Elsewhere by Graham Reid

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Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

yoko ono

yoko ono Content tagged as yoko ono.

Sean Lennon: Friendly Fire (Capitol)

Sean Lennon: Friendly Fire (Capitol)

You have to sympathise with the Lennon kids: Julian was skewered for sounding too much like his Dad (and people like Karl Wallinger of World Party weren't taken to task on the same charge?), and Sean for not carrying the flag in quite the way some thought he should. That first Sean album had hints of bossa nova and was peppered with...

Yoko Ono: Yes, I'm a Witch (Astral Weeks) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Yoko Ono: Yes, I'm a Witch (Astral Weeks) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Billed as simply "Ono" this is Yoko's vocals from various albums extracted and new backings added by a cast of luminaries which includes Peaches, Le Tigre, Porcupine Tree, DJ Spooky, Cat Power, Polyphonic Spree, the Flaming Lips and many more. Yoko's singing -- her screaming and childlike ballads -- was always controversial but to...

JOHN LENNON, THE LIFE by PHILIP NORMAN (2008): Just gimme some truth

JOHN LENNON, THE LIFE by PHILIP NORMAN (2008): Just gimme some truth

John Lennon -- who would have been 68, had he lived, at the time of this pubication -- did not have an unexamined life. In countless hours of drugs, meditation and therapy he analysed himself. Through many thousands of interviews -- some brutally honest, others self-mythologising -- he gave others material to scrutinise his life in intimate...

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band: Between My Head and the Sky (Chimera/Rhythmethod)

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band: Between My Head and the Sky (Chimera/Rhythmethod)

When Yoko Ono released her artistically packaged Onobox in 1992 -- a six CD retrospective of a solo career which had ceased in the mid Eighties -- that would seemed to have been it from the most famous widow in the world. She was almost 60; had stopped recording because as she wryly noted "there seemed no great call" from the public...

Kath Bloom: Thin Thin Line (Caldo Verde)

Kath Bloom: Thin Thin Line (Caldo Verde)

Although this wobbly-voiced American folkie has been around since the late Seventies I confess I have never heard/heard of her. On a first hearing I can't say I think I missed much: vocally she comes off like a shaky-voiced version of Daniel Johnston and Yoko Ono (when Ono gets in "ballad" mode). Notes are there but sometimes a...

Bill Elliot and the Elastic Oz Band: God Save Us (1971)

Bill Elliot and the Elastic Oz Band: God Save Us (1971)

The problem with political songs is that so often they are merely sloganeering and headlines. Fine print and nuance can't make it into a three minute song. Still, there's nothing quite like a chant such as "power to the people" -- even if we are never quite sure which people should have the power. For a few years from the late...

BILL LASWELL INTERVIEWED (1994): In the den of the alchemist

BILL LASWELL INTERVIEWED (1994): In the den of the alchemist

The apartment seven floors up on Park Ave South, just around the corner from the exclusive Gramercy Park area of New York, is much as you might expect. Albums and CDs line the walls. Over there the new Last Poets 12-inch single leans against the wall, on that shelf there the Yoko Ono CD box set sits alongside books by Carlos Castenada....

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOURS by TONY BRAMWELL: Not only a northern song

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOURS by TONY BRAMWELL: Not only a northern song

Tony Bramwell -- who sounds like great man to have a martini with -- has had an extrordinary life, and not just because he was a childhood friend of the Beatles, became their manager Brian Epstein's off-sider, and -- as their road manager and CEO of Apple Records and Films -- was one of a small inner sanctum around the band until they went their...

ORNETTE COLEMAN, DAVE BRUBECK AND ME: A Song For Guy

ORNETTE COLEMAN, DAVE BRUBECK AND ME: A Song For Guy

Ronnie Wickens was one of the last to leave my 50th birthday party at Portside. As I made for the door I looked back, and there he was at the bar chatting to -- maybe even chatting up -- a couple of girls in their 20s, friends of my sons' no doubt. Ronnie was somewhere past 60, but he still looked great. I don't recall what he was wearing...

John Lennon: I'm Losing You (1980)

John Lennon: I'm Losing You (1980)

The remastered Lennon catalogue (released on the anniversary of what would have been his 70th birthday) naturally allows a reconsideration of some of his material. (See essay here.) This song -- when it appeared on Double Fantasy, see clip -- had a brooding quality and the anger seemed self-directed. But this version, taken from the Lennon...

JOHN LENNON, REMASTERED AND RECONSIDERED (2010):

JOHN LENNON, REMASTERED AND RECONSIDERED (2010):

In what would be one of his final interviews around the release of Double Fantasy in late 1980, John Lennon said – as a married, settled man at 40 with a young child – he was interested in seeing if it was possible to have a life centred around a family and a child and still be an artist. “Could the family be the...

David Peel and the Lower East Side: Up Against The Wall (1968)

David Peel and the Lower East Side: Up Against The Wall (1968)

New York's David Peel was living proof of the adage, "it isn't what you know, it's who you know". And how you could milk that association -- however brief - for all it's worth. He was also one of those "only in New York" guys. In the late Sixties when this insightful if reductive piece of political rhetoric was...

TAGAQ INTERVIEWED (2011): From out of the frozen north comes a sound . . .

TAGAQ INTERVIEWED (2011): From out of the frozen north comes a sound . . .

Inuit throat-singer and painter Tanya Tagaq Gillis – who often performs simply as Tagaq – grew up in remote Cambridge Bay (pop. 1500) in Canada's remote north. She went to high school in Yellowknife where she still lives, but these day is in demand on the concert circuit for her innovative throat-singing which is grounded in a...

ORNETTE COLEMAN, LOVE REVOLUTION 1968: The Italian job

ORNETTE COLEMAN, LOVE REVOLUTION 1968: The Italian job

I thought I knew all about Ornette Coleman, a man nominally described as a jazz musician but among the most unconstrained musical geniuses of the 20th century.  I’ve got a couple of dozen Coleman albums on vinyl and at least that many CDs. I’ve got bootlegs and biographies, and a photo of Ornette and me on a couch in a New York...

BOB GRUEN INTERVIEWED (1998): The man who shot John Lennon, many times

BOB GRUEN INTERVIEWED (1998): The man who shot John Lennon, many times

Photographer Bob Gruen is affable and chatty but clearly on autopilot. His stories, good though they are, are worn smooth by repetition. But to his credit he repeats them with enthusiasm and they are received by the various media representatives with equal pleasure. And despite this having the feel of the “I danced with a man who...

BEATLES FOR SALE, AGAIN: The release of Anthology 1 (London, 1995)

BEATLES FOR SALE, AGAIN: The release of Anthology 1 (London, 1995)

The release of any Beatles album was always an occasion, so 25 years after the band broke up, the plush ambience of the Lancaster Room in the Savoy Hotel doesn’t seem inappropriate for the launch of The Beatles' Anthology 1, a collection of out-takes and unreleased material, the first of a series of three double CDs that effectively mops...

THE LENNON LEGEND BOOK, REVIEWED (2003): More or less Lennon

THE LENNON LEGEND BOOK, REVIEWED (2003): More or less Lennon

Had John Lennon lived, he would have turned 63 last month. It's interesting to speculate what kind of music he might be making today. Interesting, but pointless: Lennon never saw the trickle-down of punk and new wave; the big-hair 80s; the rise of rap, Madonna and Springsteen; Guns N' Roses, Nirvana and grunge; trends like nu-metal, nu-jazz and...

YOKO ONO: Back with the blueprint (2001) and re-disc-covered (2007)

YOKO ONO: Back with the blueprint (2001) and re-disc-covered (2007)

Some years ago at another posthumous John Lennon album launch, a journalist asked Yoko Ono why she hadn't released an album of her own in quite some while. "There seemed no great call for it," she laughed. True enough. Whether it be her extraordinary primal screaming and emotional venting, her un-nuanced feminist polemics or naive...

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE RECONSIDERED (2000): Peace in our time?

JOHN LENNON, IMAGINE RECONSIDERED (2000): Peace in our time?

Some people just don't get it, do they? Wouldn't you love to meet those gearing up to pay an expected $4.5 million at on-line auction for the piano on which John Lennon wrote Imagine? Imagine no possessions, huh? Of course, the Famous White Piano will command top dollar because Imagine was recently voted the best song ever written or...

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . YOKO ONO (2013): The noises from within

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . YOKO ONO (2013): The noises from within

Yoko is a concept by which we measure our pain -- New York graffiti, 1970. A voice that comes once in a lifetime; unfortunately it came in ours -- Critic Jim Mullen, 1992 Yoko Ono was always an easy target. Conceptual artists who mount exhibitions of chess sets where all the pieces are white, or write books...

PAUL McCARTNEY'S OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY REVIEWED (1997): Still can't buy the love?

PAUL McCARTNEY'S OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY REVIEWED (1997): Still can't buy the love?

Paul McCartney is the Beatle old fans love to hate: his sins are manifest in Silly Love Songs, a Linda and not a Yoko, the permanent Mr Thumbs Aloft attitude, the knighthood which his old colleague John Lennon would doubtless have declined …. But there is worse. This past decade, by quiet incremental steps, we have witnessed the...

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED, THE LENNON ANTHOLOGY BOX SET (2003): And Lennon's on sale again. . .

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED, THE LENNON ANTHOLOGY BOX SET (2003): And Lennon's on sale again. . .

For reasons which withstand no scrutiny at all, there’s an expectation Yoko Ono will be miserable in interviews. After all, here is the Famous Rock Widow whose husband was gunned down before her eyes leaving her with a much beloved five-year old son, the legacy of the Lennon name and fortune, and the still prevalent perception of her as...

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED, THE TOURING LENNON ART EXHIBITION (1997) In his own draw

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED, THE TOURING LENNON ART EXHIBITION (1997) In his own draw

For anyone who has only experienced her singing -- which slews wildly between a visceral scream of anguish and an orgasmic howl -- Yoko Ono’s remarkably quiet speaking voice, barely above a whisper, comes as a surprise. And this week as she talks about art and music from her home in New York it is aggravated by a cold and initially reduced...

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED 1992: The yin and yang of Yoko

YOKO ONO INTERVIEWED 1992: The yin and yang of Yoko

Few people could claim to have been as publicly reviled, ridiculed, misunderstood and misrepresented as Yoko Ono. As her husband of 12 years John Lennon once remarked, she was “the most famous unknown artist in the world. Everyone knows who she is, but nobody knows what she does.“ And the little that people did know during her...

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