Happy Birthday to Yoko Ono, who turns 81 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. Yoko and the couple's son, Sean Lennon, are currently active in the anti-fracking campaign in New York State.
John and Yoko 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.
John Lennon recalled meeting Yoko in 1966: "I'm looking for action, y'know? I see this thing, 'Hammer A Nail In' -- it's a board with a chain and a hammer hanging on it and a bunch of nails at the bottom. I said, 'Well, can I hammer a nail in?' (Yoko laughs) She says, 'No.' But she came over and says, 'You can hammer one in for five schillings. I said, 'Are you. . . I'll give you an imaginary five schillings and hammer an imaginary nail in, alright?' And that's when we fell -- (sings) da da da da.”
Since 2003, via various remixes by outside DJ's and producers, Yoko has scored an impressive 11 Number One hits on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Charts.