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Yoko Ono is not my mother

8 May

My mother was born in 1931 and grew up poor & French-Canadian in a mining town. She ran away from home at 15 to escape the life she could foresee if she stayed. She was married, became a mother and was widowed before she was 20. She remarried and lived an average life.

Yoko Ono was born in 1933 and grew up wealthy in Tokyo and San Francisco. She was evacuated to the countryside during the war and suffered some hardships. After the war, she returned to Tokyo and her privileged life, on her way to becoming the Yoko Ono we know.

I got to thinking about the great differences between my Mom and Yoko Ono while reading  Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies by Nell Beram and Carolyn Boriss-Krimsky, out this year from Amulet Books. It is a beautiful book and well worth the read.


I must admit I didn’t really know anything about Yoko Ono beyond the John Lennon years. My sister had their  Double Fantasy album when we were kids, but I just thought she was a kook, riding on John Lennon’s coattails. But reading this book, I have learned about the artist and musician she was in her own right. She was so much more than what I thought.

The text is well written and well-organized, breaking her life up into its significant eras.The book is full of pictures from all parts of her life and really helps build the well-rounded view of Yoko Ono the text is creates.

This is a must read for everyone of my generation or older, who might have blamed Yoko for the break-up of the Beatles, and for younger readers who can learn about the wonders and possibilities of a life in the arts.

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