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SteveAJones

ARMS Benefit Concerts in NYC Dec 1983

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ROCK: ALL-STARS AT GARDEN

By JON PARELES // NEW YORK TIMES

Published: December 11, 1983

Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page - three leading British rock guitarists of the late 1960's - were the focal points of Ronnie Lane's Appeal for ARMS, an all-star jam session to benefit Action Research Multiple Sclerosis. Together with members of the Rolling Stones and the Who and half a dozen other British rock veterans, they sold out Madison Square Garden for two nights last week.

Mr. Lane, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was a member of the Small Faces, which also included the Who's current drummer, Kenney Jones, and the Rolling Stones's guitarist, Ron Wood, both of whom appeared Thursday. For the concert's conclusion, Mr. Lane joined the massed band to sing his own ''Long Gone'' and Leadbelly's ''Good Night Irene,'' two jaunty songs about death.

Yet the concert was by no means somber or nostalgic. Although Mr. Page, Mr. Beck and Mr. Clapton were all members of the Yardbirds, a 1960's British blues-and-rock band, when they finally played together the vehicle was Mr. Clapton's ''Layla.'' And when they led bands, they concentrated on more recent songs that showed how much their three blues- based styles have diverged. Mr. Page, who shaped the now-defunct Led Zeppelin, played the most enigmatic set. It included a version of a Chopin piano prelude, an instrumental rendition of Led Zeppelin's ''Stairway to Heaven,'' songs from Mr. Page's soundtrack for ''Deathwish II'' (sung by Paul Rodgers of Bad Company) and a long new song that was an inventory of Mr. Page's guitar fixations - folksy fingerpicking, bludgeoning hard-rock chords, psychedelic sustained notes and a sort of loping funk.

In a set of understated blues-and country-style songs, Mr. Clapton sang and played with an all-American, roots-inflected soulfulness. He was held back, however, by a lumbering rhythm section - Mr. Jones and Charlie Watts (of the Rolling Stones) on drums, either of whom would have been far better alone - plus the unnecessary percussion of Ray Cooper. Mr. Clapton and the band also accompanied the singer Joe Cocker.

Mr. Beck led a four-piece band in a set of chugging rock instrumentals. He has rarely performed live in recent years, but his distinctive mixture of fluent phrases and rude interruptions was intact.

Edited by SteveAJones

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Thank you for posting this. Man did this writer miss the vibe of this show. I think Pete Thownshend's account of the show was more on point, as to the feeling, in the worlds most famous arena.

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Thank you for posting this. Man did this writer miss the vibe of this show. I think Pete Thownshend's account of the show was more on point, as to the feeling, in the worlds most famous arena.

I actually forgot for a moment that Jon Pareles has had an axe to grind with Zeppelin

for years. Robert Hilburn of the LA Times is probably still their most cynical critic. He

couldn't get his rocks off at an LA Forum show if Lori Maddix sat on his lap.

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Thank you for posting this. Man did this writer miss the vibe of this show. I think Pete Thownshend's account of the show was more on point, as to the feeling, in the worlds most famous arena.

Thanks for the link.

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Thank you for posting this. Man did this writer miss the vibe of this show. I think Pete Thownshend's account of the show was more on point, as to the feeling, in the worlds most famous arena.

Ok I just watched it...

Fucking hilarious.

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Thanks for posting, interesting article. It cracks me up how Jon Pareles and the Times refer to the artists they cover as "Mr.", etc. "Ms. Spears wore a tube top that barely covered her ample bosom." :lol:

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On 11/23/2007 at 10:28 PM, SteveAJones said:

...Robert Hilburn of the LA Times is probably still their most cynical critic. He couldn't get his rocks off at an LA Forum show if Lori Maddix...

Hilburn is living large on Ventura Boulevard these days writing bios about Johnny Cash and Paul Simon.  Fanboy for pay in his retirement. He is still butt hurt over not being "with the band"

 

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