There isn’t any other artist who inspires me in the same way that Yoko Ono does. She creates work in so many different mediums and does so fearlessly, in a way that seems to be free from reaction to how people respond to her work.
I was so thrilled to get to hear her talk about her work Tuesday night at The Paley Center for Media here in NYC. My good friend luke kurtis had an extra ticket so he invited me along. He and I actually met in the 90’s through a Yoko Ono fan group we were both members of. The talk was moderated by Rolling Stone‘s Anthony DeCurtis and the two chatted casually about Yoko’s full body of work.
It’s interesting for me seeing her now. I’ve heard her speak before, but this is the first time since I have begun producing my own work. Where before she inspired the question, “how can I start making work?” now I ask, “how can I start making more geniuine work?”
I was thinking last night about my song “Invocation.” How would Yoko handle that vocal improvisation section in the middle?
I have been telling myself I never want to perform that song again. Even when I recorded that part in the studio I felt self-concious. Embarassed. What are people thinking of this? For me this track has a built in conflict. That “hootin’ and hollerin'” section in the middle is. I mean, it just is. It’s part of the song that just showed up with the rest of it. How do I get to a place of performing it as it is supposed to be without getting nervous, or uncomfortable, or…..apologetic about what I am doing? WWYD?
Hearing Yoko talk about her work, and just experiencing her energy in that setting makes me want to reach deeper into letting go of my fear and apology about the type of work I want to create. I feel inspired to move into the direction of the world I want to see, rather than move against the parts of the world I dislike. Indeed, Yoko reminds me that it’s all possible. It is, right?
In summary: Yoko inspires. She’s one of the few on the short list of celebrities I’d love to sit and chat with over tea. Someone set this up for me, wouldja?