Monthly Archives: January 2014
Asia is a big place. China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, India, the Phillippines – even Iran and Iraq are considered as West Asia. These 45’s are from all over Asia. You can see the American influence on a number of these. The choice of songs, the style of dress (a lot of Beatles and Stones influence), even the names. Some sound like 50’s Do-Wop; The Melodians, The Emeralds, Some like 60 psyche – Clique Fantastique, or my favorite – The Polar Bear 5.
Yoko Ono (オノ・ヨーコ, also 小野 洋子 Ono Yōko, born February 18, 1933 in Tokyo Japan).
It’s time to stop hating poor Yoko. She’s 80 years old, she didn’t break up The Beatles (they hated each other long before Yoko showed up) she still records and performs, has made significant philanthropic contributions to arts, peace, Philippine disaster relief, AIDS and autism outreach programs and dammit, looks pretty good for 80.
Yoko’s history was incredibly interesting well before she came to the worlds attention with her marriage to John Lennon. Surviving the fire bombing of Tokyo in 1945, schooling with the future emperor of Japan, traveling to the US to become a respected Avant Garde artist in New York, performing along side John Cage and the Fluxus group. Recording music and experimental films, she had made quite a name for herself in the New York underground by the mid-sixties.
And then came the Beatles. If you’re over 40 you know all about her. The long haired dragon lady that tempted poor innocent John Lennon away from the Fabs, destroying the best band in the world. That’s the boring (and untrue) part of the story, so we’ll skip it.
Ono has carried on to perform and collaborate with a multitude of talented artists. Most recently she performed at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin Italy, the 2008 Liverpool Biennial, has recorded with Basement Jaxx, Sonic Youth, Lady Gaga and Eric Clapton. She also curated the London Meltdown fest in 2013 performing with a new lineup of her Plastic Ono Band (at the age of 80). She continues to be a a tireless peace activist and is currently traveling the world to warn of the dangers of fracking. Lets hope she keeps going strong for years to come – ‘cuz Yoko is cool.