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Yoko Caused International Incident With Belgium Strip Show
Ben Hewitt , September 10th, 2009 08:03

She lifts the lid on infamous arrest

Yoko Ono has revealed that she caused an international incident after she stripped naked on stage in Belgium.

Talking to Quietus editor John Doran for this month's issue of Stool Pigeon, she described how Belgium authorities tried to extradite her on charges of obscenity in the 1960's.

She said: "That was not my work, that was a fellow Fluxus artist. He was looking for some people to stand on the stage and protest. Nobody was going to do it. And then this guy - a European with a monocle no less - was looking at me like he hated this object, this woman he saw in front of him.

"He was thinking ‘She won’t do it.’ He thought I was a very low person, so I said ‘Oh, I’ll do it.’ It was just my rebellion you know.

"I was on a stage and I think it was considered very lewd. So one of the ladies in the audience sued the theatre and me."

Yoko was then contacted by Scotland Yard about the incident.

"When I was back in England Scotland Yard called me and said ‘Would you mind coming in, we have something to show you'", she said. "I went in and all of these detectives were laughing and handed me a photo and said: “Is this you?”

"There were many, many photos of me on the stage with no clothes on. So I said: ‘Yeah, it is me. What about it.’ And they said ‘Oh well, Belgium is trying to extradite you for trial for obscenity!’ They said not to worry though: ‘We won’t let them!’ I was like ‘Oh, phew! Thank you very much!"

She also revealed that she had been forced to keep a low profile when she returned to Belgium with John Lennon, adding: "He [John] had this beautiful white Rolls Royce and he said to me ‘We should go round Europe in this car.’ I said ‘Great! Let’s do that!’ So we were driving round Europe until he said: 'Now we’re going to go to Belgium'. I said ‘John, er, I have to tell you something!’

"And he said ‘Oh, well, let’s just lie low.’ So we were lying down very low in the back of the car. We drove through Belgium on the floor of the car! But they didn’t stop us!"

**Yoko Ono talks to Quietus editor John Doran in the latest edition of Stool Pigeon, out now. For more information including stock listings, click here.