September 30, 2010
Dear readers, today I'm going to use this column to rant about how
much I can't stand Yoko Ono.
My repulsion for John Lennon's outspoken and bizarre wife was renewed
after I read about how she and her son Sean Lennon are organizing a
Los Angeles showcase for the revitalized Plastic Ono Band.
The fact that Ono is once again controlling the Plastic Ono Band
through means of her son troubles me. The fact that she is
sensationalizing the tribute in L.A. by placing big names such as
Iggy Pop and Lady Gaga on the bill is bothersome as well. But most of
all, it irks me that she is constantly popping up on the news,
considering that she doesn't matter.
Maybe I'm being harsh. Ono, however, deserves an avalanche of
criticism, as she has caused a lot of damage during her quest to
attain celebrity status. Most importantly, she wreaked havoc on the
best band in musical history.
Lennon met Ono at one of her art exhibits in London and after three
years, the unlikely couple got married in Gibraltar. However, the
start of Lennon and Oko's life together marked the end of The Beatles.
The Beatles were already going through a rough patch, despite their
widespread popularity and financial success. The Fab Four had
undergone religious enlightenment and drug-induced inspiration. They
were beginning to search for new creative outlets. Lennon and Paul
McCartney began squabbling over writing credits while Ringo Starr was
resentful about his diminished singing role. But once Ono came into
the picture the miniature conflicts evolved into one giant ball of fury.
The three other Beatles all had their qualms about Ono. George
Harrison became so frustrated with her that he almost punched Lennon
in the face during a studio session. Ono and McCartney squared off
frequently. She publicly denounced him many times by making claims
that he was hogging the Beatles' spotlight and overshadowing Lennon's genius.
Ono encouraged Lennon to break out of his partnership with the
Beatles and become more of an individualist. She also was adamant
about being a musical collaborator with him. So the newlyweds decided
to start up the Plastic Ono Band even before The Beatles had finished
recording their final album.
Once The Beatles had publicly announced their separation, Lennon
entered a new chapter in his life. He became radically involved in
anti-war efforts. Many credit Ono for bringing out the real Lennon at
this time. Her influence on Lennon's post-Beatles music, however, was
The songs that Lennon released through the Plastic Ono Band were
monumental to the social movements of the '70s.
Compositions such as "Instant Karma," "Working Class Hero," and
"Isolation" were anthems of reformist culture at the time. Ono
contributed very little to the tracks; her signature banshee screech
can be heard in the background of a few songs. Even the song "Give
Peace a Chance," which she and John made famous by singing it during
their bed sit-in, was co-authored by Lennon and McCartney, not by the
Lennon and his wife. Yet Ono still enjoyed attention from the media
and evolved into a pop culture figure. Her unkempt hair and baggy
white dress became a jaded image during the tumultuous '70s.
Before becoming a Beatles' wife, Ono was a bohemian, underground
artist. She engaged in "avant-garde" expressionism, which is an
experimental and innovative form of creativity. Her imagination was
commendable. One example of her work included "Cut-Piece" during
which she sat on a stage and allowed her clothes to be cut off of her
body, piece-by-piece. However, while her designs were unique they
were shallow. They were mainly used to draw a crowd and shock the
public, but lacked a greater purpose and meaning. Ono's rebellion
fell flat because she wasn't fighting for or against anything.
Today, Ono claims that she is a champion for gay rights, autism,
feminism, anti-war and the fight against AIDS. The woman thinks that
she is single-handedly a solution to all of the problems in the
world. In all actuality, she doesn't much to show for herself,
considering that she has a tepid career and a quite inactive role as
an activist. Ono has spent her life feeding off of the success of
artists who are more talented than she is. She continues to feed off
of the massive fortune of the Beatles. Furthermore, she continues to
stay afloat in society by riding on the fame of her deceased husband.