Yoko Ono celebrated her 80th birthday on February 18, 2013. To mark the occasion, two of her friends (famed rock photographer Bob Gruen and KUTX's own Jody Denberg) put together a photo book of Yoko's life as a present for her. After receiving the gift, Jody says Yoko "kind of demanded, or at least requested, that we publish the book."
It started when Jody Denberg met up with Bob Gruen during 2012's SXSW. Though not close friends, the two had met on occasion through Yoko. For many years, Bob was the official photographer for Yoko and John Lennon, and has continued a friendship (and continued taking photographs) with Yoko in the years since John's death. Jody has also known Yoko for many years, and has conducted several interviews with her in that time. He hit upon the idea of putting together a book using Bob's photos and excerpts from his interviews with Yoko, and soon enough the gift was taking shape. "It's really a family scrapbook in some ways, this book" says Jody of the finished product.
The version of See Hear Yoko that is now available for purchase is essentially the same as the book given to Yoko in 2013. It's got a couple of extra photos added, and includes a thank you note written by Yoko to Bob and Jody, but other than that, it's pretty much identical to the tome printed especially for Yoko.
If you happen to find yourself near Bleecker Street in New York next week, Jody, Bob, and Ono will all be appearing at Bookmarc to sign copies of the book on April 28 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.