Saturday, August 05, 2017


LUST FOR LIFE tour October 6, 1977

By Madeline Bocaro

The lobby of New York City's Palladium was filled with punks. Ripped T-shirts, dog collars and chains, safety pins, plastic sunglasses from Woolworth's - you name it, they wore it. Halloween? Nope, too early. This was the night of Iggy Pop's New York concert appearance, and everyone was all decked out for the occasion! Most of us had recently seen Iggy here on March 18th at the start of The Idiot, tour with Bowie on keyboards, and Blondie as the opening act. How lucky are we to be seeing him again just seven months later!
Opening act – the Ramones. Those blitzkreig boppers kept everyone jumping on their seats. The Ramones did their usual short set, intro including 'Sheena is a Punk Rocker', which even made the charts! They did some new tunes; 'Rockaway Beach' and 'Here Today Gone Tomorrow' during which there was an outburst in the third row. Patti Smith was fighting off five ushers at once, punching and yelling until she finally climbed over our heads and into a front row seat.

Then came Iggy, prancing out in patched jeans and white T-shirt, one black shoe and one white one, and wearing a horse's tail as he sang 'Sixteen'.

Most songs were from his latest RCA album Lust For Life; 'The Passenger'. 'Some Weird Sin' (which he sang from inside a black bag lying on the floor), and 'Fall in Love With Me' sporting an army helmet and smashing a chair at the end.

Iggy also did 'Nightclubbing' from his previous LP The Idiot, only this time with a new twist. He sang it in German while climbing stacks of amplifiers. His voice was cold, alien - almost frozen.

We were treated to some Stooges songs. 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' was snarled out by Iggy who was on all fours, growling and howling his way into our hearts. A rendition of 'Raw Power' was inevitable. 'I Got a Right' was amazing (the only recording of which is a mono 45 made from James Williamson's tapes of the Raw Power album rehearsals). There was an encore of Bowie's 'Fame'.

The black leather-clad band (this time sans Bowie, and not suffering at all because of it) included Tony and Hunt Sales, sons of Soupy who introduced the band onstage! They served as a low-key backdrop for dominating Iggy, slavishly throwing himself around the stage, occasionally dropping to the floor exhausted – the Id foremost as he contorted his beautiful savage face into looks of lust, and at times vacancy.

Iggy seemed alone, exposed, giving his all as we stared at his naked torso – stunned as if each of us had received a slap in the face. His small frame seemed larger than life under the spotlights and in the shadows. His body rippled with perfectly formed muscles, sweat and scars from his days of vengeance. Through his movements both graceful and savage, it seemed as if he was trying to break out of his skin, into some nameless freedom.

What kind of people attend such an exhibition? Suckers for his affections/ his inflictions? Necrophiliacs? The type who peek through ambulance windows, or those who secretly pull the legs off spiders. The most gratification must have been felt by those who cut worms in half and watch them suffer and squirm. Iggy was doing the same – he was slimy, sweating, writhing and sprawling all over the stage. We left the hall pondering, 'I loved it – what's wrong with me?

There was not as much violence as in the days of the Stooges when acts of self-hate turned to self-abuse by Iggy. He would physically punish himself while the audience gasped in ambivalence, at first unaware and suddenly realizing own latent needs for punishment and masochism by watching Iggy act out for them.
Iggy's performance still runs along these lines, only now more restrained with indirect hints of violence. Still, Iggy is for real. He's more than slightly bent, without sense of self-preservation, having more animal instincts than human ones. He is unleashed on us and we love it, finding our lost strength and desires magnified in the bravado of this live wire – the sultan of destructo-exorcism.

The show was virtually the same two nights ago at the Palace Theatre in Waterbury CT. The audience were more calm than the manic New Yorkers. Nevertheless, everyone remained in the theater for at least fifteen minutes cheering for a second encore, which never came.

Iggy seemed more relaxed in CT, as if this were merely a rehearsal for the big night in NYC. Iggy feeds off the crowd in New York, making it much more than just a performance. Everyone is involved, and we all leave deep in thought, stunned and euphoric.

Thursday, August 03, 2017


by Madeline Bocaro

Mott The Hoople were extremely fond of their wildly passionate, loyal and steadfast fans, but their live gigs always outsold their four albums. The band was at a breaking point.

David Bowie gave Mott the song 'All The Young Dudes' after their bass player Overend Watts approached him for a job when Mott decided to disband in 1972. Bowie loved Mott and had seen their riotous live gigs. He first offered Watts the song 'Suffragette City'. Luckily, Mott rejected that song in favor of 'Dudes'. Bowie gave them the right song at the perfect time. 'Dudes' saved Mott from oblivion.

'All The Young Dudes' was recorded by Mott The Hoople in May and released on July 28, 1972. Bowie's lyrics name-check his trend-setting friends from the gay discotheque, Yours And Mine beneath El Sombrero restaurant on Kensington High Street. There's suicidal Billy, stealing Wendy, butch queen Lucy, the queen Jimmy and star-faced Freddie (Bowie's clothing designer Freddie Burretti – nee Burrett). These real life characters inspired Bowie to write the future Mott The Hoople hit. The song celebrates the 'juvenile delinquent wrecks' of the 70s who are unable to relate to their brothers' Beatles & Stones records, not wanting to live past 25, and stealing clothes from Marks & Sparks.

"We were the 'young dudes' who shaved off our eyebrows just for camp, because you could paint them on higher up — that gave us a strange unearthly look which David adopted. He was always open to suggestions and went through our wardrobes like a magpie!"
-       Wendy Kirby

'‘Dudes’ is actually a very sad song. One line depicts a sad teenage Pierrot-like figure at the end of a performance: "Freddie's got spots from picking off the stars from his face." The narrator carries news of cultural and urban despair and decay - the aftermath of Ziggy Stardust’s apocalyptic ‘Five Years’ and a prologue to the year of the Diamond Dogs, set in the dystopian Hunger City where ‘Dudes’ became ‘Droogs’. A 1974 lyric sheet for ‘Future Legend’, the opening pronouncement of Diamond Dogs, bears Bowie’s crossed-out title, ‘Fugue for the Dude’.

"'All the Young Dudes' is a song about this news. It's no hymn to the youth, as people thought. It is completely the opposite."
- David Bowie

"I never saw anything all that sexual about Dudes as a lyric. I know it sounds daft, but to me it was just a great song. After Dudes we were considered instant fags in America. It was comical. A lot of gays followed us around, especially in America. We were scared at first because we all happen to be straight but then we started to talk to people and there wasn't anyone pushing you. I met some incredible people. It's like another nation. It's just scary at first because we were small town boys, but once we knew no one was going to grab us every minute of the day, everything was fine." 

- Ian Hunter, The Horse's Mouth

"Dudes sounded like a great rallying cry to all the dissaffected youth worldwide. With the addition of Ian rapping and ranting, the whole thing coalesced into an instant classic. I remember when Blue Weaver joined the ranks later on he played us an ancient early 1900's, French recording of a melody identical to the melody of 'ATYD'." 
– Dale 'Buffin' Griffin

 'Dudes' was also a commentary on the early 70's, and the glam/gay element was there in Bowie's lyrics

"It's a Gay Anthem! A rallying call to the young dudes to come out in the streets and show that they were beautiful and gay and proud of it." 
-       Lou Reed

"A song has to take on character, shape, body and influence people to an extent that they use it for their own devices. It must affect them not just as a song, but as a lifestyle. The rock stars have assimilated all kinds of philosophies, styles, histories, writings, and they throw out what they have gleaned from that."
-       David Bowie (William Burroughs interview: 
Beat Godfather Meets Glitter Mainman)Rolling Stone, February 28, 1974

The ad-libbed ending was purely Ian Hunter's. In the fad-out 'rap', Ian is ribbing a kid in the crowd, coercing his friend bring him to the front. Ian pulls him on-stage so the kid can feel what it's like to be a 'star' and asks him, "How do ya feel?!"  You can almost see the grin on Ian's face as Ian says this! The line, 'Hey you with the glasses' is from a 1950s radio show called the Billy Cotton Band Show.

Hey you with the glasses
I want you in the front! 
Are you his friend? 
Bring him down!
I want him right here
There ya go!  
How does it feel? 

(Ian’s vignette of a fan ending up onstage predicted the advent of Punk, when fans of Mott The Hoople (Mick Jones –Clash) and the Stooges (John Lydon - Sex Pistols) formed their own bands and incited others to carry their own news – which was the exact spirit of the song ‘All The Young Dudes’. Bowie of course, was in a completely different realm at the time, recording his albums Low, Heroes and Iggy Pop’s masterpiece, The Idiot.)

'Dudes' was censored lyrically by BBC radio and TV. The line "Wendy's stealing clothes from Marks and Sparks" refers to UK department store Marks & Spencer. The line was replaced with: "Wendy's stealing clothes from unlocked cars".

Bowie introduced Mott The Hoople on stage at the Tower Theater near Philadelphia on November 29, 1972 and performed the song with them. (Released on Mott's All the Way from Stockholm to Philadelphia in 1998 and the expanded All The Young Dudes in 2006). David also performed the song on his 1973 and 1974 tours. Twenty years after their Philly duet, Bowie and Ian Hunter performed 'Dudes' at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert with Mick Ronson on guitar in 1992. Bowie later performed it during his Outside and Reality tours.

A version of the backing track for Mott the Hoople's version with Bowie's guide vocal exists. A variant of this; Bowie's vocal on the verses with Ian Hunter's on the chorus, was released on the 2006 reissue of All the Young Dudes.

Bowie's own studio version, recorded in December 1972 during his Aladdin Sane sessions went unreleased until 1995, in mono on the album RarestOneBowie. Bowie also used the music of 'Dudes' played backward in his song 'Move On' on his album Lodger in 1979.

Bowie then produced Mott's album titled All The Young Dudes, recorded from May – July at Olympic and Trident studios in 1972 and released on September 8. The now famous cover concept and art direction was by Mick Rock. George Underwood tinted a vintage illustration – a cover of the Saturday Evening Post that Mick Rock had intended for the cover. The original drawing was from an ad for men's suits in 1917.  The old English typeface came from the Society Brand Clothes logo. 

Mick Rock had originally submitted a photo of a young kid posing with a guitar. Here is the story of how they located the kid years later…

The following album simply titled Mott contained a song called 'Hymn For the Dudes' the moniker by which their own fans came to be fondly known.

Mott The Hoople bid their fans farewell with a lone single in October 1974 after a final album called The Hoople. 'Saturday Gigs' was their final anthem - a love letter to their fans chronicling the band's history from the 1969 Roundhouse gigs to their week-long 1974 Broadway engagement in NYC (with Queen as opening act) and their fizzled out European tour that same year. At the end of every Def Leppard concert, Joe Elliott tells the cheering crowd, "Don't you ever forget us, and we'll never forget you!" These words come from deep within Joe's heart. They were the fade-out lyrics of his favorite band Mott The Hoople's farewell single.

At Mott The Hoople's reunion gigs at Hammersmith Odeon in 2009, the bittersweet finale was 'Saturday Gigs'. The band poignantly put down their instruments at the song's end, chanting the 'goodbye' coda acapella as the lights went down. Mott exited the stage, as the joyful yet tearful crowd carried on chanting 'goo-ood byyye', echoing through the hall.

'All The Young Dudes' 1972
·       Verden Allen – organ, backing vocals
·       Dale 'Buffin' griffin – drums
·       Ian Hunter – lead vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards,
·       Mick Ralphs – guitar, backing vocals
·       Pete Overend Watts – bass
·       David Bowie – backing vocals

(An addendum by Mott's Morgan Fisher):

Thanks for the article Madeline. Dudes is indeed a bit of a classic and on occasion I still play it live.

Buffin’s memory about Blue isn’t quite right. It was me that created a spoof recording, with my synths sounding like an old 78rpm record of an orchestra playing the Dudes melody. I had the band believing me for a few minutes!

Check it out here:



by Madeline Bocaro

Shortly after Bowie's passing in 2016, Ian Hunter wrote a beautiful tribute song. It appears as a single, and on his album Fingers Crossed.

I think it's so sweet that although Ian recorded with Bowie, and is much older than him, he wrote the song from the viewpoint of a fan during the Ziggy Stardust era. 'Dandy' is clearly reminiscent of Mott's farewell 'Saturday Gigs', a love letter to Hoople fans upon the band's breakup, taking us through the years of wonderful memories. 'Dandy' has an equally sweet guitar melody (like Ronson's on 'Saturday Gigs') and a similary long 'goodbye' fadeaway.

Ian starts the song with his hero Bob Dylan's line from 'Ballad of a Thin Man' about our very own 'Mr. Jones' (Bowie's real surname). So cool that he name-checks the Spiders, and credits Ronson (as Little Lord Fauntleroy) who let the genie out of his lamp / amp.

Ian manages to incorporate Bowie's future masterpiece 'Heroes' which is what he made us all feel like. I also love the mentions of 'The Prettiest Star' and 'Life on Mars?' And the Cabaret Voltaire reference is spot on!

The line makes me cry is:

Dandy - this world was black-and-white 
You showed us what it's like 
To live inside a rainbow 

The middle eight 'Lie lie la lie…' refers to Bowie's 'Starman' yet it has a Germanic Brecht/Weil vibe, which David would love. I wish Bowie was here to sing backing vocals on this one!

Thanks to Ian for getting it right, and dedicating it to the fans!

Something is happening - Mr. Jones
My brother says you're better than the Beatles or the Stones
From Saturday night to Sunday morning
You turned us into heroes 
Can you hear the heroes sing 

Dandy you are the prettiest star 
There ain't no life on Mars - but we always there might be

Dandy - you opened up the door 
You left us wanting more 
And then we took the last bus home

Who let the genie out of the lamp?
The Little Lord Fontleroy who let him out of his amp
From Saturday night to Sunday morning 
Well Trevor's getting bolder 
and Woody loves the hit thing

Dandy - this world was black-and-white 
You showed us what it's like 
To live inside a rainbow 

Dandy - you thrilled us to the core 
You left us wanting more 
And then we took the last bus home

Lie lie la lie 
Lie lie la lie...

You beat up the 
You had it all
The voice, the look the songs that shook
The gift of the gab and the gall

From Saturday night to Sunday morning 
When all we had to look forward to was the WEEKEND
You made our lives worth living

Dandy - You're still the prettiest star
There ain't no life on Mars but we always thought there might be
Dandy you took us to the fair
With Cabaret Voltaire
And then we took the last train home

Dandy - You know we waited long enough
They should put a statue up in Picadilly Circus

Dandy - You blew us all away
Outta the drab and the gray
And then we caught the last bus home
The keeper of the flame
We won't see your like again
Oh Dandy was a one-off

Hey look at what you've become
I guess I owe you one
So thanks for the memories

Thursday, July 27, 2017

NEW YORK CITY 1977 - The Heavenly Year of Hell

by Madeline Bocaro

Can you believe that 1977 was 40 years ago? I saw a great documentary on VH1 called NY 77 The Coolest Year In Hell, about the summer of '77.

It's amazing to see it all now in perspective. Elliot and I were two spoiled 17-year old kids who laughed about everything back then. We ventured into the city from our safe houses in the suburbs. We thought New York City was the greatest thing. Now, seeing this documentary about the extent of the decadence, murder, depravity and danger brings to light how scary it actually was.

Elliot realized and appreciated the danger more than I did. I was too naive. It was the hottest summer on record. Bright flickering neon signs reflected in pools of scum on the streets, exactly as the city looked in the film Taxi Driver. Son of Sam – a real life Travis Bickle was on the loose. The President had forsaken the bankrupt New York City, denying federal assistance. A Daily News headline read, "Ford to City: Drop Dead"

We thought it was all a big laugh. Despite the peril, we loved going to the city; me for the music; Max's and CBGB, and him for discos and turning tricks at the Playland arcade.

There was the infamous 25-hour long blackout in the hottest July ever with a 10-day heatwave over 100 degrees. People went insane. They were coming out of stores with arms full of clothing, appliances or groceries. Vans pulled up to store fronts, hauling off washers and dryers. It was like scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean - looting and destruction - total chaos! As a result of severe NYC budget cuts, police force had been reduced. The police (unarmed at the time but for night sticks) had no plan in place to handle anything of this caliber. There were almost 4,000 arrests without enough prison cells. The aftermath of the rebellion looked like scenes from Iraq! During the anarchy, 1,000 fires were set, trash everywhere, broken glass. New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens were ravaged by the blackout. In the South Bronx, slumlords had already been paying heroin addicts to torch their buildings so they could collect the insurance money. On this night, flames burned for hours with blaring sirens of fire trucks that couldn't keep up. In the quiet calm of the morning, there were smoldering ruins

Alongside the decay and nihilism was exhilaration and cultural evolution. I remember Debbie Harry & Chris Stein of Blondie telling us at CBGB one night that we should join them uptown to these wild clubs where "It's like a party - people just talk in rhymes over the music - like stream of consciousness." I was sure they knew what was cool and it was probably legit, but I knew that it wouldn't be my scene - I was more of a Punk. Out of this came the Sugar Hill Gang with the very first use of music sampling, Chic's 'Good Times' on the very first Hip-Hop song, 'Rapper's Delight'.

There were other great stories about CBGB in the documentary. The most interesting one about the city was when rap artists spoke about the origins of scratching and Hip-Hop culture. I always wondered how they had those sound battles with turntables in the parks. Where did they get the electricity? They hotwired street lamps using extension cords to snake all the way into the park! The most cred was given to the guys with the LOUDEST sound. They battled, scratching and blasting Queen's song 'We Will Rock You' and blew each other out of the park!

Then, on the night of the historic blackout (July 13) all the poor ghetto kids who had their eye on the finest amps, speakers, and turntables in the windows of electronics stores looted and stole all the equipment they'd ever dreamed of having. It was like the best Christmas ever – in the middle of the hottest, most vicious summer. That was the night hip-hop was born! (And everyone got free sneakers!) Overnight, the sonic battles became bigger & louder. The contraband high-end equipment was extremely desirable, so each DJ had to guard all his stuff from rival rappers, each with their own posse of gunmen in the park.

The documentary also illustrated graffiti artists' pride in their achievements in leaving their mark on the trains. They would steal spray-paint cans from the stores by pinning the sleeves of their denim jackets closed, putting 4 paint cans down each sleeve and slinging their jackets over their shoulders. The stealth artists descended into the tunnels at night to paint in the dark, after practicing their drawings for weeks, also in the dark for that sole purpose. They considered their paintings works of art, but the public viewed them as garbage. There were also segments on Discos like Studio 54, and Plato's retreat with their all-night orgies.

Elliot would always take me to Times Square late at night, where the most prominent letters in flashing lights on all the marquees was 'XXX'. There was a huge poster store on a corner, which had rare British glam rock posters mixed in amongst thousands of movie star posters. I would spend hours in there looking through each and every poster, while Elliot said he was going to the disc-O-mat record store. Years later, he told me that he really went to 53rd & 3rd to turn tricks. A scene right out of the Ramones song 53rd & 3rd about a guy killing a trick due to his own shame. (Their debut album had been released six months prior). My mom thought I was 'safe' in the city going with a 'guy' to protect me!

8th Avenue featured hundreds of peep shows, over a thousand hookers, and pimps in alcoves who whistled at me - oblivious to the danger in my glam outfits at eighteen. The 10-block stretch of 8th Avenue from Times Square and up was known as the 'Minnesota Strip' because teenage prostitutes flocked there by the busload when Minnesota toughened up its' prostitution laws. There were some book stores where creepy, disgusting fat old cigar-smoking men sold dusty old movie posters and glamorous publicity photos of 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s movie stars. One shop sold back-issues of Circus Magazine with my favorite rock stars; Bowie, Iggy Pop or Mott The Hoople on the cover. I went there searching for these magazines. I would have paid $100 for this one Ziggy cover! When I asked the guy how much, he said 25 cents! I quickly handed him the quarter and got out of there quickly before he realized that he had just sold me the holy grail!!! He couldn't care less.

Elliot and I would walk around Christopher Street at night, eat at Taco Rico, and watch the gay couples walk by, wearing leather or drag. I loved the queens and trannies - they were so committed to the art of being themselves! It was like all of the bizarre characters from a Lou Reed album converging in one place! One walked by dressed in a nurse's uniform with blood all over, dragging a headless doll. We hadn't realized it was Halloween because people looked so weird and fabulous there every night.

Back then, the 'meat packing district' was just that; a double entendre for packing meat in the culinary sense, and also in gay sex clubs.

Punk rock was already in full swing. Elvis died in August, effectively ending an era. In Greenwich Village, we'd run into the Ramones, Blondie or the New York Dolls buying boots or jeans at Trash & Vaudeville or Manic Panic. We literally bumped into Andy Warhol many times in Union Square…and Lou Reed during the Halloween parade on Christopher Street, way before it became commercialized!

We began to notice kids with Mohawk haircuts – another Travis Bickle reference. Now they are commonplace, but then it was scary to see this tribal / military cut that was traditionally ceremonial or the sign of a warrior on teenage kids.

Once I was in a NYC taxi with my innocent mom. She had escorted me from the suburbs to a concert in the city. Some women walked in front of the cab, and mom said, "Look at those girls - they're dressed like hookers!" Hey ma - they ARE hookers!! Those were the days.

New York City was still a dangerous place in 1984, when subway passenger Bernhard Goetz shot down three attackers on the train and was hailed as the 'subway vigilante'.

In the mid 1980s when NYC had been 'cleaned up', there was a billboard near Times Square advertising the Waterfront Crab House in Long Island City. It read, 'The only place in the city that still has crabs!'

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Ryuichi Sakamoto

async live in NYC
Park Avenue Armory Veterans Room
April 25, 2017
By Madeline Bocaro

Ryuichi Sakamoto has scored the innate soundtrack of earth and civilization into a symphony of the senses. After facing death head-on with cancer, the brilliant composer began a new and sacred relationship with natural and incidental sounds, and with his favorite synthesizer. This spawned async - his first new album in eight years at age 65.
The anticipation of Sakamoto's performance was heightened, wondering how he would interpret his unusual new album live.

From async liner notes:
Let me try to recreate these sounds in my head using my analog synth as soon as I wake up every morning.
Let me take Bach's choral and arrange it as if it were in fog – to reveal an austere logic inside of a formless cloud.
Let me collect the sound of things and of places – of ruins, crowds, markets, rain…
Let me try making music whose parts and sounds all have different tempos.

This was the coolest album preview ever (async will be released on 4/28). A piano, analog synths, a guitar, vibratory implements... A performance of 'songs' devoid of melody or tempo - out of synch. Is it music? YES! And it is strangely - almost impossibly - harmonious.
The concert was a hallowed experience in an intimate historic venue holding only 100 people. The late 19th century room was very dimly lit. When the beautifully distinguished white-haired composer entered, the lights were diminished further.
Sakamoto began at the piano, accompanying his new album's sounds. He played the piano traditionally, and also by plucking and tapping its strings.
A screen on the ceiling above the piano displayed beautiful flickering moving scenes of nature - clouds, trees, the moon, the ocean, water drops, sleeping people and animals. Through the sounds we could hear the scenery and conjure memories.
Sakamoto's Zen-like performance induced peacefulness and calm, as we have all heard these sounds throughout our lives - in other times and places. We found comfort here - in miniscule noises synthesized and amplified just above a whisper, in oscillating drones and vibrations. All were familiar; objects, instruments, movement, yet their identities were clouded or enshrouded. We were pleasantly haunted by these beloved dreamlike sound-ghosts. 
The small audience remained completely silent through the performance, apart from the reverent welcoming and closing applause.
Sakamoto stood, tapping/scraping a large upright sheet of Plexiglas with padded mallets of various sizes, resonating subtle vibrations. The transparency at once mirrored him and allowed us to see and hear him through the looking glass, into another realm of sound. However, what we were actually hearing were mutated sounds from our own floating world.
It was a feeling reminiscent of Nico and her harmonium, taking us to other sacred places and times.
I could not stop thinking how much Yoko Ono would love this. Some sounds recall Yoko's album Fly (1971) with its man-made robotic instruments replicating sounds of nature.
In 'fullmoon' author Paul Bowles voices his own words from The Sheltering Sky. The scene, lifted from the Bertolucci film's soundtrack is powerful. It illustrates impermanence amidst our false comprehension of limitless time in our lives; "How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty, and yet it all seems limitless."
'async' is an excursion through analog synth, the sounds of things and of places. The maestro's liner notes state, "I decided that the concept of my new album would be a soundtrack for an Andrei Tarkovsky film that does not exist."
Tarkovsky once said, "Juxtaposing a person with an environment that is boundless, collating him with a countless number of people passing by close to him and far away, relating a person to the whole world, that is the meaning of cinema." Sakamoto achieves the same cinematic sensation with async.
"99% of the music in this world is in synch, or strives to be. It's human nature.
We have a tendency to synchronize. We fall into line without even realizing it. It seems we are actually creatures who find pleasure in being in synch. That's why we want to create untraditional music that doesn't synchronize…like speaking in a language that doesn't exist.
"Every human decides which sound is good or bad. I wanted to pull the plug on this."
- Ryuichi Sakamoto, NHK World Japan

Friday, February 03, 2017




By Madeline Bocaro

Birds communicate with each other. 
It's not singing. It's their language. 
It's so beautiful and different from ours. – y.o.

In this incredible new age, when we should be using our voices to sing out, negativity abounds. If only we could communicate positively, like free twittering birds.

Yoko’s biography begins, born: bird year. She once said, “If I had to be reincarnated as an animal, I would choose a sparrow.” Birdsong was Yoko’s first inspiration. As a young child, one of her school assignments was to translate the sounds of a symphony of birds into musical notation. She realized that it was impossible. At first, Yoko thought it was her own shortcoming. She soon determined that there was a limitation in the way that we scored music – which lost its intricate beauty. This is the frustration behind all of Yoko’s work: the material world cannot replicate the purity of an idea. To solve this problem, Yoko’s scores combine musical notation with instructions.

“I loved listening to the birds singing in the morning. Beautiful complicated sounds a bird can make which you can’t copy – it seemed so perfect and I thought, ‘Why try to do something like that when a bird can do it effortlessly? So I began to compose music which wasn’t complete – with instructions like: This should be played with birds singing in the garden’. From there I began to question the whole thing of composition and instruction.” - y.o. Vogue December 1971

In a recent Instagram posting, Yoko wrote, "A bird was chirping in a corner of the restaurant. I kept listening to it for a while, hoping I could figure out what the bird was saying. Finally, I gave up and said, 'thank you!'"

Small bursts of thought-provoking wisdom come in very few forms. The oldest must be the Zen koan and Haiku. There are those found inside fortune cookies. And then, there are the incantations of Yoko Ono's wise, whimsical and enlightening Twitter account -  inspiring inner peace, clarity and revelations in 140 characters or less.

Yoko has been my spirit guide since the 1960s - imparting her infinite blessings. It's so nice that the world is now tuned in, receiving her daily wisdom.

Here are some of my favorite Yoko Tweets. Please heed them. They will heal you. You will see your life and the universe in a whole new light. Yoko is just planting the seeds in your mind…

Look at life in nature. Budding branches. A shining river.
The light that shines on everything shines on you, too.

Why am I fascinated by clouds?
Because they are a transient existence.
No cloud can cloud us forever.

Equality should not be forced. Everybody desires something different. Just give people the freedom to be equal, if they want it.

Problem? Start with feeling love for the problem. You will then know what step you wish to take.

Advice to follow: Don't follow.

What's the difference between today and in the 60s?
That we are all younger now.

Science Fiction is a history of the future.

The present moment can be an eternity in time.
History can be a blip in your memory.
I don't separate the two.

Silence is a sound.

If I had a 1 hour TV special, I would show the world what is really happening.
But the ratings would be so low, I'd be fired immediately.

All decisions are easy to make.
All decisions are difficult to make.
It depends on your outlook.

I never collected anything except sea shells & pebbles. Because they were pretty. I lost them because they were too cumbersome to hold on to.

I like old Indian & Gypsy music with vocals of people who have travelled far in life taking me to mountains and oceans I have never been to.

I often try fasting. It's good for your health.

Your greatest strength is believing in yourself.
Your greatest weakness is not believing in yourself.

I very rarely dream. I am always wide awake even when I am asleep.

My favourite sounds in the world are all cooing sounds – of animals, people, green fields and winds…

Women are still not equal to men. But do we want to be equal to them?
I think it is better to pursue higher.

Don't get rid of negative emotion, but just use it… like the salt in your food.

Listen to the heartbeat of all things on the planet. It is symphonic.
The primal heartbeat is that of the ocean.

Be calm to attract calm.

Everything is shining in our lives, if you care to see it.

Common sense prevents you from thinking.
Have less sense and you will make more sense.

Silence is the highest form of expression.

Being outsider is actually a more powerful position than center of things.
Observe from clearer perspective.

The child in you will save you.

You’re not blocked.
You’re just playing the game of pretending to yourself that you are blocked.
Get off your high horse now, my friend.

Art is what you give to people. Your work will suffer in its creativity if you are thinking of making something that will sell.

If you think we are subjected to any pattern, be the one to break out that pattern for all of us. Nothing is permanent. Patterns, included.

Do you, like me, find daydreams to be of the future and night-time dreams to be of the past?

Ban the veil? Ridiculous.
If it’s to stop repression of women, start with banning spandex and very high heel shoes.
They’re health hazards.

Happiness doesn’t last. If it did, it will be called boredom.
I would like my life to be a string of happiness punctuated by good work.