Category: new york city

“You know why I stopped playing ballads? Becau…

“You know why I stopped playing ballads? Because I love playing ballads so much.” Miles Davis at the Fillmore East, June 17-20 1970, playing a four night stand opening for Laura Nyro, by Amalie R. Rothschild, via bostonglobe

John Lennon at the Record Plant, October 1972,…

John Lennon at the Record Plant, October 1972, by Bob Gruen via thegearpage

(Somewhat unusually, with a 1960 Cherry Sunburst Les Paul Standard. His much more common 1972 axe was a 1956 Tobacco Les Paul Jr. More such nerdery, including a scan of the receipt for the Cherry Sunburst, here.)

Lou Reed screen tests for Andy Warhol, 1966

Lou Reed screen tests for Andy Warhol, 1966

Freddie Mercury, Madison Square Garden 1977, b…

Freddie Mercury, Madison Square Garden 1977, by Anwar Hussein, via vogue.fr

Regular

that-70s-punk:

Joey Ramone with his Polaroid camera at Nonson Gallery on 133 Wooster Street, New York, June 3rd, 1978. He was there to attend the opening of a punk/new wave art show advertised as What’s Punk?

© Eileen Polk

RED-dy Freddie, Madison Square Garden 1980, my…

RED-dy Freddie, Madison Square Garden 1980, my edit of original by Waring Abbott, via vogue.fr

Debbie Harry at CBGB, by Bobby Grossman

Debbie Harry at CBGB, by Bobby Grossman

George Harrison, “Here Comes the Sun”, August …

George Harrison, “Here Comes the Sun”, August 1, 1971. From the Concert for Bangladesh of course. You can see at the beginning how nervous George was! Not only his first solo performance, his first concert appearance at all since 1966, featuring his first performances of his own compositions ever – but here, also for the first time on stage, vulnerable and stripped down to an acoustic guitar. George’s little smile as the audience reaches out to him is priceless.

His duet partner, Badfinger’s Pete Ham, later revealed that they hadn’t even rehearsed! “George just wanted to keep it simple,” he said. After George told him the chord changes, Pete ducked into his hotel room to listen to the version on Abbey Road a couple of times, and that’s all there was time for! 

The result: magic. And beauty and joy and, yes, sun, sun, sun! Here it comes!

(Mi pequeña, está toda bien!)

(Note that by the time you come across this post, the video may have been taken down. It happens. Here’s the YouTube search for you to find another version. Worth the extra clicks!)

George Harrison and Bob Dylan rehearsing “If N…

George Harrison and Bob Dylan rehearsing “If Not For You” before the Sunday afternoon show of the Concerts for Bangladesh, Sunday, August 1, 1971. It’s messy, but adorable.

Like The Beatles, Bob Dylan had quit touring in 1966. Unlike The Beatles, and apart from  a 1969 TV performance with Johnny Cash, and an appearance with The Band at the Isle of Wight, Bob had all but disappeared. While he was generally up for lending a hand to George’s effort, he was by no means sure what to sing, and was even less sure if he was going to be able to pull himself together to even show up at the appointed hour. When George introduced him that afternoon, he was by no means certain that Bob would actually walk out. 

While they were working out which songs to perform together, “If Not For You” was an obvious place to start. A lovely tune that Bob introduced on New Morning almost exactly a year earlier (August 12, 1970), George covered it on his own album All Things Must Pass, which was the #1 album in the US for the first 7 weeks of 1971, and for the months of February and March 1971 in the UK

Neither Bob nor George released “If Not For You” as a single, but in May 1971, it was the debut single for 22 year old Olivia Newton-John. Based on George’s arrangement rather than Bob’s, it reached #7 in the UK, and in the US, #25 on the Billboard Hot 200, and eight weeks straight at #1 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart! 

(Yes, I bought it. Yes, I still love it. Yes, I will post it later.)

Our boys passed on performing this for the big show(s), but this rehearsal is an enduring reminder that beyond being two of the all-time giants of popular music, and rock gods, they were also both just so incredibly fucking adorable.

David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust in New York City, …

David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust in New York City, by Leee Black Childers.