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The erotic lithographs of John Lennon (NSFW)
06.07.2017
11:04 am
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In 1968 Anthony Fawcett, a friend of John Lennon’s who later became one of the employees of Apple Records, proposed lithography to Lennon as an area that might spark his artistic interest. Lennon was initially reluctant, as the relatively time-consuming methods that were involved ran counter to the “impulsive” approach that Fawcett perceived as Lennon’s preference. Fawcett came up with a couple of hacks that would enable the lithography process to be more like Lennon’s usual facility at doodling and sketching.

Several months passed, and Fawcett assumed that Lennon had forgotten all about the subject. But when Lennon and his new bride Yoko Ono returned from Europe after the week-long Bed-In for Peace in the spring 1969 it turned out that Lennon had gotten more interested in the process. As Fawcett wrote in his 1976 memoir John Lennon: One Day at Time, Lennon “had made a series of drawings of the marriage and honeymoon, and was now anxious to see how they would look as lithographs. ... Yoko was the main subject, there were many portraits and nudes of her.”
 

When he saw them John was ecstatic, oohing and ahhing with childlike enthusiasm, laughing, wildly gesticulating and obviously impressed at the results. He seemed thrilled by the new dimension his drawings had taken on, master-printed on the thick luxurious Arches paper. Yoko, too, was excited for John and watched his exuberance with a kind of motherly pride.

 
A plan was concocted to sell some of the lithographs in a limited-edition set. The set would be titled Bag One, a reference to John and Yoko’s theory of “Bagism” which prevailed at the time. Peter Doggett in The Art and Music of John Lennon has this to say about the project:
 

The drawings were converted from Lennon’s small originals to poster size, organised into limited edition packages, and given to John so he could sign each lithograph. They were then placed inside special Bag One folders, and sold to art-minded (and rich) individuals around the world. It might have been more in keeping with Lennon’s principles if they’d been issued as postcards instead.

 
In the event, Lennon was obliged to sign three thousand posters, which he did at the Toronto-area farmhouse of Ronnie Hawkins.

In January 1970 the lithographs were displayed at an exhibition in London. The authorities, however, were not amused. As Fawcett writes,
 

Inevitably, on the second day of the exhibition, the police raided the gallery with a warrant, supposedly after Scotland Yard had received complaints, and eight of the lithographs were confiscated. The summons alleged that the gallery had “exhibited to public view eight indecent prints to the annoyance of passengers, contrary to Section 54(12) of the Metropolitan Police Act, 1839, and the third schedule of the Criminal Justice Act 1967.


 
In January 1970 the magazine Avant Garde published what they termed “John Lennon’s Erotic Lithographs,” being a subset of the Bag One set. This post features the full magazine spread of that issue. You can see the full issue of Avant Garde here; vintage issues can be purchased at Amazon as well.

Avant Garde’s cheeky intro compares John and Yoko to other “famous couples in history” such as Dick and Pat Nixon, noting that we must exercise our imaginations to envision them in the act of lovemaking. Not so with John and Yoko!
 

 

 
Many more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.07.2017
11:04 am
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‘Do the Oz,’ John and Yoko’s benefit single (and hopeful dance craze) for OZ magazine


John and Yoko march for OZ, August 1971 (via Meet the Beatles for Real)
 
“I think that everyone should own everything equally and that the people should own part of the factories and they should have some say in who is boss and who does what,” John Lennon announced to Hit Parader during his militant period. When he and Yoko Ono joined a march in London in August ‘71, holding up the latest issue of the Marxist newspaper Red Mole, they were demonstrating in support of both the IRA and the underground magazine OZ, whose editors had just been sent up the river on an obscenity beef.

John and Yoko took up the cause of the “OZ Three.” For their now-famous “school kids issue,” number 28, OZ had solicited and printed contributions from teenage readers, and was alleged thereby to have struck a mighty blow against the morality of English youth. During the ensuing obscenity trial, the defense actually called an expert witness to testify that just seeing the cover illustration was not enough to turn a healthy young person into a lesbian.
 

Note the “OZ Obscenity Trial” souvenir T-shirt, featuring R. Crumb’s character Honeybunch Kaminski
 
In the end, the editors got fifteen months in prison, and the hip community rallied to their defense, Jon Wiener reports in Come Together: John Lennon in His Time:

The OZ defense committee announced it would appeal, and John and Yoko joined the fundraising effort. They wrote the songs “God Save Us” and “Do the Oz,” released as a single by Apple in July 1971. John played on both and sang lead on “Do the Oz,” calling the group “the Elastic Oz Band.” Full-age ads appeared in all the British underground and radical newspapers: “Every major country has a screw in its side, in England it’s OZ. OZ is on trial for its life. John and Yoko have written and helped produce this record—the proceeds of which are going to OZ to help pay their legal fees. The entire British underground is in trouble, it needs our help. Please listen—‘God Save Oz.’”

Bill Elliot (later of the Dark Horse band Splinter) sings the A-side of the Elastic Oz Band single, which Lennon originally called “God Save Oz” but retitled “God Save Us.” Both sound the same in a Liverpool accent, I think Lennon is telling Sounds here:

First of all we wrote it as God Save Oz, you know, ‘God save Oz from it all,’ but then we decided they wouldn’t really know what we were talking about in America so we changed it back to ‘us’.

But the B-side, “Do the Oz,” is the keeper. Mutilating the lick from “Smokestack Lightning” on guitar, John hollers the steps of his modified hokey pokey while Yoko sings the terrifying, beguiling hum of modernity. Backing them are the Plastic Ono Band and, on acoustic guitars, two contributors to the “school kids issue,” future NME contributor Charles Shaar Murray and “Michelle.”

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
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05.18.2017
07:50 am
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Spastic Ono Band: Redd Kross’ Beatles/Yoko freak-out DID NOT AMUSE Beatlefest attendees, 1988
05.17.2017
10:10 am
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When the recent Redd Kross tour passed through my town, a friend asked me if I was going. I couldn’t go (to my regret—everyone who went RAVED about it), but I joked that I’d make a point of attending if it were a Tater Totz show, and my pal had no goddamn clue what I was talking about.

SO:

For a few years around the turn of the ‘90s, Redd Kross’ principals Jeff and Steve McDonald, along with White Flag’s Pat Fear and a large rotating pool of heavy friends, formed the Tater Totz, a half-reverent, half-goofy take on the catalog of The Beatles, Yoko Ono, and a few assorted others. Redd Kross had long been famed for irreverent cover songs, but Tater Totz went completely around the bend, tackling unlikely candidates for tribute like Ono’s “Telephone Piece” from the album Fly, a song that consists of 35 seconds of a phone ringing and Ono saying “Hello, this is Yoko”; mashing up “Give Peace a Chance” with Queen’s “We Will Rock You”; recruiting The Partridge Family‘s former child actor Danny Bonaduce to sing “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” They made THREE ALBUMS of stuff like this, all while concurrently still functioning as Redd Kross, and releasing their major label debut Third Eye.
 

 
The first album, Alien Sleestacks From Brazil (Unfinished Music Volume 3), features the Queen mashup and the Bonaduce guest vocal, plus a great version of “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “Let’s Get Together” from The Parent Trap, and a take on Gilberto Gil’s Brazilian classic “Bat Macumba” that more closely resembles’ Os Mutantes’ version than the original. It was released on Giant Records (an indie, not the Warners subsidiary of the same name) in 1988.

As completely awesome and bonkers as Alien Sleestacks is, the 1990 sophomore LP Mono! Stereo: Sgt. Shonen’s Exploding Plastic Eastman Band Request is the one to have if you can only have one. The cover art is a wonderful send-up of the Beatles’ HELP! but with four Yokos in place of John, Paul, George and Ringo, and it features a cover of David Essex’s “Rock On” that destroys the Michael Damian hit version released the year before, another “Tomorrow Never Knows” sung by the Three O’Clock’s Michael Quercio, “Rain” sung by Shonen Knife, and “Instant Karma” sung by the Runaways’ Cherie Curie (which I prefer over the original, there I said it). The album also contains plenty of Ono material, and far from making cheap fun, it seems to take her work’s aesthetic merits as given, but it never becomes so serious that they don’t mash up the “Instant Karma” single’s flip side “Who Has Seen the Wind” with “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
 

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
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05.17.2017
10:10 am
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Yoko Ono was in a sleazy sexploitation movie called ‘Satan’s Bed’ (and it looks totally bonkers)
06.23.2015
12:35 pm
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Devil’s Bed has got to be the most fascinating footnote in Yoko Ono’s career (or at least one of the most obscure). I’m not not knocking the things we do on our way up, but this is some serious grindhouse smut, and Ono was never hurting for cash! The Michael Findlay sexploitation flick features Ono as the innocent fiancee of a drug smuggler trying to turn his life around. The sweet and delicate Ono is subjected to all kinds of sleaze (at one point she is referred to as an “Eastern delicacy”), and of course, she is kidnapped by her fiancee’s supplier. Throughout the movie there is a series of totally unrelated scenes of heroin addicts gang-raping random women. Was it for context? Did they just need more footage? Who knows?!

Three years later, Yoko and John would co-write and co-direct Rape, an experimental film in which a cameraman chases a terrified woman through city streets for 77 minutes before knocking her down to the ground in a metaphor for the invasive brutality of the media. It was obviously more art house fare than Devil’s Bed, but you really have to give those old exploitation movies credit for pushing the boundaries of what you could see on film—even when they were just total trash!
 

 

 

Posted by Amber Frost
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06.23.2015
12:35 pm
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Fan photos of John Lennon in London and New York

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Being one of The Beatles meant being mobbed, followed and even stalked everywhere you went. They quit Liverpool for London for its mix of anonymity and excitement—and because everything happened there. Eventually, John, George and Ringo moved on to the stockbroker belt to find peace, quiet and happy isolation. But even there, Lennon had unwelcome visitors who wanted a photo or to say that they understood what his songs were about, and touch the hem of his clothes.

Eventually, Lennon moved again, this time to New York where he said he could walk the streets without anyone bothering him. Going by these fan photographs of Lennon in London and New York, it’s obvious he was just as mobbed by devoted fans in the Big Apple as he had been back in the Big Smoke.

These fan snaps capture Lennon from the late 1960s, through his relationship with Yoko Ono, to just before his untimely death in 1980.
 
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John Lennon signing an autograph outside the Abbey Road Studios, 1968.

More fan snaps of John Lennon, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.31.2015
09:30 am
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John and Yoko shine on in these rarely seen photographs from 1980
03.13.2015
03:38 pm
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These rarely seen photographs by acclaimed photographer Kishin Shinoyama were taken over the course of several days in September of 1980 for John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s album Double Fantasy. It was the last studio recording by Lennon before his tragic murder in December of 1980 and these photographs are particularly bittersweet in light of what was to come.

Kishin Shinoyama and Yoko Ono are releasing a book of photo essays called Double Fantasy published by Taschen this month in a limited edition of 1,980 copies (1980). Money can’t buy you love but it can buy you this book for $700. If you’re a fan it may be some kind of love.

Here are photographs from the book and a video on Shinoyama and Ono’s collaboration on its making.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Marc Campbell
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03.13.2015
03:38 pm
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The murderer whose reputation John Lennon worked to restore
04.09.2014
11:16 am
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John Lennon and Yoko Ono
 
In 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono became very interested in a convicted murderer who had been hanged for a heinous crime seven years earlier. In Britain it was one of the most famous crimes and trials of the era.

What is not in doubt is that in 1961 an individual raped Valerie Storie and murdered Michael John Gregsten, who just a little while earlier had been occupying a car together on the A6 highway in the vicinity of Bedfordshire. Storie was paralyzed from the waist down, while Gregsten, having suffered two point-blank bullets to the head, had died instantly. It does not appear to have been a robbery gone wrong or anything like that, just brutality for brutality’s sake.

There was an initial suspect named Peter Alphon, whom the police held briefly before letting him go. Many people feel that he is the likely murderer. The eventual defendant, the man who would hang for the crime, was James Hanratty. A lot of the ins and outs of the evidence-gathering phase hinged on police lineups. The trial was said to have been the longest in British history for a single murder defendant. The evidence against Hanratty was somewhat circumstantial but also not all that weak either, as far as I can tell. The jury deliberated for an unusually long time and sought clarifications from the judge in the process. Eventually the jury yielded a verdict of guilty. Six weeks later, Hanratty was executed.

A lot of social norms were changing fast in Britain—in 1965 the death penalty was outlawed in Britain for the crime of murder. The excitement over the “A6” crimes never really died down during that era, it had captured the public’s imagination. There were several books exploring the idea of Hanratty’s innocence. Hanratty’s parents and brother appear to have campaigned tirelessly on behalf of his innocence, and they were exceptionally sympathetic.

In late 1969 Hanratty’s parents visited a wealthy friend in Ascot named John Cunningham, who promptly introduced them to his pal John Lennon who lived nearby. John and Yoko quickly seized the case as another opportunity for peculiar protest; they were very much in their “Bed-In” phase.
 
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John Lennon and Yoko Ono with the parents of James Hanratty
 
Together with Hanratty’s parents, John and Yoko announced their intention to make a film to back the campaign for an enquiry at an Apple press conference on December 10, 1969. Apple Films released a documentary with the title Did Britain murder Hanratty? This movie is universally referred to as “John Lennon’s movie” and yet it’s unclear how involved he was. His name isn’t on the movie, and it’s not listed in his credits on IMDb. Well, whatever sells, right? 

The single public screening of the 40-minute movie eventually took place in the crypt of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, London, on February 17, 1972.

The fight to outlaw capital punishment in Britain was a large topic of the day, even after it had happened; it was on the minds of a lot of people. Hanratty had a pretty serious criminal record before the A6 crimes, he had spent the bulk of the previous seven years in prison for burglary and auto theft. In 2002 DNA tests apparently confirmed Hanratty’s guilt, although Hanratty’s defenders question that result based on the use of a spoiled sample.

On John & Yoko’s “Live Jam” album (recorded December 15, 1969), which was released with Some Time in New York City, Yoko can be heard shouting “Britain, you killed Hanratty, you murderer!” and then chanting Hanratty’s name throughout the opening bars of “Don’t Worry Kyoko.”

“Don’t Worry Kyoko,” off of Live Jam/Some Time in New York City

 

 
via Beatles Video Of The Day
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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04.09.2014
11:16 am
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When Frank Zappa met John & Yoko, sometime in New York, 1971
01.27.2014
09:52 pm
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Martin Perlich interviewed Frank Zappa eight times on his “Electric Tongue” program on the Los Angeles progressive rock radio station KMET. Although Zappa was well-known to be a difficult interviewee, Perlich knew what he was talking about and always got the best out of him. In this excellent and wide-ranging 1972 talk, Perlich and Zappa discuss classical music, the philosophical role of music in society and “modernism” in a general sense. There is a great section where they discuss how to explain to kids what they’re seeing on television isn’t necessarily true and Zappa predicts that there will be another monumental media innovation within the next several decades that will will cause or require the human brain to have to rewire itself again in the same way that television had. Heady stuff and exactly what you want from a vintage Frank Zappa interview…

Interesting to note that Zappa sticks up for (the then chart-topping) Grand Funk Railroad more than once during the interview, a group he would later (improbably) go on to produce. Zappa also talks about the 20 piece orchestra that he would be performing with soon at the Hollywood Bowl (and recording The Grand Wazoo with) and tells the story of having a deranged “fan” push him into the orchestra pit at the Rainbow Theatre in London.

At a certain point, John Lennon and Yoko Ono come in for some withering comments regarding their “jam session” at the Fillmore East. For whatever reason, Lennon re-titled the Zappa composition “King Kong, ” the centerpiece of the Mothers’ live act for years and a song that took up an entire side of the Uncle Meat album, as “Jamrag” and credited it to Lennon/Ono on their 1972 Sometime In New York City live album. Zappa’s own mix of this material, radically different from the Phil Spector-produced tracks on John and Yoko’s record came out on his Playground Psychotics live set in 1992.  Zappa tells the full story in the interview.
 

 

 
Below, John Lennon and Yoko Ono onstage with The Mothers of Invention at the Fillmore East, June 4, 1971. The Mothers at this time were comprised of Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman on vocals; Bob Harris, keyboards; Don Preston, Minimoog; Ian Underwood, keyboards, alto sax; Jim Pons, bass, vocals; and Aynsley Dunbar on drums.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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01.27.2014
09:52 pm
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Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Flaming Lips Band bring dada to David Letterman last night
10.03.2013
02:31 am
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Yoko Ono and Wayne Coyne
 
Someday far into the future, the next generation of Dangerous Minds will link to this video, and the hardy contributor on duty then will write something along the lines of, “THIS WAS INSANE. Legendary tee-vee talkmeister David Letterman had Yoko Ono on and she was wearing a snappy fedora and to a funky groove she howled into a microphone about ‘stopping the wars’ and ‘stopping the violence’ and FUCKING WAYNE COYNE was sitting Indian style next to her with a megaphone—this was YEARS before he ascended from the material plane into heaven during Super Bowl LXIV…”

Well, we say why wait? This crazy shit went down last night on The Late Show with David Letterman and you should watch it with the sound turned up!
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.03.2013
02:31 am
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Yoko Ono is a GENIUS, in case any question remained: A primer for the befuddled
09.03.2013
11:33 am
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As Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band, reconstituted in 2009 after a 34-year silence, prepares to release Take Me to the Land of Hell, it seems as good a time as any for a big ol’ info-dump. Allons y!
 
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For many years, Yoko Ono was married to Mr. John Lennon, who was one of the chief songwriters for a band called The Beatles. They did some really, really cool shit. If you’re in the dark on that band, or only glancingly familiar, you should really look them up.  Some books are available.
 

 
Even if Ono hadn’t married a superstar, she’d be worth knowing about. An early mover in the Dada-like Fluxus art movement, she distanced herself from the group almost as soon as it became a movement with a name:

“I thought avant-garde world in New York was still very exciting but that it was starting to become an institution in itself, and there were rules and regulations in an invisible way, and I just wanted to get out of it. I never considered myself a member of any group. I was just doing my own thing, and I’m sure that most artists I knew in those days felt the same.”

Despite her refusenik status, Ono remains Fluxus’ best-known alumnus, and has been as important a figure in the development of American Conceptual Art as John Cage, Chris Burden, or John Baldessari. She initially became known for performances like “Cut Piece,” in which viewers were invited to approach her with scissors as she sat still, cutting off pieces of her clothing until she was entirely naked. Arguably, her most enduring non-musical works are her Instruction pieces - widely disseminated in her now-classic (and pretty much essential) book Grapefruit - participatory/hueristic koan-like invitations for readers to complete artworks in their minds.
 
painting for the wind
 
Ono’s music career began years before her association with John Lennon. She collaborated with the likes of John Cage and Ornette Coleman in the early ‘60s. It was with Lennon, though, that she began to work within the rock process, and at the same time, he began to bring avant-garde ideas gleaned from Ono to bear in some of The Beatles’ work. Ono’s contributions to both rock and experimental music have long been championed by adventurous musicians starting as early as the Punk and New Wave era (surprising, given the anathema status of The Beatles’ undeniable Summer Of Love associations to Punk’s hippie-hating year zero ethos), a love affair that saw a culmination in the 2007 compilation Yes, I’m A Witch, which saw contemporary artists creating new music beds for a career-spanning selection of Ono’s vocal tracks. Peaches’ update of “Kiss Kiss Kiss” and Cat Power’s “duet” with Ono on “Revelations” are both absolutely stunning.
 

 

 

 
In 2001, The Japan Society Gallery in NYC hosted an exhibit called YES YOKO ONO, her first American retrospective:

The exhibition explored Ono’s position within the postwar international avant-garde, and her critical and influential role in originating forms of contemporary art, music, film and performance. Featuring approximately 130 works from the 1960s to the present, it presented Ono as a key transmitter of Asian thought to the international art world, through her use of chance and minimalism, and her investigation of everyday life.


The exhibition toured, and its catalogue is an excellent staring point for understanding her career. Currently, an even larger retrospective is touring the museums of Europe, coinciding with Ono’s 80th year.
 

 
Fact: if you hate Yoko Ono because “derrr she dun broked up da BEEEEAAAATLES” or because “she don’t even sing or nothin’, she just wails a buncha nonsense,” you’re a useless ass and you need to get your god damn fool eyes off my article right now and go use your valuable Internet time to look at some image macros of funny kittycats. NOW. I’m not even slightly kidding. Go get fitted for a new droolcup. (previous) (previouser). Fuck off, even.
 

 
The first iteration of the Plastic Ono Band was comprised of whoever happened to be present (including Tommy Smothers!) singing along and clapping their hands at Ono and Lennon’s Montreal “Bed Peace” performance in July of 1969, while the single “Give Peace A Chance” was recorded. The first properly band-like version was assembled in September 1969 for the Toronto Rock And Roll Revival festival, and featured, in addition to Ono and Lennon, future Yes drummer Alan White, noteworthy visual artist and onetime Manfred Mann bassist Klaus Voormann, and one Eric Clapton, who did some other fairly well known stuff himself.
 

 
The first Plastic Ono Band studio albums were a matched set of recordings with very nearly identical covers, one under Ono’s name, one under Lennon’s, both credited “and the Plastic Ono Band.” Decent copies of Lennon’s version can be found in thrift stores for pocket change, while Ono’s has become a sought-after collectable.
 
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Ono has been posting a new song from the forthcoming album every week on the Plastic Ono Band’s web site, culminating on Take Me to the Land of Hell being streamable by the release date, September 17, 2013. Check out “Bad Dancer,” featuring Beastie Boys Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz.
 

 
Lastly, from just a couple of months ago: whoa, this is cool.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
John Cage chats with John Lennon & Yoko Ono (1972)
Yoko Ono: Twitter Q & A
Meditating On Cancer With Adam Yauch And Yoko Ono
Happy 80th Birthday Yoko Ono
‘Freedom’: Yoko Ono almost takes her bra off, while John Lennon makes electronic noises
The making of John and Yoko’s Plastic Ono Band LPs

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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09.03.2013
11:33 am
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‘Freedom’: Yoko Ono almost takes her bra off, while John Lennon makes electronic noises
07.19.2013
01:37 pm
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Freedom
 
Yoko Ono’s films tend to deal with themes of sexuality, intimacy, and the navigation of public life. 1969’s Rape is arguably her most famous work, a disturbing first-person perspective from the eyes of the film crew, who chase, harass, and assault a German woman as she flees through the streets of London. No doubt the film is a commentary on the sudden media onslaught she experienced in the initial stages of her relationship with John Lennon. It’s an incredibly compelling piece.

It’s also 77 damn minutes long, and since I know you’re all reading this at work, I’ll hook you up with one of Ono’s briefer film experiments.

In Freedom, we see a shot of Ono’s chest in a silky purple bra. Faceless, she attempts to unhook the front claps in slow motion to the sound of modulating, electronic drone, (provided by John Lennon, of course). While it’s not unheard of to see a close-up of breasts on celluloid, the speed and sounds of the shot transform a mundane ritual of taking off a bra into a sort of post-modern dirge. The bra is never removed on camera, and the audience is left in a state of anticipation, as the clinical, hypnotic feel of the film belies all the general comfort we associate with breasts, whether maternal or sexual.
 

Posted by Amber Frost
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07.19.2013
01:37 pm
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Still Pissed At Yoko: Disgruntled Beatles fan gets something off his chest
05.30.2013
02:31 pm
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Dig George Johnson’s ambitious humorous homage to The Beatles and the woman some fans think “broke them up.”

I suspect that Mrs. Lennon might get a kick out of this. Johnson seems to be (I hope) poking fun at all the idiot Yoko haters, rather than joining that tired chorus. Yoko rules!

“Still Pissed At Yoko” is available for download at the iTunes store.
 

 
Thank you, Charles Hugh Smith!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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05.30.2013
02:31 pm
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Yoko Ono’s plea for gun control expressed in one image: John Lennon’s blood-splattered glasses

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On the 44th anniversary (March 20) of her marriage to John Lennon, Yoko Ono tweeted this powerful photo of her late husband’s blood-splattered glasses, the ones he wore the night he was murdered

31,537 people are killed by guns in the USA every year. We are turning this beautiful country into a war zone.

Together, let’s bring back America, the green land of peace.

The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 33 years our son Sean and I still miss him.” Yoko Ono Lennon

In my world, I’m still giving peace a chance and Yoko Ono will always be a hero to me. Love is all you need… and a fearless commitment to confront and defuse the powers that be.

Posted by Marc Campbell
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03.21.2013
06:11 am
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Happy 80th Birthday Yoko Ono
02.18.2013
12:35 pm
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A very, very happy birthday to the very, very wonderful Yoko Ono who turns 80 today!

I was introduced to Yoko Ono (I mean the concept of her; her work) when I was a little kid, probably 6 years old, and I found a copy of her book Grapefruit at a church rummage sale for like a quarter. I’m not trying to impress anyone with how smart or sophisticated I was when I was a small child, Grapefruit was something I stumbled across. All I knew about her then was that she had something to do (I didn’t know what, exactly) with the Beatles, who I was all into because I’d recently seen Yellow Submarine.

Grapefruit, a tiny book of the short, simplistic, whimsical and often hilarious artistic aphorisms Yoko is known for, is not exactly beyond the comprehension level of a precocious child. Here are some examples:

Carry a bag of peas.
Leave a pea wherever you go.

or

Steal all the clocks and watches
in the world.
Destroy them.

or

Imagine the clouds dripping.
Dig a hole in your garden to
put them in.

It helps if you imagine Yoko’s voice reading it. For me it was love at first sight. I have always been in love with Grapefruit and with Yoko Ono. There has never been a time in my life when I wasn’t. I grabbed her albums from cut-out bins and garage sales throughout the 70s. Yoko was awesome and made music like no other!

I never got the whole “Yoko sucks” thing. It seemed so idiotic to me, then as now (I can see someone thinking that in 1975, but after post-punk showed just how ahead of her time she was? There’s no excuse anymore!).

Yoko Ono is a charter member of my pantheon of personal heroes. I even own a “Box of Smile,” her conceptual art piece that was mass produced in 1971 (It’s a small plastic box with a mirror inside. I have never—and I repeat NEVER—seen someone fail to crack a smile when they open it, not once).

When Yoko Ono announced on her Twitter feed in 2009 that she would answer some questions, she answered mine in the first batch. Keeping in mind what I wrote above, here’s what I asked and her reply:

@RichardMetzger
Do you find that children “get” your conceptual art pieces better than adults?

@yokoono
Not necessarily. There are kids who think they are grown ups and don’t want to know anything that smells like kids stuff. And there are grown-ups who are still kids at heart who clearly get my work.

That made my day, I can assure you.

An excerpt from Yoko’s “Mind Train”:
 

 
Below, Yoko tells interviewer David Frost, in 1967: “My ultimate goal in film-making is to make a film which includes a smiling face snap of every single human being in the world.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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02.18.2013
12:35 pm
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John and Yoko on the Beatles break-up
11.14.2012
05:47 pm
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In January 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono told Howard Smith, a Village Voice columnist and radio personality on WPLJ FM, what they thought about the Beatles break-up and if they would ever get back together again.
 

 
Via The World’s Best Ever

Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.14.2012
05:47 pm
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