by T.W. Ogletree
"I was able to obtain a ticket
at literally the very last minute from someone on the ononet list (thanks to someone
else who does a J&Y website) and had to rush to get there. But the preliminaries
first - it was done in the auditorium of Japan Society, which I think holds only
about 300 people. Seats were assigned. I was luck to be in the sixth row from
front. Noticed Sean and Yuka about five seats away ("Sean, can I take a picture?"),
Laurie Anderson two seats in front of me ("Laurie, can I take a picture?").
Cyndi Lauper, several others. Don't know the titles to all the songs, but Yoko
started out conversationally, talking about how we are all connected (using the
cells in our bodies as an example), peace, love all the usual stuff she is so
Then the music started. The only two songs I recognized
were Rising, which she sort of melded into from another song, and it was absolutely
great. Two others are off the CD that comes with the catalogue, Are You Looking
For Me, and It's Time For Action. I must say that when I first listened to the
CD I thought it kind of flat, rushed together. Hearing these songs live, however,
was a different experience. I think Yoko reacted to the audience as much as we
did to her. I have since gone back and listened to the CD again. While I can appreciate
it more, I think the live versions of these two songs are worlds away from the
studio versions. They were very powerful, fun, upbeat, when she did them live.
The musicians I'm not sure I've heard of before (but Yoko introduced them as friends
she's worked with for a while).
According to the program
the backup band was: Chris Maxwell, Phil Hernandez, Erik Sanko, Zeena Parkins
and Hearn Gadbois. Not much more than I can say except that it was a filmed event,
so perhaps we'll see it in a video or TV special someday. If anyone lives near
where this exhibit (AIU note: Yes Yoko Ono) will travel
during the next few years, I suggest you call your local museum and try to get
on a waiting list to see if there will be a concert. How was it? It was great!"
Stefan Weisman and the concert night
I was lucky enough to squeeze into the concert too. I showed up an hour early
and was told that it was very unlikely that I'd be able to get in, but I put my
name on a waiting list anyway. I was 3rd on the list and I got a ticket then my
friend who 4th on the list was offered a ticket by another listener so he got
in too. I got to sit in the 2nd row too, so I had a great view. Yoko looked really
happy. She just looks great for her age, it's amazing. The story Yoko told was
really interesting. It concerned some scientists who scraped some cells from the
inside of someone's mouth. They kept these cells alive in a Petri dish, and took
the guy to another room and showed him a violent film. Apparently his cells in
the Petri dish reacted to the film in some way too even though they were no longer
attached to his body. They tried the same experiment and took the guy 50 miles
away, and the cells still reacted. So Yoko said that we have intelligence in our
every cell and that our energy extends beyond our physical being and all of that
stuff. It was cool. The musicians in the band were a guitarist, bass guitarist,
a drummer, and a second percussionist, and an electric harpist.
songs were arranged in a sort of suite -- stories of a woman, a child and a man.
The first one was the story of a woman, but I wasn't totally convinced by this
song. It concerned violence and rape and all that, but I just wasn't that crazy
about it. The second song was the story of a child that Yoko said would go into
a "healing" music during which the audience was instructed to think
of people important to our lives, like family and friends, and we should send
these people positive energy and love. This healing music had pre-recorded bird
songs during which Yoko improvised with the percussionist. And after it finished
Yoko joked that she sensed someone in the audience made a mistake and sent her
a love message instead of their own family but that was okay and she said she
loved all of us too. The third songs was the story of a man, but he was a strange
man and Yoko said we might be confused by his song but that she wanted us to know
that he was a Japanese man. Then she sang an encore "It's Time For Action,"
which was really fun." The set was approximately 45 minutes long.
with Laurie and Cyndi