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24 April 2010

Ray Charles In A Tribute To John Lennon (1990)

DVD: ASIN: B0018201ZS.
Notes from the Lennon/Ono on Home-Video & DVD:
Lennon: A Tribute
"On 5th May 1990 a three hour John Lennon Scholarship concert organised by Yoko Ono took place at the Pier Head in Liverpool, it was broadcast on British TV later that night. Dave Edmunds was the musical director of the event (John had been a big fan of his 1970 hit I Hear You Knocking), British DJ Mike Read and American actor Christopher Reeve were the on-stage comperes. Yoko and Sean Lennon also intermittently appeared on stage to help with introductions and commentary, whilst each of the artists involved were seen (off stage) to offer their thoughts of John/The Beatles before performing a Lennon song. John also featured by way of some archive clips. Paul McCartney later said that he didn't think that John would have been too hot on some of the acts chosen to appear - the audience certainly voiced their displeasure at the sight of Kylie Minogue (then still in her Stock, Aitken & Waterman period) whilst Wet Wet Wet later spoke of their frustration at having to perform a Lennon song rather than one of their own! 
A TV highlights special was planned for what would have been John's 50th birthday in October, this was completed but delayed until 7th December 1990 when it was shown on US Television. Entitled A Tribute To John Lennon, the 88 minute highlights package was hosted by Michael Douglas and augmented by further archive video performances of Lennon compositions from the likes of Elton John, U2 and Michael Jackson plus Sean performing Dear Prudence. Most British fans had to wait for the UK home-video release to see this highlights show which was issued by Pickwick Video as Lennon: A Tribute [...]. The US video was issued by Sony on 22nd October 1991 (also as Lennon: A Tribute). As with the concert itself, proceeds from the home-video sales were directed to John and Yoko's Spirit foundation charity.  
Those included on the 5th May 1990 UK broadcast were Al Green, Cyndi Lauper, Dave Edmunds, Joe Cocker, Hall & Oates, Terence Trent D'Arby, Kylie Minogue, Lou Reed, Dave Stewart (not in Liverpool but performing via a satellite link up from LA and seen on the big screens by the crowd), Wet Wet Wet, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Deacon Blue, Natalie Cole, Lou Gramm, Justin Hayward & John Lodge, Ray Charles (pre-taped video performance), Lenny Kravitz, Roberta Flack, Randy Travis, The Christians, Ringo Starr (pre-taped video performance), Natalie Cole, Paul McCartney (pre-taped video performance) and finally Yoko & Sean singing Give Peace a Chance with all the acts back on stage to join in."
Let It Be (pre-taped, at RPM, Ray's Los Angeles studio*):

*Location confirmed by bass player Darren Solomon.

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