Concerts Wiki

Musicians: John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Elephant's Memory. Guest stars: Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder

John and Yoko perform two One To One benefit concerts (one in the afternoon and one in the evening) at Madison Square Garden in New York with The Plastic Ono Elephant's Memory band, performed for the benefit of the Willowbrook School for Children. Before the concerts rumours circulate in the press to the effect that the money raised from the shows will actually be going to the artists and not the children, a story which prompts one unnamed top recording group to drop out of the show.

John and Yoko's set-list for the two shows is as follows: Afternoon: "Power To The People", "New York City", "It's So Hard", "Move On Fast", "Woman Is The Nigger Of The World", "Sister 0 Sisters", "Well Well Well", "Born In A Prison", "Instant Karma", "Mother", "We're All Water", "Come Together", "Imagine", "Open Your Box", "Cold Turkey", "Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking For Her Hand In The Snow)" and "Hound Dog"

Evening: "Power To The People", "New York City", "It's So Hard", "Woman Is The Nigger Of The World", "Sisters 0 Sisters", "Well Well Well", "Instant Karma", "Mother", "We're All Water", "Come Together", "Imagine", "Cold Turkey", "Hound Dog" and "Give Peace A Chance", where John and Yoko are joined on stage by the stars and organisers of the shows.

The shows, organised by the ABC TV reporter Geraldo Rivera, also feature the legendary Motown recording star Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack and Sha Na Na. Prior to the concerts, John purchases $60,000 worth of tickets for the show and gives them away to volunteer fund-raisers. The event will raise over $1.5 million for the Willowbrook School. As the sell-out crowd enters the building, they are handed a tambourine and asked to shake it during the concert. (A live radio broadcast of the evening show appears on the programme The King Biscuit Radio Hour.)

A selection of the songs performed at the concerts, are later released on the album John Lennon: Live in New York City (released in America on January 24 1986 and in the UK on February 24), namely "Cold Turkey", "Hound Dog", "Give Peace A Chance" (clip) from the evening show; and "New York City", "Come Together", "Imagine', "Instant Karma", "Mother", "It's So Hard", "Well Well Well", and "Woman Is The Nigger Of The World" from the afternoon performance. A short clip of "Give Peace A Chance" also appears on the 1975 John Lennon compilation LP Shaved Fish.

Both concerts are professionally filmed, and a version featuring seven of the songs performed at the evening concert ("Imagine", played to scenes of the One To One Day fun activities in Central Park this afternoon, "Come Together", "Instant Karma", "Sisters 0 Sisters", "Cold Turkey", "Hound Dog" and "Give Peace A Chance") is transmitted on ABC TV in America as a 53-minute special on December 14 1972.

Incidentally, the afternoon performance of Yoko's "Move On Fast" received a rare one-off screening in England during the January 30,1973 edition of BBC2's late night rock show The Old Grey Whistle Test. Meanwhile, a one-hour videocassette, suitably titled John Lennon: Live in New York City is released at the same time as the LP, and features different edits of some of the songs and adds some of Yoko's numbers. The recording supervisor for the shows is Phil Spector. Following the successful concerts, John, Yoko, and the other artists on the bill attend a celebratory party at the Tavern In The Green in Central Park.