As I mentioned in my previous blog, it's time for a new, improved version of The One-To-One Concerts. Currently, there only seems to be a CD (mostly from the afternoon open rehearsal) in print. The VHS tape, as well as the vinyl LP and the cassette, has been deleted. The CD/LP/CS version featured John's eleven performances. The VHS added two songs by Yoko. It was not released until 1986. Originally it was scheduled to come out in 1972, but was allegedly shelved so that the couple would have a lower profile during their immigration case.
My memory of the original television special only had one flaw - it was too short! I believe it was a one-hour, prime time special on ABC-TV. All four acts were represented. It seemed to capture the feeling of the show, with great camera work, and an excellent audio mix (for the time). It was fantastic to be able to experience a small part of the concert again. And then it was gone.
Occasionally, you would see a clip on Geraldo Rivera's ABC program, Goodnight America, or a telethon Geraldo would be associated with. Footage would appear in Lennon documentaries. Photographs would appear in books. But unlike many other musical events, there was no way to revisit or appreciate it.
After attending the concert, I purchased an Elvis 45 of "Hound Dog". Later, I found a poor quality album called Teddy Boy, featuring almost all of John's songs from the evening performance. When the official Capitol album came out in 1986, I didn't buy it. I'm not sure why. I've bought lots of Fab-related stuff (basically everything else!), but was not compelled to own this release. It may have been that I wanted to keep my own memories of the concert, uncorrupted by an official record. I remember being disappointed when I heard the inferior, afternoon concert version of "Come Together" on the radio. I did eventually buy the album on CD, years later. Of course, it's still a great album. Not exactly what I wanted, but even secondary Lennon is better than most artist's best efforts.
Now is the time for The One-To-One Concert to be remixed, re-edited, and re-released. It needs to be available both visually, and aurally. Yoko may want to follow Neil Young's lead and put it out on Blu-Ray. Or maybe a CD/DVD set ? There could also be a special "deluxe" edition, featuring the complete concert, with all of the opening acts. Sha Na Na, Stevie Wonder and Roberta Flack should be able to fit on one DVD.
The evening John & Yoko set should be included, without ANY edits that compromise the integrity of the performance.
The songs should be drastically remixed so that the power of the guitars, and the electricity of the music are restored. (Phil Spector did the original mixing. Use those mixes as a basis, he's probably too busy right now to remix it himself). Other songs from the early show, and the rehearsals, can be added as bonus material. The original concert announcement on Eyewitness News, as well as the radio spots for the second show (including out-takes) can also be included.
The visuals should feature long, lingering shots, not quick MTV-style edits. It should also include lots of close-ups.
The booklet should feature lots of photographs from 1972, along with reviews, interviews, clippings, and re-appraisals. It should be better researched than what was used used in the inaccurate The Lennon Anthology liner notes.
Here's a complete list of the Lennon's songs from both shows, as best as I can research:
John: New York City / It's So Hard /Woman Is The N*gger/
Well Well Well/ Instant Karma /Mother/Come Together /
Imagine /Cold Turkey/Hound Dog/Give Peace A Chance
Yoko: Sister O Sisters /Move On Fast/Born In A Prison/
We're All Water / Open Your Box /Don't Worry Kyoko
Don't cut corners. John's memory, while still with us, is fading every day. In order to keep his spirit alive, people need to be reminded what a vibrant, exciting, and complex human being he was. He was more than a Beatle. More than a poet. More than a peacenik. More than a house husband. He was all of those, and more. But no one will know it if his legacy is reduced to a cliche.
After all, it's John Lennon. He deserves the best.