By Jim Johnson

Happy Birthday to Yoko Ono, who turns 83 years old today (February 18th). Yoko was born in Tokyo to a musician turned extremely successful banker Eisuke Ono, who was a descendant of the Emperor of Japan. Yoko’s mother, Isoko Ono, is the granddaughter of Zenjiro Yasuda, of the famed Yasuda banking family. Despite he contributions to the conceptual art world, she will forever be entwined both personally and artistically with late husband John Lennon.

Three days prior to Lennon’s 75th birthday last October 9th, Yoko attempted to created the largest human peace sign in history in the East Meadow of New York’s Central Park. Despite the effort of 2,000 “peaceniks” a world record was not broken — with the current record of 5,814, set in 2009 at the Ithaca Festival, still standing.

Out now is the new book, See Hear Yoko. The book was originally conceived as a private gift among friends to mark Yoko’s 80th birthday and was published this week at her request. The book contains intimate portraits by legendary rock photographer and family friend Bob Gruen, along with the text featuring excerpts from 25 years of interviews with Austin radio personality Jody Denberg. The book is published on Johnny Depp’s literary imprint Infinitum Nihil and sells for $39.99.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono met on November 9th, 1966 — the night before he show opening at London’s Indica Art Gallery, and became romantically linked sometime between mid-1967 and mid-1968. By the spring of 1968, the pair, whom Lennon took to calling “Johnandyoko,” began a long-standing artistic partnership with the recording of their debut album, called Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins. The album included experimental sounds recorded in Lennon’s home studio, and featured an album cover showing them nude.


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