IMAGINE THIS — Much has been made the recent re-issue of John Lennon’s Imagine film. It was originally released in 1971, filmed mostly at their London-Tittenenhurst Park home (which Lennon eventually sold to Ringo) and it was a pretty interesting look at the behind-the-scenes filming and recording of what was to become Lennon’s Imagine album. I never received the re-issued copy (apparently there wasn’t a copy left available to review – thank you Eagle Rock), but, all the images I’ve seen and some of the music I’ve heard, it sounds exactly the same as the 1971 release … just a little more shiny-and-new.
Remember what George Harrison said after the release of one of the Beatles anthology: the next release will be called “Scrapping The Bottom of the Barrel!”
When I first saw the film, I loved the recordings sessions with Klaus Voorman, George Harrison, Alan White and Nicky Hopkins. And, the scene of Lennon and Yoko Ono walking (and boating through the lake they had built) were fab. Also, producer-Phil Spector there and a bit of a loon already was priceless. A bit indulgent, but that’s what the whole John & Yoko-experience was.
I was in college and after several well-timed visits to Apple Records in New York City (thank you Al Steckler), I soon found myself as a volunteer for the Committee for John & Yoko: this was the bailiwick for a group dedicated to keeping Lennon in the U.S. If you recall; the government wanted to deport him for a past drug charge. In reality, Nixon was scared of him and wanted him out. Truth be told, it was a great PR-moment, certainly orchestrated by then-Lennon manager (now deceased) Allen Klein.
Headed up by Helen Seamen (yes, related to Fred), it was a dedicated bunch and we ultimately Lennon got to stay here in the U.S. Lawyer Leon Wildes got him his green card (actually blue at the time) and all was good.
I was a heady time indeed and every time I walked by 496 Broome Street (still there and our headquarters) I get a chill. Imagine? Certainly a must-see in 1971 and still is.
JANN’S PARTY — Yesterday was the official announcement of the candidates for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s class of 2019. Radiohead? Kraftwerk? Chaka Khan and Rufus yes. Janet Jackson too. Roxy Music? Yes indeed. But, Rage Against The Machine seems a tad early. Todd Rundgren finally nailed it and deservedly so. So did Stevie Nicks as a solo act.
Carole King still isn’t in yet. Neither are Carly Simon, Mary Wells, Billy Preston, J Geils Band, Tommy James, The Spinners, or, The Monkees.
Colleague Roger Friedman termed the Hall the Mama Leone’s of music. Too funny! This was almost as funny as his quip on the now-defunct Jimmy Buffet musical: It won’t make it till last call!
I think the allure of the Hall is certainly gone … it once was relevant, but now something of an embarrassment.
SHORT TAKES — On Monday, the Mix Tape Tour was unveiled by New Kids On The Block; Naughty By Nature, Salt ‘N Pepa; Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. The tour won’t start till next June 2019 (in Cincinnati), but it’s an interesting idea for sure. I don’t know if any of these events even have active recording contracts, but it should be a tour for the ages. It sort of reminds me of StarVista’s upcoming (in February) Disco Cruise, which will feature The Tramps, Deney Terio (Dance Fever), the Village People and Harry Wayne Casey’s KC and the Sunshine Band, among others … The lovely Coco Dolenz performed last weekend with brother Micky, Alex Jules, Peter Andrews and Christena Rich. If you haven’t seen Coco perform yet you’re missing a great treat. Her show, Songs on my Music Stand is a tour de force … Coco also intros Micky tomorrow night in L.A. at LATTC, where Dolenz went for a spell. He’s being honored as an alumni of the school … Happy Birthday to Heather Moore!
NAMES IN THE NEWS: Joanna Bonaro; Robert Funaro; Donnie Kehr; Cori Gardner; Coatimundi; Susan Jacobs; Micahel Zilkha; Jeff Vogel; Ahmet Ertegun; Heather Moore; Jodi Ritzen; Evan D’Agastino; Evan Levy; Steve Leeds; and, CFS.