Happy Birthday, Yoko Ono! Looking Back on Her Craziest Collabs
Today, we celebrate Yoko Ono. Well, we celebrate her every day, but today is extra special. It’s her 83rd birthday, as well as the eve of the official release of her band’s newest album, Yes I’m a Witch Too. While she might be one of the more divisive personalities in pop culture, there’s no denying Yoko’s ability to attract some of the world’s most creative minds. Each track on Yes I’m a Witch Too, which you can stream now on Soundcloud, features a contribution from one of a wildly eclectic range of musicians, the likes of which include Death Cab for Cutie, tUnE-yArDs and Ebony Bones. But this is hardly the first time Yoko Ono/the Plastic Ono Band has teamed up with musicians of this caliber.
So, in celebration of her birthday and the release of her album, here is a round-up of some of the best collabs of her career.
If only waiting for the D train was really this exciting. This song was released as a limited-edition single back in 2013, following their performance together at LA’s Orpheum theater three years earlier. We know what you’re thinking. But no, she didn’t just forget the words and start making noises instead. Well, she might have, but that’s also just part of her thing.
This legendary performance is also from Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band’s performance at the Orpheum. In fact, the roster for that show included a whole slew of incredibly talented performers. This one’s worth noting, though. I mean, it’s Yoko Gaga, the ultimate power-duo. “Ono seemed slightly disarmed and tickled,” wrote the LA Times of the performance, “Like at last she’d again found a collaborator equally capable of making mischief and merry.”
The Flaming Lips
Yoko Ono and the Flaming Lips have joined forces on a number of occasions, both live and in the studio. The video for their song “Brain of Heaven,” however, might be the most psychedelic of all their endeavors. Of course, the Flaming Lips also have a reputation for unexpected collaborations—Dead Petz, anyone?—that always seem to work in magical ways, so it’s no surprise that these two would attract one another.
…and everyone else.
There’s no way we can gloss over this masterpiece. The music video for the Plastic Ono Band rager “Bad Dancer” is a powerful testament to Ono’s eclectic appeal. And while the song itself only features contributions from Ad Rock and Mike D of the Beastie Boys, this video is literally swimming—no, overflowing with cool people. Reggie Watts, Heems, ?uestlove—literally everybody we want to bad dance with.
And finally, one of our own creation. We don’t know for sure what exactly a Yoko Ono birthday song would sound like, but we have a pretty good idea. Take a listen.
Stay tuned to Milk for more screaming/singing.