Ono perform, but she also was a keynote speaker for Austin’s music/film festival that generated more than one million people to town. Ms. Ono has had numerous consecutive dance singles ranking at #1 on the top of the Billboard Dance Chart. She also was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Mojo magazine. Aside from her achievements she was also an inspiration to many songs from The Beatles, such as Abbey Road’s “Because” that was written due to Lennon watching Yoko play Beethoven’s “Moonlight backwards.

The new Plastic Ono Band’s new album “Between My Head And The Sky”, which was co-produced with her son Sean Lennon, who opened up for his mother  under the name, The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger with his girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl. The new album is supported through Chimera Music label, which is a record label that Sean Lennon runs out of his kitchen in his apartment in New York.

The Chimera Music label’s show case was Saturday, March 19th at Elysium  on Red River off of 7th street with Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger, Kemp and Eden, If By Yes (Petra Haden of Superchunk’s band), Consortium Musicum (Lennon and Greg Saunier), Fig, mi-gu, and of course Plastic Ono Band. GOASTT’s set was quite niminy-piminy. While Lennon led the way supermodel instrumentalist Muhl followed behind with milky whispers that could possibly be the most gorgeous sound ever produced. It being a Saturday night, the crowd was tired and sunburned from early in the day. Yoko would enter stage at 1am. Which would then be Sunday March 20th. The wedding anniversary for Ono and Lennon. It was a very special moment. A rare one at that. While most women in their 70s are asleep and have not been in a bar since their 30s, Yoko was dancing on stage as if she were trying to do her own style of zumba. She smiled through the whole set while looking over her sunglasses that slid half way down the bridge of her nose. Through mid set Yoko tossed her hat into the crowd for a lucky fan to catch such as the time Michael Jackson tossed out the pillow from his hotel room just before he hung his baby over the balcony.

The night  was indescribable. It still seams dreamlike. I met Yoko Ono. I talked to Sean and it just seems so surreal that when I referred to Yoko to him I said “your mom”. I also did another interview with Charlotte in the men’s bathroom. This will and be my only degree of being that close to The Beatles. I was there. The first time Yoko met John Lennon she handed him a note. It had seven letters that formed a word of inspiration, “Breathe”. So as I walked out I took a deep breath. Those seven words hung heavy over my head like yesterday’s news. My lungs were occupied by Austin’s smokey air. I still felt the impression of Lennon’s hand in my hand from our greeting, Yoko’s ambient dolphin cry rang in my ears, and Charlotte’s silly gang sign tossin’ while we were chit chattin’ wouldn’t leave my mind. I exhaled and disappeared into the heavy traffic of thousands on 6th St where nobody knew my name, but I didn’t care because I just saw Yoko Ono.

Jacob Calle: In my opinion Lady Gaga is the grandest living rendition of you. You both share the same manifestations of the avant garde attitude. How do you feel that the largest name in the world right now is spreading the same messages that you and John supported in 70’s?

Yoko Ono: I love it! They say “Looking good is half the game. The other half is how you present it.” Well, you can’t say we weren’t looking good then. We were, too, right? For that time. Lady Gaga is sparkling now. I love her!

JC: To name a few greats that have got their feet wet in the Plastic Ono Band, Bette Midler, Keith Moon, and Eric Clapton, and now you can add Lady Gaga to your list who performed with you on October 2nd in LA of last year in celebration of John’s birthday. How did it come about of the two of you collaborating for this very special occasion? What was the whole performance like and whatcha think of Gaga’s bottom that was fully exposed during the concert?

YO: I thought she exposed a great looking butt. If you have a good one, why not? In fact, she was modestly hiding it with lacy stuff. I think that was cool.

JC:  You Twitter positive messages that make people think. These messages can get one through the day. If John Lennon had a Twitter account what do you suppose he’d be tweetin’ about?

YO: We were like one Apple. So we would have sent good messages together.

JC: So your new record “Between my head and the Sky” was just released in 2024 which is amazingly produced by your son Sean. The last time before that was in the 70’s. Why now?

YO: Just happened that way. But the last one was not in the 70’s. I put out a few CDs since then. I hope you’ll look for them and listen. You may enjoy them….

JC: I’m sorry I should have said the last time the name Plastic Ono Band was used. So you’ve received great reviews from Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and others. Do you feel that people of this generation understand your art a lot more than your audience from the 70’s?

YO: I suppose so. I am still in awe and dazed about it.

JC: You are in your 70’s. By now women of your age are living the lives of Golden Woman and think that they should go to doctor to get vaccinated for Beiber Fever, but you on the other hand have been on the Billboard Charts for dance for more than 2 months. Within these months you’ve had 6 consecutive #1 chart toppers. So what’s it like to know that Britney Spears, Rihanna, and Katy Perry are in competition and the people’s shoes have spoken. It’s your song “Move on Fast” that people wanna dance to! How do you wrap our head around that?

YO: I am not competing with anybody. If i thought about it, I’ll probably faint…How could you compete with those strong acts? What happened to my songs in dance charts is because of very talented and creative remix artists. I’m a lucky girl!

JC: Many artist such as The Cure, Architecture in Helsinki, Lady Gaga, and The Faint have put out a remix album of their songs, but you on the other hand put out an album of 10 different remixes of just one song “Move on Fast” by various artists. A song that you have written in 1972, which is now getting heavy coverage. Obviously the record has done very well for itself, but did you at all feel iffy about putting out a record of ten versions of one song?

YO: My first records “Two Virgins”, I called it “Unfinished Music No. 1″, because I wanted people to put their own twist to it. I visualize many artists doing it. They didn’t do it then, but now they are doing it after 40 odd years. I’m very happy.

imaginepeace.com                                                                                     twitter.com/yokoono

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