Entries in Yoko Ono (11)


Yoko Ono Launches John Lennon-Inspired Fashion Line

John Lamparski/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Yoko Ono can now add fashion designer to her list of accomplishments.

The 79-year-old author, artist, musician and innovator unveiled her latest fashion campaign with Opening Ceremony, a global clothing brand with collections for women, men and children.

The concept behind Ono’s collection, titled "Fashions for Men: 1969-2012,” began when she met designer and Opening Ceremony co-founder Umberto Leon three years ago in Tokyo. When Ono presented her idea to Leon, he decided to join her.

This week, Ono launches her limited-edition fashion line, which includes 18 styles with 52 separate pieces. The pieces were inspired by a gift, including a series of drawings and sketches that Ono presented to her late husband, John Lennon, for their wedding in 1969.

“I was inspired to create ‘Fashions for Men,’ amazed at how my man was looking so great,” Ono said of her 1969 sketches. “I felt it was a pity if we could not make clothes emphasizing his very sexy bod. So, I made this whole series with love for his hot bod, and gave it to him as a wedding present.”

“You can IMAGINE how he went wild and fell in love with me even more!” she added. “My sophisticated, tasteful, and sensible friends across the world all scream — ‘We love it!’”

The collection includes jersey blazers, suit pants and hoodies, starting at $75.  New York City and Los Angeles stores have already stocked their shelves with the latest items.

“I think she just fell in love with John’s body and wanted to show off all of the parts of his body that she loved,” Leon told WWD. “There’s something so beautiful about that sentiment.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paul McCartney Says Yoko Ono Didn’t Break Up the Beatles

Lester Cohen/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Back down, Yoko Ono haters: in a new interview, Paul McCartney says John Lennon’s widow didn’t break up the Beatles.

According to the L.A. Times, Sir Paul reinforced the position Lennon often took before his 1980 death, telling interviewer David Frost that the group was breaking up with or without Ono’s influence.

“She certainly didn’t break the group up, the group was breaking up,” McCartney says. “I don’t think you can blame her for anything.”

He adds, “When Yoko came along, part of her attraction was her avant-garde side, her view of things, so she showed him another way to be, which was very attractive to him. So it was time for John to leave, he was definitely going to leave,” with or without Ono in the picture.

The interview is scheduled to air Nov. 9 on the Al Jazeera English TV channel.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Lady Gaga Honored by Yoko Ono for Her Humanitarian Efforts

Thorvaldur Orn Kristmundsson/AFP/GettyImages(REYKJAVIK, Iceland) -- Lady Gaga was in Iceland Tuesday being honored for her humanitarian efforts by John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, E! Online reports.

Ono presented the Mama Monster with the LennonOno Grant for Peace in appreciation for Gaga's support of victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 Japanese tsunami, as well as her efforts to promote tolerance.

Still, Gaga won't be keeping the grant's 50,000 prize. "I will be donating this grant to the Elton John AIDS Foundation and I will be working closely with them to ensure that the money goes specifically to those orphans and disadvantaged youth in America born with HIV or AIDS," Gaga said.

In accepting the award, Gaga said, “I dare you to be compassionate in a cynical age.”

Gaga shares the honor with the three imprisoned members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paul McCartney Honored at MusiCares Person of the Year Gala

MJ Kim/ ANGELES) -- Some of the biggest names in music, movies, and entertainment showed up Friday night in downtown Los Angeles to honor Paul McCartney at the MusiCares Person of the Year, an annual pre-Grammy gala organized by the charitable arm of the Recording Academy.

The performers and guests included Yoko Ono, Coldplay, Tony Bennett, James Taylor, Neil Young, Alicia Keys, Foo Fighters, Christina Perri, Joe Walsh, Katy Perry, Smokey Robinson, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson, Motown founder Berry Gordy, David Crosby and, of course, the guest of honor: Sir Paul, who was joined by his wife Nancy Shevell and son James. 

On the red carpet, Smokey Robinson said that as a musician, McCartney "has definitely made a contribution that will live on and on and on forever and ever,"  adding, "He's gonna live through his music, like Beethoven." 

Joe Walsh, meanwhile, said McCarntey's bass playing -- not something that most people think of when talking about his greatest achievements -- was truly revolutionary.  On the red carpet, he explained, "Paul made a melody out his bass part. You could kinda sing some of them...and that melodic approach to the bass was unheard-of in those days."

Tom Hanks, meanwhile, believes that McCartney and the Beatles not only made timeless music, but they actually changed the world.  Recalling on the red carpet what it was like for him to hear the Beatles for the first time in early 1964, Hanks said, "My world was so palpably sad because of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and it was less than three months prior, so it was wintertime, it was bleak, it seemed to be raining all the time, it was cold and windy.  And then these guys came on, and everybody talked about it, and honestly, the world was different, as of then."

At the event, stars paid tribute to Sir Paul by performing songs from his catalog, including Beatles classics, solo hits and Wings songs.   McCartney told the crowd, "For me, obviously it's just fantastic to hear these fantastic artists singing my songs and making 'em sound so beautiful...putting the nuances on the songs that I didn't know were there, so it's just a fantastic evening for me."

McCartney himself kicked off the night by performing "Magical Mystery Tour" and "Junior's Farm," and later returned to the stage to play some tracks from his new album Kisses on the Bottom, as well as "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five" from Band on the Run.  He closed out the night with the Beatles' Abbey Road classic "Golden Slumbers."

Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said that Friday night's crowd was bigger than last year’s attendance of 2,500, who showed up to honor Barbra Streisand, and so the final total raised for charity would likely eclipse last year’s record sum of $4.75 million.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono to Vegas for LOVE Anniversary Show

Dave Hogan/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono will head to Las Vegas on June 5 to watch the fifth anniversary performance of Cirque du Soleil's Beatles-inspired show, LOVE, according to USA Today.

In addition to Macca and Ono, George Harrison's widow, Olivia, and son Dhani, will attend, along with producer George Martin.  Ringo Starr, who's currently on tour overseas, will appear in a videotaped message that will air during the performance.  Half of the audience will be invited guests of The Beatles and the Cirque du Soleil crews while the remaining seats will be available to the general public.

The last time the Fab Four's entourage assembled was in 2009 in Los Angeles for the unveiling of The Beatles: Rock Band and the remastered Beatles catalog.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


John Lennon's Letter on Beatles Split Headed for Auction

David Farrell/Redferns(LONDON) -- A letter from John Lennon to Paul and Linda McCartney regarding The Beatles splitting up is headed for the auction block in Beverly Hills, California next month.

The Telegraph reports that in the letter, which is a draft of a reply to a letter from McCartney, Lennon calls McCartney a "four-letter swear word."  Lennon also takes full credit for starting the Fab Four, writing, "I'm not ashamed of the Beatles -- (I did start it all), but of some of the [expletive] we took to make them so big -- I thought we all felt that way in varying degrees -- obviously not."

Another statement Lennon makes in the letter attacks all the other Beatles regarding their treatment of Yoko Ono.

He writes, "I hope you realize what [expletive] you and the rest of my 'kind and unselfish' friends laid on Yoko and me."

Pictures of the two-page letter can be seen at The Telegraph's website.  The letter is expected to fetch up to $65,000 at auction.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


John Lennon's 'Abbey Road' White Suit Headed for Auction

Photo Courtesy - Capitol Records(NORWALK, Conn.) -- The white suit that John Lennon wore on the album cover of Abbey Road is headed for the auction block on New Year's Day.

Braswell Galleries in Norwalk, Connecticut is holding the sale, which also includes the blazer that Lennon wore in the 1971 documentary for Imagine, and a Chrysler station wagon from Lennon and Yoko Ono's New York City home.  

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


'Rolling Stone' Releasing Lennon’s Last Interview in Entirety for First Time

Photo Courtesy - Rolling Stone/Annie Leibovitz(NEW YORK) -- Three days before he was murdered, John Lennon sat down with Rolling Stone magazine for what turned out to be his final interview, and spoke about having “plenty of time” to explore some of his life’s goals.

Now, Rolling Stone has released the entire interview, titled "John Lennon's Last Days," for the first time to mark the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s death.  It will be on magazine stands Friday.

The Dec. 5, 1980 interview by Jonathan Cott was originally planned for a cover story of Lennon’s upcoming Double Fantasy album.  Portions of the interview were rushed into print by Rolling Stone after Lennon was killed.

In the interview, which Rolling Stone is also releasing in audio form on its website, Lennon blasts critics who expressed disappointment with his choices in music and life after The Beatles.  Lennon says, “These critics with the illusions they’ve created about artists -- it’s like idol worship.  They only like people when they’re on their way up...I cannot be on the way up again.  What they want is dead heroes, like Sid Vicious and James Dean.  I’m not interested in being a dead [expletive] hero.”

Lennon predicted that Bruce Springsteen, who at the time was being hailed as the future of rock ‘n’ roll, would one day endure the same jabs from critics.  Lennon told Cott, “And God help Bruce Springsteen when they decide he’s no longer God...They’ll turn on him, and I hope he survives it.”

Lennon also spoke in the interview about two strong connections he’s made in life, saying, “I’ve selected to work with...only two people: Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono...That ain’t bad picking.”

The former Beatle was also reflective about his fame and the status he’s achieved, saying, “I’m not claiming divinity...I’ve never claimed to have the answers to life.  I only put out songs and answer questions as honesty as I can...But I still believe in peace, love and understanding.”

In addition to the complete interview, Rolling Stone will also publish an essay by Yoko Ono, recalling her final days with her husband.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Beatles Fans Celebrate John Lennon's 70th Birthday

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If John Lennon hadn't been gunned down in New York in 1980, the global icon of youthful rebellion could have celebrated his 70th birthday on Saturday. Fans around the world are marking the date with what his widow, Yoko Ono, has called an explosion of sentiment.

Nearly 30 years after Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman outside the Dakota, the New York City apartment building where the late Beatle lived, admirers of all ages gathered across the street in a part of Central Park called "Strawberry Fields," to honor his memory.

Ono, who married Lennon in March 1969, has said she is still getting over her husband's murder and that she's surprised by the attention paid to his birthday. She says it’s a testament to Lennon's enduring appeal.

"I have a seven-year-old who is a crazy, obsessive fan," said Alan Light, a rock critic for Rolling Stone. "All these kids know these songs. So many of the songs are now part of sing-a-longs in nursery schools and lullabies and the music that you grow up with when you live on this planet."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Lady Gaga Teams With Yoko Ono Onstage 

Photo Courtesy - Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Over the weekend in Los Angeles, John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono hosted a series of concerts, and was joined onstage by her special guest Lady Gaga.  The concerts, called "We Are Plastic Ono Band," were Ono's first-ever L.A. shows, and they kicked off what will be a week-long series of events to mark what would have been Lennon's 70th birthday on Oct. 9.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Gaga performed two songs with Ono.  At one point, the two of them lay on top of a piano together and ended their number in an embrace.

Before the event, Ono told the Orange County Register, "I think [Lady Gaga] is fantastic....she thinks of something and she does it, without hesitation.  Whatever comes into her head, she brings it out, without fear...that's how it should be."  She added, "Most people think she's just a spectacle, but no, no she's professional."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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