Welcome to The Beatles Rarity Of The Week. As with the BROWs over the last couple of weeks, this one is focused on another television appearance subsequent to the Beatles break up. On Labor Day weekend 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were musical guests on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. The telethon, a charity event for muscular dystrophy has been around since the fifties and was hosted by comedian Jerry Lewis from 1966 – 2010. As John’s latest commercial release, the double LP Some Time In New York City had recently “flopped” on the U.S. Billboard album chart, he decided to reach back earlier in his catalog for his telethon performances choosing both “Imagine” and “Give Peace A Chance.” Between these two selection Yoko performed her new composition “Now Or Never” due for release on her upcoming double LP Approximately Infinite Universe released in January 1973. John and Yoko are backed by their recent partnership-band Elephants Memory for all three songs and “Give Peace A Chance” is a jam version similar to the one we hear on the One To One Concert of only six days earlier and available on the CD/LP/Video John Lennon Live In New York City. The conclusion of “Give Peace and Chance” and Jerry Lewis’ closing remarks, thanking John and Yoko for their appearance, can be heard on the John Lennon Anthology CD box set, however no complete account of any of these performances has been released commercially. In honor of a recent request I received, I am featuring John’s opening performance of “Imagine” from this television broadcast recorded directly from a television set in 1972.
Extra info: The Elephants Memory lineup included Stan Bronstein on sax, Richard Frank Jr. on drums, Wayne “Tex” Gabriel on lead guitar, Adam Ippolito on piano and Gary Von Scyoc on bass.
Special thanks go out to Steve Lewis from Ann Arbor, Michigan for requesting this week’s BROW.
Here are some Amazon links to read more on, or purchase, some music related to this post:
1) Power To The People: The Hits – 2010 John Lennon hits collection including “Imagine,” “Give Peace A Chance,” and much more.
2) John Lennon Anthology – 1998 4-CD box set featuring snippet from Jerry Lewis Telethon and alternate performances of “Imagine,” “Give Peace A Chance,” and other John Lennon greats.
3) Imagine – 2010 remaster of original 1971 LP featuring the title track “Imagine.”
4) Live in NYC – John Lennon live charity performance from August 30, 1972 including “Imagine” and “Give Peace A Chance” performed with Elephant’s Memory.