Yoko Ono at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo, Brazil in 2007
February 18, 1933 |
|Genres||Avant-garde, experimental, rock, pop, new wave|
|Occupations||Artist, peace activist, musician|
|Labels||Apple, Geffen, Polydor, Rykodisc, Astralwerks, Chimera Music|
|Associated acts||John Lennon
Plastic Ono Band
Yoko Ono (オノ・ヨーコ, also 小野 洋子 Ono Yōko , born February 18, 1933 in Tokyo, Japan) is a Japanese artist and peace activist, known for her work in avant-garde art, music and filmmaking and for her 1969–1980 marriage to John Lennon. There have been retrospectives of her work in New York City in 1989 and 2001, in Bielefeld, Germany, and the UK in 2008, and in Frankfurt, Krems, Austria, and Bilbao, Spain in 2013. She received a Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement from the Venice Biennale in 2009 and the 2012 Oskar Kokoschka Prize, Austria's highest award for applied contemporary art.
She maintains John Lennon's legacy, among other things funding and maintaining Strawberry Fields in New York City, the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland, and the John Lennon Museum in Saitama, Japan. She has also made significant philanthropic contributions to arts, peace, Philippine disaster relief, and AIDS and autism outreach programs. Mother to Kyoko Chan Cox and Sean Lennon, she also brought feminism to the forefront in her music. Her collaborative albums with Lennon Live Peace in Toronto 1969 and from 1972 Some Time in New York City reached No. 10 and No. 48 on the album charts respectively. Since 2003, eleven of her songs, mostly remixes of her older work, have hit No. 1 on the US dance chart.
- 1 Early life and family
- 2 Life in New York
- 3 Artwork
- 4 Lennon tributes and memorials
- 5 Musical career
- 6 2000s
- 7 2010s
- 8 Political activism
- 9 Relationship with Paul McCartney
- 10 Discography
- 11 Books and monographs
- 12 Films
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes
- 15 References
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
- 18 References
Early life and family
Yoko Ono was born in Tokyo in 1933 to mother Isoko Ono (小野 磯子 Ono Isoko), the great-granddaughter of Zenjiro Yasuda (安田 善次郎 Yasuda Zenjirō) of the Yasuda clan and zaibatsu. Her father was Eisuke Ono (小野 英輔 Ono Eisuke), a banker and one-time classical pianist who was a descendant of an Emperor of Japan. The kanji translation of Ono's first name Yoko means "ocean child". Two weeks before she was born, her father was transferred to San Francisco by his employer, the Yokohama Specie Bank. The rest of the family followed soon after, with Yoko meeting her father when she was two. Her younger brother Keisuke was born in December 1936. In 1937, her father was transferred back to Japan and Ono was enrolled at Tokyo's Gakushuin (also known as the Peers School), one of the most exclusive schools in Japan.
In 1940, the family moved to New York City. In 1941, her father was transferred from New York City to Hanoi, and the family returned to Japan. Ono was then enrolled in Keimei Gakuen, an exclusive Christian primary school run by the Mitsui family. She remained in Tokyo through the great fire-bombing of March 9, 1945, during which she was sheltered with other family members in a special bunker in the Azabu district of Tokyo, far from the heavy bombing. Afterwards Ono went to the Karuizawa mountain resort with members of her family.
Ono has said that she and her family were forced to beg for food while pulling their belongings in a wheelbarrow; and it was during this period in her life that Ono says she developed her "aggressive" attitude and understanding of "outsider" status when children taunted her and her brother, who were once well-to-do. Other stories have her mother bringing a large number of goods with them to the countryside which they bartered for food. One famous anecdote has her mother bartering a German-made sewing machine for sixty kilograms of rice with which to feed the family. Her father remained in the city and, unbeknownst to them, was believed to have been eventually incarcerated in a prisoner of war camp in China. In an interview by Democracy Now's Amy Goodman on October 16, 2007, Ono explained, "He was in French Indochina which is Vietnam actually... in Saigon. He was in a concentration camp."
By April 1946, Gakushuin was reopened and Ono enrolled again. The school, located near the imperial palace, had not been damaged by the war, and Ono found herself a classmate of Akihito, the future emperor of Japan. She graduated in 1951 and was accepted into the philosophy program of Gakushuin University, the first woman to enter the department. However, after two semesters, she left the school.
Life in New York
Ono's family moved to Scarsdale, New York, after the war, without her. She left Japan to rejoin her family, enrolling in nearby Sarah Lawrence College. While her parents approved of her college choice, they were dismayed at her lifestyle, and, according to Ono, chastised her for befriending people they considered to be "beneath" her. In spite of this, Ono loved meeting artists, poets and others who represented the "bohemian" lifestyle she longed for herself. Visiting galleries and art happenings in the city whetted her desire to display her own artistic endeavors publicly. La Monte Young, her first important contact in the New York art world, helped Ono start her career by using her Chambers Street loft in Tribeca as a performance space. At one performance, Ono set a painting on fire; her mentor John Cage advised her to treat the paper with flame retardant.
Toshi Ichiyanagi, Anthony Cox
In 1956, Ono married composer Toshi Ichiyanagi. They filed for divorce in 1962 after living apart for several years. Ono returned home to live with her parents and suffered from clinical depression. She was briefly placed in a mental institution. Later that year, on November 28, 1962, Ono married Anthony Cox, an American jazz musician, film producer, and art promoter. Ono had neglected to finalize her divorce from Ichiyanagi, so her marriage to Cox was annulled on March 1, 1963. After finalizing the divorce, Cox and Ono married again on June 6, 1963. Their daughter, Kyoko Chan Cox, was born two months later on August 8, 1963.
The marriage quickly fell apart, but the Coxes stayed together for the sake of their joint careers. They performed at Tokyo's Sogetsu Hall with Ono lying atop a piano played by John Cage. Soon the couple returned to New York with Kyoko. In the early years of the marriage, Ono left most of Kyoko's parenting to Cox while she pursued her art full-time with Tony also managing publicity. After she divorced Cox on February 2, 1969, the couple engaged in a bitter legal battle for custody of their daughter, resulting in Ono's being awarded full custody. However, in 1971, Cox disappeared with then-eight-year-old Kyoko, in violation of the custody order. Cox subsequently became a Christian and raised Kyoko in an organization known as the Church of the Living Word (or "the Walk"). Cox left the group with Kyoko in 1977. Living an underground existence, Cox changed the girl's name to Rosemary. Cox and Kyoko sent Ono a sympathy message after Lennon's 1980 murder. Afterwards, the bitterness between the parents lessened slightly, and Ono publicly announced in People magazine that she would no longer seek out the now-adult Kyoko, but still wished to make contact with her. In 1994, Kyoko finally made contact with Ono after having married and deciding to have children of her own.
Two versions exist of how Lennon met Ono. According to the first, on November 9, 1966, Lennon went to the Indica Gallery in London, where Ono was preparing her conceptual art exhibit, and they were introduced by gallery owner John Dunbar. Lennon was intrigued by Ono's Hammer A Nail: Patrons hammered a nail into a wooden board, creating the art piece. Although the exhibition had not yet opened, the Beatle wanted to hammer a nail into the clean board, but Ono stopped him. Dunbar asked her, "Don't you know who this is? He's a millionaire! He might buy it." Ono had supposedly not heard of the Beatles, but relented on condition that Lennon pay her five shillings, to which Lennon replied, "I'll give you an imaginary five shillings and hammer an imaginary nail in." The second version, told by McCartney, is that in late 1965, Ono was in London compiling original musical scores for a book John Cage was working on, Notations. McCartney declined to give her any of his own manuscripts, but suggested that Lennon might oblige. Lennon did, giving Ono the original handwritten lyrics to "The Word."
Ono began telephoning and calling Lennon's home, and when his wife Cynthia asked for an explanation, he told her that Ono was only trying to obtain money for her "avant-garde bullshit." In May 1968, while his wife was on holiday in Greece, Lennon invited Ono to visit. They spent the night recording what would become the Two Virgins album, after which, he said, they "made love at dawn". When Lennon's wife returned home, she found Ono wearing her bathrobe and drinking tea with Lennon who simply said, "Oh, hi." Ono became pregnant and miscarried a male child they named John Ono Lennon II on November 21, 1968, a few weeks after Lennon's divorce from Cynthia was granted.
Bed-Ins and other early collaborations
During Lennon's last two years in the Beatles, he and Ono began public protests against the Vietnam War. They were married at the registry office in Gibraltar on March 20, 1969, and spent their honeymoon in Amsterdam campaigning with a week-long Bed-In for Peace. They planned another Bed-In in the US, but were denied entry, so held one instead at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, where they recorded "Give Peace a Chance". They often combined advocacy with performance art, as in their Bagism, first introduced during a Vienna press conference. Lennon detailed this period in the Beatles' song "The Ballad of John and Yoko".
Lennon changed his name by deed poll on April 22, 1969, adding "Ono" as a middle name. Although he used the name John Ono Lennon thereafter, official documents referred to him as John Winston Ono Lennon, since he was not permitted to revoke a name given at birth. The couple settled at Tittenhurst Park at Sunninghill in Berkshire. After Ono was injured in a car accident, Lennon arranged for a king-sized bed to be brought to the recording studio as he worked on the Beatles' last recorded album, Abbey Road.
Ono and Lennon collaborated on many albums, beginning in 1968 when Lennon was still a Beatle, with Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins, an album of experimental electronic music. That same year, the couple contributed an experimental piece to The White Album called "Revolution 9". Ono also contributed backing vocals on "Birthday", and one line of lead vocals on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" to The White Album.
The Plastic Ono Band
In 1969, the Plastic Ono Band's first album, Live Peace in Toronto 1969, was recorded during the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival. In addition to Lennon and Ono, this first incarnation of the group consisted of guitarist Eric Clapton, bass player Klaus Voormann, and drummer Alan White. The first half of their performance consisted of rock standards, and during the second half, Ono took to the microphone and along with the band performed an avant garde set, ending with music that consisted mainly of feedback, while Ono screamed and sang.
Many of the couple's later albums were released under the name the Plastic Ono Band, with the couple appearing together at concerts.
First solo album and Fly
Ono released her first solo album, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band in 1970, as a companion piece to Lennon's better-known John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. The two albums also have companion covers: Ono's featured a photo of her leaning on Lennon, and Lennon's a photo of him leaning on Ono. Her album included raw and harsh vocals, that bear much in common with sounds in nature (especially those made by animals) and free jazz techniques used by wind and brass players. Performers included Ornette Coleman and other renowned free jazz performers. In addition to Lennon, other performers included Ringo Starr and others minor. Some songs on the album consisted of wordless vocalizations, in a style that would influence Meredith Monk, and other musical artists who have used screams and vocal noise in lieu of words. The album reached No. 182 on the US charts.
When Lennon was invited to play with Frank Zappa at the Fillmore on June 5, 1971, Ono joined them. Later that year, Ono released Fly – a double album. On this release Ono explored slightly more conventional psychedelic rock with tracks like "Midsummer New York" and "Mind Train", in addition to a number of Fluxus experiments. She also received minor airplay with the ballad "Mrs. Lennon". Perhaps the most famous track from the album is "Don't Worry, Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)", an ode to Ono's kidnapped daughter, which features Eric Clapton on guitar.
In 1971, while studying with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Majorca, Spain, Ono's second husband, Anthony Cox, accused Ono of abducting their daughter Kyoko from his hotel. A large number of accusations flew between the two and the matter of custody. Cox eventually moved to Houston, Texas, and converted to Evangelical Christianity with his new wife, who was originally from Houston. At the end of the year, a custody hearing in Houston went against Cox, and in violation of the order, he took Kyoko and disappeared. Ono then launched a search for her daughter with the aid of the police and private investigators. This is when she wrote "Don't Worry Kyoko," which also appears on Lennon and Ono's album Live Peace In Toronto 1969 in addition to her album Fly. Kyoko is also referenced on the first line of "Happy Christmas (War Is Over)" when Yoko whispers "Happy Christmas Kyoko" followed by Lennon whispering "Happy Christmas Julian."
Separation from Lennon and reunion
Both the press and the public were for many years critical of Ono. She was blamed for the breakup of the Beatles and repeatedly criticized for her influence over Lennon and his music. Her experimental art was not popularly understood. After the Beatles disbanded, Lennon and Ono lived together in London and then in New York. Their relationship was strained by the threat of deportation Lennon faced (because of drug charges filed in Britain), and Ono's separation from her daughter. The couple separated in 1973 with Ono pursuing her career in New York and Lennon living in Los Angeles with personal assistant May Pang, with Ono's blessing.
In 1975, the couple reconciled. Their son, Sean, was born on Lennon's 35th birthday, October 9, 1975. The couple lived in relative seclusion at the Dakota in New York City. Sean has followed in his parents' footsteps with a musical career, doing solo work and also forming a band The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger.
John Lennon retired from music to become a househusband caring for Sean, until shortly before his murder in December 1980, which Ono witnessed at close range. Ono has stated that the couple were thinking about going out to dinner after spending several hours in a recording studio, but were returning to their apartment instead, because John wanted to see Sean before he was put to bed. Following the murder, Ono went into complete seclusion for an extended period.
During this time Cox and Kyoko sent a message of sympathy to Ono, still without revealing their location. Ono later printed an open letter to Kyoko saying how she missed her, but that she would cease her attempts to find her. Kyoko would later appear on the 1987 title track of American English by the British pop band Wax.
Association with Fluxus
Ono was a sometime member of Fluxus, a loose association of Dada-inspired avant-garde artists that developed in the early 1960s. Fluxus founder George Maciunas, a friend of Ono's during the 1960s, admired her work and promoted it with enthusiasm. One of Ono's well-known examples is when she took a fly as her alter ego and was inspired by this for her work. Maciunas invited her to more formally join the Fluxus group, but she declined because she wanted to remain independent. She did however, collaborate with Maciunas, Charlotte Moorman, George Brecht, and Jackson Mac Low, among others.
John Cage was one of the most important influences on Ono's performance art. It was her relationship to Ichiyanagi Toshi, a pupil in Cage's legendary Experimental Composition class at the New School for Social Research, that would introduce her to the unconventional avant-garde, neo-Dadaism of Cage and his protégés in New York City.
Almost immediately after Cage finished teaching at the New School in the summer of 1960, Ono was determined to rent a place to present her works along with the work of other avant-garde artists in the city. She eventually found a cheap loft in downtown Manhattan at 112 Chambers Street that she used as a studio and living space. Ono allowed composer La Monte Young to organize concerts in the loft. Both began organizing a series of events there, and both claimed to have been the primary curator of these events, with Ono claiming to have been eventually pushed into a subsidiary role by Young. The Chambers Street series hosted some of Ono's earliest conceptual artwork including Painting to Be Stepped On, which was a scrap of canvas on the floor that became a completed artwork upon the accrual of footprints. Ono suggested that a work of art no longer needed to be mounted on a wall, inaccessible.
Cut Piece, 1964
Ono was an explorer of conceptual art and performance art. A seminal performance work is Cut Piece, first performed in 1964 at the Sogetsu Art Center in Tokyo. Cut Piece had one simple but destructive verb as its instruction: "Cut." Ono executed the performance by walking on stage and casually kneeling on the floor in a draped garment, and audience members were requested to come on stage and begin cutting until she was naked.
The next year, she performed it at Carnegie Hall where it received a lot of attention. She performed the piece again in London and other venues, garnering drastically different attention depending on the audience. In Japan, the audience was typically shy and cautious, while London participants were more zealous and she had to be protected by security. She reprised the piece in Paris in 2003, in the low post-9/11 moment between the US and France saying she hoped to show that this is "a time where we need to trust each other."
Grapefruit book, 1964
An example of her conceptual art includes her book of instructions called Grapefruit. First published in 1964, the book includes surreal, Zen-like instructions that are to be completed in the mind of the reader, for example: "Hide and seek Piece: Hide until everybody goes home. Hide until everybody forgets about you. Hide until everybody dies." An example of heuristic art, Grapefruit was published several times, most widely distributed by Simon and Schuster in 1971, and reprinted by them again in 2000.
David Bourdon art critic for The Village Voice and Vogue called Grapefruit, "one of the monuments of conceptual art of the early 1960's." He noted in her conceptual approach was made more acceptable when white male artists like Joseph Kosuth and Lawrence Weiner came in and "did virtually the same things" she did. He added that her take also has a poetic and lyrical side that sets it apart from the work of other conceptual artists.
Many of the scenarios in the book would be enacted as performance pieces throughout Ono's career and have formed the basis for her art exhibitions, including one highly publicized show at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York, that was nearly closed when besieged by excited Beatles fans who broke several of the art pieces and flooded the toilets.
Experimental films, 1964-1972
Ono was also an experimental filmmaker who made sixteen films between 1964 and 1972, gaining particular renown for a 1966 Fluxus film called simply No. 4, often referred to as Bottoms. The five-and-a-half minute film consists of a series of close-ups of human buttocks as the subject walks on a treadmill. The screen is divided into four almost equal sections by the elements of the gluteal cleft and the horizontal gluteal crease. The soundtrack consists of interviews with those who are being filmed as well as those considering joining the project. In 1996, the watch manufacturing company Swatch produced a limited edition watch that commemorates this film. In March 2004, the ICA London, showed most of her films from this period in their exhibition The Rare Films of Yoko Ono. She also acted in an obscure exploitation film in 1965, Satan's Bed.
Wish Tree, 1981-present
In addition to conceptual art, Ono has also created participatory art, including her Wish Tree project in which a tree native to the site is installedJapan. with the following instructions:
- Make a wish
- Write it down on a piece of paper
- Fold it and tie it around a branch of a Wish Tree
- Ask your friends to do the same
- Keep wishing
- Until the branches are covered with wishes.
Her Wish Tree installation in the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, established there July 2010, has become popular with contributions from all over the world. Other locations include London, St. Louis, Washington, DC, San Francisco, the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto, California, Japan, Venice, and Dublin.
Recognition and retrospectives
John Lennon once described her as "the world's most famous unknown artist: everybody knows her name, but nobody knows what she does." Her circle of friends in the New York art world has included Kate Millett, Nam June Paik, Dan Richter, Jonas Mekas, Merce Cunningham, Judith Malina, Erica Abeel, Fred DeAsis, Peggy Guggenheim, Betty Rollin, Shusaku Arakawa, Adrian Morris, Stefan Wolpe, Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol (she was one of the speakers at his 1987 Warhol's funeral), as well as Maciunas and La Monte Young. In addition to Mekas, Maciunas, Young, and Warhol, she has also collaborated with Fred DeAsis, Yvonne Rainer, and Zbigniew Rybczyński.
In 1989, the Whitney Museum held a retrospective of her work. This marked her entry back into the New York art world after a hiatus. 2001, Yes Yoko Ono, a forty-year retrospective of Ono's work, received the International Association of Art Critics USA Award for Best Museum Show Originating in New York City, considered one of the highest accolades in the museum profession. In 2002 Ono was awarded the Skowhegan Medal for work in assorted media. In 2005 she received a lifetime achievement award from the Japan Society of New York. Ono also received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Liverpool University in 2001 and the next year was presented with the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts from Bard College.
In 2008, she showed a large retrospective exhibition, Between The Sky And My Head, at the Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany, and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, England. The next year, she showed a selection of new and old work as part of her show "Anton's Memory" in Venice, Italy. She also received a Golden Lion Award for lifetime achievement from the Venice Biennale in 2009. In 2012, Ono was the winner of the 2012 Oskar Kokoschka Prize, Austria's highest award for applied contemporary art. In February 2013, to coincide with her 80th birthday, the largest retrospective of her work, Half-a-Wind Show, opened at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt and travelled to Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Austria's Kunsthalle Krems, and Spain's Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Lennon tributes and memorials
Ono funded the construction and maintenance of the Strawberry Fields memorial in New York City's Central Park, across from where they lived and Lennon died. It was officially dedicated on October 9, 1985, which would have been his 45th birthday. In 1990, Ono collaborated with music consultant Jeff Pollack to honor what would've been Lennon's 50th birthday with a worldwide broadcast of "Imagine". Over one thousand stations in over fifty countries participated in the simultaneous broadcast. Ono felt the timing was perfect considering the escalating conflicts in the Middle East as well as Eastern Europe and Germany.
In 2000, she founded the John Lennon Museum in Saitama, Saitama, Japan. On October 9, 2007, Ono dedicated a new memorial called the Imagine Peace Tower, located on the island of Viðey, 1 km outside the Skarfabakki harbour in Reykjavík in Iceland. Each year, between October 9 and December 8, it projects a vertical beam of light high into the sky. In 2009, Ono created an exhibit called John Lennon: The New York City Years for the NYC Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex. The exhibit used music, photographs and personal items to depict Lennon's life in New York, and a portion of the cost of each ticket was donated to Spirit Foundation, a charitable foundation set up by Lennon and Ono.
Ono collaborated with experimental luminaries such as John Cage and jazz legend Ornette Coleman. In 1961, years before meeting Lennon, she had her first major public performance in a concert at the 258-seat Carnegie Recital Hall (not the larger "Main Hall"). This concert featured radical experimental music and performances. She had a second engagement at the Carnegie Recital Hall in 1965, in which she debuted Cut Piece.
In early 1980, Lennon heard Lene Lovich and The B-52's' "Rock Lobster" in a nightclub, and it reminded him of Ono's musical sound. He took this as an indication that her sound had reached the mainstream. Indeed, many musicians, particularly those of the new wave movement, have paid tribute to Ono (both as an artist in her own right, and as a muse and iconic figure). For example, Elvis Costello recorded a version of Ono's song "Walking on Thin Ice", the B-52's who drew from her early recordings covered "Don't Worry, Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)" (shortening the title to "Don't Worry") and Sonic Youth included a performance of Ono's early conceptual "Voice Piece for Soprano" on their experimental album SYR4: Goodbye 20th Century. One of Barenaked Ladies's best-known songs is "Be My Yoko Ono", and Dar Williams recorded a song called "I Won't Be Your Yoko Ono". The punk rock singer Patti Smith invited Ono to participate in "Meltdown", a two-week music festival that Smith organized in London; Ono performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall.
On December 8, 1980, Lennon and Ono were in the studio working on Ono's song Walking on Thin Ice. When they returned to The Dakota, their home in New York City, Lennon was shot dead by Mark David Chapman, a deranged fan who had been stalking Lennon for two months. "Walking on Thin Ice (For John)" was released as a single less than a month later, and became Ono's first chart success, peaking at No. 58 and gaining major underground airplay. In 1981, she released the album Season of Glass with the striking cover photo of Lennon's bloody spectacles next to a half-filled glass of water, with a window overlooking Central Park in the background. This photograph sold at an auction in London in April 2002 for about $13,000. In the liner notes to Season of Glass, Ono explained that the album is not dedicated to Lennon because "he would have been offended—he was one of us." The album received highly favorable reviews and reflected the public's mood after Lennon's assassination.
Four months after her husband's murder, Ono began a relationship with antiques dealer and interior designer Sam Havadtoy, which lasted until 2001. She had also been linked to art dealer and Greta Garbo confidante Sam Green, who is mentioned in Lennon's will. In 1982, she released It's Alright (I See Rainbows). The cover featured Ono in her famous wrap-around sunglasses, looking towards the sun, while on the back the ghost of Lennon looks over her and their son. The album scored minor chart success and airplay with the singles "My Man" and "Never Say Goodbye".
In 1984, a tribute album titled Every Man Has a Woman was released, featuring a selection of Ono songs performed by artists such as Elvis Costello, Roberta Flack, Eddie Money, Rosanne Cash and Harry Nilsson. It was one of Lennon's projects that he never got to finish. Later that year, Ono and Lennon's final album, Milk and Honey, was released as an unfinished demo. Ono's final album of the 1980s was Starpeace, a concept album that she intended as an antidote to Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" missile defense system. On the cover, a warm, smiling Ono holds the Earth in the palm of her hand. Starpeace became Ono's most successful non-Lennon effort: the single "Hell in Paradise" was a hit, reaching No. 16 on the US dance charts and No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as major airplay on MTV. In 1986, Ono set out on a goodwill world tour for Starpeace, mostly visiting Eastern European countries.
Ono went on hiatus until signing with Rykodisc in 1992 to release the comprehensive six-disc box set Onobox. It included remastered highlights from all of Ono's solo albums, as well as unreleased material from the 1974 "lost weekend" sessions. There was also a one-disc "greatest hits" release of highlights from Onobox, simply titled Walking on Thin Ice. That year, she agreed to sit down for an extensive interview with music journalist Mark Kemp for a cover story in the alternative music magazine Option. The story took a revisionist look at Ono's music for a new generation of fans more accepting of her role as a pioneer in the merger of pop and the avant-garde.
In 1994, Ono produced her own musical entitled New York Rock, featuring Broadway renditions of her songs. In 1995, she released Rising, a collaboration with her son Sean and his then-band, Ima. Rising spawned a world tour that traveled through Europe, Japan and the United States. The following year, she collaborated with various alternative rock musicians for an EP entitled Rising Mixes. Guest remixers of Rising material included Cibo Matto, Ween, Tricky, and Thurston Moore. In 1997, Rykodisc reissued all her solo albums on CD, from Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band through Starpeace. Ono and her engineer Rob Stevens personally remastered the audio, and various bonus tracks were added including outtakes, demos and live cuts.
2001 saw the release of Ono's feminist concept album Blueprint for a Sunrise. In 2002, Yoko joined The B-52's in New York for their 25th anniversary concerts. She came out for the encore and performed "Rock Lobster" with the band. Starting in 2002, some DJs remixed other Ono songs for dance clubs. For the remix project, she dropped her first name and became known as simply "Ono", as a response to the "Oh, no!" jokes that dogged her throughout her career. Ono had great success with new versions of "Walking on Thin Ice", remixed by top DJs and dance artists including Pet Shop Boys, Orange Factory, Peter Rauhofer, and Danny Tenaglia. In April 2003, Ono's Walking on Thin Ice (Remixes) was rated No. 1 on Billboard's Dance/Club Play chart, gaining Ono her first number one hit. She returned to No. 1 on the same charts in November 2004 with "Everyman...Everywoman...", a reworking of her song "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him", in January 2008, with "No No No", and in August 2008, with "Give Peace a Chance". In June 2009, at the age of 76, Ono scored her fifth No. 1 hit on the Dance/Club Play chart with "I'm Not Getting Enough".
Ono released the album Yes, I'm a Witch in 2007, a collection of remixes and covers from her back catalog by various artists including The Flaming Lips, Cat Power, Antony, DJ Spooky, Porcupine Tree and Peaches, released in February 2007, along with a special edition of Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band. Yes I'm a Witch has been critically well received. A similar compilation of Ono dance remixes entitled Open Your Box was also released in April of that year.
In 2009, Ono recorded Between My Head and the Sky, her first album to be released as "Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band" since 1973's Feeling the Space. The all-new Plastic Ono Band lineup includes Sean Lennon, Cornelius and Yuka Honda amongst others. On February 16, 2010, Sean organized a concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music called "We Are Plastic Ono Band", at which Yoko performed her music with Sean, Clapton, Klaus Voormann and Jim Keltner, for the first time since the 1970s. Guests including Bette Midler, Paul Simon and his son Harper, and principal members of Sonic Youth interpreted her songs in their own styles.
During her career, Ono has also collaborated with Earl Slick, David Tudor, Fred DeAsis, and Richard Maxfield. As a dance music artist, Ono has also worked with re-mixers/producers such as Basement Jaxx, Bill Kates, Keiji Haino, Nick Vernier Band, Billy Martin, DJ Spooky, Apples In Stereo, Damien Price, DJ Chernobyl, Bimbo Jones, DJ Dan, Craig Armstrong, Jorge Artajo, Shuji Nabara, and Konrad Behr, among others.
In 2012 the album Yokokimthurston was released featuring a collaboration between Ono Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon. Notable also as the first collaboration between Moore and Gordon after their divorce, it was characterized by Allmusic as "focused and risk-taking" and "above the best" of the couple's experimental music, with Ono's voice called "one-of-a-kind."
At the Liverpool Biennial in 2004, Yoko flooded the city with banners, bags, stickers, postcards, flyers, posters and badges, with two images: one of a woman's naked breast, the other of the same woman's vulva. The piece, titled My Mummy Was Beautiful, was dedicated to Lennon's mother, Julia, who had died when Lennon was a teenager. According to Ono, the work was meant to be innocent, not shocking; she was attempting to replicate the experience of a baby looking up at his or her mother's body: the mother's pudendum and breasts are a child's introduction to humanity. During her stay in Lennon's city of birth, she said she was "astounded" by the city's renaissance.
Ono performed at the opening ceremony for the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, wearing white, like many of the others who performed during the ceremony, to symbolize the snow that makes the Winter Olympics possible. She read a free verse poem calling for peace in the world; the poem was an intro to a performance of the song "Imagine".
On December 13, 2006, one of Ono's bodyguards was arrested after he was allegedly taped trying to extort Ono for $2 million, threatening to release private conversations and photographs. His bail was revoked and he pleaded not guilty to two counts of attempted grand larceny. In February 16, 2007 a deal was reached where extortion charges were dropped against him, and he pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny in the third degree, a felony, and sentenced to the 60 days he has spent in jail. After reading an unapologetic statement, he was released to immigration officials because he had also been found to overstay his business visa.
On June 26, 2007, Ono appeared on Larry King Live along with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Olivia Harrison. Ono headlined the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago on July 14, 2007, performing a full set that mixed music and performance art. She sang "Mulberry," a song about her time in the countryside after the Japanese collapse in World War II for only the third time in her life, with Thurston Moore. Ono had previously performed the song with John Lennon and with Sean Lennon. On October 9 of that year she officially lit the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island in Iceland, dedicated to peace and to Lennon.
Ono returned to Liverpool for the 2008 Liverpool Biennial, where she unveiled Sky Ladders in the ruins of Church of St Luke, Liverpool (which was largely destroyed during World War II and now stands roofless as a memorial to those killed in the Liverpool Blitz). Two years later, on March 31, 2009, she went to the inauguration of the exhibition: "Imagine: The Peace Ballad of John & Yoko" to mark the 40th anniversary of Lennon-Ono bed-in at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada from May 26 to June 2, 1969. (The hotel has been doing steady business with the room they stayed in for over 40 years straight.) In May of that year, she designed a T-shirt for the second 'Fashion against AIDS' campaign/collection of HIV/AIDS awareness NGO Designers against AIDS and H&M, with the statement 'Imagine Peace' depicted in 21 different languages.
Ono appeared on-stage at Microsoft's June 1, 2009 E3 Expo press conference with Olivia Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to promote the Beatles: Rock Band video game. The game was universally praised by critics. Ono appeared on the Basement Jaxx album Scars, featuring on the single "Day of the Sunflowers (We March On)".
On February 16, 2010, Ono revived an early Plastic Ono Band line-up with Eric Clapton and special guests including Paul Simon and Bette Midler. On April 1, of that year, she was named the first "Global Autism Ambassador" by the Autism Speaks organization. She had created an artwork the year before for autism awareness and allowed it to be auctioned off in 67 parts to benefit the organization. Ono appeared with Ringo Starr on July 7 at New York's Radio City Music Hall in celebration of Starr's 70th birthday, performing "With a Little Help from My Friends" and "Give Peace a Chance". On October 2, 2010, Ono and the Plastic Ono Band performed at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, with special guest Lady Gaga, whom she deeply admires.
On her 78th birthday, February 18, 2011, Ono took out a full page advert in the UK free newspaper Metro for 'Imagine Peace 2011'. It took the form of an open letter, inviting people to think of, and wish for, peace. With son Sean, she held a benefit concert to aid in the relief efforts for earthquake and tsunami-ravaged Japan on March 27 in New York City. The effort raised a total of $33,000. In July 2011, Ono was awarded the 8th Hiroshima Art Prize for her contributions in art and for peace. In December of that year, she was awarded the Austrian 20,000-euro ($26,100) Oskar Kokoschka Prize.
In January 2012, a Ralphi Rosario mix of her 1995 song "Talking to the Universe" became her seventh consecutive number-one hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. From 19 June 2012 to 9 September, her work To the Light was exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery in London. It was part of the London 2012 Festival, a twelve-week UK-wide celebration featuring internationally-renowned artists from Midsummer's Day (21 June) to the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012.
On June 29, 2012 Ono received a lifetime achievement award in Dublin at the Dublin Biennial. During this her second trip to Ireland (the first with John before they married), she visited the crypt of Irish political leader Daniel O’Connell at Glasnevin Cemetery and Dun Laoghaire, from where Irish escaping the famine left for England. In February 2013, Ono accepted the Rainer Hildebrandt Medal at Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie Museum awarded to her and Lennon for their lifetime of work on behalf of peace and human rights. She also tweeted an anti-gun message with the Season of Glass image of Lennon's bloodied glasses in March 2013, on what would have been her and Lennon's 44th anniversary, noting that more than 1 million people have been killed by guns since Lennon's death in 1980. She was also given a Congressional citation from the Philippines for her monetary aid to the victims of typhoon Pablo. (She had also donated to disaster relief efforts after typhoon Ondoy in 2009, and she assists Filipino schoolchildren.) In June 2013, she curated the Meltdown festival in London where she played two concerts, one on June 15 with her Plastic Ono Band, and the second on June 23 to perform Double Fantasy with special guests.
Since the 1960s, Ono has been an activist for peace and human rights. After their wedding, Lennon and Ono held a "Bed-In for Peace" in their honeymoon suite at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel in March 1969. The press fought to get in, presuming that the two would be having sex for their cameras, but they instead found a pair of newlyweds wearing pajamas and eager to talk about and promote world peace. Another Bed-In in May 1969 at the Queen Elizabeth Fairmont in Montreal, Canada, resulted in the recording of their first single, "Give Peace A Chance", a top 20 hit for the newly christened Plastic Ono Band. Other demonstrations with John included Bagism. Introduced in Vienna, Bagism encouraged a disregard for physical appearance in judging others.
In the 1970s, Ono and Lennon became close to many radical, counterculture leaders, including Bobby Seale, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Michael X, John Sinclair (for whom they organized a benefit after he was imprisoned), Angela Davis, Kate Millett, and David Peel. They appeared on The Mike Douglas Show, taking over hosting duties for a week, during which Ono spoke at length about the evils of racism and sexism. Ono remained outspoken in her support of feminism, and openly bitter about the racism she had experienced from rock fans, especially in the UK. For example, an Esquire article of the period was titled "John Rennon's Excrusive Gloupie" and featured an unflattering David Levine cartoon.
In 2002, Ono inaugurated her own peace award, the LennonOno Grant for Peace, by giving $50,000 (£31,900) prize money originally to artists living "in regions of conflict". The award is given out every two years, in conjunction with the lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower, and was first given to Israeli and Palestinian artists. Its program has since expanded to include authors, such as Michael Pollan and Alice Walker, activists such as Vandana Shiva and Pussy Riot, organizations such as New York's Center for Constitutional Rights, and even an entire country, Iceland.
On Valentine's Day, February 14, 2003, on the eve of the Iraqi invasion by the US and the UK, Ono heard about a romantic couple holding a love-in protest in their tiny bedroom in Addingham, West Yorkshire. She sent them, Andrew and Christine Gale, some flowers and wished them the best. In 2004, Ono remade her song "Everyman... Everywoman..." to support same-sex marriage, releasing remixes that included "Every Man Has a Man Who Loves Him" and "Every Woman Has a Woman Who Loves Her".
In January 2013, the 79-year-old Ono, along with Sean Lennon and Susan Sarandon, took to rural Pennsylvania in a bus under the banner of the Artists Against Fracking group they created in 2012 to protest against the controversial method of procuring natural gas.
Relationship with Paul McCartney
In 2005, Ono said, "People like to picture Paul and me in a boxing ring, feuding all the time, otherwise it's not exciting or interesting for them. People need light-hearted topics like me and Paul fighting to escape all the horror of the world, but it's not true anymore." That said, they have publicly disagreed on several issues, most notably on Beatles' songwriting credits.
While the group was together, every song written by Lennon or McCartney was credited as Lennon–McCartney regardless of whether the song was a collaboration or written solely by one of the two (except for those appearing on their first album, Please Please Me, which originally credited the songs to McCartney–Lennon). In 1976, McCartney released a live album called Wings over America which credited the five Beatles tracks as P. McCartney–J. Lennon compositions. Neither Lennon nor Ono objected. After Lennon's death, McCartney once again attempted to change the order to "McCartney–Lennon" for songs such as "Yesterday" that were solely or predominantly written by him, but Ono would not allow it, saying she felt this broke an agreement that the two had made while Lennon was still alive. However, McCartney argued that such an agreement never existed. The two other Beatles agreed that the credits should remain as they always had been and McCartney withdrew his request. In a Rolling Stone interview in 1987, Ono pointed out McCartney's place in the process of the disintegration of the band. On the 1998 John Lennon anthology, Lennon Legend, the composer credit of "Give Peace a Chance" was changed to "John Lennon" from its original composing credit of Lennon–McCartney. Although the song was written by Lennon during his tenure with the Beatles it was both written and recorded without the help of the band and released as Lennon's first independent single under the "Plastic Ono Band" moniker. Lennon subsequently expressed regret that he had not given co-writing credit to Ono instead, who actually helped him write the song. In 2002, McCartney released another live album, Back in the U.S. Live 2002, and the 19 Beatles' songs included are described as "composed by Paul McCartney and John Lennon".
In 1995, after the Beatles released Lennon's "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" with demos provided by Ono, McCartney and his family collaborated with her and Sean Lennon to create the song "Hiroshima Sky is Always Blue", which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of that Japanese city. Of Ono, McCartney stated: "I thought she was a cold woman. I think that's wrong ... she's just the opposite ... I think she's just more determined than most people to be herself." Two years later however, Ono publicly compared Lennon to Mozart while McCartney, she said, more closely resembled his less-talented rival Salieri. This remark infuriated Linda McCartney, who was battling breast cancer at the time. When she died less than a year later, McCartney pointedly did not invite Ono to her New York memorial service.
Accepting an award at the 2005 Q Awards, Ono mentioned that Lennon had once felt insecure about his songwriting, and asked her why other musicians "always cover Paul's songs, and never mine". Ono had responded, "You're a good songwriter; it's not June with spoon that you write. You're a good singer, and most musicians are probably a little bit nervous about covering your songs." McCartney responded by saying, "I don't take any notice of her. She's John's wife so I have to respect her for that, but I don't think she's the brightest of buttons. She's said some particularly daft things in her time. Her life is dedicated to putting me down but I attempt very strongly not to put her down." Ono later issued a statement claiming she did not mean any offense, as her comment was an attempt to console her husband, not attack McCartney; she went on to insist that she respected McCartney and that it was the press who had taken her comments out of context. At the June 2006 Las Vegas premiere of Cirque du Soleil's Beatles performance Love, pictures were taken of her and Paul hugging. They appeared again together in July 2007 for the show's first anniversary.
In an October 2010 interview, Ono spoke about Lennon's "Lost Weekend" and her subsequent reconciliation with him. She credited Paul with helping save her marriage to John: "I want the world to know that it was a very touching thing that he [Paul] did for John." After visiting Ono for the first time ever in New York McCartney on leaving asked. "...what will make you come back to John?" and subsequently passed on her response to him. Ono stated, “I want people to know how kind and sensitive he [Paul] was to him." "John often said he didn’t understand why Paul did this for us, but he did.” In 2012, McCartney revealed that he did not blame Ono for the breakup of the Beatles and credited Ono with inspiring much of Lennon's post-Beatles work.
(number indicates U.S. chart peak positions)
- Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band (1970) No. 182
- Fly (1971) No. 199
- Approximately Infinite Universe (1972) No. 193
- Feeling the Space (1973)
- A Story (1974, unreleased until 1997)
- Season of Glass (1981) No. 49
- It's Alright (I See Rainbows) (1982) No. 98
- Starpeace (1985)
- Rising (1995)
- Blueprint for a Sunrise (2001)
- Yes, I'm a Witch (2007)
- Open Your Box (2007)
- Between My Head and the Sky (2009)
- Yokokimthurston (2012)
- Take Me to the Land of Hell (2013)
Albums with John Lennon
- Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins (1968) No. 124
- Unfinished Music No.2: Life with the Lions (1969) No. 174
- Wedding Album (1969) No. 178
- Live Peace in Toronto 1969 (1969) No. 10
- Some Time in New York City (1972) No. 48
- Double Fantasy (1980) No. 1
- Milk and Honey (1984) No. 11
Compilations, soundtrack albums and EPs
- Onobox (1992)
- Walking on Thin Ice (1992)
- New York Rock (1994) (Original cast recording)
- Rising Mixes (1996)
- Don't Stop Me! EP (2009)
- Onomix (2012)
- Every Man Has a Woman (1984)
- Mrs. Lennon (2010)
|1971||"Mrs. Lennon"/"Midsummer New York"||–||–||Fly|
|"Mind Train"/"Listen, the Snow Is Falling"||–||–||Non-album single|
|1972||"Now or Never"/"Move on Fast"||–||–||Approximately Infinite Universe|
|1973||"Death of Samantha"/"Yang Yang"||–||–|
|"Josejoi Banzai (Part 1)"/"Josejoi Banzai (Part 2)" (Japan-only)||–||–||Non-album single|
|"Woman Power"/"Men, Men, Men"||–||–||Feeling the Space|
|"Run, Run, Run"/"Men, Men, Men"||–||–|
|1974||"Yume O Motou (Let's Have a Dream)"/"It Happened" (Japan-only)||–||–||Non-album single|
|1981||"Walking on Thin Ice"/"It Happened"||35||13|
|"No, No, No"/"Will You Touch Me"||–||–||Season of Glass|
|1982||"My Man"/"Let the Tears Dry"||–||–||It's Alright (I See Rainbows)|
|"Never Say Goodbye"/"Loneliness"||–||–|
|1985||"Hell in Paradise"/"Hell in Paradise" (instrumental)||–||12||Starpeace|
|"Cape Clear"/"Walking on Thin Ice" (promo)||–||–|
|2001||"Open Your Box" (remixes)||144||25||Non-album singles|
|2002||"Kiss Kiss Kiss" (remixes)||–||20|
|"Yang Yang" (remixes)||–||17|
|2003||"Walking on Thin Ice" (remixes)||35||1|
|"Will I" (remixes)/"Fly" (remixes)||–||19|
|2004||"Hell in Paradise" (remixes)||–||4|
|"Everyman... Everywoman..." (remixes)||–||1|
|2007||"You're the One" (remixes)||–||2|
|"No, No, No" (remixes)||–||1|
|2008||"Give Peace a Chance" (remixes)||–||1|
|2009||"I'm Not Getting Enough" (remixes)||–||1|
|2010||"Give Me Something" (remixes)||–||1|
|"Wouldnit (I'm a Star)" (remixes)||–||1|
|2011||"Move on Fast" (remixes)||–||1|
|"Talking to the Universe" (remixes)||–||1|
|2012||"She Gets Down on Her Knees" (remixes)||–||5|
|"Early in the Morning"||–||–||Yokokimthurston|
|"I'm Moving On" (remixes)||–||4||Non-album single|
|2013||"Hold Me" (featuring Dave Audé)||–||1|
|"Walking on Thin Ice 2013"||–||1|
B-side appearances on John Lennon singles
- "Remember Love" (on "Give Peace a Chance") (1969)
- "Don't Worry, Kyoko" (on "Cold Turkey") (1969)
- "Who Has Seen the Wind?" (on "Instant Karma!") (1970)
- "Why" (on "Mother") (1971)
- "Open Your Box" (on "Power to the People") (1971)
- "Listen, the Snow is Falling" (on "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)") (1971)
- "Sisters, O Sisters" (on "Woman Is the Nigger of the World") (1972)
- "Kiss Kiss Kiss" (on "(Just Like) Starting Over") (1980)
- "Beautiful Boys" (on "Woman") (1981)
- "Yes, I'm Your Angel" (on "Watching the Wheels") (1981)
- "O'Sanity" (on "Nobody Told Me") (1984)
- "Your Hands (あなたの手" (on "Borrowed Time") (1984)
- "Sleepless Night" (on "I'm Stepping Out") (1984)
- "It's Alright" (on "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him") (1985)
Books and monographs
- Grapefruit (1964)
- Summer of 1980 (1983)
- ただの私 (Tada-no Watashi – Just Me!) (1986)
- The John Lennon Family Album (1990)
- Instruction Paintings (1995)
- Grapefruit Juice (1998)
- YES YOKO ONO (2000)
- Odyssey of a Cockroach (2005)
- Imagine Yoko (2005)
- Memories of John Lennon (editor) (2005)
- 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories From the Japan Earthquake (contributor) (2011)
- 郭知茂 Vocal China Forever Love Song
- Acorn (2013)
- Eye blink (1966, 5 min)
- Bottoms (1966, 5½ min)
- Match (1966, 5 min)
- Cut Piece (1965, 9 min)
- Wrapping Piece (1967, approx. 20 min., music by Delia Derbyshire)
- Film No. 4 (Bottoms) (1966/1967, 80 min)
- Bottoms, advertisement/commercial (1966/1967, approx. 2 min)
- Two Virgins (1968, approx. 20 min), a portrait film: super-impositions of John’s and Yoko’s faces.
- Film No. Five (Smile) (1968, 51 min)
- Rape (1969, 77 min), filmed by Nick Rowland. A young woman is relentlessly pursued by a camera crew.
- Apotheosis (1970, 18½ mins)
- Freedom (1970, 1 min), a slow-motion film showing a woman attempting to take off her bra.
- Making of Fly (1970, approx. 30 min)
- Up Your Legs Forever (1970, 70 min), a film consisting of continuous panning shots up a series of 367 human legs.
- Erection (1971, 20 min), a film of a hotel’s construction over many months based on still photographs by Iain McMillan.
- Sisters, O Sisters (1971, 4 min)
- Luck of the Irish (1971, approx. 4 min)
- Blueprint for the Sunrise (2000, 28 min)
- Onochord (2004, continuous loop)
- With John Lennon, Bed-In, (1969, 74 min)
- With Jonas Mekas, Fly (1970, 25 min), a fly crawls slowly across a woman's naked body. Premiered at the Cannes film festival in May 1971.
Actress or as self
- Satan's Bed (as an actress), directed by Michael Findlay
- Let It Be (1970, 81 min)
- Imagine (1971, 70 min)
- Flipside (Canadian TV show, 1972, approx. 25 min)
- Mad About You (American TV show, guest star in 1995 episode "Yoko Said")
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- "Yoko Ono picks up German human rights prize at Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie Museum". Agence France-Presse via Artdaily.org. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- "Yoko Ono Tweets Photo of John Lennon's Bloody Glasses With Anti-Gun Statement". Hollywood Reporter. March 21, 2013.
- "Yoko Ono, HP donate to Pablo victims". The Philippine Star. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
- Imagine Peace. (PDF). Taipei Times. December 24, 2008. Retrieved January 1, 2012.
- "Video Nation – YOKO ONO by Andrew Gale". BBC. March 10, 2003. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- Fracking debate draws Yoko, Lennon and Sarandon to rural battlegrounds. Artists Against Fracking board bus for magical mystery tour of Pennsylvania as New York and New Jersey decisions draw near
- Paul McCartney & Beatle News article: ONO: `THE PRESS INVENTED MY FEUD WITH McCARTNEY` – Thursday, November 3, 2005 MACCA-Central, The Paul McCartney FUNsite. Macca-central.com. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
- "Talking Point | Lennon-McCartney: Who do you give credit to?". BBC News. December 23, 2002. Retrieved April 18, 2012.
- Norman, Philip (2008). John Lennon: The Life. Doubleday Canada. p. 608. ISBN 978-0-385-66100-3.
- Garcia, Gilbert. (January 27, 2003) "The ballad of Paul and Yoko". Salon. Retrieved April 4, 2011.
- Williams, Precious (May 19, 2002). "Eternal flame". The Scotsman (UK).
- Herbert, Ian (October 15, 2005). "Yoko Ono claims she was misquoted over McCartney outburst". The Independent (London).
- Stuart Heritage (October 18, 2005). "Paul McCartney Vs Yoko Ono – Handbags At Dawn". Hecklerspray. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- "Paul McCartney: Yoko Ono Didn't Break Up the Beatles". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
- Ono, Yoko (2013). Acorn. OR Books. ISBN 978-1-939293-23-7. Retrieved 30 July 2013. Note ISBN 978-1-939293-23-7 (paperback), ISBN 978-1-939293-24-4 (ebook), but as of 30 July 2013[update], it's only available directly from the publisher
- Ono, Yoko. "Yoko Ono: Onochord on Vimeo". Vimeo.com. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
- John Lennon: One Day at a Time, by Anthony Fawcett (Grove Press, 1976)
- Come Together: John Lennon in His Time, by Jon Wiener (Random House, 1984)
- The Ballad of John and Yoko, by the editors of Rolling Stone (Rolling Stone Press, 1982)
- Spitz, Bob. The Beatles. Little, Brown, and Company: New York, 2005.
- Kemp, Mark. "She Who Laughs Last: Yoko Ono Reconsidered." (July/Aug 1992). Option, p. 74–81.
- "Ono apologises for comment." (November 6, 2005). New Sunday Times, p. 29.
- The Rare Films of Yoko Ono: New York 65–66 Fluxus Films + London 66–67, England 68–69, London 69–71, Around the World 69–71, New York 70 – 71 and Ann Arbor/NYC 71–72 + 2000 at the ICA, London, March 2004.
- Ayres, Ian (2004). Van Gogh's Ear: Best World Poetry & Prose (Volume 3 includes Yoko Ono's poetry/artwork). Paris: French Connection. ISBN 978-2-914853-02-6.
- Ayres, Ian (2005). Van Gogh's Ear: Best World Poetry & Prose (Volume 4 includes Yoko Ono's poetry/artwork). Paris: French Connection. ISBN 978-2-914853-03-3.
- Berger, Joshua (Summer 2013). "Yoko Ono Interview: from the End of War project". Plazm Magazine.
- Clayson, Alan et al. Woman: The Incredible Life of Yoko Ono
- Goldman, Albert. The Lives of John Lennon
- Green, John. Dakota Days
- Haskell, Barbara. Yoko Ono: Arias and Objects. Exhibition Catalogue. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1991.
- Hendricks, Geoffrey. Fluxus Codex
- Hendricks, Geoffrey. Yoko Ono: Arias and Objects
- Hopkins, Jerry. Yoko Ono
- Klin, Richard, and Lily Prince, photos. "'I Remembered Carrying a Glass Key to Open the Sky.'" In Something to Say: Thoughts on Art and Politics in America. (Leapfrog Press, 2011)
- Millett, Kate. Flying
- Pang, May (1983). Loving John. Warner Books (Paperback). ISBN 978-0-446-37916-8.
- Norman, Philip, John Lennon : the life, 1st ed., New York : Ecco, 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-075401-3.
- Norman, Philip, Days in the life : John Lennon remembered, London : Century, 1990. ISBN 0-7126-3922-5
- Norman, Philip (May 25, 1981). "A Talk with Yoko". New York Magazine.
- Obrist, Hans Ulrich. The Conversation Series: Yoko Ono, Walther König, Cologne, 2010.
- Robecchi, Michele (July 2006). "A Conversation with Yoko Ono". Contemporary Magazine.
- Rumaker, Michael. The Butterfly
- Seaman, Frederic. The Last Days of John Lennon
- Sheff, David. John Lennon and Yoko Ono: The Playboy Interviews
- Wiener, Jon. Come Together: John Lennon in His Time
- Wenner, Jann, ed. The Ballad of John and Yoko
- Yoon, Jean. The Yoko Ono Project
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Yoko Ono|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yoko Ono.|
- Official website
- Official site of the Plastic Ono Band
- @yokoono on Twitter — her tweets are short instructional poems, comments on media and politics, and notes about performances.