Today’s Monday Matinee offering is a classic 1969 Simon and Garfunkel TV special that had not been seen in many years until it was released in DVD format as part of a 40th Anniversary release of Bridge Over Troubled Waters. The special was originally aired on US TV at on November 30, 1969 (it was later shown on BBC which is apparently the source of this version). Here is what thevideobeat.com has to say about the special.
Controversial and rare TV show containing in-studio rehearsal and recording, road travel, political viewpoints, concert performances and video montages of key events of the 1960s.
The program was originally to be a “Bell Telephone” TV special but when they saw the finished product they said, “No!” When video images of JFK, RFK and MLK were shown while “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” played, the Bell Telephone executives commented, “They’re all democrats, why no republicans?” Simon & Garfunkel said, “Is that what you see? How about they were all assassinated?” Simon & Garfunkel met with CBS and they sympathized with the content and agreed to air the program.
Songs include: “America,” “So Long Frank Lloyd Wright,” “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” “Scarborough Fair, ” “El Condor Pasa (If I Could),” “Punky’s Dilemma,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Mystery Train,” “Feeling Groovy,” “The Boxer,” “Homeward Bound,” “Sounds Of Silence,” and several others.
Seeing Simon and Garfunkel at the height of their power in 1969 is definitely worth an hour of your time but this video offers much more that that. Watch it and let me know what you think……..
I don’t talk to much about Country Music in this Blog but I have to comment on the passing of George Jones this weekend. Without a doubt George was the greatest country singer of all time. I can’t think of any better way honor his passing than this great performance of He Stopped Loving Her Today, the song he will always be remembered for……
If you listened to this song and didn’t have a tear in your eye by the end you don’t have a heart!
So…..as a general rule, I do not go in for the classic rock reunions but I am making an exception for Burton Cummings, Randy Bachman, and the rest of the Guess Who when they were running across Canada once again back in 2000. I saw the Guess Who back in the early 70s (unfortunately without Randy) and they were amazing. I am happy to say the band has not lost a step in the intervening years. Really good stuff from my favorite Canadian band, I think you will enjoy this.
One of the things that I liked best about this concert was seeing the respect that Burton and Randy have for each other. Never thought I would ever see Burton singing a Bachman Turner Overdrive song….miracles never cease!
Today I have a terrific recent interview with Gordon. Some things get better with age…..Gordon is one of those things. Enjoy the interview!
As a bonus here is a great clip of Burton Cummings imitating Gordon singing various songs. Burton clearly has a lot of love for Gordon as do most Canadians and this American.
So…..we talked about The Lovin Spoonful last week. As it turns out, John Sebastian was also quite successful after his time with the group achieving solo success and having memorable performances at many of the great rock festivals in the late 1960s. Here is a great interview with John where he talks about the influence that the great Richie Havens had on his early career and how he ended up on stage at Woodstock as an unscheduled performer.
After listening to John’s interview, I bet you are ready to hear some music. Here are a couple of great videes of John from the Celebration at Big Sur and Woodstock rock festivals.
Celebration at Big Sur (1968) – with Stephen Stills
Photograph Copyright 1969 Henry Diltz
Richie will always be known for his opening performance at Woodstock. He was not scheduled to be the opening performer but when the first four schedule performers had trouble reaching the festival he was asked to play in order to buy time. In an epic performance he played for almost three hours straight, eventually improvising the song Freedom on the spot having played every other song that he knew. It was a wonderful performance and one that made him famous.
Here is an interview with Richie from the 40th anniversary of Woodstock.
Here is Richie with his amazing performance of Freedom at Woodstock in 1969.
RIP Richie – you will be missed!
OK I admit it…….I am pandering to my prog rock readers for yet another week with this 1973 behind the scenes ELP TV special. This is great stuff on one of my favorite Prog Rock bands. Keith Emerson on keyboards and the angelic voice of Greg Lake always make me happy. I hope they make you happy this Monday as well……