Yoko Ono remixes push marriage equality
Fri Jul 9, 8:37 PM ET
Larry Buhl, PlanetOut Network
Iconoclastic singer/performance artist Yoko Ono affirms same-sex marriage through new dance remixes of the single "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him" from the 1980 "Double Fantasy" album, produced by Ono and her late husband John Lennon.
With Ono's permission, the song has been reinvented into two club-friendly singles with gender-bending twists, "Every Man Has a Man Who Loves Him" and "Every Woman Has a Woman Who Loves Her." The new songs mark the 71-year-old's evolution from Vietnam-era peace activist to new millennium club heroine and gay rights spokesperson, spreading equality through music and dance.
"Every Man/Every Woman," due in stores in August, will feature a message from Ono: "In these turbulent times, how wonderful it is for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender, to find love. We should embrace, share, celebrate and validate that love."
You may say she's a dreamer, and of course she's not the only one. But right now Ono is the only straight mainstream artist with a song explicitly celebrating same-sex unions.
"Yoko Ono understands that equal rights extend to all of humanity, not just to the straight community," said Stephen Macias, entertainment media director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). "We appreciate the work of her and our other straight allies in promoting equality."
The songs may have changed, but Ono's reputation for peace and equality has remained constant since she began speaking out for human rights in the 1960s. Building a reputation as a visionary musical pioneer, she continued to carry her husband's message of peace and understanding through music and art after his murder in 1980.
Her club music renaissance began three years ago with a series of chart-topping dance remixes, including the hit "Walking on Thin Ice."
"Her new singles should be popular," said Jeff Tardiff, manager of Perfect Beat, a music store in West Hollywood, Calif., which caters exclusively to dance music lovers and club DJs.
Tardiff remembered seeing Ono gyrating to one of her remixes in a DJ booth at Rage (a gay club in West Hollywood) two years ago as she was on the cusp of reinvention as a dance diva. "The crowd went wild for her, and I'm thinking, 'Do the younger people even know who she is?' It seemed kooky," he said, "but now that she's had about five hit dance songs, she's got a new reputation."