Yoko Ono’s Positive Negative
Avante-garde icon Yoko Ono chatted to the Observer this week about her philosophy of life and the pressures she faced as John Lennon’s much vilified wife and revealed that she wrote her song ‘Yes, I’m a Witch’ in 1974, to combat the relentless negativity she had to deal with.
“I felt like the world was trying to kill me spiritually for 40 years, so one day I just said, OK, I’m a witch. You are saying it, so am I”, the 80 year old artist told the Observer’s Sean O’Hagan.
“It is a song of rebellion. It didn’t seem to go anywhere at the time, but maybe it went everywhere spiritually. It certainly made me feel that I could go on.” (Observer )
As well as being reviled by fans who accused her of breaking up the Beatles, she was also extensively investigated by the FBI in the 70s alongside John Lennon for being suspected subversives, a situation she chatted to Skrufff about in London in 2004 when she presented her ‘Odyssey Of a Cockroach’ exhibition.
Themed around cruelty and man’s inhumanity to man during the 20th century, the exhibition told the tale of a cockroach wandering round New York City, encountering such situations as a bloody crime scene and bombed out building, via giant fabricated cockroaches scattered around a warehouse.
Chatting at the time about being spied on by the FBI, she was characteristically considered about whether she felt concerned.
“Well you see, the way I look at it is this; when the FBI were checking us, I hope they enjoyed it,” she said.
“But they didn’t affect us because we were in our own world, living our lives in a way that was us, we just tried to be what we were. Or rather, we didn’t try to be some particular way, we simply were as we were. And that’s very important. So instead of getting upset with the people who were trying to invade our personal lives, we ignored them,” she recalled.
(‘Yes, I’m a witch I’m a bitch I don’t care what you say, My voice is real, my words speaks truth, I don’t fit in your ways . . .)
Jonty Skrufff: https://twitter.com/djjontyskrufff