Yoko Ono Did Sell out John Lennon to JCPenney + VIDEO.

I find this news just a little bit startling.  I mean, after the John Lennon peace tower is unveiled, and Yoko releases a wonderful cover album of her husband’s work for charity, we have this.  I know the article states that the money may go to charity, but the timing of this announcement seems very strange.

I mean, it’s not like Yoko really needs the money.  It just seems like a PR move that she was never willing to make herself for so long.  Why do something like this now? And, why use that song for a X-mas holiday PR campaign?  It just all seems a little strange, but haven’t we all come to expect that.  Sometimes decisions such as these are a little more than odd.  

  • Click here to view a VIDEO of the commercial.

Here’s what we’ve read.

Yoko Ono did sell John Lennon’s rare home recording of “Real Love” to JCPenney for a commercial.

The spot began airing on Sunday night during ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters” before JCPenney could even make the announcement.

The Beatles have had their songs licensed for commercials in the past, but with the rare exception of perhaps “Revolution” years ago, they never have allowed master recordings out. The songs are always re-recorded.

Ad agency Saatchi and Saatchi handled the deal, I’m told, with Ono directly. The much-disliked widow of Lennon has sold a number of items under her late husband’s name over the years, including glasses, art and an action figure. But using a rare, acoustic home recording – and a beautiful, haunting one at that – as the Christmas song for a department store seems particularly greedy.

Ono, who should be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, prides herself on being a “citizen of the world” who advocates peace. For years she’s promoted her own charity, The Spirit Foundation. But a check of the Spirit Foundation’s recent federal tax filings shows that Ono does a lot less for charity than one might have supposed.

I know I always thought she did a lot more, given that – because Lennon died – Ono as his heir receives a larger portion of his and Paul McCartney’s songwriting royalties.

But here’s the breakdown. From 2000 through 2005, Ono’s Spirit Foundation gave away only $2.6 million – a fraction of her enormous income. In 2005-2006, her donations were: $239,000 to Foster Plan Japan (to build school classrooms in China and Africa); $15,000 to Bailey House in New York City for people living with AIDS; $10,000 to a school in Harlem; and $30,000 to a small Los Angeles charity called Real Medicine Foundation.

Ono also recently gave Amnesty International the rights to two dozen post-Beatle Lennon songs for an album of “covers” by other artists ranging from REM and U2 to lesser-known names. The money goes to AI’s “Save Darfur” campaign, but it’s not clear how much has been derived since Warner Music, the issuing label, has kept the project a secret.

Still, the small cash outlay is a little surprising. While no one would question Ono’s generosity to these groups, it also seems like a few are missing. All this time I would have assumed Yoko Ono was giving money directly to Amnesty International, for example, and Greenpeace, as well as to record industry charities such as T.J. Martell and MusiCares.

How about a worthy cause such as Elton John’s AIDS Foundation, Sting and Trudie Styler’s Rainforest Foundation or a New York charity, for example, the Robin Hood Foundation? But maybe that’s what she’ll do with the JCPenney money. You never know.

Source: FOX News


9 Responses

  1. so it is true! i heard that song on the penney’s spot and couldn’t believe it. yeah, kinda odd there, yoko.

  2. I have seen the commercial twice and am not sure if that is John. Regardless it is a disgrace! How much much money does 1 woman need

  3. Oh c’mon, lads. Disgrace? First, advertising is not inherently evil. Second, did you see the commercial? Was it not a nice commercial? It was not for guns, it was for xmas, (well, it was for JC Penney..) and it was nicely handled. Third, commercial usage are a way of keeping the Beatles’ (and John’s, and whoever else’s) music alive. Someone who’s never heard of the Beatles may not go out and randomly get their music, but they may see a commercial and think hey, that song is great, I wonder who sings it.

    Like sometime in the 90s when I wasn’t a huge Beatles fan yet and heard a cover of “Getting Better” in some TV commercial and loved it. And when I found out it was the Beatles, I thought that was awesome.

    You guys should be happy that any random week you can watch a couple hours of TV and see 5 different spots with Beatles music. That means they’re still relevant.

    The question I have is… why didn’t she give this recording to the Threetles in the mid 90s? It sounds way cleaner than the version they used… in fact, sometimes it doesn’t even sound like John. Maybe just better technology to clean it up?

  4. well…it’s not that they used the song that irkes me as much as it was a rare home recording that makes me very uneasy about this whole thing. If the recording was just one of the many recordings he did of the song, then I would of just shugged at it but a rare home recording? I’m not sure if that’s right.

  5. All advertising may not be inherently evil, well maybe not exactly but (not only is it close),…IMHO it truly cheapens something to have it pushed/pulled so far out of context, and in the service of shilling for a large corporate entity. I don’t think it’s in keeping with the Spirit of John Lennon. Yoko does amazing stuff like the Tower of Light, and then she does stuff like this?!? She certainly has done it before, in spades, with his art, and name, but I don’t think it’s ever gone quite this explicit and not with his music/original recordings. She is often an amazing artist, human being, and keeper of John’s flame…but…she is woefully human and in the same month can be arrestingly bizarre and out of touch, as well as self serving to the point of outright greediness. Blessings of Love & Light to her, & All of Creation nonetheless!!!

  6. I guess at the end of the day, Yoko can do whatever she wants with her inheritance. I really don’t see anything horrible about the commercial or the licensing of John’s beautiful recording. It’s about a child’s dream and imagination and people working together for a common cause. A great sentiment and in keeping with John’s own desire for peace and harmony in the world. Sometimes I think Yoko can’t really do anything right because the bias against her has been so strong over the years. I really don’t feel anything has been lost, cheapened or damaged by her decision to use John’s music in this way..

  7. i’m really surprised yoko didn’t use now and then. the song should be finished up proper and released. even if it was the demo, it could be such an interesting thing..i wonder if now and then will ever get finished, much less, released..

  8. i loved the video.
    i say good choice, yoko. even though it’s for jcpenny, it puts out a good message.

    i love it.

  9. The byline “Fox News” tells it all. How nice of them to complain that Yoko has not given as many millions to charity as they think she should. How helpful to suggest a list of other charities she should give to. How nice to call her “the much-disliked widow of Lennon”. Fox, of course, is a well-known paragon of truth, generosity, virtue, and honor. Well, not really, folks…
    Fox is Swift-boating Yoko.

    As for the video, it’s really charming. And Penney’s logo is the only commercial part, in the last couple of seconds. This is not exacly a sellout.

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