What is Yoko Ono Tribute Weekend? When is Yoko Ono Tribute Weekend?

Every weekend is Yoko Ono Tribute Weekend. Some time around 2000 I was listening to Solid Gold FM at my parents' place in Tauranga, New Zealand and it was “John Lennon Tribute Weekend”. “What about Yoko Ono Tribute Weekend?”, I thought, being more a fan of her than John and thinking their Life With Lions album was the best thing he ever did. That weekend I recorded a guitar feedback piece which I titled “John Lennon Tribute Weekend” and a radio static piece which I titled “Yoko Ono Tribute Weekend”. The phrase and concept has been kicking around since then and seemed an obvious choice when I decided to start a new record label in 2009 and needed a name.

I am quite a fan of Yoko but YOTW is also a kind of metaphor for celebrating the under-appreciated in general and a rebuttal to those who (still) give her a hard time (and the undercurrents of misogyny and racism often lurking in there). I did wonder if some artists might be put off by the name if I ever got together the money and logistical skills to release other people's music (which was the plan and is still the dream) but figured I probably wouldn't want Yoko-skeptics on my label anyway.

Ben Spiers
Oxford, UK

April 2014