Yoko Ono takes gay marriage fight to dance clubs
David Bauder | July 09, 2004
NEW YORK — Yoko Ono has joined the chorus in support of gay marriage by
recording Every Man Has a Man Who Loves Him, a gay-friendly
version of a song she wrote nearly a quarter-century ago.
The song Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him, included on her
last album with John Lennon before he was killed in 1980, was also
retooled into another version: Every Woman Has a Woman Who Loves
It's both a political statement and a tribute to an audience
that has improbably made Japanese-born Ono a hit act in the dance
clubs at age 71.
"I should think that people would be more interested in politics
and all that is happening, rather than two lovebirds who are
looking to wed," she said. "I think it's very nice that in an age
when love is so scarce that people are willing to gamble on getting
Ono recently performed Every Man Has a Man Who Loves Him at a
gay pride rally in New York and the song is moving up Billboard
magazine's dance club charts.
One of her gay friends told her that his mother had invoked the
title of Ono's old song – Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him –-
in an attempt to steer him toward heterosexuality, she said.
Ono, whose avant-garde music was often ridiculed by fans of
Lennon and the Beatles, said that's given her a connection to the
gay and lesbian community.
"I'm an outsider in many ways," she said in an interview at her
home in Manhattan's Dakota building, "and I think that's what they
A spokesman for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
Community Center in New York said any gesture of support from a
public figure is appreciated.
"If it were Britney Spears doing this would it have a larger
connection? Sure," said Ector Simpson, the gay center's director of
cultural programs. "Does it have some value? Yes."
Ono had some minor hits on the club scene in the early 1980s
with Walking on Thin Ice and Kiss Kiss Kiss. But in recent
years she has successfully opened her back catalogue to the dance
scene's hottest producers and remixers.
Hell in Paradise, a remix of a song she originally recorded in
1986, is No. 5 on this week's dance music chart in Billboard
Asked if this success gives her some feeling of vindication, Ono
replies – only half-jokingly – that "I thought I would get it 30
"When you make a song, you don't think it's going to be a dud,"
she said. "You don't think it's going to be thrown in a trash can,
which my records literally were initially."
Lennon's widow doesn't release her music now under the name Yoko
Ono. Rather, the act is simply billed ONO.
"I thought that there would be people who would warm up to ONO
– not that old image of Ono and Lennon," she said. "It's great.
It's almost like I'm reborn." – Sapa-AP
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