I’ve just returned home from an interesting evening at the Plastic Ono Band concert in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve never heard Yoko‘s songs before so needless to say it was an unusual evening for me. The best news of all is that the place was crawling with professional video cameras. They made an announcement at the beginning that by being present at the show we were agreeing to allow ourselves to appear on film. Act One was all Yoko and her band. The show opened with a video montage titled Lobby Art Installations and was followed by nine other songs. During intermission I spotted Martin in the section next to mine about 7 rows from the stage. I didn’t see Sophie.
Act Two was ten songs which featured different “guests.” Up until Bette performed I didn’t have the chutzpah to actually use my camera for anything but audio. So by the time I talked myself into pulling it out I was incredibly nervous about having it taken away! I’m just so happy that my racing heartbeat didn’t get picked up by the microphone. I had it nuzzled under my chin and behind my scarf which is probably why half of the video doesn’t even have Bette in it! I’m sorry fellow Betteheads, I tried!
She didn’t sing Oh My Love as previously announced. She sang Yes, I’m Your Angel which Yoko explained she wrote for John on the occasion of his 40th birthday (this is beginning to sound like a Sophie Tucker joke). He was very upset about the big 4-0 so she wrote this song to lighten his mood. Bette got the best reception from the crowd out of all the guests. I know I’m going to get scolded for this but I was just so happy to hear Bette back in her zone. I loved the show in Vegas but there was something missing and whatever it was it is back now. She just seemed more relaxed and dare I say happy.
I didn’t get this next part on video but after Bette left the stage Sean Lennon, who acted as an MC during Act Two, came out on stage and applauded Bette for her arrangement of the song. He said that she came in and re-did the whole thing, told him that the drums in a certain part had to go and just took total ownership of the song. He said he was very impressed with how it turned out.
An eleventh song, Give Peace A Chance, was not listed in the program but was performed at the end. Around the 5:10 mark of the video you can see Yoko give Bette a hug. If you listen carefully Bette can be heard harmonizing the best she could to the train wreck of an unrehearsed song it turned out to be. She hid behind the professional camera in front of me so I didn’t get her with my camera very much. We all know how much of a perfectionist Bette is so I’m not surprised that 1 – she refused to sing a verse and 2 – that she was barely visible for the entire song.
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Yoko revives Plastic Ono Band with Clapton as guest
By Daniel Trotta
Wed Feb 17, 2:26 am ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) â€“ Yoko Ono revived the Plastic Ono Band for a concert on Tuesday night that was part tribute, part vanity project and all irresistible fun.
The show belonged as much to her son Sean Lennon, 34, as to Ono, 76. Looking and sounding like his famous father, Sean Lennon pulled together an all-star lineup that included Eric Clapton, Paul Simon and Bette Midler as special guests.
Plastic Ono Band was the name of the conceptual supergroup that recorded John Lennon‘s “Give Peace a Chance” in 1969 and one Ono had not used artistically since the 1970s.
The succession of stars led to the inevitable sing-along of that anthem for the encore at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Clapton played with fellow rockers Klaus Voormann and Jim Keltner — all members of the original Plastic Ono Band.
Ono held the stage for the first act, building up from an a cappella opening number to a standard rock lineup to a 7-piece backing band that found its stride with funk-inspired rhythms.
The second act, though disjointed at times and largely unrehearsed, gave the adoring audience what it wanted: guest artists including Scissor Sisters, Justin Bond, and Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, all playing Ono songs.
Midler sang “Yes, I’m Your Angel,” a light-hearted number Ono said she wrote for Lennon when he was growing anxious about turning 40. Lennon was shot dead by a deranged fan outside his New York City apartment two months after turning 40 in 1980.
Other artists dipped into Lennon’s repertoire. Gene Ween’s version of Lennon’s love song “Oh Yoko” was touching, with Sean Lennon playing along.
Simon and his son Harper Simon — a childhood friend of Sean Lennon’s — played in guitar duet, providing an acoustic warm-up to Clapton’s blazing lead guitar on “Yer Blues” from the Beatles’ White Album, on which Clapton played as a session guitarist.
Clapton, Voormann and Keltner energized the hall without speaking a word, setting up the emotional farewell sing-along of “Give Peace a Chance,” which many audience members were still humming as they made their way to the exit.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta, editing by Anthony Boadle)