04 August 2011

John Lennon with Elton John, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, USA November 28, 1974

When I pulled up the DOUBLE FANTASY WORKING VERSION and heard John directing the band through the studio mic a tremor ran through me. Not sure how you all feel about magic and positive energy and all that, but I felt some of the magic from that afternoon had been captured on tape, digitized and stored if only to be released into the universe over and over again. I felt like John's voice poured into the mic and hit my ears same as it did the ears of the musicians in the studio that day. Like the digital filter that existed chronologically and geographically was no different than a crystal ball of divining mirror.

So instead of writing I searched for a few more fragments of magic and found them on Youtube. Elton John wanted John Lennon to appear on stage with him in New York City. The thought of it scared the pants off of Lennon, who agreed to do it only if "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" hit number one, which he was sure it wouldn't. John Lennon lost the bet, and these three performances mark the last time he ever appeared on stage. Here they are in the order they appeared on the setlist.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this, Jason. I love Elton and Lennon, both of them. Sadly, I missed this the first time around. That Thanksgiving, I was on neurosurgery rotation, trudging through a foot and a half of snow to get to the hospital in time for 5 AM rounds. Them were the good old days!

  2. When I heard John in my headphones I got chills. I don't usually have regrets, but in this case, I regret being born way too late. Not that there hasn't been a lot of great music in the last 30 years...

    In a way, by discovering John Lennon and The Clash the way I did, they never have to break up or die.