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AILING AND WHEELCHAIR-BOUND YOKO ONO IS “SLOWING DOWN”, INSIDERS SAY

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Three years ago, when the National Music Publishers’ Association presented Yoko Ono with their Centennial Song Award, Sean Lennon pushed his mother onto the stage at Cipriani 42nd Street in a wheelchair — shocking some who didn’t realize the avant-garde artist was incapacitated.

But in her signature shades, black leather jacket and white Panama hat, the widow of John Lennon didn’t seem to miss a beat when she began a short acceptance speech by ­addressing the elephant in the room.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she said, clutching the award in one hand and a microphone in the other as Sean whispered to her about what was going on. “I’ve learned so much from having this illness. I’m thankful I went through that.”

While it’s not clear what “illness” she was referring to, Ono, now 87, is still ailing, requires round-the-clock care and rarely leaves her sprawling apartment in The Dakota, a source close to her staff told The Post. In photos taken at rare public appearances — including a women’s march in Columbus Circle last year and at a commemoration of John in Liverpool in May 2018 — Ono is confined to a wheelchair, or walks with great difficulty using a cane, often leaning on a caregiver or Sean for support.

She has also been selling off some real-estate assets in recent years. “She has definitely slowed down, like anyone at that age,” said Elliot Mintz, a close family friend who has known Ono for nearly 50 years, and has acted as a family spokesman, representing the John Lennon estate since the former Beatle’s murder in December 1980. “But she is as sharp as she once was.”

Mintz told The Post he last saw Ono at her 87th birthday party in February. He was one of more than 30 guests, including Rolling Stone magazine co-founder Jann Wenner, singer Cyndi Lauper and Ono’s daughter, Kyoko, 56, from her pre-John marriage to film producer Anthony Cox.

Two years after their divorce in 1971, Cox fled with Kyoko and raised her in Christian fundamentalist communes. Ono fought for years for Kyoko, who began reaching out to her mother after John’s murder. According to Mintz, Ono is now very close to Kyoko as well as Sean, her 44-year-old son with Lennon.
“Sean is her best friend,” said Mintz. “They have dinner two or three times a week, and he occasionally brings his mom out as a guest star in his band.”
Sean organizes Ono’s birthday party every year, painstakingly obsessing over the decorations and flower arrangements, Mintz said. In February, he took over Bar Wayo at the South Street Seaport for the party, where guests celebrated over champagne. In previous years, Sean and Ono have taken to the stage to perform.
But this year, the celebration was more low-key. “She blew out the candles with Sean and she was among the last to leave,” Mintz told The Post. “She was in good spirits. I helped her into her wheelchair and gently helped her into her car.”
Mintz would not comment on Ono’s ­personal medical history. “She is a particularly special being,” he said. “In these 87 years, she’s lived 400.”

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 into a Tokyo banking family whose fortunes suffered during World War II. The family faced starvation and was often forced to barter household items for food while they sought refuge from Allied bombing raids.
Despite the wartime deprivations, Ono ­inherited her family’s business acumen. In addition to becoming an avant-garde artist who once opened her show at MoMA by screaming into a microphone, she is also a hard-nosed businesswoman — a prodigious investor in real estate who, after her marriage to John in 1969, began to amass a mini-empire of properties that spanned New York City, the Hudson Valley, the Hamptons, Palm Beach, Ireland and England. She has also collected a sizable art collection that includes works by her old friend Andy Warhol.

Today, Ono has reported assets of $700 million. She still owns multimillion-dollar properties in Manhattan as well as hundreds of rolling acres in upstate Delaware County, public records show. She lives in the same sprawling nine-room apartment, on the seventh floor of The Dakota, that she once shared with John. She also keeps an adjacent unit at the West 72nd Street building for visitors, and two small one-room spaces without kitchens that she uses for staff. And she has an office on the first floor that was once used by John as a recording studio.
“She would wake up early every morning, go downstairs to the studio and handle the family business, allowing John to be a househusband,” said Mintz, adding that John had no real business sense, and often needed her help to figure out the most mundane financial matters, such as how much to tip a waiter when he paid for a meal at a restaurant.
But Ono has been shedding assets. In 2017, she sold a building at 110 W. 79th St. that she had owned since 1988. She bought the property, housing two residential units, for just under $500,000 and unloaded it for $6,450,000, public records show. In 2013, she sold a 5,700-square-foot penthouse at 49-51 Downing St. in the West Village, which Sean occupied for years, for $8.3 million.

Although Ono still owns more than 600 acres near the town of Franklin, NY, locals say it’s been ages since they saw her in the area where she used to vacation with Sean and groups of friends. John and Ono bought the property and 100 Holstein cattle to set up a breeding operation before he was gunned down in front of The Dakota on Dec. 8, 1980.
“We haven’t seen her for a very long time,” said Roland Greefkes, an iron artisan who made a wrought-iron gate for Ono’s property. “I never met anyone quite like her. She is really something special.”

That sentiment is echoed by the directors of charities she has long supported. Although the charity she began with John, the Spirit Foundations, had contributions of only just under $25,000 from her in 2018, Ono does most of her charitable giving directly. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic in New York, she donated $250,000 to Montefiore Medical Center in The Bronx, to support frontline health-care workers.
“Montefiore was specifically chosen because Yoko wanted to assist a hospital in a community hit hard by COVID that didn’t have the ability to turn to wealthy donors and board members the way Cornell, NYU, Mount Sinai and others in Manhattan can,” said Mintz.
She has also recently supported musicians she has worked with in the past who have fallen on hard times. She helped Stanley Bronstein, who played in her Plastic Ono Band, when he needed emergency medical care, Mintz said.
But hunger remains her pet cause. “I remember being hungry and I know it’s so difficult to just be hungry,” Ono said in a 2013 interview. “One day I didn’t bring a lunchbox. The other kids asked, don’t you want to eat? I just said, no, I’m not hungry.”
Ono recently donated $50,000 to the West Side Campaign Against Hunger, which during the pandemic has provided thousands of meals to out-of-work and needy residents in her Upper West Side neighborhood. And she has a 30-year relationship with WhyHunger, a New York-based nonprofit fighting food deprivation around the world.

“She has been a true philanthropic partner,” Noreen Springstead, the group’s executive director, told. “She is the most energetic, the most vivacious person and is very hands-on. She has been incredibly invested for more than three decades.”


PREMIERING ON YOUTUBE TODAY – JOHN LENNON – OH YOKO!

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PREMIERING ON YOUTUBE TODAY – OH YOKO!

This is a rarely-seen clip of John & Yoko performing an acoustic version of ‘Oh Yoko’ with press agent Derek Taylor at the Sheraton Oceanus Hotel, Freeport, Bahamas, 51 years ago today on 25 May 1969.

 

Video… Visit Here



JOHN LENNON PLASTIC ONO BAND 50th ANNIVERSARY BOOK DUE

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The 50th anniversary of the album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, will be commemorated this fall with the release of a book, John & Yoko Plastic Ono Band. The album, which Lennon once described as “the best thing I’ve ever done,” was released on Dec. 11, 1970. The book, from Thames and Hudson, is tentatively scheduled to be published on Oct. 8. in the U.K. 

The book is available for pre-order in the UK … HERE.

That’s one week before a book simply titled Get Back: The Beatles, is expected to be published from Callaway Arts & Entertainment. There is no artwork or description yet for the Get Back book. The only information offered is its weight: 1.7 lbs.  It’s available for pre-order in the U.S. Here and the U.K. Here.

Described by Lennon as ‘the best thing I’ve ever done’, and widely regarded by critics as his best solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band was released on 11 December 1970. With first-hand commentary by Lennon, Ono and other members of the Plastic Ono Band, and packed with previously unseen photographs by those who documented their lives, this incisive volume offers new insights into the raw emotions and open mindset of Lennon after marriage to Ono and the break-up of the Beatles, through heroin addiction and primal therapy under Arthur Janov, to the making of the album and revealing interview with Jann Wenner in December 1970.

After the Bed-In for Peace events held in Amsterdam in March 1969 Lennon and Ono decided that their future artistic endeavours would be credited to a conceptual vehicle, the Plastic Ono Band. The band featured a rotating line-up of musicians, including Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann, Ringo Starr, Alan White, George Harrison, Billy Preston and Jim Keltner, all of whom played live with Lennon and Ono, and contributed to their recordings. Primal therapy had a huge impact on Lennon’s song writing, resulting in the creation of tracks that are intensely personal and soul-baring, including ‘Mother’, ‘Working Class Hero’ and ‘God’. This book takes those lyrics as a starting point and explores Lennon’s life, career and self-perception, from ‘performing flea’ with the Beatles to authenticity as a solo artist.

Table of Contents

Preface by Yoko Ono • I Sat Belonely • Who are the Plastic Ono Band? • Mother • Collaboration • Hold On • Live Performance • I Found Out • Working Class Hero • Catharsis • Isolation • Remember • Love • Well Well Well • Recording • Album Artwork • Look at Me • God • My Mummy’s Dead • Emancipation


JOHN LENNON’S OFFICIAL INSTAGRAM PAGE UNEARTHED YET ANOTHER GOLDEN-WORTH PHOTO

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John Lennon’s official Instagram page unearthed yet another golden-worth photo of John and Yoko Ono.

As you might check out the photo of the couple above, the official Instagram page surprised by not giving any specific details about that unseen frame.

 

metalheadzone

PEACE & LOVE FOR XMAS : JOHN LENNON, GEORGE HARRISON, ERIC CLAPTON, KEITH MOON & MORE

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The UNICEF event featured John and George’s first scheduled performance since The Beatles’ last concert in 1966, and John Lennon’s last UK live appearance.

A historic concert that, surprisingly, sometimes goes under the radar in the history of some British rock royalty took place at London’s Lyceum Theatre on 15 December 1969.

It was a charity event for UNICEF, the United Nations’ international fund, called Peace and Love for Christmas. The concert marked the live debut of the extended Plastic Ono Band, on this occasion featuring the incredible line-up of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton and more with a brief appearance by Keith Moon. It came in the week of release of the Plastic Ono Band’s Live Peace In Toronto, the cover of which is pictured above.

 

The concert turned out to be Lennon’s last live appearance in his home country, and it’s also the answer to what could be a memorable trivia question, about the night Lennon and Harrison were on a bill that also featured Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, the Young Rascals and UK hitmakers Blue Mink. Tickets cost £1 each, and others joining the stellar cast included Klaus Voorman, Bobby Keys, Jim Price and Alan White, all regular collaborators to this extended family. BBC Radio1 DJ Emperor Rosko MCd the evening.

The Lyceum stage was adorned with a giant “War is over” message banner, previewing the sentiment of John and Yoko’s subsequent Christmas single.

This supergroup performed Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band’s then-current single ‘Cold Turkey’ and its b-side ‘Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow),’ both in extended versions. The recordings, mixed by Geoff Emerick, were included as the second disc, titled Live Jam, on the original release of the 1972 album credited to Lennon, Ono and Elephant’s Memory, Some Time In New York City. John introduces ‘Cold Turkey’ (which was in the UK chart at the time of the event, having peaked at No. 14) by saying “This is a song about pain.”
Lennon is quoted, by The Beatles Bible and elsewhere, expressing his enthusiasm for the night. “I thought it was fantastic,” he said. “I was really into it. We were doing the show and George and Bonnie and Delaney, Billy Preston and all that crowd turned up. They’d just come back from Sweden and George had been playing invisible man in Bonnie and Delaney’s band, which Eric Clapton had been doing, to get the pressure off being the famous Eric and the famous George.

“They became the guitarists in this and they all turned up, and it was again like the concert in Toronto. I said, ‘Will you come on?’ They said, ‘Well, what are you going to play? I said, ‘Listen, we’re going to do probably a blues…or ‘Cold Turkey,’ which is three chords, and Eric knew that. And ‘Don’t Worry Kyoko,’ which was Yoko’s, which has three chords and a riff. I said, ‘Once we get on to Yoko’s riff, just keep hitting it.’”
udiscovermusic

LEGENDARY LABEL EXECUTIVE JOE SMITH DEAD AT 91

By Posted on 0 , 11

Joe Smith, a former label boss with Warner Bros., Elektra and Capitol Records, has died at the age of 91.

He was head of Warners during the period of signing Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, the Doobie Brothers and others. Later, as head of Capitol, he wrote the 1988 book Off the Record: An Oral History of Popular Music, which featured interviews with Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel and others he was associated with. He also worked directly with first George Harrison and later Paul McCartney.

As a young jazz fan, Smith got his start in the music industry as a DJ before joining Warner Bros. in 1960 as a promotions executive. He became president 12 years later, before moving to sister company Elektra in 1975. He announced his retirement in 1983 but became boss of Capitol in 1987, before retiring for good in 1993.

“I’m so fortunate to have gotten out when I got out of it because there’s no fun anymore,” Smith told Variety in 2015. “We were there during a great time, and [then] it hit a wall. … I loved what I was doing, then it was time to hang it up. … The record business fell apart when you could get music for nothing.”

He recalled that the “best time was building Warner Bros. It was dumbfoundingly dull when we got there. … We bought Reprise, and Mo [Ostin] came aboard and the two of us had this magic run.”

Smith noted that the Grateful Dead were his “most important signing” because “we were changing from the Petula Clark-Frank Sinatra company to what was happening in music.”