She may be 75, but she hit number one on the Billboard club chart with her “Give Peace a Chance (the Remixes)” this month.
The song’s release marked the 39th anniversary of the song’s original recording — during her and Lennon’s legendary week-long Bed-In for Peace at Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel — giving new life to the anthem with remixes by underground producers Tommie Sunshine, Eric Kupper, Johnny Vicious, Dave Aude, Morel, Mike Cruz and Double B.
It’s also Ono’s fourth number-one single (following 2003’s “Walking on Thin Ice (the Remixes),” 2004’s “Everyman/Everywoman” and 2007’s “No, No, No”).
The song was originally written as a protest against the Vietnam War, but with the War in Iraq, unrest in Georgia and Darfur, and even the equal rights battle gays and trans people continue to face in this country, it remains a timely rallying cry for positive change.
Gay.com recently talked to Ono about the uncharacteristic success of this “dance floor burner,” her own personal struggle as a woman in music, and the need for gay marriage.
Hi, Yoko. The “Give Peace A Chance” remixes are gorgeous.
Thank you. I was so worried about it. I wanted to push the ideas that are still so important with everything that is going on, but I didn’t know if it would have the appeal factor.
What’s stranger to me is that I never imagined that song as a club hit.
In the club, music has to be dark and sexy, so I said, “What am I doing?” But I think that somehow, someone helped from up above.
How involved are you with the remixing process of your singles?
I’m not involved at all. I send it to people who want to remix it. Especially with “Give Peace a Chance,” there were many serious people interested. We even got calls from China and Russia, so we said, “Please try.” I’m not involved or saying, “don’t do this,” I’m just receiving it.
Did you ever imagine you’d be a number-one-selling dance artist in your 70s?
I’m just amazed. It’s the wildest dream I didn’t have. Sometimes you don’t even have a dream if you don’t think it’s possible.
It’s widely known that your father told you many moons ago that you should stop dreaming of being a songwriter and become an entertainer instead, because men create and women interpret.
He said that the world was like that. I don’t blame him, because he thought it would be difficult, and that’s why I should not go into composing music. It would be better to be an interpreter, to be a singer.
And now you’re a successful singer with others interpreting your work?
I know … I can’t believe it.
Back in 2005, you released the “Everyman/Everywoman” single as a statement for gay marriage. Gay marriage still seemed like a pipe dream back then, but now it’s a reality in a couple states. How did you feel when it was recently legalized in California?
Isn’t it amazing? I think it’s great. But it should not be great, but normal. I was jumping up and down in my mind.
Speaking of gay, I love that photo of you sandwiched between a drag queen and a gay boy on a New York Pride float.
Did you like that? Whenever I hear music, my body starts to move before I can even think. The music started, and I just started dancing.
What would you like to say to your fans on Gay.com?
I love you and keep on truckin’!
by Josh Rocker, gay.com