Bette With The Plastic Ono Band

The Gothamist
Live From BAM: Yoko Ono & Friends
By Jen Carlson in Arts and Events on February 17, 2010 12:12 PM

Last night BAM housed quite an insane lineup, all part of Yoko Ono’s We Are The Plastic Ono Band one-night-only concert. We were lucky enough to be at the show, where the widow of John Lennon celebrated her 77th birthday (it’s tomorrow) just like the rest of us would–with friends like Bette Midler, Eric Clapton, Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Paul Simon… you know, just a small gathering of some the biggest names in music.

The show began with a video tribute to Ono put together by her son Sean Lennon, who also served as a gracious host for the evening, introducing each musician and praising his mom from behind whatever instrument he happened to be playing at the time. The first act was all Ono, with a band backing her that included Sean as well as Mark Ronson.

The second act brought out a mixed bag of guest musicians, for the most part all singing Ono’s songs in their own way (though there was a rendition of the Beatles “Yer Blues” courtesy of Mr. Clapton). The Scissor Sisters, Gene Ween, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, Bette Midler (with Sean Lennon, Doveman, and others backing her), Justin Bond, Paul Simon and his son Harper, Beatles collaborator Klaus Voormann, Eric Clapton… they were all there. Ono noted that this was the first time she, Clapton and Voormann had played together in 40 years! And at the end, the group (sans an M.I.A. Clapton) came back on stage for an all-star rendition of “Give Peace A Chance,” with new lyrics penned by Ono that she grabbed from the morning’s headlines. We snuck some video that you can see after the jump (the entire show was also filmed, so expect a DVD at some point).

We’ll leave you with some parting advice courtesy of Justin Bond, who performed “What A Bastard the World Is” last night–he told the audience to follow Ono on Twitter and do everything she says. If you want to play catch-up, on the 12th she told her online audience: “I would advise you to send a bucket of shadow to a friend.”

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5 thoughts on “Bette With The Plastic Ono Band

  1. Im really mad becuase I left right after Bette sang and I didn’t get to see her at the end. And considering she was pretty much one of the last ones to sing I was very proud of myself that I held in that long. If anything was a testament to my devotion to Bette, it was last night. For nobody else I would ever sit through that for.

  2. Yeah. One song was 16 nimutes long, just of screaming. She just screamed for an hour and a half until the second act started. I wasn’t familiar with her music ‘if you want to call it that” before I went I was really in for a surprise. It was like music you listen to when you are high.

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