Yoko Ono

yoko at the bluecoat 2008

Yoko Ono live in Liverpool on April 4th 2008

The Bluecoat website: "Returning 41 years after her first ever paid perfomance was given at the Bluecoat, Yoko Ono gives a special one hour live performance."

"Tickets for her gig sold out in minutes and Yoko agreed a couple of days ago to a live feed for the event going into the Bluecoat hub and the big screen in the city centre."

"Yoko Ono gave a live performance to a packed out audience at the Bluecoat on Friday 4 April. Hundreds of people who missed out on tickets were able to see live streaming of the performance in the Hub at the Bluecoat as well as on the BBC Big Screen in Liverpool's Clayton Square. (--) Yoko started by taking the audience back to 1967 with footage of her performance at the Bluecoat. She went on to show footage of her with John Lennon, invited the audience to remove bandages she had wrapped herself in, crocheted, changed costume and hats, and danced with the audience to a remix of Give Peace a Chance."

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"I'm 75 and I'm alive and very thankful to be here every day, and to still be in love with life, and with you" - so began Yoko Ono at the start of her live performance at the Bluecoat last night.

It was 41 years since the avant-garde icon appeared at the very same Liverpool venue, and it had clearly given the artist cause to reflect.

What the audience got was less the "wacky Yoko" of caricature and more an uplifting journey that showed her at her very best.

She started off standing in front of a large screen showing footage of her 1967 Bluecoat performance where she requested the audience wrap her from head to foot in bandages.

Footage of Ono and John Lennon from their "bed-in" days followed; she later danced and wailed along to the video for her song Walking on Thin Ice, and showed a short documentary on her 2004 work Onochord.

When she called the audience up to dance with her to a lengthy remix of Give Peace a Chance, from children to Culture Company head honchos, they didn't need to be asked twice."


Music of the Mind at the Bluecoat September 26th 1967

Yoko Ono performed at The Bluecoat Society of Arts in Liverpool under the title Music of the Mind, including The Fog Machine as part of Goodnight Piece.

According to Yoko Ono: Arias and Objects by Barbara Haskell and John G. Hanhardt, this performance ("concert") was sponsored by the Destruction in Art Symposium (DIAS) along with the other performance by the same title held at the Jeanette Cochrane Theatre in London in November 1966. These programmes included events by Yoko Ono: Fly Piece (members of the audience jumped off ladders simulating flying), Bag Piece, Fog Piece (Yoko Ono sitting in clouds of fog, with audience members wrapping her in gauze) and Sweep Piece (Yoko Ono sweeping the stage).

Yoko Ono: Arias and Objects by Barbara Haskell and John G. Hanhardt: "By 1965 Ono's concerts were billed as "Music of the Mind". By limiting her musical components to the sounds produced in the minds of each audience member, Ono intensified an internal stillness much like that featured in Zen meditation practice."


Liverpool Echo (February 7th 2008)

"Yoko Ono is giving Liverpool a “wishing tree” to be planted in the city centre.

The public will be invited to hang messages on the branches as part of the re-opening celebrations of the Bluecoat arts centre.

John Lennon’s widow will also give a show at the Bluecoat on April 4 – recalling her first appearance there as an artist in 1967.

The event details are described as “a surprise”, but it could well reflect Ms Ono’s original visit when she smashed a jug and gave out the pieces, suggesting people meet up again in years to come to reassemble the item.

Tickets for the show, costing £15, and available on the Bluecoat website from noon today, are expected to sell quickly.

The Yoko wishing tree, which will form part of a six-week exhibition, beginning on March 15, will later be planted in the Bluecoat’s garden courtyard.

The exhibition will also include a four-minute black and white TV film of Yoko’s 1967 visit – two years before she married John Lennon. She had been invited to Liverpool after a Liverpool art school teacher spotted her work at Alexandra Palace, London.

Bluecoat artistic director Bryan Biggs said: “This time she is doing a one-hour show.”

Yoko’s show will take place in the new 200-seater performance space – part of the Bluecoat’s £12.5m refurbishment."




Yoko Ono Bluecoat 1967

Yoko Ono Bluecoat 1967
Yoko Ono at the Bluecoat in 1967. © Sheridon Davies

© Sari Gurney
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