Yoko Ono on John Lennon: "We Understood Each Other"

Categories: Music News

Does working with him remind you of working with John?
Not really. But Sean is a really interesting person too. In a different way. But Sean is my son, you know. But surprise, surprise. I didn't think that we were going to have a son that was creative like Sean, but Sean is very creative.

You've kept such an upbeat, positive attitude in such a dreary world...
John was an extrovert, you know, and I was an introvert. So that was a good combo, I think. And John being an extrovert, he was always very up, very excited, and interested. John was very positive. I would just get depressed or something sometimes, not really a sick depressed. Just once in a while, I'd get tired. And John would be like, "Let's go!" And I saw that happening and thought, That's what he was doing with the Beatles. That's great.

Your work since has been very upbeat. Your video for "Bad Dancer" seems carefree and fun.
Of course, I have a very positive side too. When I was with John, John brought out the positive side to pull me through. In those days, people really attacked me; they hated me. Naturally, you can't always be up on that! [laughs] Now, it's all right. People are kind to me; they understand my work. I get energy from that. John would see this happening. He was just one guy who was really into my work.

You do a lot of work against fracking. Can you tell me why this one issue resonates with you over others?
It's very bad for people's health. They want health, but they want money. If you get money but no health, then you can't spend that money; you die. I really think it's not good for children especially. We want to protect them because they can't protect themselves from it, so we have to do it. That's why I'm doing it.

What are some of your objectives?
The hope I have is that some of us in the world, the human race, will be happy together. That could happen very easily. It all has to do with what we focus on. And when we're determined about it, we'll do it.

Your Letterman performance was very powerful. I wonder if you think, in the broadest sense, whether experimental music versus pop music, which is more effective politically?
I was always doing that from the beginning, and John, of course, loved it and everything. He was like, let's do it. We [recorded] mine. And then we looked at the engineer board; the engineers all disappeared. We were like, "What happened?" "Oh, they went to the bathroom" because they couldn't stand my voice! [laughs]

The Art of John Lennon at Village of Gulfstream Park, Sirona Fine Art Gallery, 600 Silks Run, Suite 1240, Hallandale Beach. Noon to 8 p.m. Friday, January 17; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, January 18; and 11 am. to 6 p.m. Sunday, January 19. Visit feedingsouthflorida.com.

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[Excerpted from] London Times published May 9, 2010:

"Oh no! Yoko colours in Lennon's prints, The Beatle’s widow is under fire for adapting his drawings for sale" article by Cristina Ruiz and Ungoed-Thomas

"YOKO ONO faces a row over significantly altered prints of artworks by John Lennon, which have been sold for millions of pounds'.

"Lennon, who was a student at the Liverpool College of Art, produced three books of black-and-white illustrations. Prints of these works, overseen by Ono, have been offered for sale in Britain and America.

"However, some have been coloured in, issued as limited edition prints and stamped with the former Beatle’s special insignia. In some cases, it is claimed extra characters may have been added.

"Gary Arseneau, a Florida-based artist and creator of original lithographs who has investigated the sales, claims that the works should not be sold under the name of Lennon, who was shot dead in 1980.

"He said: 'This is work that John Lennon has never seen, never created, never approved, and never signed. The dead don’t create artwork.'" 

Caveat Emptor!

Gary Arseneau

artist, creator of original lithographs

Fernandina Beach, Florida

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