Thursday, June 14, 2007

Leon Russell Live

To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward.
Margaret Fairless Barber (1869–1901), English author

I just returned from watching Leon Russell with On The Mark at the Canyon Club in Agoura. We were always big fans of Russell from his days with the Joe Cocker tour Mad Dogs and Englishmen. I didn’t see the concert, much too young, but I did see the movie and buy the album. On The Mark and me further solidified our friendship when I traded him the above-mentioned LP for the Rolling Stones “More Hot Rocks: Big Hits & Fazed Cookies.” I had written in the Cocker LP under Russell’s name something like the greatest or some such high schooler stuff.

Anyway, back to the show, Russell made it to the stage with the help of a cane. He gained a few pounds, but who hasn’t, it started out a bit stiff because Russell’s voice was not warmed up, I figured out he was singing “Delta Lady.” His other songs last night included “Prince of Peace,” “Wild Horses,” “Out in the Woods,” “Hummingbird,” “It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry,” “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall,” “Stranger in a Strange Land,” “Jumping Jack Flash,” and a few others. I came so close to not going. The concert I really wanted to see, but I didn’t have my driver’s license yet and no one who had their license was allowed to drive all the way down to Long Beach. Of course that show turned out to be his live LP “Leon Live.”

All in all, it was a nice show and if you’re a Leon Russell fan, I would recommend seeing him if he is in your town.

I almost forgot to mention how I discovered Russell in the first place. When I was in junior high school, a cousin's girlfriend who worked for Rolling Stone, sent me his LP "Leon Russell and the Shelter People," Cat Steven's "Tea for the Tillerman," and the current issue of Rolling Stone that had the first chapters of Hunter Thompson's "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Quite an eye opener for someone who was a Monkees fan only a couple of years earlier.


Chandira said...

Those quantum leaps in musical awareness at that age are so fun, aren't they? I had a few too, through older uncles and aunts, and friends' brothers and sisters. I remember the first time I heard a punk record, that was it, love at first listen, I was about 6 I think.. lol

Anonymous said...

Heh, I guess the Monkees as introduction to popular music is still being felt. Had to comment here, because back in the day I went from the Monkees to Alice Cooper, Santana, and Led Zepplin, lol, in just a couple of years myself!

Janet said...

Leon Russell huh? I couldn't help but think of the Mr. Belvedere theme until I realized that was Leon Redbone, not Russell. I guess there aren't many Leon's walking around these days, are there?:)

The Misanthrope said...

Chandira, I am always behind the curve in musical awareness. I just discovered Wilco.

anonymous, I did like Alice Cooper up to "Billion Dollar Babies," and never got into Santana, and I liked Zepplin only on the radio.

Janet, I saw Leon Redbone too, he opened for Tom Waits, many many years ago.