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Yoko Ono and the Flaming Lips Shriek for Peace on ‘Letterman’

Yoko Ono Flaming Lips Letterman 'Cheshire Cat Cry'

Yoko Ono was an avant-garde luminary in her own right before the mainstream notoriety that came with marrying John Lennon, and she’s still ever the iconoclast. The 80-year-old artist hit up Late Show With David Letterman to play “Cheshire Cat Cry,” from her latest Plastic Ono Band album Take Me to the Land of Hell. While she was backed by Lenny Kravitz on the studio version, which you can hear below, this time Ono enlisted her son, Sean Lennon, and the Flaming Lips to provide the funky rhythm as she screamed about stopping all wars and violence. While usually a centerpiece, Lips frontman Wayne Coyne served mostly as a visual side dish, performing under a black sheet for a couple minutes and adding some percussion and bullhorn caterwauls. Of course, Letterman had to get in a joke about Yoko’s non-melodic shrieking act, saying, “It’s fun when you leave the theater humming the music from the show, isn’t it?” Take Me to the Land of Hell, which also features a collaboration with the surviving Beastie Boys, is out now via Chimera Music. Lyrics to the song are here.