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Yoko Ono Responds to Critics in Sprawling Open Birthday Letter

yoko ono

Last week, Yoko Ono celebrated her 82nd birthday by releasing two new versions of her songs “I Love You, Earth” and “I’m Going Away Smiling” featuring vocal work by Antony Hegarty. Now, the musical icon has released an open letter to her critics in honor of her many years. The message, which is titled “Don’t Stop Me!,” it begins:

At my age I should be in a certain way. Please don’t stop me being the way I am. I don’t want to be old and sick like many others of my age. Please don’t create another old person.

The former SPIN interview subject continues:

So even when I am rocking on the stage, they are totally hard on me. They demand the musical standard of a classic musician and attack me for the rhythm or some notes which are not precisely in tune. I am not concerned with what my voice is doing. If I was, what you experience would not be. My voice will be dead, once I am concerned about it, in the way you are asking me to. Go to a classical concert, if you want to hear a “trained” voice. What I escaped from when I was very, very young. I created my own niche. If I tried to present you classic music it won’t be what I created. You don’t get that way, with Iggy for instance, a grand rocker, who is creating his own brand of Rock, just as I am.

Let me be free. Let me be me! Don’t make me old, with your thinking and words about how I should be. You don’t have to come to my shows. I am giving tremendous energy with my voice, because that is me. Get my energy or shut up…

Another criticism: That my short pants in my video BAD DANCER was very short. Was that bad? You are not criticizing other danacers [sic] whose pants are worn short. Do you have a separate standard for a person of my age even in the way our outfits are cut?

Read the whole letter at the source, but the bottom line seems to be — much like Chris Crocker declared many moons ago about Britney Spears — leave Yoko alone!