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In Your Mind - The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono

The true story of the woman John Lennon loved.

A complete look at Ono's extraordinary life, art and music in astounding detail.


Discover the captivating story behind Yoko Ono, the woman who captured John Lennon's heart. Our exclusive interview with author Madeline Bocaro explores her insightful book "In Your Mind - The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono" and uncovers the profound impact of this remarkable artist and visionary. Journalist John Wisniewski met with Madeline Bocaro for an insightful discussion detailed below.

1. You were close to Yoko Ono. Did you learn more and more about her, little by little?


I have admired Yoko and her work since I was ten years old in 1968. I grew up watching her on the news with John Lennon almost every day in the 1960s and 1970s. I was able to absorb everything about them and their art, music and activism as it was unfolding. I began writing to Yoko when they moved to the Dakota. In 1973. She was very appreciative that I was understanding of her own work. We finally met in 1984, after John’s death. It was like I had known her all my life. I could immediately see why John loved her.


2. How did "The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono project begin?


I had been writing about Yoko for most of my life - making notes in diaries about her work, or notating things that she had said in interviews, writing concert reviews, and about her albums. One day, I received software that helped me to organize all my writings in one place. I then realized that I had compiled her entire life story. It took an additional two years to turn it into a book.


3. What made Yoko such a thought-provoking artist?


Yoko was always way ahead of her time. Thought provoking can have two meanings. One is in a reactive way - that it can be daring and shocking (her association with John Lennon made it so). The other pro-active meaning is that all of her work is conceptual. She encourages people to complete the work “In Your Mind’ provoking our thoughts and actions in that way. We become involved in the work, and take our own meanings from it.


4. What were some reactions to Yoko's art, early in her career?


In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Yoko was at first misunderstood in a male-dominated art world. She was quickly gaining respect and popularity for her avant-garde work, collaborating with artists in the Fluxus movement, yet standing on her own as an independent artist and filmmaker before she met John.


5. How did Yoko meet John Lennon? Tell us the story.


Yoko’s “Yes” was the path to freedom that John Lennon had been searching for all his life. He walked up her white ladder at her Indica Gallery exhibition in London, leading to a canvas on the ceiling with a magnifying glass hanging on the end of a chain. He read the tiny positive message (“Yes”) on her Ceiling Painting, which sealed their fate. He was thrilled to find something positive in the art world, which was at the time very negative. John was going through some hard times, and feeling alone. Yoko was feeling extremely lonely as well. They fell in love right away, but they didn’t get together for a while, since they had both been married, each with one child. Individually, they had been broken and alone. Together, they were invincible. Their assistant Dan Richter once said, “They had an invisible radar between them, so that as they moved and spoke, there was an illusion that they were almost one person.”



6. Was Yoko unfairly treated by some, as the woman who broke up The Beatles?


The Beatles had already been fracturing as a band. In actuality, Yoko was concerned that her artistic freedom would be compromised if John was no longer occupied with the Beatles. She had always been an independent artist, and had never collaborated with anyone. Yoko was nervous and concerned when John told her, “Now it’s you and me!” which sealed their fate.


Yoko was very unfairly treated. Blatant lies were written about her in the press in order to sell more papers. Many horrible things were said and done to her, including an evil parcel addressed to Yoko, containing a voodoo doll in her likeness, stabbed with pins.


7. Was Yoko an activist as well as an artist?


Yes. Yoko was a pioneering feminist and a lifetime warrior for peace. She was silently on the frontlines of many other causes and charities. Most of her extreme generosity is not widely known, because much of it was done anonymously. Most of her work is about healing people.


8. Why did John and Yoko try to celebrate their love through their happenings, like greeting reporters from their bed?


The media was going to be focused upon them anyway, so they wanted to deliver a powerful yet peaceful message. Their sense of humor was also apparent in the Bed-ins for Peace. They were so much in love that they wanted to share it with the world. Some of us rode along with them on their love train, but others were fueled by jealousy and hatred. Unfortunately, there is still that divide in people’s minds, based upon lies. My book dispels all the myths, backing everything up with undeniable facts and with many quotes from people who were a part of Yoko’s history, including her own true voice. Her spirit, wisdom and messages of healing can benefit us all!

In Your Mind - The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono

In Your Mind - The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono

Image: M. Bocaro

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