A Night For John Lennon’s Words & Music
A second DVD release for this concert sees it remaining as non-essential as it did the first time around. This cathartic tribute, staged just three weeks after the September 11 terrorism attack – meant as a celebration of New York, using John Lennon as folk hero to achieve it – is a staid, sombre affair. That is until MC for the evening, Kevin Spacey, leaps into gear mid-way through proceedings and hams up a version of Mind Games that is music hall-meets-karaoke-meets-band practice with a touch of Theatre Sports.
If you freeze-frame when Spacey strangles the words “mi-i-i-i-i-i-i-nnnnn-d gaa-aaa-aa—ame-ssss” you can actually see him slip on a leather jacket, togs, waterskis and – though it’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Easter Egg sort of a thing, you can see him comb his hair like The Fonz.
Cyndi Lauper has a run at Strawberry Fields, Sean Lennon and Rufus Wainwright team for This Boy, Lou Reed stomps on Jealous Guy, Natalie Merhcant sweetly coos Nowhere Man. There are all acceptable things to have happen. Though none of them needed to happen.
The rest of the menu is abysmal – convoluted, cloying and absurd. Why the names alone should just bring a form of terror (perhaps ironic given the concert’s aims – you know, to heal after terrorism). Witness: Alanis Morissette, Moby, Marc Anthony, Stone Temple Pilots. And – good grief – Dave Matthews.
There are so many wonderful Beatles covers – because The Beatles wrote great pop songs. There are few great solo John Lennon covers too, because he wrote a few good songs also.
You won’t find any of either here.