Yoko Ono: Five Reasons She Still Matters

Categories: Miles-tones

yoko feb17.jpg
Friday, Yoko Ono Lennon, widow of John Lennon, turns 78 years old. She's still as vibrant and prolific as ever, staying in the spotlight, not only as the keeper of Lennon's flame but also as an influential artist and public figure.

Here is where Beatles fans will scoff and say her art was garbage and that she destroyed their favorite band by manipulating Lennon against the other three members. The fact that they were four men who had conflicting personalities, and were already growing apart and dabbling in drugs couldn't have had any defining role in their break-up, could it?

Say what you want about Ono, who was eight years older than her late husband and will perform at SXSW this year. She pioneered in her own way. Yes, her voice could be considered shrill, but her artwork cannot be denied, especially given the acclaim it received before Lennon came into the picture. Neither can the pedigree of her talent.

Why does Yoko Ono still matter? Well...

5. Ushered the Avant-Garde Into the Mainstream: You can laugh at the bags, the screaming, the chanting, the art installations, but few people before her had such a grand audience to work in front of. Her and Lennon's relationship was a match made in heaven, bringing together a musician who dabbled in art, and an artist who needed a muse herself.

Artwork like hers, from the Fluxus school, being seen on a larger scale made way for No Wave music and for even the weirdest painters and artisans to gain wide acclaim. Love it or hate it, that matters.


4. Keeper of John's Legacy: As Lennon's widow, Ono is the keeper of his legacy. She keeps product and content in the public's hands. We aren't even talking about the Beatles, either. She's been doing this since before he was murdered in 1980, running the financial show while he was a househusband.

Lennon's writing, art, and music is a constant presence in her hands as a businesswoman now. Her son with Lennon, Sean, also reminds us daily of his dad. But then again, it's not as if we will would all forget about Lennon if it weren't for her, she just facilitates the machine that keeps Lennon profitable, which doesn't hurt humanity.



My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

Might be a good idea for some to actually see the Hippies back in the late 1960's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Nobody could figure out what the future held but most of us agreed that.. Tune In - Turn On and Drop Out...wasn't going to cut it for very long.

Vsgoddess
Vsgoddess

Five reasons why YOKO matters? i can think of 100..There is no one that even comes close to YOKO..... she is f' awesome ..she is her her own person, an established recording artist and artist.she has kept johns legacy alive.she has made millions to leave to beloved sean and family.and what can be said.. if the coolest man in the world fell in love with her.she was everything to john.he said he would not be able to live without her.she suffered so much and so long.can you hate yoko folks give it a f' rest already.she can do whatever she wants with the name, the legacy, the lennon $$$$$$,the f' imagine piano, it is all hers..john would be so proud to see what she has accomplished all these years without him.for him......................................

Beatlebail
Beatlebail

How much did she pay you to write this article?

Roman
Roman

She's milking John's legacy for all the fame and bucks she can squeeze out of it. One day, she will be seen as she truly is, not as the fantastic artist you make her out to be. I wouldn't be surprised if the author/mediator has deleted those negative comments that describe her as she really is.

She is unfailingly polite in public but in my opinion she's got pretty bad energy and bad karma to pay for all the bad things she's done to John and John's fans. you couldn't pay me enough money to view an art exhibition or go to one of her concerts where she is best known for her howling.

Francesco Orodinapoli
Francesco Orodinapoli

The 1st Lennon and the 1st Ono solo albums after Two Virgins make more sense if one knows that they had gotten very involved with Primal Scream therapy at the time.

Here's some 'delightful' Ono showing that she's a true artist. Yeah, right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

I remember this very well.

So many people were recommending experimental music be tried because so much of what was heard sounded the same.

It was also suggested that musical instruments from other countries be adopted such as the Sitar from India and the work on Ravi Shankar.

George Harrison of the Beatles made use of the Sitar as did members of the Rolling Stones.

Much of this effort to try new sounds and new applications of music along with new musical instruments is probably the beginning of Music Therapy such as we see being used here in Houston with Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Unschooler
Unschooler

If she cared about keeping his legacy alive, she wouldn't be profiting from his works. Listen to Imagine.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

Well we need to stop every single survivor of every dead musician from marketing their relative, EVER. These are business people, just like anything else. Keeping a brand alive is not a crime if it's a decent brand that is timeless.

ElizaBro
ElizaBro

So you're saying that "imagine no possessions" was B.S.?

Jim C
Jim C

Yoko One did not break up the Beatles. That honour goes to Allen Klein.

She did, however, prevent John and Paul from working together again. John was all set to go to New Orleans to help out with Venus and Mars (and whatever else that might have lead to) when Yoko said no.

NeenerNeener
NeenerNeener

John and Paul DID work together one more time, piddling around in the studio with Stevie Wonder and Harry Nilsson in 1974 when John was briefly separated from Yoko (in his May Pang phase). Look up the bootleg A Toot And A Snore In '74.

NeenerNeener
NeenerNeener

Moving in a bed so she could be at Abby Road Studios 24-7 didn't help.

H_e_x
H_e_x

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...Does using the image of her husband in a car commercial really count as keeping his legacy?

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

Well we need to stop every single survivor of every dead musician from marketing their relative, EVER. These are business people, just like anything else. Keeping a brand alive is not a crime if it's a decent brand that is timeless.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Are you really defending the use of his image in a Citro├źn ad? I might be a mad man, but I thought the point of keeping a legacy alive was so that it wound't be whored out to a company. This isn't a charitable foundation or a non profit, but a car company. You say that she keeps his legacy alive, but when presented with evidence that she used his image to make money you disregard your first point and immediately say that it is done in the name of business. You can't have it both ways. If his image was used in a charitable way then you could make that argument, but as it is his image has been used by her to make money. How is this different from John Wayne's image being used to sell Coors or Fred Astaire being used to sell vacuums?And I'd appreciate it if you didn't copy and paste your replies to people who don't agree with you.

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

There is a John Lennon Foundation and a John Lennon Child Health Foundation.

Also, there are several agents in the United States who represent the work of those performing artists who are dead.

The family members build up the assets of those foundations to many millions of dollars and they really do great work.

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

It does if it adds to the overall cash level of the foundation.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Did this ad contribute to his foundation? If so, I demand proof.

Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

Great article about a great lady who has made one hell of a difference.

If she had not intervened John might have stayed on the road he was on and crashed with the anti-war group led by Timothy Leary and crew.

She was and still is an great experimental musician and performer who knows how to read the tea-leaves about what fans want to hear and see.

Maggie May
Maggie May

Which anti-war group led by Timothy Leary & Crew? I was around back then & don't remember anything like that.

The Beatles, as they were, couldn't have lasted; Yoko became the symbol of the split, but she wasn't the main cause. Most bands go through stages: (1) Closer than Brothers, (2) Hate Each Others' Guts, (3) Working on Their Own Stuff & (4) Occasionally Collaborating for Special Projects. Yoko kept John away from that final step.

Now, any TV show on Lennon must indicate she was the best thing that ever happened to him. Because she owns the rights.

Mctavish09
Mctavish09

True. She didn't break up the Beatles but she did do everything in her power to keep them apart.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...