Yoko Ono admits by 75: she’s a witch

February 18th, 2008 - 7:04 pm ICT by admin  

New York, Feb 18 (DPA) Yoko Ono doesn’t have it easy. Even today, hardcore Beatles fans blame her for the break-up of the band - considered by many to be the best pop group of all time - shortly after her marriage to John Lennon nearly 40 years ago. She’s been berated as the evil witch in the Beatles fairy tale and as a woman who was only after riches when she married the legendary singer and songwriter whom many consider the Beatles’ heart and soul.

Ono doesn’t seem bothered by the accusations. To the contrary, she plays along. Last year, she brought out a remix album of old songs entitled “Yes, I’m a Witch”. She says she considers all women witches and all witches magical beings. Women shouldn’t be ashamed of that, says Ono, who turned 75 Monday.

Petite, lively and bursting with energy, Ono has not lost her provocative nature. Ono, who came from a wealthy Japanese banking family, continues to work tirelessly as an artist, author, filmmaker, singer, composer, feminist and pacifist.

But Lennon remains the reference point of her life. She still lives in the New York City apartment where they were residing when Lennon was gunned down Dec 8, 1980, at the age of 40. Ono was present when the gunman, Mark David Chapman, a one-time fan, shot Lennon five times. A photo of Lennon’s broken, blood-splattered glasses appeared on the cover of her 1981 album, “Season of Glass”.

The apartment has become Ono’s refuge. She says it is significant to her because it is the place that she and Lennon shared.

The two met in 1966 at an art exhibit opening in London and later began a productive artistic relationship.

They married in Gibraltar March 20, 1969. During their honeymoon, they stayed in their hotel bed for a week, declaring the action a “bed-in for peace” at a time when the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s was climaxing.

They collaborated on a mix of rock and experimental music in the “Plastic Ono Band”, and the single “Give Peace a Chance” in 1969 became a pacifist anthem. Shortly after that, the Beatles broke up.

Lennon best expressed his love for Ono, who was seven years older to him, in the song “Ballad of John and Yoko”. But the relationship also had difficulties.

After a two-year separation, the birth of their son, Sean, in 1975 helped create a new feeling of family togetherness. Lennon stayed home with the child while Ono organized and directed his empire, something she is still doing today with great success.

Lennon once said Ono was the most famous unknown artist in the world. Everyone knows her name, he said, but no one knows what she does.

Before meeting Lennon, Ono had established herself as an avant-guard concept (experimental or innovative) artist in New York. In 1962, for example, she staged the “Wall Piece for Orchestra”, in which she continually banged her head on the stage to musical sounds, and her 80-minute film “Bottoms”, released in 1966, showed 365 naked back sides as a petition against the Vietnam War.

She marked the millennium with a piece called “Freight Train”, in which she rolled the wagon of a train pocked by 4,000 bullet holes into Berlin in a reference to a millennium of violence.

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