Yoko Ono’s solo, lone performance in Delhi, India, at the India Habitat Centre last night (15 January 2011) was a distinctly odd event.

The auditorium was packed to the gills, with an orderly and clearly enthusiastic audience, all seated a good half an hour before the performance began.

Because I suppose that’s what it was.

A performance.

Ms Ono looks amazing for 78, absolutely fantastic, with her trim figure, snappy dressing, and sort-of-Michael-Jacksonesque hat.  Oh, and the trademark dark glasses, of course.

Ms Ono moved around the staged with a mike, looking fit as a fiddle.

The 2 Indian musicians, a sitarist and a tabalchi, looked elegant and smiled and were models of the best kind of Indian elegance.

As for the rest…

…the best I can say is that it was rather like watching a sloshed relative at a party who grabs the mike and thinks she can sing.  And dance.

Off-key careening is the word that comes to mind.  Lots of shouting and panting and wailing and a few lines in English, and the 2 lovely Indian musicians valiantly accompanying her, while she tripped around the stage, wiggling her hips from time to time.

Ms Ono performed 2 songs (?) which lasted an ear-splitting 30 minutes.  I swear I saw the musicians smiling at each other in a sort of “oh what the heck?” kind of way.

Interval = about 15% of the audience voted with its feet, including my husband and son.

They missed the best bit which was the Q & A.

All the inevitable questions about John Lennon – “Does he still live in your heart ?” –  I ask you, what a daft question.

What is your favourite song ?  I suppose the questioner meant a Beatles song, as opposed to her own, and I don’t think she really replied.

Do psychedelic drugs enhance creativity ?  Ms Ono gave a not really specific answer, and then when the questioner persisted, turned away.

She was much more of an appealing figure answering/not answering questions, so I am glad I stayed.  She made many of we ladies of a certain feminist generation cheer (and we were quite numerous, I was happy to see) with some of her answers to questions like “What is women power ?”  (Obviously asked by a man)

Ms Ono talked a little about the Beatles and John Lennon and made a rather endearing comment about how much she was hated after the Beatles broke up, saying “I was not a very hateful person before.”

Glad I saw her in person.  But sitting through another performance ?

Never again.





  1. It was bewildering and wacky to say the least! Someone classified it as ‘avant garde’, I think it was pure cacophany….but definitely an evening one will remember! Full marks for her guts to come and screech her lungs out on stage….

  2. Christine, How funny. Did you think it would be anything but painful?? She always was unusually talented to say the least. Good for you for staying til the bitter end. I wonder what would have happened to her if she hadn’t met ‘him’!! I bet she wouldn’t be looking quite so young and snappy.xx

    Julene Want

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