As we look ahead to December 8, the 30th anniversary of Lennon’s death, Ono is busy. She’s helping the world celebrate his legacy with art installations, TV specials, and all-star concerts revisiting the music of the Plastic Ono Band, featuring Lady Gaga.
You recently performed a few shows with Iggy Pop, Sonic Youth, Eric Clapton, and others as the Plastic Ono Band to honor John Lennon. How did Lady Gaga get into the mix?
She’s such an angel. It was so nice for her to come down when she’s so busy and everything. Well, she’s always busy and I am too. But, anyways, it’s my show and she didn’t really have to do it. For me, she did something that was really fantastic. She not only came but she said something during the show about how she liked what I was doing.
After she sang a song with me it wasn’t long until it hit YouTube. Many people went on YouTube to see what we did together. The views immediately went up to over 82,000. I was like, “Woah! Woah! Woah!” I just felt like it was an ocean, you know? Just — wow. The waves were coming so strong, like an ocean wave. My songs are too artsy for that kind of thing, I thought. But she’s also an incredible performer; we all know that. But aside from that glitter that she exudes, I think that she’s really a genuine, good musician. I was surprised. Lady Gaga and I understood each other. I felt very warm about the whole thing.
Was that your first time meeting her?
Sort of. We talked so much on the phone first. And I did go to her show in New York. And her show was incredible, you know.