Yoko Ono Visited The GRAMMY Museum – 9 Oct 2010

Two-time GRAMMY winner discussed her art and the life and legacy of her late husband John Lennon

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of John Lennon’s birth on Oct. 9, 1940, two-time GRAMMY winner Yoko Ono visited the GRAMMY Museum on Oct. 3 for an intimate conversation about her late husband’s life and legacy. Ono also discussed her artistic influences, how she met Lennon and the origins of the Plastic Ono Band. The event was in support of the GRAMMY Museum’s latest exhibit John Lennon, Songwriter.

“The first feeling I had of [John] was that he was very elegant, and very strange,” Ono said regarding her first encounter with Lennon at one of her gallery showings. “He had all these different personas, and this was a gallery he was visiting, so he was wearing a nice suit and looking rather elegant.”

Born in Tokyo, Ono is known as a peace activist, musician and artist. In the ’60s, Ono became a prominent figure in Fluxus, a movement of artists known for incorporating experimental and avante-garde concepts. She met Lennon in November 1966 and the couple eventually married in 1969. Ono and Lennon collaborated musically beginning in 1968 with Unfinished Music, No. 1: Two Virgins (an album known for its nude cover art) up until 1980’s Double Fantasy, the last recording released in Lennon’s lifetime. The latter album won the Album Of The Year GRAMMY, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and included the No. 1 single “(Just Like) Starting Over.” Ono resumed her music career in 1981 with Seasons Of Glass, featuring the GRAMMY-nominated “Walking On Thin Ice.” Her most recent recording, Between My Head And The Sky, was released under the Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band moniker in 2009.

Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include Fender Presents An Intimate Night With Los Lobos (Dec. 14) and What A Long Strange Trip it’s Been: A Review Of Rock’s Greatest Decade (Jan. 4).

For more information on the GRAMMY Museum, visit www.grammymuseum.org.

John Lennon photographed by Iain MacMillan ©Yoko Ono

GRAMMY Museum exhibition: John Lennon, Songwriter [LA, USA] From Oct 4th

The GRAMMY Museum debut its latest exhibit — John Lennon, Songwriter — on Oct. 4 2010, in association with Hard Rock International, in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the legendary artist’s birth on Oct. 9. (A special members-only preview opens Oct. 3.)

The exhibition pays tribute to the seven-time GRAMMY winner’s songwriting genius, his roots and influences, and explores various elements of Lennon’s songwriting history.

“We are privileged and honored to open our newest exhibit, John Lennon, Songwriter, in commemoration of one of the most prolific and profound songwriters of our time,” said Robert Santelli, Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum. “Lennon’s songs are as insightful and empowering as ever, and they continue to inspire and change the world. We are grateful to Yoko Ono for choosing the GRAMMY Museum as a temporary home to display some of these memorable and important pieces that illustrate the breadth of her late husband’s extraordinary career.”

John Lennon, Songwriter covers some of the singer/songwriter’s early influences including Eddie Cochran, Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, and more; his time with the Quarrymen and the transition into the early Beatles period; his songwriting collaborations with Paul McCartney; and his transition from the Beatles to a solo artist/songwriter and his work with Ono.

Some of the artifacts featured in the exhibit include:

  • Several guitars used by John Lennon (including his Fender Telecaster)
  • Early albums
  • Lennon’s signature round, wire-framed eyeglasses
  • His typewriter (used to write lyrics early in his career)
  • Original drawings by Lennon
  • His Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band costume
  • Lennon’s Album Of The Year GRAMMY Award for Double Fantasy
  • Many handwritten song lyrics, including “Imagine” and “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”
  • Early Beatles photographs and original posters
  • Quarrymen ephemera
  • Rare, historic footage of Lennon
  • A never-before-seen interview with Ono about Lennon’s songwriting
  • In The Studio With John Lennon – an interactive studio exhibit

In addition to the opening of this new exhibit, other related events occurring include:

    Two live performances on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles with special surprise guests.
  • American Express Presents An Evening With Yoko Ono
    On Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. at the GRAMMY Museum’s Clive Davis Theater, featuring an up-close-and-personal interview with the two-time GRAMMY winner about her late husband’s life and legacy.
  • American Masters: LENNONYC
    The West Coast premiere of the American Masters documentary in association with WNET.org for PBS, on Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m., also at the Clive Davis Theater.
  • EMI’s worldwide release of eight of Lennon’s classic solo albums and other recordings
    On Oct. 4 (Oct. 5 in North America), which have been digitally remastered and overseen by Ono. Oct. 4 also will see the opening of a special John Lennon memorabilia installation at the Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard.
  • Imagine There’s No Hunger: Celebrating The Songs Of John Lennon
    On Nov. 2, in partnership with Hard Rock International, a benefit concert celebrating the music of Lennon will take place at the new Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard. Imagine There’s No Hunger: Celebrating The Songs Of John Lennon will feature several artists performing classic Lennon songs, and proceeds from the event will go to the GRAMMY Museum and WhyHunger, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting hunger and poverty around the world. Details regarding tickets and performances will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for American Express Presents An Evening With Yoko Ono are $25. American Express presale tickets may be purchased by American Express card members online at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 1.800.745.3000 beginning Sept. 24 at 12 p.m. PT. Ticket purchase includes a special gift. American Express is the exclusive payment method for presale tickets. All proceeds benefit the GRAMMY Museum.

For more information on the GRAMMY Museum, please call 213.765.6800 or visit www.grammymuseum.org.

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Museum hours are: Sunday – Friday 11:30am – 7:30pm, Saturday 10:00am – 7:30pm

The GRAMMY Museum is located on the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles, on the campus of L.A. LIVE.

800 West Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015, USA

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About The GRAMMY Museum

Paying tribute to music’s rich cultural history, this one-of-a-kind, 21st-century Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music — the GRAMMY Award. The GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests will experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only The GRAMMY Museum can deliver.

American Express is the Premiere Partner of The GRAMMY Museum.
For more information about American Express and music, visitwww.americanexpress.com/entertainment.

Yoko Ono’s Candid Introspection At The Grammy Museum

By Mike Palecki, blogdowntown.com

Yoko Ono talks with Grammy Museum director Robert Santelli during Sunday’s event at the museum.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Following a weekend of concerts in Downtown Los Angeles, Yoko Ono slowed the pace at the Grammy Museum on Sunday, taking time to be introspective in an interview with museum director Robert Santelli.

Ono was at the museum for the opening of its “John Lennon, Songwriter” exhibit, which she curated. After a members preview in the afternoon, she spent an intimate evening with 200 guests in the Clive Davis Theater discussing the life and legacy of John Lennon.

As the author of more than a dozen books on American music and one of the original curators of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Santelli knew exactly what questions to ask Ono and solicit candid and frank responses.

The million dollar question of the decades was one on everyone’s mind, though, as Santelli queried Ono on her meeting and courtship of John Lennon.

As a successful performance artist in New York City, Yoko had been invited to London by art critics for a one woman show. Little did she know that while she involved herself in separate performance acts and prepared for the gallery exhibition, Lennon had been watching her from a distance and was quite smitten.

“I was an elitist, focused on my career and knew little about the ‘mop heads,’ other than reading a small article about them from a Japanese newspaper,” Yoko confessed to Santelli. On the day of her London opening, in spite of clear directives that “No one be admitted to the show until I have finalized everything, there was John Lennon standing in the gallery looking at my white block of wood, with nothing on it”.

She continued, “You have to understand, a lot of my works are conceptual ideas to be executed later, with no clear monetary value intrinsic to the art on display. And so, I decided to charge admission to the show, but John had no money with him. He didn’t need money. He was famous and everything he wanted was paid for later by his manager”.

“And then John wanted to commission me to build my ‘Light Tower’ in his garden, but I didn’t know what to say, because it was just an idea”.

Following that, Yoko described a pivotal moment in which Lennon grabbed her “Fresh Apple” from a pedestal and took a bite.

“He kind of got the message that I was not happy and put it back,” she exclaimed. “However, in my mind I was thinking he was fairly attractive and wouldn’t mind having an affair with him. But I just let it go”. Sometime later she said, “John invited me to a party-but I was the only guest.”

From those disclosures, it finally became clear who initiated the historic romance and what inspired the logo for the Beatles’ Apple Records.

“An Evening With Yoko Ono,” along with 62 other presentations sponsored by American Express, can be viewed at the Grammy Museum. In time, they will become available to the public for purchase as DVDs.

In the meantime, the John Lennon exhibit at the Grammy Museum opened to the public on Monday and PBS’s “John Lennon NYC” will be televised soon, filling in all the blanks and answering most of the questions germane to the rock and roll legend who would have turned 70 on October 9.