Yoko Ono

starpeace TOUR 1986

From an article by Robert Palmer, NY Times (Oct 13th 1985)

''Starpeace'' is the most balanced album Miss Ono has made. The songs are drawn from life's ups and downs, its despairs and its joys. Miss Ono has been writing catchy pop melodies for more than a decade, but her reedy vocal quality kept many listeners from hearing them. Mr. Laswell has discreetly added back-up singers on key lines and choruses, emphasizing the melodiousness of the material without overpowering Miss Ono's vocal leads. He has also assembled a band, drawn from his developing repertory company of musical individualists, that includes a Jamaican rhythm section, a South Indian violinist, percussionists from Cuba and West Africa, and even the brilliant jazz drummer Tony Williams. ''Starpeace'' is state-of-the-art pop music for 1985, and a vision of the international, trans-idiomatic popular music to come."

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Starpeace Tour

Stephen Holden, New York Times (May 25th 1986): "'We're on the threshold of the dawning of the age of wisdom - we're going to make it!'' announced Yoko Ono at her Beacon Theater concert on Thursday evening. The event, which kicked off the East Coast leg of her international ''Starpeace'' tour, was an unabashedly sentimental affair in which Miss Ono alternately sang -backed by a strong six-member rock band - and reminisced and philosophized in childlike utopian slogans.

The songs during the first half of the show were sequenced as a personal chronology that followed the singer's emotional recovery after the slaying of her husband, John Lennon. The eerie, electronic dance tune ''Walking on Thin Ice'' summed up 1981 - ''the worst year of my life,'' according to Miss Ono. The plaintive ballad ''Goodbye, Sadness'' summed up 1982. In 1984, Miss Ono said, ''I realized George Orwell miscalculated. He said Big Brother was going to take over and we would all become humanoids. But we are still humans who can say 'I love you' to each other.''

Early in the concert, Miss Ono's small, girlish voice had difficulty competing with the band. But as the evening progressed, she gained in confidence. Among many original songs she performed, the most appealing was ''Sky People,'' a romantically flavored pop-rock mantra in the same mood as John Lennon's ''Imagine'' and ''Across the Universe.'' But Miss Ono's own version of ''Imagine'' was radically different in spirit from her late husband's. Where Mr. Lennon's record evoked a dream that his wistful vocal implied could never come true, Miss Ono made it into an optimistic broadside, punctuated with wildly enthusiastic ''yay-heys!''

Yoko's memories of the tour

From a Boston Globe article regarding the 1990s Rising tour (May 8th 1996): "I was a bit scared to come out, because I remember how it was with the `Starpeace' tour 10 years ago," said Ono. "I remember a full-house show in Berlin and the next morning in the paper was a photo of me standing on stage and there was nobody in the audience. It said, `Yoko looking for the audience.' And I'm thinking, `Why did they take that photo?' As it turns out, it was a sound-check photo. That's really something, isn't it? So I thought, `Are they going to do that to me again?"

Tour dates

February 27th 1986
A live appearance on the WDR German television programme Mensch Meier, a prelude to the actual tour.

February 28th 1986
Brussels, Belgium

March 1st 1986
Congresgebouw, The Hague, the Netherlands

March 2nd 1986
West Berlin, Germany

March 4th 1986
Warsaw, Poland

March 6th 1986
Munich, West Germany

March 7th 1986
Frankfurt, West Germany

March 9th 1986
Stuttgart, West Germany?

March 10th 1986
Stockholm, Sweden

March 11th 1986
Copenhagen, Denmark

March 12th 1986
Musikhalle, Hamburg, West Germany

March 14th 1986
Budapest, Hungary

March 16th 1986
Grosser Konzerthaussaal, Vienna, Austria

March 18th 1986
Ljubljana, Yugoslavia

March 21st 1986
Wembley Conference Centre, London, Britain

Shortened North American leg of the tour

May 15th 1986
Warfield Theater, San Francisco

May 16th 1986
Beverly Theater, Los Angeles?

May 20th 1986
The Forum, Montreal, Canada

May 22nd 1986
Beacon Theatre, New York

arrow Yoko Ono's personal tour diary for fanzine Instant Karma




Starpeace tour booklet

Starpeace postcard detail

Starpeace tour Yoko Ono
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© Sari Gurney
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