Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Plastic Ono Band

The Plastic Ono Band was a conceptual supergroup formed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969 before the dissolution of The Beatles. Amongst the various members of the band were Eric Clapton, two former Beatles (George Harrison and Ringo Starr), old friend Klaus Voorman, future Yes drummer Alan White, members of Delaney and Bonnie, The Who's drummer Keith Moon, New York band Elephant's Memory, Billy Preston, Nicky Hopkins, Phil Spector, and drummer Jim Keltner.

In 1968, John Lennon began his personal and artistic relationship with Yoko Ono by collaborating on the experimental album Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins. After a second volume, Unfinished Music No.2: Life With The Lions appeared in the spring of 1969, Lennon and Ono decided that all of their future endeavours would be credited to the Plastic Ono Band. Its credo, "YOU are the Plastic Ono Band", implied that everyone was part of the group. In fact, the Plastic Ono Band was an identity to describe works by Lennon and Ono and whoever happened to be performing with them. Lennon and Ono would both use the nomenclature for years on their future solo albums. The single release of "Give Peace a Chance" in July 1969, recorded in a hotel room in Montreal, Quebec with many participants, was the first release to bear the credit of Plastic Ono Band.

The only album solely credited to the Plastic Ono Band, Live Peace in Toronto 1969, was recorded during the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival Festival in September that year and featured Eric Clapton on lead guitar, Klaus Voorman on bass (an old friend of Lennon's from Germany, who was famous for the cover art of the Beatles' Revolver album), and Alan White (later of Yes on drums. Fronting the group, naturally, were Lennon and Ono.

Just after its recording, "Cold Turkey", Lennon's tale of breaking his brief heroin addiction, was released as a single under the banner of the Plastic Ono Band, again featuring the Live Peace In Toronto 1969 line-up. By early 1970, Lennon and Ono had begun adding their names to their releases ("Instant Karma!" coming out as "John Lennon with the Plastic Ono Band", and their two proper solo debut albums: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band). By 1971 the name was being used as a secondary credit, with Lennon's and Ono's names the most prominent on their solo ventures, and with occasional variances (e.g., "the Plastic Ono Nuclear Band", "the Plastic U.F.Ono Band," or, when they performed with Frank Zappa, "the Plastic Ono Mothers").

Before 2009, the last use of the Plastic Ono Band was credited on Lennon's 1975 retrospective release Shaved Fish. However, recently, Yoko Ono made an appearance on Sean Lennon's new label's album Chimera music release no.0 with the Plastic Ono Band attached to her name for the first time since her 1973 album Feeling the space. She also performed at The Liquid Room in Tokyo, Japan on January 21st with the 2009 line-up of other Chimera Music Artists. She performed as the Plastic Ono Band.


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