|Gail Smith ( of Delaware) and Barbara Norris here - reporting live
from Cleveland! Tonight we had the unbelievable experience of seeing
Julian in a concert sitting up close and personal. It was like having
Julian in our basement. The place maybe held 300 people. We sat on top
of the bar near the stage and had a terrific view of the whole band.
Gail will tell you what else we had a good view of (gutter gang - BEWARE!!!)
To say that Julian has evolved as a performer would be putting it mildly. He is every bit the consummate showman. He was warm, charming, intimate, witty, told great stories and even shook "his groove thing" a time or two - who knew a Lennon had rhythm????
His voice has a broader range than he had when he first toured in '85. His songs have a maturity and a deepness that shows he has grown up and actually found himself. His words are those of a man with pride, peace and wisdom. His band was tight and appeared to love every minute of performing. The two guys that traded lead guitar licks were very strong and the keyboard player - who also helped to pen some of the songs on Photograph Smile was exceptional.
Ok here's what's important - he looked at us! That's right - at us - only us - no one else in the place counted - just us. Gail was very immature and acted like a young school girl. I however, was most mature and held my dignity intact while Gail yelled vulgarisms at this poor, naive young man. Shameful hussy that she is. I am red with embarrassment. I shudder. Wait - Gail wants to talk now.
Yo! Gail here - that bunch of hooey above is from the woman who HOWLED, who yelled at Julian to come sit on her lap NOW, and who after Julian was getting wet with sweat and dousing himself with bottled water and said he was "getting wet!" yelled through the very loud crowd, something like....." you can get me wet any time!" So THERE, Ms. barbiebeatle!!
(Gail continues....) Seriously, Julian was a really sexy site to behold. He wore an earring in one ear, a ring that looked suspiciously like a gold band on the left hand (hmmmm), a black sleeveless vest showing very attractive muscular arms, and black, fairly tight jeans (that is to say...tight enough to know which way you-know-what was most comfortable....heheheh). Okay, back to the music - most, if not all, of "Photograph Smile" and done in the excellent manner of the recording itself. Also a new song that "hopefully will appear on our next album" - song was called "No One But You," I think...about making change in one's own world and the Big World, through acceptance of personal responsibility....a really excellent song.
He did "Saltwater," "Valotte," "Too Late for Goodbyes" ("funky version", per barb), "Stand By Me" (unbelievable!!) and "Slippin' and Slidin'" - WOW. He is really HOT these days...what a terrific performer. While at the same time, seeming to be the young, aspiring youth of yesterday....still a bit unsure of himself, but growing and maturing all the time. He spoke of the writing of several songs, one being his retort to the machinations of the recording industry that cheated him (my words) for over 10years ("I Should Have Know")...another song was written with the memory of his dear friend in mind - it was "Crucified." Powerful background knowledge to hear with new insight.
He spoke of how he came up with "I Don't Wanna Know" and how it evolved out of the constant early criticisms of those who compared him with his father, and the Beatles legacy....but the point anyway is that he has surpassed all that and moved on to become a totally unique and independent songwriter and singer. The night was excellent, and especially interesting to know that both the opening band (fabulous themselves) and Julian and Co. exited from the front entrance, without avoiding the small crowd that gathered. The bands were mingling and chatting - photos and autographs abounded....until Julian came out all smiles and waves...but unfortunately was being hustled into the door of a van to be whisked away to a nearby hotel. BARB KNEW WHERE, but old lady as she is, was (violins here) tooooo tired to follow over there to try to join the party!! Now, who is the elder one here????
BALLLONNNEEEYYYYYY! Barbara here again - now listen - it was rather obvious that we were a tad older than young Jules and the last thing I wanted the poor boy to do was go to bed with visions of "old bags" dancing in his head!!! Also, a certain someone with the initials of GS of Delaware happened to get up at NOON today (Saturday) so of course she was ready to rock and roll - I, however, got up with the birds thinking that she would think ill of me if I stayed in bed any longer - HA - talk about a slug!
I (Barbara) will finish my report by telling you that Julian promised to return to the US next year with the same band - but also with a huge orchestra behind him to play these songs (backup singers too - I have a tambourine, by the way) and the money generated from these shows will go to charity. No specific charity was mentioned but God love him for having the initiative to do something positive. OK, I am done and Gail wants her final say - sure she's fresh as a daisy - me - I am tired. Howling takes a lot out of a girl. What a night! What a show! What a talent. A pox on the house of Ono.
(Gail again) Okay, if you're still reading - "A Slug" eh? Bah. What a wimp she is. That's enough of that.....
Julian has great admiration, and presumably love, for his "Uncle Paul" and had I a moment to ask a question, it would have been to see if there has been any personal interest in working with Paul. I can only imagine the magic that would result from those two voices in harmony and contrast. It boggles the mind. Imagine the two boogying and rocking out to the best of their abilities. Old rockers? Soft ballads? That would be something...it really would be something.... :-)
Note to Julian.....you have made your mark....all your own. Keep on, and thanks for the nod to those who have kept the faith in you throughout the difficult years. I won't add a personal opinion as barb did above, though I know many will agree. But that is in the past for Julian, it was made very clear. We can't wait to see him again. Maybe Tuesday night in Philly for some of us easterners....it's a treat worth doing again and again. Good night and thanks for indulging us.
Love from Barb in Cleveland, and her guest, Gailmari (from DE)
P.S. Love to someone special even farther away tonight.... ;-(
P.P.S. - (from Barbara) She not only sleeps late - she's long winded too!
Background/Flowers from the 'Photograph Smile'
CD inlet by Angelika Letsch.
'Hey Jules' © 1998 - 2002 CJ Burianek