Radio City Music Hall
April 4th, 2009
Report by: Jan Scott
The next day we got up by 8:30 am, and found our way to the Carnegy Deli, where we made up for not having dinner the night before! We needed our energy, as after that, we walked a little over a mile to Central Park. Now, this wouldn't be a bad walk, except winds were gusting up to 45 mph, and it was about 45 degrees - VERY cold to a southerner!!! Particularly one that used to live in Key West, Florida!!! But we made it, and got some very nice photos of the monument and the Dakota. I had a few minutes just to sit on a bench and reflect, grieve, and enjoy the peace.
We returned to the hotel and rested for a while, then headed out for an early dinner at an Italian restauarant the was just around the corner from Radio City Music Hall. Thank you, Charles - I couldn't have asked for a hotel better located for getting around the theater district, Central Park, and everwhere I wanted to go on this short visit to New York!!!
After dinner, we arrived around 5:20 at Radio City Music Hall, and the line was already forming for people with tickets. Lo and behold - there was Charles, handing out flyers for the next Magical History Tour!!!
Doors opened at around 6:30. Our seats were in the first Mezzanine, left of the stage, seven rows back. The theater had two moderate sized screens and a lot of recording equipment. We were told that there would be filming, and a DVD would be issued later.
I had never seen any of these artists in person before, except of course Ringo and Paul, so I wonít go into a lot of what their performances were, not being familiar with their music (except for Donovan). I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the entire concert, and thought that all the performers were top-notch. I will be buying the DVD when it is available.
The first artist was Angelo Badalamenti, who did a piano solo, after which Bettye LaVette and Moby came out and sang with the Weaver TM Choir. Bettye is a jazzy, soulful beautiful lady with a magnificent voice. Bettye and Moby both did solo spots and sang together.
The program was interspersed with film clips of people explaining the program and how it has helped reduce stress and increased creativity, intelligence and academic performance. Russell Simmons, the Rapper, did such a spot and explained how meditation has helped him in his life and career, and how it can help the children.
David Lynch and actor Laura Dern were the hosts, and came on at this point. The did short Q and Aís to provide time to set up the different performers, and to move the show along.
Sheryl Crow came on next, did a number, and then did a duet with Ben Hartman of George Harrisonís "My Sweet Lord". Ben, I found out later, is Laura Dernís Husband, and is a super talent. Sheryl looked magnificent, and was in fine form.
Jerry Seinfeld came out and did a 10 - 15 comedy routine, which was a pleasant surprise to me, and very entertaining.
Next, Eddie Vetter of Pearl Jam came on, and did several numbers with and without Ben Harper. They did a super duet of one of Pearl Jamís hits, but not being a big fan, Iím not sure of the title Ė but they did a GREAT job and brought the house down!
Around 9 pm we had a 10 - 15 minute intermission, which was the only formal break we had.
Next, Laura and David introduced Mike Love of the Beach Boys, who spent time with Donovan, Paul Horn and the Beatles at Rishikesh in 1968. He gave a testimony as to how he was introduced to TM back then, and how much meditation has helped him, and how he believes that it can help everyone.
Next there were film clips of Rishikesh in 1968 with Donovan, McCartney, Starr, Harrison, Lennon, Horn, Love and Mal Evans, which brought a lot of cheers from the crowd, after which Donovan made his entrance with "Hurley Gurley Man".
Donovan was dressed in Ď60ís era clothes, and is still thin enough to wear them! Unfortunately he hasnít realized, like Paul and Ringo have, that as the hair gets thinner on top, it doesnít compensate to grow it longer. He can still move about the stage, and danced about during his numbers. His voice has lost a lot of the softness it once had, but heck, itís Donovan, and we all know the songs and he brought us back. He did a duet with Sheryl Crow of "Season of the Witch", then did "Wear your Love Like Heaven". He sang "Isle of Islay" while Paul Horn played flute, after which Paul Horn did a solo entitled "Meditation" in honor of the memory of Johnís and Georgeís spirits.
Howard Stern next made an appearance, and told of how TM saved his motherís life during the time that he was in college. He also said that he was asked to do an interview with the Marharishi, which seemed to affect him quite a bit.
Next, Laura Dern introduced - Ringo!!!!! And, of course, the crowd went WILD!!!
Ringo was dressed in a dark suit with a dark T-shirt and his signature sunglasses. I couldnít tell what was on the shirt. Ringo seemed really enthusiastic and happy to be there - he smiled a lot and danced around, and was very animated.
Ringoís first number was "It Donít Come Easy", which he explained had been co-written with George, and he told the story about never being able to end a song, and how they came about using the word "peace" in the lyric. He commented that George had wanted him to sing about God and Krishna and he refused, but now he had him on his t-shirt.. but not sure in what form this took, not being able to see the whole shirt because of the jacket.
Next Ringo went to the drums, which got everyone shouting and clapping, and he did "Boys".
He came down from the drums, thanked Ben Harperís Relentless 7 band for assisting him, and then finished with Yellow Submarine, which was a HUGE sing-along crowd pleaser.
Of course, after Ringoís set, the crowd was ready for Paul, but first we had a few words from John Hagelin, Ph.D, who is the President of the David Lynch Foundation. He is a Quantum Physicist and leading researcher on the effects of meditation on health and brain development, and Ray Dalio, who is a businessman and TM proponent.
Finally we got - Paul! He came out in a dark suit with a white shirt, no tie, and suspenders. As with Ringo, he seemed very up-tempo and happy to be there. His songs were as follows:
"Baby You Can Drive my Car" "Jet" "Got to Get You In To My Life", after which he removed his jacket and went to the piano for "Lady Madonna", after which he returned to center stage and a guitar for "Blackbird" "Here Today", Johnís tribute song "Canít Buy Me Love", after which he introduces "Billy Shears" and of course the crowd exploded as Ringo joined Paul at the microphone, and they both sing "A Little Help From My Friends", after which Ringo went to one of the two drum sets, and Paul introduced a song he wrote at Rishikesh: "Cosmically Conscious" (Such a Joy), which he encouraged everyone to sing along on, and the other musicians came out on the stage for a big finale. During the applause, Ringo and Paul did a little good-natured "applaud for me" step in front of each other until Ringo walked away, and Paul did a little aside "clap for him" to the audience, which was very endearing.
Paul said goodnight and said he was ready for bed, and everyone left the stage, but of course the audience was clamoring for more, and everyone came out for an encore of "I Saw Her Standing There"
We found ourselves walking out of the door into the brisk New York air at about 11:20 pm, basking in the warmth that we had witnessed a little piece of history over a nearly four hour time span, wishing it would last forever and knowing that it will in our hearts and minds...