Saturday, July 2, 2011

John Lennon Live in New York City

On August 30th, 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono performed their last live concert together. It was held at Madison Square Garden, and it was called the "One-to-One" concert, and it raised money for children with developmental disabilities. Media Journalist, Geraldo Rivera, had just made a break through exposing maltreatment of people with developmental disabilities in New York, and Lennon performed the concert at his request. The benefit concert also featured other performers in addition to Lennon, including Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Melanie Safka and Sha-Na-Na. I watched this concert on TV when ABC broadcast it. In addition to enjoying John Lennon's performance, I remember in particular Stevie Wonder's performance of Superstition, which was from his current release, Talking Book.

Lennon's performance is terrific, great rock and roll, delivered with gusto and humor. He delivers rocking versions of New York City, Cold Turkey, Instant Karma, Come Together, Well Well Well, and Hound Dog. Also included is the Lennon classics Imagine.

Lennon is back by "The Plastic Ono Elephant's Memory Band," which was made up of him, Yoko, drummer Jim Keltner, and the New York City-based band, Elephant's Memory. The personnel for Elephant's Memory for this John Lennon concert are: Wayne 'Tex' Gabriel, lead guitar; Gary Van Scyoc, bass guitar, Stan Bronstein, saxophone; Adam Ippolito, keyboards, and  Richard Frank Jr., drums.

John and Yoko recorded their controversial album, Sometime In New York City with Elephant's Memory, which was also released in 1972. The album reflected Lennon's radical politics at the time, with songs about the Attica State prison riots, feminism, Ireland, Angela Davis, and other left wing themes. I like the album very much. At the time it was released, it only reached #59 on the Billboard charts, one of Lennon's poorest selling albums, which did not even go gold right away. But in spite of political issues that may seem dated, it has aged very well. It is a personal favorite of mine.

In 1986, Capital Records released John Lennon's performance at the concert (without Yoko's songs, or the other artists) as John Lennon: Live in New York City. The CD is still available, and it is available for iTurnes download. I have the vinyl copy. There was also a concurrent video release, which also featured Yoko's songs, but it has not been yet released on DVD or Blueray.

I have my Youtube list embedded below, with all the John Lennon songs in order of performance, identical to the track listing of the album. Enjoy!

You may buy the CD here:
John Lennon Live In New York City

Track Listing

  1. "New York City" – 3:38
  2. "It's So Hard" – 3:18
  3. "Woman is the Nigger of the World" (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) – 5:30
  4. "Well Well Well" – 3:51
  5. "Instant Karma!" – 3:40
  6. "Mother" – 5:00
  7. "Come Together" (Lennon/McCartney) – 4:21
  8. "Imagine" – 3:17
  9. "Cold Turkey" – 5:29
  10. "Hound Dog" (Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller) – 3:09
  11. "Give Peace a Chance" – 1:00 (originally credited to Lennon/McCartney, the credit was revised in the 1990s to cite only John Lennon as its composer)

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