Reviews

“We love your book! It’s beautiful. Thank you for caring enough to be so meticulous.”

– Sean Ono Lennon

“The book is a masterpiece… mandatory reading for anyone seeking insight into a woman like no other.”

– Elliot Mintz, John and Yoko’s close friend and publicist

“Madeline Bocaro’s book may be the last word on Yoko Ono. Detailed, driven, but equally passionate about the art and life of Yoko. Of course, it goes into the John and Yoko world, but more importantly, it focuses on Ono’s art and music with tons of information on her Fluxus years, as well as Yoko’s roots in Japanese Avant-Garde art. Yoko Ono herself is fascinating, but Bocaro’s approach to this artist’s work is a must-read.”

– Tosh Berman, author of TOSH: Growing Up in Wallace Berman’s World

“Very beautiful. You capture her spirit and vision. You tell her story so well and it’s very important that someone does. Yoko spent so much of her life being misunderstood and misrepresented. She is such a special person and artist. The world needs the record you are creating. I am amazed not only by how much you know about Yoko, but also how well you write about it. Thank you for what you are doing. It’s wonderful to see Yoko and her art celebrated.”

– Dan Richter, friend and assistant to John & Yoko

“It’s like reading Grapefruit over a long period.”

– Ric Warren

“You hit the imaginary nail on the imaginary head.”

– Carter Keuhn

“You have really, really accomplished something great. In the vast sea of Beatles and Beatles-related books, your Yoko Ono book is definitively head and shoulders above everything else that’s been published on her life and art.”
 
– Darren DeVivo, WFUV Radio, NYC

“This book is a masterclass on our shared time on this planet. I want to savor and make it last –  like a visit from a dear friend. I need to reflect on Yoko’s profound words. Thank you for encapsulating and preserving this amazing story.”

 
– Susan Lewis

“I may pick it up with intentions to read for an hour or so, but on every page,Yoko says something so cosmic and profound. I sit there with the book on my lap, dwelling on a quote or a comment. Her thoughts put me in dreamland. I relate to it so intensely. Best book I ever loved this much.”

 – John Johnson

“I am mesmerized by the spirit of Yoko rising from the pages. It feels as if I am in her presence – as if Yoko is talking to me personally. Your writing reaches the depths of Yoko’s soul. Every page is equally fascinating.”

– Robert Loney

“Can’t find any book about Yoko as good as this. Everyone should read it, so they can have a little bit of Yoko in them. It’s heavy and intellectual, yet so very easy to read.”

– Rob Long

“An enthralling work. I’m blown away by the depth and breadth of your knowledge, and your elegant presentation. I love Yoko even more!”

– Mike Mitchell

“Fascinating insights into this amazing creator. It’s informative and humorous. I am learning much more about Yoko.”
– Jaeme Grosvenor

“I love your writing style. It feels like one of the few holdouts for genuine fandom, not corrupted by money or jockeying for social status, just a genuine love for the artist and her work.”

– Bill Kenny

“You write so skillfully and emotionally. You make your idol come alive.”

– Cherry Vanilla

“A treasure trove of Yoko info! I am enlightened! Thank you for including Yoko’s own words. I am breathless reading them. I love her positivity and cosmic consciousness.”

– Hilly Michaels

Your book is excellent. You went to Planet Yoko where most fear to go, and we enjoyed the trip!

– Jan Mitchell, author
My Ticket to Ride
How I Ran Away to England to Meet the Beatles

“I have every book on Yoko that has come out, and this book tops them all by far! I am shoving all the others aside and using this as my new go-to book.”

– Michael Stevens

“This is a doctoral dissertation on Yoko. It beautifully explains the myriad of facets that she shows the world… if our hearts and minds are receptive. I love your many insights.”

 – Corinne Phillipedes

“This uplifting book all about Yoko is wonderful – a joy to read. When I get low and depressed, I read a page, and I’m smiling before long. It has a permanent home on the edge of my sofa, so I can dip in and out at will. This book is a work of art itself.”

– Adam James

“I am covered in goosebumps and chills. You have no idea how beautiful and already life changing your book is to me. I’m just mind blown right now!!! Wow. Just wow. Beautiful.”

– Noel Comeaux

“You have an amazing gift of capturing emotions in the words you use… I have cried and laughed in the span of a few pages. Thank you so much!”

– Kurt Calkins

“I’m marking it up (rare that i do that) like my Bible and Dylan lyric book.  When it comes to words of wisdom, I let go of my “collecting mode” and treat it more like a manual for life!  I can’t give a better compliment than that. I want to return to it often throughout my life, and quickly see what moved/moves me.”

– Karen “Gilly” Laney

My book is one of Best Classic Bands

BEST MUSIC BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2022!!

It’s an honor to be listed with Pattie Boyd!!

An interview about my book in Best Classic Bands…

The book is recommended on Mazzy’s Music Books Gift Guide 2022!

It’s in prestigious company, with Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Jann Wenner, Pattie Boyd and the Mike McCartney photo book (Genesis Publications).

In Your Mind… is reviewed at 6:40

This direct link takes you right to it.

The whole piece – 26 minutes:

NEW BOOK ABOUT YOKO ONO REVEALS HER GENIUS, GRAVITAS AND GREATNESS

The Patch, New York City

Review by Tom Siebert

The 558-page biography details the life, music, and artwork of John Lennon’s wife with caring commentary.

When Yoko Ono was reluctantly thrust onto the global stage in the late 1960s, she was called “ugly,” a “screamer,” and the “dragon lady” who broke up The Beatles. More than five decades later, winsome writer Madeline Bocaro sets the record forever straight in the epic, vividly detailed book, In Your Mind: The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono, revealing John Lennon’s otherworldly half as a beautiful woman who could sing pretty songs, and on the contrary, wanted the Fab Four to stay together…

I learned from Ms. Bocaro’s book that Ms. Ono’s musical skills were developed growing up in an aristocratic Japanese family, learning piano at the age of four, and later studying at prestigious Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, New York.

Moreover, Mr. Lennon was not the first Beatle whom Yoko met. In the fall of 1966, she approached Paul McCartney on behalf of John Cage, asking if the avant-garde composer could use some of the song-writing duo’s lyrics for a book of music manuscripts…

The multimedia crush was, well, crushing, and inspired them to hold a honeymoon “bed-in” at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel to protest the then-raging Vietnam War.

“Their lives were not their own,” Ms. Bocaro writes. “John and Yoko were messengers, using fame as a tool to promote peace and to give us hope.”

The horror and haunt of war had shaped each other’s world vision. John grew up playing in the Liverpudlian rubble of World War II, while Yoko’s family sheltered in a bunker during the apocalyptic firebombing of Tokyo in 1945…

In Your Mind: The Infinite Universe of Yoko Ono also includes meticulously dated and described entries about her books, poetry, films, concerts, songs, albums, and recording sessions, in addition to pulled quotes from media articles and excerpts from the author’s own interviews.

Ms. Bocaro was smart in using real-time quotes in her book, rather than new interviews in which memories are faded, resentments are reconciled, and facts are reimagined.

The screaming, for instance, was not imagined. It stemmed from Ms. Ono’s childhood, when she became aware of the power of a woman’s voice and curious about her mother’s warning not to ever go near the family’s servants’ rooms. But young Yoko went anyway, only to hear a conversation between two teenage girls, one of whose aunt had given birth the previous day, and she was describing the sounds women make when having a baby.

“There was a totally sanitized image about a woman, you know, they were supposed to be just pretty and make pretty noises,” Ms. Ono told The Guardian in 2016. “So I was scared, and I sneaked back to my room, but that really stayed with me. And years later, I started to create all sorts of sounds.”

Those sounds, while disturbing to some, reflected her feelings as a “disrespected woman,” Ms. Bocaro comments below that passage in her book, adding that Yoko then “began to carry the torch for the plight of all women.”

Popular music fans, who had grown accustomed to Mr. Lennon’s serrated singing voice, were introduced to the screaming stylings of Ms. Ono on “Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow),” a song about her daughter, who was absconded by second husband Tony Cox, on the Live Peace in Toronto 1969 album.

Klaus Voormann, a longtime friend of John’s who played bass guitar at that concert as a member of the Plastic Ono Band, provides the book’s most trenchant quote about the fabled couple’s relationship.

“Up to the time Yoko came into the picture, John, even with all his success and money, was a frustrated, helpless creature,” said Mr. Voormann, who created the iconic cover of The Beatles’ Revolver album in 1966. “When Yoko appeared, he bloomed. It was an amazing thing to see. For him, that was the revolution.” Indeed, Ms. Ono inspired Mr. Lennon to become a more visionary songwriter, pioneering male feminist, and fervent proponent of peace.

Critics of her music may be surprised to learn that she has had thirteen number one singles on the U.S. Billboard charts, influencing such artists as Pete Townshend, Elvis Costello, the B-52’s, Sonic Youth, and Meredith Monk…

The artwork of Ms. Ono, now 89, is still exhibited throughout the world. Her music still fills the global airwaves. And her Twitter feed is a proverbial daily devotional, from which Ms. Bocaro quotes generously in her magnificent book:

“Your fear is protecting you…There are no brick walls…Start with feeling love for the problem. You will then know what step you wish to take…Waves always return…No cloud can cloud us forever…Water is more valuable than gold…The child in you will save you…The light that shines on everything shines on you, too… Silence is the highest form of expression.”

John Lennon was anything but silent about his wife’s creative talent, saying she was as gifted as Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan “rolled into one.”

Ms. Ono remains an inspiration to anyone who has experienced foolish prejudice, unfair criticism, or unspeakable tragedy. 

As Madeline Bocaro eloquently concludes: “Yoko is like a polished gemstone––radiating after years of abrasion.”