Yoko Ono

Avant-Garde Artist & Activist for Peace Who Definitively Did Not Break Up the Beatles

This week, Sam researched Yoko Ono, and finally answers the question of whether she broke up the Beatles (spoilers: she didn’t!).

Yoko Ono’s life was rarely easy. She was in Tokyo during the bombing of Japan in WWII, and her family was forced to beg for food. She later lost a daughter and husband to a Christian Japanese Cult. John Lennon was killed in front of her. And on top of all of that, she was vilified in the press. Despite everything, she’s managed to continue creating artwork and contributing to charitable causes, usually pushing for global peacekeeping efforts. She’s performed her unique brand of avant-garde around the globe, including at Carnegie Hall, doing shows in both English and Japanese.

Check out the full episode to learn more about why Yoko Ono is a Broad You Should Know!

Episode Transcript

(please excuse any errors, spelling or otherwise – audio transcription is tricky)

Sam Eggers 0:08
Hello and welcome to Broads You Should Know: The podcast about amazing and extraordinary women in history. I’m Sam Eggers.

Sara Gorsky 1:08
I’m Sara Gorsky.

Chloe Sky 1:10
And I’m Chloe Sky.

Sam Eggers 1:12
And you guys today, I’m going to talk to you about a woman named Yoko Ono.

Sara Gorsky 1:19
Oh, Yoko!

Chloe Sky 1:21
I’ve definitely heard of her.

Sam Eggers 1:23
Right. How do you guys feel about Yoko? What do you think of when you when you hear Yoko Ono?

Sara Gorsky 1:28
You know, what’s so funny is like, I don’t know – admittedly, I know basically nothing about her. Except that she’s totally villainized by a huge group of people who believes that she’s the reason the Beatles broke up. But that’s like all I know about her. And yeah, that amazing photo with her and John – there on the bed. That’s like one of the most famous photos I’ve ever seen.

Chloe Sky 1:49
Hmm, I think my understanding of who she was, when I was growing up was always that like, that sort of cultural understanding – that she’s this horrible person who broke up the Beatles and stole potentially great music from history. That was sort of my dad’s viewpoint. And you know, when you’re a kid, you just agree with your parents on everything. And, you know, then as I’ve seen more and more about, like, as she has, like, taken a stand for things publicly, and put out new music and new, and not even some of it’s not even music, but like she put she did something. She was like, This is my new song. And it’s my feelings on Trump after he was elected. And it was just like, this minute and a half long wail of, like, of sorrow. I was like, and I was like, Oh, wait, maybe she’s actually just like, liberal and feminist and that’s why everyone hates her. But that’s like a more recent realization and I don’t know anything about her.

Sara Gorsky 2:55
I can’t wait to see if that’s true, Chloe.

Sam Eggers 2:57
Yeah, so I I have a couple of experiences with Yoko, so the first – the reason I actually picked this was that Ped gave me the idea because I was like, “what Broad am I gonna do this week?” and I actually had someone lined up I was gonna do, but then he had mentioned Yoko and I was like that’s gonna be fun because – So Ped’s a huge Beatles fan and through sort of my own research and talking with him and know that that this this accusation that has been thrown about for – ever since the Beatles you know, ever since this happened that “she broke up the Beatles” is is really not true and is denied by other members of the Beatles – like it’s not like they’re saying this happened like “Oh, she’s the recently broke up.” They were having problems beforehand

Sara Gorsky 3:40
It was pop culture, they have to villainize someone, right?

Sam Eggers 3:43
Completely. She just – it’s sort of a timing thing. She happened to come around when the Beatles were kind of on their way on the outs anyway and recording independently. Even though they were still recording as the Beatles they were having, like, sessions on their own and it was sort of it was already it was already gonna happen right people need to get over it. Like, the Beatles broke up, let’s all move on. Right?

Sara Gorsky 4:03
How dare you? How dare you?

Sam Eggers 4:06
Yeah. Like, and then. And then in my own research of her, it’s been really interesting just to see how she realized how much of a life she had on her own and how much of her own artistic skill she had before she even met John and to see, sort of, how that has just been almost, like, completely forgotten and erased, because she married him. And then and the Beatles broke up. And then that’s just now the only thing she’s remembered for. And so, anyway, I think she’s pretty cool. So I’m kind of excited to talk to you guys today. So

Sara Gorsky 4:39
Oh, I can’t wait!

Sam Eggers 4:40
Let’s jump into Yoko. So Yoko was born in Japan, in Tokyo in 1933. And she was born to a really wealthy family. But times changed real quick, because World War II happened and her family completely, like, went bankrupt. And they – and there was the bombing of Tokyo and they completely faced starvation. And they had no money and they were selling off ,like, household items to get by. She talks about this time in her life – she says that this is why she develops what she calls an “aggressive attitude”. And so, which I think is kind of interesting because, like, aggressive attitude, but you know, what does that mean? But a lot of people

Sara Gorsky 5:23
That’s like when all the school teachers say about ALL of our BROADS when they were kids.

Sam Eggers 5:26
Exactly, right, just –

Sara Gorsky 5:27
She has an aggressive attitude.

Sam Eggers 5:31
And in a lot of the articles I was reading about her people would say things like, “You know, well, she really knows what she wants or she knows her own mind or…” and it just kind of seems like oh, I wonder if – you know, people sort of are saying like, what she’s really she’s maybe a little cold or she’s tough to deal with, but it just sounds like she’s someone who stands up for herself and knows what she wants.

Sara Gorsky 5:50
How dare she?

Sam Eggers 5:51

Sara Gorsky 5:52
How dare she not be a victim to other people’s desires.

Sam Eggers 5:58
So it’s a little bit like “Okay.” So anyway, she goes through this tough time with her family. But after the war, um, she’s able she goes back to school, and she graduates high school, and she’s accepted into a university in Tokyo called Gakushuin University and she’s in the philosophy program. And she’s the first woman to enter the department. She’s really smart. she’s accomplished even at a young age. But then she’s only there for like a year, and then the family decides they’re going to leave Japan, they’re going to move to the States. And so they move to the end up moving to Manhattan, and she enrolls in Sarah Lawrence. And while she’s there, she meets like a lot of artists, and, and sort of is getting involved like a bohemian art scene, and she becomes part of what’s called the Fluxus art scene. And I guess the fluxus Have you guys heard of this? I’d never heard of it before?

Chloe Sky 6:50
Not at all.

Sara Gorsky 6:52
I’ve heard the word but I don’t know the context.

Chloe Sky 6:55
Sounds science-y.

Sam Eggers 6:57
Yeah, and it’s not science-y at all. It’s like, apparently they emphasized the process of creating art over the end results. So they’re like, what does it mean while you’re creating something? And you kind of don’t worry about what comes out the other end?

Sara Gorsky 7:10
Sarah Lawrence is a – that’s an intense place. I remember visiting schools and visiting there and being like, Whoa, this place is really.

Sam Eggers 7:19
I feel like Sara like you’re the perfect candidate to go to Sarah Lawrence. Like, I feel like you would have like, I feel like you would have thrived there.

Sara Gorsky 7:27
I – now Yes. But if you knew me when I was in high school, no.

Sam Eggers 7:32
It would have been like, would have been very overwhelming for you.

Sara Gorsky 7:35
I was way more of a square. I mean, I’m still a square. Like I was like, WAY more square back then. And I think it would have all been too much.

Sam Eggers 7:44
Oh, baby, Sara.

Sara Gorsky 7:46
Now, I wish of course I was less square than and could do things like that. But I remember visiting campus and being like, holy shit, what’s going on here?

Sam Eggers 7:56
Well, in 1952 Yoko is just a time she’s like in the Manhattan art scene. She’s, you know, she’s creating art is really it’s really all about guard and exploring stuff. And she’s actively creating her own art. And its installation.

Sara Gorsky 8:13
Did you say what her medium was? Was it painting or…

Sam Eggers 8:16
She does like installation and performance art. So it’s kind of like all over the place, but a lot of it there like experiences. And I’ll tell you guys about a couple of them because some of them are actually kind of cool. And so in 1952, she elopes to Japan, with this Japanese composer she meets named Toshi Ichi Inagi. But it does not go well. And so like they are living apart almost immediately, they end up filing for divorce in 1962. And she’s like, and during this whole thing, she’s like, really depressed. And she briefly is in a mental institution in Japan like it’s, it’s really difficult.

Chloe Sky 8:53
Wow, did you know why she went to a mental institution?

Sam Eggers 8:56
I think there’s some clinical depression. So it’s fair. I think it’s Just she it might have just been like a breakdown or it might have been. And also I’m not sure like, What is there? Like they clarify that it’s a Japanese mental institution. So I don’t know. I’m like it is that…

Chloe Sky 9:10
It was just a woman who had emotions in the 60s and went to the spa and dared say that out loud.

Sam Eggers 9:15
Yeah. And they were like,

Sara Gorsky 9:16
Yeah, that’s exactly what happened. That’s what we’ve seen in so many BROADS.

Sam Eggers 9:24
Anyway, in 1962, she ends up she’s, she’s divorced now from the guy she ran away with. She’s out of the mental institution, still doing her art. And she ends up marrying another guy named Anthony Cox and he’s an American, and he’s a jazz musician and like art promoter, and they end up getting married and they have a daughter named Kyoko Chan Cox and have her in 1963. And but this again, this is like a really terrible marriage. It does not go well. I think he’s like they’re both artists. And he’s they’re musicians and like, even though they kind of do performance art together it does not go well. Like, it’s just like, things are bad. And he’s, and so they they go back to New York though, but they’re trying to stay together for sort of their careers and for their daughter. They go back to New York. And and it’s, he’s kind of he’s also kind of like her she’s also kind of like her manager, you know? Um, but what’s what’s really weird? Is that kind of jumping ahead a little bit, but I have to tell it here because this is such a weird thing. So they have this daughter, right? But what happens is that the Father, Anthony Cox, he decides that he does not think that you know, when they’re going to get when they finally finalized their divorce, this is this a few years later, right? They have a custody battle for the daughter, but this guy, he’s like, Yoko, she’s not a good mom. I don’t like trust her at this point. She’s with John, and he says that she’s an unfit mother. And so he, he wins in the court, the court sides with him, which is so surprising to me. He gets custody, he changes his daughter’s name from Kyoko. He changes it to Ruth Holeman. And

Sara Gorsky 11:20
How old is the daughter at that point?

Sam Eggers 11:23
Wait, let’s see if this would be live in like 1971 they had the kid she probably been like, 10

Sara Gorsky 11:28
Oh my god.

Sam Eggers 11:29
So he changes her name, and then takes her and raises her in a cult called. This is the church of the living word, which is also called The Walk and Yoko, like loses her she, they disappear. She can’t find her daughter she doesn’t see. see her again. Even though they’re looking for her. She doesn’t see her again until 1998.

Sara Gorsky 11:55
Talk about an unfit parent!

Sam Eggers 11:58
So that’s was just like just this just a small like side crazy part of what happens to her life that this and so I guess this cult – I didn’t know much about it I just did quick research because it’s not really you know a pivotal to the rest of the story but apparently lots of the cult I think now was pretty much disbanded in this Church of Living Christ was accused of lots of sexual misconduct and that the the people that were in it were sexually abused and treated really horribly.

Sara Gorsky 12:26
That makes me so sad. Never surprising but it makes me really sad every time.

Sam Eggers 12:30
Oh my gosh, it’s just it’s heartbreaking. So anyway, that’s the side story about about Yoko’s very tragic relationship with her first child. But while this is all happening and before and while she’s still in this marriage, she’s still working on her art full time and I didn’t know anything about her art, but it’s kind of cool. So let me tell you what one of them – and this is a this is something she’s really famous for. And this was like in 1964. It’s called “Cut Piece”. And what it is, is she puts on a suit. And she would go to, she’d be in a concert hall and she’d kneel on a stage and she’d have a pair of scissors in front of her. And she’d invite everybody in the audience, she’d invite people to come up on the stage and take the scissors and slowly cut her clothes off. And it was supposed to, like, confront issues of gender and class and identity. And this piece – she ended up performing this like in Carnegie Hall in 1965. She did it all over the world. And this became a really, this is a really famous piece of hers. So this is the type of work she does like its performance, and it’s also really interactive with audience.

Sara Gorsky 13:39

Sam Eggers 13:40
And for example, another thing she did was, she published a book that’s called grapefruit, but it’s also the book is actually the piece of art. So the book is like a set of instructions and you as the reader, you’re either supposed to literally go through the steps or you’re supposed to do it in your mind and this is supposed to be the art. So here’s an example “Hi- it’s called hide and seek piece: Hide until everyone goes home hide until everybody forgets about you hide until everybody dies.”

Sara Gorsky 14:14

Chloe Sky 14:15
Hot damn.

Sara Gorsky 14:16
That’s really intense.

Chloe Sky 14:18

Sam Eggers 14:18
It’s super intense. Also, like imagine this is the 60s, like in like the avant garde New York like art scene. Anyway, it’s kind of it’s kind of fabulous. And so these things are received very well and so she’s gaining notoriety as an artist. And since then people have like, reenacted a lot of her performance art and done that sort of thing. Hold on a second. No, see now all I can think about is I’m screwing up and then this is a part that Chloe, you’re going to keep in the you’re going to keep in the podcast. Where I’m like, wait I lost my spot.

Sara Gorsky 14:52
You’ll have to listen to the episode.

Sam Eggers 14:54
Not not gonna do it. So like I said, so her art she’s an artist in her own right at point and she’s in the art community. But while she’s still married to this, you know, this guy, Anthony Cox will later take her daughter, she goes to London, and she’s going there because she’s going to be involved. She’s the only woman who’s chosen to perform at this art symposium. And so she’s going to this art symposium. And she also is going to have a gallery show in London. And that’s when she first meets John Lennon. So this is November 9, 1966. And she is introduced to John Lennon and apparently she has no idea what the Beatles are.

Sara Gorsky 15:36

Sam Eggers 15:37
Like, I don’t know, I know, part of me is like, could that be true? But she claims it like barely she has no idea. At this point.

Chloe Sky 15:44
She was married to a Japanese guy and then an American.

Sam Eggers 15:48

Chloe Sky 15:49
I mean, I could see that.

Sam Eggers 15:51
It’s possible.

Sara Gorsky 15:52
Also, she seems like one of those like really intense focus art, art brains, which can be like all over the – so, maybe. Like – disconnected more from the mainstream and…

Sam Eggers 16:02
Yeah, maybe like popular music isn’t really on her radar at all.

Chloe Sky 16:06

Sara Gorsky 16:07

Sam Eggers 16:08
And so what’s interesting is when I looked at this about their first meeting, there are a lot of things where they’re like “aparently John Lennon was not impressed with her art at all”, which I just find like, I don’t know if you can, like, if you’re someone who’s an artist, in any form like an actor, or a musician or something and you meet another artists and you think they’re work’s shit, I don’t think you’re attracted to them. Right? Like, I don’t know. Have you guys ever dated someone who’s another artist? And they were terrible, but you were like, “Oh, I don’t care”? Like, I don’t know. I just don’t buy that.

Chloe Sky 16:38
I honestly know – if if I don’t like someone’s art, it is kind of a huge turnoff.

Sam Eggers 16:44

Sara Gorsky 16:45
I mean, there’s a difference between thinking that their work is shit and it not being the art that’s for you.

Chloe Sky 16:50

Sara Gorsky 16:51
Like, you’re not the person is made for and it’s not like…

Chloe Sky 16:55
Right, that’s definitely something that I’ve experienced.

Sara Gorsky 17:00
Like, even some of my friends make stuff and I’m like “I think that is very cool. I probably would never buy it but congratulations, you did a great job.”

Sam Eggers 17:07
You can recognize there’s talent involved

Chloe Sky 17:09
Yeah, this is clearly well made…I wouldn’t buy it

Sara Gorsky 17:13
I also, like, would John have ever said that? Like, I know it doesn’t look like a tabloid article lifted you know?

Sam Eggers 17:21
Yeah, I kind of was like ignoring that. But – because then I found this thing that he did say apparently, which was that so one of the exhibits of hers is – it was called a “Ceiling Painting Yes Painting” and what it was with there was a ladder and there was a Spyglass at the top. And if you climb the ladder, you look through a Spyglass, and the word yes was there. And apparently he said later on, he liked it because it was positive where every so much art he encountered was anti everything and he thought this was this positive artwork. So I was like, okay, well, at least they said that. So, apparently they have this they have this interaction and they begin corresponding. And he ends up actually sponsoring a solo show of hers, at another gallery in London later on the following year. So they’re like they’re getting to know each other and their friends or whatever.

Sara Gorsky 18:13
That’s like one way to get the girl – sponsor her art show, okay.

Sam Eggers 18:17
Exactly. And so, and at this time, John’s married, and she’s married, right, so they’re both married to other people, but they end up she ends up going to visit John, when John’s like wife is out of town. And they like really even and apparently that night they even start recording some music together. And but I guess the next morning, John Lennon’s wife comes back, and this – apparently, she finds Yoko Ono wearing her bathrobe and drinking tea, and was like, “Oh, hi.” So, I don’t know if that’s true.

Sara Gorsky 18:58
I mean, the drama lover in me really wants it to be.

Sam Eggers 19:02
Yeah, exactly.

Chloe Sky 19:04
So it’s an intimate process to create something together on a night when your wife is out of town. Oh my.

Sam Eggers 19:11
Exactly, so anyway so things kind of so things progress. She actually becomes pregnant but has a miscarriage and after

Sara Gorsky 19:23
Pregnant with John’s baby?

Sam Eggers 19:24
Yeah and anyways they after they both get divorced John and Yoko marry on March 20, 1969. And they spend a week in Amsterdam and this is when the famous bed-in for peace happens. So, you guys have all seen you know the pictures of them in bed together and that’s their bed and and that’s their protest against the Vietnam War and protesting for peace and they’re like “okay this is sweet let’s do this a bunch of places” and they’re gonna go to do it in America but apparently they’re denied entry, which I couldn’t figure out why but I’m like, of course so anyway, they

Sara Gorsky 19:58
Bu she’s American at this point. Isn’t she a citizen?

Sam Eggers 20:00
Yeah, so I don’t know why they’re denied entry. Maybe that was not even true, but that’s what I read. So instead they go to Montreal, and they do a bed-in there.

Chloe Sky 20:08
Who was the president at the time?

Sam Eggers 20:11
This would have been Lyndon Johnson right?

Sara Gorsky 20:15
Johnson was the worst. He’s worse in all of our BROADS histories.

Chloe Sky 20:18

Sara Gorsky 20:20
Haven’t we kind of learned that at this point?

Sam Eggers 20:23
but and so when they’re in Montreal, that is where they write give peace a chance. And you know, all we are saying is give peace a chance a write that together and, and at the time, she doesn’t get any credit for it as a songwriter, but later on, I guess john lennon, he says he felt guilty because he gave Paul McCartney credit. And he said he should have given it to Yoko who actually wrote it with him. So, later on, he said that so she kind of got a little bit shafted. But this is sort of the beginning of like, Yoko, being really seen in a really, really, really negative light .She says, so when they’re doing the better And Amsterdam apparently, during a press conference, she says “If I was a Jewish girl and Hitler’s day, I would approach him and become his girlfriend. After 10 days in bed, he would come to my way of thinking, this world needs communication and making love is a great way of communicating.” And so it’s just like, that sounds like a real tacky…

Sara Gorsky 21:20
WHY would you use that as an example?

Sam Eggers 21:21
TERRIBLE example, Yoko, okay, who? Like….

Chloe Sky 21:27
It probably wouldn’t work. He probably just would have more degrading thoughts towards Jewish people.

Sam Eggers 21:36

Sara Gorsky 21:38
But also just like don’t say that. Like – don’t.

Sam Eggers 21:40
Yeah, like, turn your filter on like you that you don’t need to say that so…

Sara Gorsky 21:47
But she also didn’t know who the Beatles were.

Sam Eggers 21:54
So this so now like as a couple, they’re sort of into like their advocacy is also performance art. And that’s what they’re creating. And so after these bed-ins, they do this press conference in Vienna, where they show up in these big bags. And they say that, that they’re doing this because the bags mean they can’t be judged by their bodily appearance and they say this is bag-ism. And they want the people to not like focus on the appearance but just hear the baggist message you know and so they’re like her into this you know? And so, like, it seems like they’re very much in love like john changes his middle name was Winston he changes it to Ono, you know so so that’s very cute. You’re like one of these couples are just so into it. And they begin – they’ve been creating albums together that are not under the Beatles names, they’re collaborating on music. They – but it’s they even release companion albums like he releases one and she releases another but her stuff is really avant garde and like weird, you know, she’s kind of her music by herself is really out there.

Chloe Sky 22:58
That’s the one thing that I definitely knew about her.

Sam Eggers 23:01
Yeah, she’s like very exploratory and not, you know, not in the popular mainstream. They also this is when they also released the song, you know, Happy Christmas War is Over. You guys know that song? Great song, but it makes you feel really guilty listening to it, because you’re like I do want it to be over, but apparently it didn’t work. So, anyway, The Beatles, The Beatles disband in 1970, Yoko and John they live in London, but the tabloids are just like vicious, like overtly racist and it is – apparently it’s hell, like they they can’t take it anymore, so they moved to New York as a way to try to get away from all the negative exposure that they’re going through,

Sara Gorsky 23:43
Specifically racism, like, against Yoko?

Sam Eggers 23:46
It’s really it’s just like really bad. And everyone is really hooked on ‘she broke up the Beatles’ which is not what happened. So it’s just it’s not a good, it’s not a good place for them. So they move to Manhattan, things like that. Get back together, they end up having their son Shawn in 1975. And John Lennon takes time off to be a stay at home dad. So like, he’s just taking care of his son. And she still does her art and she does music on her own. And they’re, you know, things seem to be like, maybe they’re good. There’s some sort of thing about like that maybe like when they break up like, there was this thing about like, she finds a mistress for him or something. But, and people using this as a reason to be like, oh, Yoko is awful. And it’s kind of just seems like well, it just seems like they were a couple and they did what they wanted to do. And like, the things that people are upset about seem really dumb when you hear about them.

But anyway, in 1980, they’re coming back to their apartment building, the Dakota. And this is when Mark David Chapman shoots John and kills him and Yoko is right there and she is with him and he dies. And so at this point, she kind of goes into seclusion because this horrible, horrible thing has happened. And even after this she’s criticized heavily, because apparently she has she has a relationship kind of afterwards with this interior designer and there’s like rumors about how she forces him to wear John’s clothes. It’s it’s very weird, but it also seems like I don’t know what she would do where people wouldn’t criticize her because then they’re like, “Oh, you’re, you know, you’re profiting off of his death.” And it’s like, well, she’s his widow. Like, she’s grieving.

Chloe Sky 25:24
Let her grieve. She’s had a shitload of trauma in her life, looking at this story as a whole, like, disaster after disaster after disaster. Let her grieve.

Sam Eggers 25:35
Yeah. And um, what’s interesting too, is they talk about how like she’s, they say she’s obsessed with security. And I’m gonna be like, “Well, of course, she was obsessed with her husband was murdered in front of her apartment building.” So anyway, but afterwards, she is really, really dedicated now to her work as an activist for peace. And she’s also still an artist. And so she does things like she funds the Strawberry Fields Memorial in Central Park. So you know how In Central Park, there’s the Imagine and the thing that she’s that’s because she funded that. She’s very much at she’s very much an activist for world hunger because of her experience as a child, and so she has allowed for use of the song Imagine to raise a bunch of funds for hunger worldwide. She’s really involved in anti-gun work. And so after Columbine, for example, she had like a lot of billboards placed around the country that apparently had John Lennon’s glasses covered in blood talking about like peace and she’s – because like I said, she’s continuing to create art, she put this big wish tree in MoMA in New York, and it was like this tree where people could come and write down their wishes and attach them to the tree. And she did this for years. And she ended up then funding this big exhibition that is a memorial to peace. Or not a memorial. It’s more like a you know, it gets it’s a memorial for John, but it’s supposed to be advocating for peace around the world. It’s an Iceland. And it’s this thing that illuminates every year on his birthday, and all of those wishes that she collected from people, those are incorporated into it. And so it was really cool. She’s heavily involved in a lot of this stuff, she creates this, this thing called the Grant for Peace and gives it to artists like and people who are doing – creating art and doing work that is for the betterment sort of mankind, like Alice Walker has been recipient Pussy Riot has been a recipient. She’s had, but she’s continued to have all this drama and this sort of sadness in her life. So she had her long time driver, apparently was charged in a plot to extort $2 million from her using threats to kill her and her son.

Sara Gorsky 27:48

Sam Eggers 27:48
Yes, like all of these…

Chloe Sky 27:50
What is the deal with drivers?!

Sam Eggers 27:52
Oh my gosh, you’re right. It’s like these. So – lots of just lots of tragedy. She’s continued to perform and she is still make recording albums and she is still making art and still sort of very outspoken for peace and which is just a very admirable thing. And she’s also still involved in philanthropy as well. Just recently, she gave $250,000 to the Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx to support frontline health workers for Coronavirus because apparently she wanted to give it to a hospital that wasn’t like Cedar Sinai that had all of these you know, big board members and stuff like that.

Sara Gorsky 28:33

Sam Eggers 28:35
Yeah, she’s she’s pretty cool. And you know, she spent all of these years criticised by the press in the public and um, you know, in her art is not really – isn’t really accepted in the mainstream. In terms of the stuff that is I feels like that is just hers and not really related to John Lennon. Even as late as like 1999. People were saying she’s like a no talent charlatan and in different publications, in news articles and so it’s a lot of – it’s – and she’s still used as a reference for like a woman who’s bringing down great men like Courtney Love is sort of, you know Kurt Cobain’s widow, she’s been compared to Yoko Ono because people say she was you know, interrupting Nirvana’s business and all that stuff.

Sara Gorsky 29:17
That’s so crazy people need to come the fuck down.

Sam Eggers 29:21
People really do and apparently I didn’t know this one but apparently, Jessica Simpson was dating Tony Romo who’s a quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. And I guess he had some like bad games. And so people started calling Jessica Simpson Yoko Romo which…

Sara Gorsky 29:40
That is just so awful, that’s awful that I even ever heard those rumors and like, I don’t know what I believed but it’s so awful.

Chloe Sky 29:50
I was – she just seemed like, she seems like a weird person who’s really down for peace. I’m like, she’s, she’s pushing for it. And nobody seems to like her. But then nobody likes anybody who pushes for peace.

Sam Eggers 30:02
Exactly. I think that’s I think that’s exactly it. I think she was this like, she’s just an incredibly – I think she’s a little kooky. She’s like super avant garde and doing stuff that’s weird.

Sara Gorsky 30:12
And avant garde is hard for people to like, understand and respect. I feel like, more than a lot of art forms.

Chloe Sky 30:18
Yeah, people don’t like their boundaries to be pushed.

Sam Eggers 30:20
Yeah. And I think she’s tried to do stuff a little more mainstream. Like she took her music and tried to have like an Off-Broadway show of it and I don’t think it was very successful. But I think that she’s still like, you know, she’s still, obviously, like out there in the public. I still doing stuff, but I don’t know how – I don’t know how like she is or how supported she is. But I think it – when I when I looked at her story as a whole I just thought this is a BROAD, because this is something that – when when a woman’s speaks out for stands up for herself and speaks out, and she’s just been completely identified by the man that she was married to for, you know, like 11 years or something, and that has just become her is the identifier for life. Right? And I just have found Oh, no, I was like, I think she’s a BROAD. What do you guys think?

Chloe Sky 31:11
Absolutely. I mean, I feel like the fact that she keeps living and creating after the number of, and the diversity of, tragedies that she’s experienced, is so admirable. Like, I can’t imagine if the entire world was like, we hate your art. We hate you. You’re responsible for taking things away from us that we loved. And then get up in the morning and go, I’m gonna, I’m gonna make another song. I’m going to do another piece of art. I’m going to make some other song available for free. I’m going to raise money to help people. Like I just I don’t know if I would have the courage to do that. At least not where where I am now in my life. So that yeah, that is a strong woman.

Sam Eggers 32:07
And this reminds me I forgot to say so in the year 2007, she was – finally received a shared writing credit for the song Imagine. So John Lennon’s imagine. She had never received any writing credit for it. And she finally was officially given credit.

Sara Gorsky 32:23
How did that happen posthumously? Did Paul help make that happen?

Sam Eggers 32:26
I think so. I think that he was somehow involved and it might have been something to do with the record company, as well. But it seemed – I think she was very appreciative of that, because it seems like she was I think that she was involved in co-writing. I was reading an article where she was being interviewed about the her co-writing, and a lot of it she really, really downplays, and she sort of makes a comment about how she’s like, “Well, back then, a wife wouldn’t have – wouldn’t have been involved in that” or she says makes a comment just sort of about how it wasn’t her place or it wouldn’t been something that anybody would talk about, which I don’t know, I thought was very interesting.

Sara Gorsky 33:06
It’s interesting. It seems like she, like, I mean, she’s obviously an artist doing avant garde like she kind of showy stuff, but it doesn’t seem like that she actually has that much of an ego to her in the way that she interacts like, with John and John’s IP, like, you know, that makes me think that there’s like a more there’s an earnestness there that like you didn’t get credit for, you know?

Sam Eggers 33:28
Yeah, what was interesting because I was this uh, this one article that I read about this, this guy who was just he was a he did not he was not a fan of hers and I’m just gonna read you a couple of things. These aren’t direct quotes. This is me paraphrasing, but um, after the interview,

Oh ok we have a dude quote section? Okay, sorta, let’s go. Drumroll.

…to paraphrase. But, um, after he met with her, he was like “she uses she uses John’s death to her own advantage. She’s just a widow. He said she was having an affair before she died with this before before he died, and that that somehow meant that, you know, like that she was that her tears. He may have come to hell, he didn’t really believe her tears about John’s death” Which is just like – how? So horrible.

Chloe Sky 34:13

Sara Gorsky 34:15
What an asshole.

Sam Eggers 34:17
He criticized that when he went to her house for an interview, he had to take off his shoes. And he makes a comment about how like, “Oh, well, I’m glad I remembered to wear these nice socks. Like how it’s” that I want to be like, you’re pointing to someone’s home. Take your fucking shoes off.

Sara Gorsky 34:29
Also, it’s like fucking Japanese culture. Get the fuck over it, dude.

Sam Eggers 34:32
Yeah. And he makes a comment – and I don’t know what this has to do with anything. He said. “She’s very small and very hard, but very busty.” Like, what?!

Sara Gorsky 34:42
Fucking GROSS.

Chloe Sky 34:44
Ew. Why would you even mention that?

Sam Eggers 34:46
That’s all I could think about. Like, why is that even in this? Why? Why is that even a thing? Um…

Chloe Sky 34:52
This guy sounds like a piece of shit.

Sara Gorsky 34:54
Absolute piece of shite. And also, he sounds like nobody like who’s this fucking dude and Yoko Ono’s name is oin everybody’s mouth.

Sam Eggers 35:00
And when he got mad to an interview that when she showed up, she’s she sort of laid down ground rules for the interview. And she said, “If you’re going to interview me, then this was going to be 50%, about John at 50% about me.” And that’s why he felt like “Who were you? You’re just his widow.” And after reading about her life, I’m like, she’s not though! And she’s probably she’s been talking about her husband for the past – I don’t know. 50 years?

Sara Gorsky 35:23
I’m sure, that’s all that anybody ever wants to talk about with.

Chloe Sky 35:26
And she gave you 50% of the interview to talk about it. That’s crazy!

Sam Eggers 35:31
Exactly. So I just thought, anyway, um, so I

Sara Gorsky 35:36
I respect that – I respect those ground rules, actually. I actually respect her more. To like, set the rules, like, “this is what we’re gonna be talking about.”

Sam Eggers 35:43
Yeah, we can do this but…

Chloe Sky 35:44
And I feel like that’s a generous rule to set.

Sara Gorsky 35:47
Yeah. And also, I feel like dudes do that all the time and they never get called out for being assholes. So yeah, whatever.

Sam Eggers 35:54
Um, so I took I was perusing her Instagram for this just because I was like, what I just want to see what she has posting on her Instagram. Because…

Sara Gorsky 36:02
I want to see what she’s posting on her Instagram!

Sam Eggers 36:04
Like, sometimes she’ll post like little poems or like just little pictures and so always like, I love you and peace and stuff. Like it’s always really nice. So one of the things she posted, and I think these are lyrics from one of her songs, I just want to read it real fast. She says this is uh, this is in May 2017. She said, “Yes, I’m a witch. I’m a bitch. I don’t care what you say. My voice is real. My voice is truth. I don’t fit in your ways.” And it’s a picture of her and like this all white room with like a white Fedora, and black sunglasses. And she’s like, 89 now. It’s just,

Sara Gorsky 36:37
She’s so cute. Her Instagram is so cute!

Sam Eggers 36:39
Isn’t she cute?

Sara Gorsky 36:40
I’m looking at it right now.

Sam Eggers 36:41
I know. It’s kind of adorable. And the last thing I want to say about Yoko Ono is that I heard an interview with her maybe a year or two ago, or maybe even longer than that, where she was talking about something she does at night if she can’t sleep, or if or something she does, she finds it brings her peace. And I tried it and it’s amazing. And so I wanted to share it with you guys. If you find yourself at night you can’t sleep.

Chloe Sky 37:04
Only every night, every night, for the last 20 years.

Sam Eggers 37:08
Um, she said, she goes, she said, “Any name that comes to you, you say that you bless them”, and to say I’m so like now right now I would be like, “I bless you, Sara Gorsky. I bless you Chloe Sky” and you just go and you don’t stop. You just keep going any name. It doesn’t matter who the name is. So if it comes if it’s someone comes into your head, and you’re like, I don’t want to bless this person, you say “I bless you.” I’m not a religious person at all. I’m an atheist, but I still find this practice very, it’s just very calming. And admit, sometimes I do it and like laugh out loud because I think the only person I haven’t been able to bless is Donald Trump. But I’m able to have some other names come in.

Sara Gorsky 37:50
Oh, you’re not quoting her. You’re talking about yourself right now.

Sam Eggers 37:52
Yeah, I’m talking about myself. So she’s so this is her practice that she talked about in the interview and I thought “I’m gonna try this.” And um, I think the first I try to I did it out loud, like Ped and I did it out loud in bed. And it it’s, it sounds so cheesy. And so stupid, but just try it. Because it’s okay. It’s surprisingly calming.

Chloe Sky 38:12
That sounds great.

Sam Eggers 38:13
It’s it’s very relaxing and it sort of it makes you feel like you’ve done something good even though you didn’t have to do anything.

Chloe Sky 38:22
Sort of like the gratitude thing like, yeah, to practice gratitude every day, like the studies show you’re gonna be happier in life.

Sara Gorsky 38:33
Yeah, like rewiring negativity. Yeah.

Sam Eggers 38:36
I think her whole thing was a sort about about like, this is a way to like bring more bring more peace in yourself and sort of, like, get used to. But push it – like putting it out there. Like, even with people you don’t like that. You’re just like, I just okay, I bless you. It’s fine.

Chloe Sky 38:49
It’s fine, I accept you. Be blessed and out of my life. Yeah.

Sam Eggers 38:55
So anyway, and it’s also nice. It’s just a nice kind of nice thing to do. We’re also we’re all kind of separated from each other right now. So it’s kind of nice to think about people you care about that you can’t maybe see.

Sara Gorsky 39:06
I love that.

Sam Eggers 39:08
So anyway, Yoko Ono.

Sara Gorsky 39:10
Yoko Ono what a BROAD?

Sam Eggers 39:11
What a BROAD.

Chloe Sky 39:12
Thanks for doing all that work because I definitely wanted to know more about Yoko. No, I don’t know if I ever would have looked her up on my own.

Sara Gorsky 39:19
Yeah, now, I can follow her Instagram. I can’t wait to stalk her.

Sam Eggers 39:22
Everyone’s stalking Yoko Ono, but nicely on Instagram.

Sara Gorsky 39:25
Yes, it’s insta-stalking, like stalking.

Chloe Sky 39:28
Just regular follow. If it comes up, it comes up.

Sam Eggers 39:31
There we go. Thanks for listening.