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Oh Yoko! Happy 80th Birthday, Ms. Ono. 

On Sunday, February 17, Yoko Ono celebrated her 80th birthday with a sold-out performance by her Plastic Ono Band at Berlin’s legendary Volksbühne. She performed with son Sean (guitar, piano and bass), Yuka C. Honda (Cibo Matto, keyboards and laptop), Yuko Araki (Cornelius, drums), Nels Cline (Wilco, guitar), Michael Leonhart (Steely Dan/Donald Fagen, trumpet), Charlotte Kemp Muhl (Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, bass and guitar), and Jared Samuel (Invisible Familiars, keyboards). Guests included Peaches, Michael Stipe, Robyn Hitchcock and Rufus and Martha Wainwright, who sang "Happy Birthday" in English and German.

The show was opened by Jiga, Eva and Masumi, a Berlin synth-pop trio.

Not a bad birthday party for one of the most reviled figures in the history of art and music. Eventually, time put things in its place and Yoko was able to prevail through uncompromising art, loyalty for hers and John’s peace message, a unique capacity for endurance, and her ability to put into practice, better than anyone, the last verse the Beatles recorded:

“And in the end/the love you take/is equal to the love/you make.”

For her birthday, Yoko asks that fans post their birthday greetings on Instagram or email their smiling photo and message for Yoko to [email protected] as a part of Yoko's #smilesfilm project.

Enrique Lopetegui

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