Yoko Ono

unfinished music no. 2: life with the lions

John Tchicai interviewed in 1996 by Mike Trouchon

Q: "When did you meet John Lennon and Yoko Ono?

A: That was in early ‘69 at a concert in Cambridge at a place called the Lady Margaret Hall. I had a friend that was living in Denmark, the British poet Anthony Barnett, who was also a percussionist in one of the larger groupings of Cadentia Nova Danica. When Anthony went back to England, he arranged a few concerts for me there. If I remember right, he was the one who arranged the concert for me in Cambridge. The event featured John and Yoko during the first half and a number of people playing improvised jazz during the second half. While at the concert, John and Yoko asked if we’d be interested in playing along with them toward the end of their set and some of us agreed to do that. I think that the music on the record fades out and our actual performance was quite a bit longer. Later on, they wrote us and asked if we had any objections with them releasing part of the concert on their Unfinished Music No. 2 album."

Q: "Were you in contact with any people involved in the Fluxus movement, apart from or in addition to Yoko?

A: I think in New York I attended some Fluxus events. I can also remember doing some stuff with Charlotte Moorman. She was a cello player who was very active during the ‘60s. She was always experimenting in a number of different artistic media besides music. I remember also going to a number of concerts featuring Nam June Paik, but I don't think I ever performed with him."

Cambridge 1969

Yoko Ono and John Lennon made their first public performance together at Cambridge University in March shortly before their marriage in 1969.

It was a show that demonstrated the schism between their respective audiences: the art crowd in attendance wouldn't understand why Ono was working with a rock & roller, while the Beatles fans present hesitated to call Ono's material music.





© Sari Gurney
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