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Yoko Ono speaks at the unveiling of "Skylanding" in Jackson Park. /photo by Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times 0

Yoko Ono’s complicated history with Chicago

October 18th, 2016

Yoko Ono visited Chicago this week to unveil her “Skylanding” public art project. It’s a bright spot in an otherwise dark and complicated chapter of Ono’s connection to Chicago.

Before she became the muse to Beatles’ front man John Lennon, Ono was married to Tony Cox. When she left him for Lennon, Cox took their then 8-year-old daughter and vanished. There was a national search but it was years before father and daughter re-appeared. They had lived in seclusion in the Jesus People USA commune in Chicago.

Today, Ono and her daughter are in touch now and Ono is a grandmother.

Ono has since talked about visiting Chicago in the 1970s (maybe in search of her daughter?) and has said that the icy waters of Lake Michigan inspired the lyrics to her “Walking on Thin Ice.”

The singer-artist also has a Chicago connection in Mayor Rahm Emanuel–the two both studied at Sarah Lawrence College, albeit years apart.

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