Saturday, August 29, 2009

Listen To This Blog: One-To-One Revisited

August 30th is the 37th anniversary of The One-To-One Benefit Concert, featuring John and Yoko with the Plastic Ono Elephant's Memory Band (with the David Peel Celestial Choir), along with Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, and Sha-Na-Na. Geraldo Rivera, who organized the event, was the master of ceremonies.

I was fortunate enough to attend the evening performance. These were the only full-length, rehearsed solo performances by Lennon.

These are articles I wrote, last year, about the show:

Part One : The One-To-One Benefit Concert, NYC
August 30, 1972 (Evening performance)

You Shoulda Been There: 30 August 1972 Part One

You Shoulda Been There: 30 August 1972 Part Two

I've also found some audio from the evening concerts on Wolfgang's Vault. These are all partial sets, despite what the "summary" says. Here you go (free registration required):

John and Yoko: This is only a fraction of the entire evening set.

Stevie Wonder: I'm pretty sure Stevie did a medley of his hits as well.

Sha-Na-Na: This is missing the opening song, I think.

Roberta Flack's set in not available, but there is a performance from just over a month later available here.

If you want to watch the edited, out-of-print, home video version of "John Lennon Live In New York", mostly from the afternoon show,watch this!

John Lennon-Live In New York City(1972)

This version of "Give Peace A Chance" seems to be from the original TV special, filmed at the evening performance: .

Enjoy !

Monday, August 24, 2009

MacNotes at Fenway - 2 (Pre-Show)

To read MacNotes at Fenway - 1 (The Arrival), please go here.

While we were roaming around, I noticed a man with a walkie-talking who seemed to be giving directions. A few minutes later, a short, blond man with round spectacles came into view. It was Greg Hawkes - from Boston's legendary new wave band, The Cars ! Hawkes and his guests were moved along to the side, and was not bothered (or possibly even recognized) by anyone. Not only did Hawkes play on "Motor Of Love" from McCartney's Flowers In The Dirt album, but he has recently recorded an album's worth of Beatles songs on the ukulele -George Harrison's third most well known instrument - entitled The Beatles UKe.

We could hear people trying out "The Beatles: Rock Band" on little stages, so we decided to check it out (Sorry, but it all looks a bit silly). Then it was time to see what they were selling at the concession stand. I had no intention of buying a T-shirt, but hoped my girlfriend would find one. We both focused on a woman's black T-shirt which featured a colorful "hand" print - presumably Paul's - outlining a colorful abstract painting - again, presumably Paul's. It also had McCartney's signature at the bottom. It reminded me of the cover for George's Living In The Material World album. One can't help but wonder - is this some sort of tribute ? The "hand" faces the other way, and the distinctive signature is beneath the "hand" instead of above, but in most aspects is very similar. We decide to get the shirt, and then head to our seats.

Our seats were the front row of the rear section. As we walked up to our seats, I noticed something that made me realize I had made a good decision: The stack of speakers was facing DIRECTLY TOWARDS US ! This was a wonderful sign as Fenway can have terrible acoustics - with sounds echoing all over the place - and ruining the music in general. It did not look like THAT would be a problem.

As I looked up at the endless row of seats, I noticed that behind the beautifully painted red seats were old, ugly, peeling dark-green chairs. I figured that would be where our seats would be located. When we finally climbed up to our row, there was a woman there who declared, " I cannot sit in MY seats! They hurt my back! I was in an accident!" While this made no sense - our seats seemed the same as hers (one row ahead, and much nicer) - I tried to find a solution with the smallest possible fuss. I asked if she was alone. It turns out the person she came with was in her correct seat. I asked if she wanted to switch - so that - according to her wishes - she could sit in the crappy, old, uncomfortable seats, and we could sit ahead of them in the newer red chairs. This was fine with her as she repeated, in a voice that seemed to peel even MORE paint off of her chair, "I can't sit in those seats! I was in an accident ! I have a bad back! " The person she came with (her sister ?) was already fed up with this woman, and they continued yelling and bickering to each other - climaxing with "I wish you had died in that accident !"

Peace and love. Peace and love.

The woman with the bad back kept trying to interact with us, offering to show us her tour programme, and alerting us that she was in an accident, and had a bad back. I tried to not start any dialogue with her, and her sister was also trying to tell her that no one was interested in what she had to say, and to leave us alone. It also sounded like the injured woman wondered why I wanted to sit next to my girl friend, because I heard the "sister" say that "they're a couple!"

Soon, it would be Show Time !

. . . to be continued . . .

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Elvis Revisited

Last year at this time, I wrote about Elvis Presley, who died on August 16, 1977 (or when he went into the army, according to John Lennon). If you missed it, you can read it here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

MacNotes at Fenway - 1 (The Arrival)

Hello there Beedle Peedles!

I've been pretty busy lately, but I wanted to report on the great Paul McCartney concert at Fenway Park I attended last week. I don't have time to write a long review anytime soon, so I thought I'd just post little stories here and there whenever I had a few minutes to spare.

McCartney played two concerts in Boston - last Wednesday and Thursday. I went to the first one, on the night of August 5th. I was debating whether to even go to such a huge venue and pay an exorbitant price. I knew I wasn't going to pay for seats on the field, but if I could find good seats fairly close in the stands, and pay in the $100 range, I would go for it. Luckily, thanks to The Beatles Examiner, I got a heads-up on the pre-sale. The tickets went on sale through Live Nation, not Ticketmaster, so I needed to learn their set up in a hurry. I ended up choosing a location in the right field bleachers, under the "roof", so that if it rained, we wouldn't get soaked. There was a lot of quick guess work involved, but I figured, what the hell, don't get stressed out, it will probably be OK. This is supposed to be fun, after all.

Luckily, we had a leisurely day, so my girlfriend and I took the "T" (Boston's subway system) into Harvard Square, and went the Charlie's, known for their legendary double-cheeseburger special. Then back on the "T" to the green line, and into Kenmore Square. When we arrived, we heard the last notes of MGMT, which was fine as it didn't seem to be the type of music that would go over too well in a ballpark. As we turned the corner to enter Fenway, there was a young guy selling McCartney concert programs. He seemed like a bit of a wise ass, probably more of Sox fan than a McCartney fan. He mockingly tried to convince you to buy the program buy yelling, "Buy your Paul McCartney concert program ! Put it next to all your other great books, like Silence Of The Lambs, and Catcher In The Rye!"

Catcher In The Rye ? CATCHER IN THE RYE !?!? Obviously the guy was not a Beatles fan, or he would NOT have used that book as an example. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just Google "Lennon murder catcher rye".

We get to the entrance, expecting extremely high security. Usually there are metal detectors at all recent McCartney shows, as well as most Fenway shows. But luckily, things were relatively low-key, so we were permitted entry without much fuss. So we decided to look at the T-shirts and other goodies, to see if there was anything worth buying.

. . . to be continued . . .

Wallflowers In Lowell - My Review (Non-Beatles)

You can read it here on my other website