Live at Madison Square Garden (1972)

     Recorded on 30 August 1972 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Lennon performed two shows, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, a benefit concert for the Willowbrook State School for mentally challenged Children in New York, at friend Geraldo Rivera's request. Rivera introduces Lennon and Ono at the beginning of the album, and he is referenced in Lennon's impromptu revised lyrics in the opening song, "New York City".

     The benefit concerts, billed as One to One, also featured other performers in addition to Lennon, including Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Melanie Safka and Sha-Na-Na, although their performances are not included on the video release.

     Live in New York City captures John Lennon's last full-length concert performance, coming right after the release of Some Time in New York City. Backing Lennon and Ono were Elephant's Memory, who had served as Lennon and Ono's backing band on Some Time in New York City. Although the material Lennon performed was largely drawn from his three most recent albums of the period (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine and Some Time in New York City), he also included in the set list his Beatles hit "Come Together" and paid tribute to Elvis Presley with "Hound Dog" before leading the audience in a sing along of "Give Peace a Chance". "Come Together", originally in the key of D minor, was performed in E minor.  

     The concerts documented on Live in New York City were Lennon's only rehearsed and full-length live performances in his solo career, and his first – and last – formal, full-fledged live concerts since the Beatles retired from the road in 1966. Lennon never mounted a tour during his post-Beatles career. The concerts also marked the last time he performed live with Ono or with Elephant's Memory.




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