The most famous publication by Yoko Ono: it’s a book of her instruction pieces. Originally published in 1964 in Tokyo, Japan as a very limited edition of 500 copies. From 1970 onwards it has been published in several countries and languages. For instance in 1970 it was published in Britain by Peter Owen (hardback) and also in USA by Simon & Schuster (hardback): these books contain approximately 10 new pieces plus letters she’d written to gallery owners and a text of a lecture. In 1971, Grapefruit was published in Britain by Sphere (paperback) and in USA by TouchStone Book (paperback). These later editions contain an introduction by John Lennon and material from the original Japanese 1964 printing as well as later works of art.
One of the recent interesting international editions of Grapefruit is the bilingual edition of it by the Swedish publisher and record company Bakhåll. This edition includes a bonus CD with an exclusive interview given by Yoko Ono on December 15th 2000. The Swedish Grapefruit is basically the same Grapefruit that was published by Simon & Schuster in 2000 with Yoko Ono’s playful intro “Once upon a thyme, Kind told Keen that she must tell a gory, every naught, to ease his heavy blind…”, but with a different cover. The 11 minute exclusive interview CD which comes with the book: Yoko Ono explains what conceptual art is, and why skies are important to her as an artist, etc. All in all, this Swedish publication is a must for all serious YOKO collectors, just like the other editions of Grapefruit.
Yoko Ono: “Burn this book after you have read it.”
John Lennon: “This is the greatest book I have ever burned.”
Review from Q, (August 1996): “Early performance pieces collected into book form. Violent and whimsical, pandemonium of imaginative brilliance to shame all performance artists.”