This year’s Tribute will feature folk-rock legend Donovan, who will be honored as the recipient of the 2016 John Lennon Real Love Award. Having accompanied the Beatles on their historic journey to India, Donovan will perform a special extended set dedicated to John Lennon, which will include Beatles songs and his own classics.
“I am delighted to be honored at this year’s ‘John Lennon Real Love Award.’ And I am amazed to say that John has written a song through me which I will sing at the Tribute with special guests. Please support Theatre Within and remember, PEACE BEGINS WITHIN.” — Donovan
Let’s all get in league with Artists Against Fracking Now! Power to the People, Right On!
Letter from Yoko Ono to Governor Andrew M Cuomo, 56th Governor of New York State, 4th July 2012.
Dear Governor Cuomo,
This is July 4th, an important day for all of us to think of our beautiful country and be proud of it. Strange, I did not think that I would end up writing this letter to you today, but that’s how it’s working out.
I want to ask you a question. How Green Is Our Valley? I’ve been in this country since 1935, and for the most part loved every minute of it. When the youth of today talk about this country as if it was theirs, I have an urge to say – listen, kiddo, it’s not yours yet! It belongs to people like me and my generation who fought hard to make this a beautiful and healthy country. What did we do? We went through a lot…The San Francisco earthquake, the second World War, the detention of Japanese Americans, Korea, Vietnam, Black Tuesday, the list goes on. Through thick and thin, we never lost the love we have for this beautiful, beautiful country. Why? Because of the American idealism: justice for all! There’s not another country in the world that was built on such idealism.
Right now, some people are trying to make easy money, and meanwhile ruin this country’s future, by a thing called ‘fracking.’ It is clear to everybody in this city, and certainly most everyone in the state, that by doing this our beautiful natural green valleys of New York will be devastated and ruined forever. Nothing is worth doing that.
It will immediately make the pure water we have now in this state become dirty and poisonous. Many adults and many children will get cancer. The ones who have means will get out of the State. There could even be a string of class actions suits against the State of New York and its agencies. New Yorkers will only be too glad to join in the demand for reparations. The heavy legal cases will go on until the next century and more.
There is another scenario available to us. We, under the wise decision by you, our Governor, can get together to protect the State and even the whole country from being ruined. Like what the governor of Vermont, our next door State has done: leading America into a sustainable future based on renewable energy.
Our Governor, and possibly the future President of the United States, we are counting on you. You will only have to say “no more fracking in our State.” That’s all. It’s as simple as that. We will then make this State and the city connected to it, into a model of sustainability, with technologies and policies to produce clean energy and live in an enlightened land. Many wealthy people who are now thinking to flee from the potential disaster, will come back to join our model of a future for the world to visit and perhaps emulate.
We need your wisdom and leadership to make this happen. Please say YES to life, and NO to Fracking. Thank you.
God willing, we’ll be attending the Occupy This Album Record Release Party tonight at the City Winery at 155 Varrick St in NYC, doors open at 7PM, where we will hear live music by DJ Logic, Michael Moore, Immortal Technique, Nanci Griffith, David Amram, Richard Barone, My Pet Dragon, Matt Pless, Ace Reporter, Chroma, Fear Nuttin Band, George Martinez and The Global Block Collective, Jennie Arnau, Rejectionist Frong, Greg Smith and Broken English, Los Cintron, and a couple of surprise guests. (We wonder who they will be appearing and performing for us, this is always the fun part, anticipating who will show up as surprise guests…).
We will see the début singing performance of Michael Moore tonight. He will be performing his Bob Dylan track, “The Times They Are A Changing”. There will be lots of new artists for us to get to know and enjoy. Let’s all support this very important cause.
Revolution is in the air as Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street gain momentum. 2011 is reminiscent in ways of the sentiment in 1968 when revolution took to the streets. Music has always played a role in shaping our thoughts when there is strife.
The Detroit high-energy rock scene in 1969 gave us the central protopunk bands known as the MC5 and The Stooges. I was 17 years old then and the rock and roll scene plus its voice, Rolling Stone magazine were my prurient interests.
The first and most explosive MC5 recording was Kick Out The Jams. It is their signature recording. How rare is it that a début album is recorded live and sold to the public for their digestion? Virtually never.
The influence MC5 had on the punk rock music scene is clear throughout this live recording. If you listen closely to “Kick Out The Jams” you can hear The Ramones sound. MC5 is the bedrock for many of the punk rock bands that followed.
MC5’s Kick Out The Jams introduced me to my favorite rock and roll music journalist, Lester Bangs. His review of Kick Out The Jams was his first published article for Rolling Stone magazine.
I recall the controversy that surrounded the MC5. I am not a fan of censorship and the use of the word, “motherfucker” posed the MC5 and Elektra Records issues through its sales channels. I purchased the “uncensored” Elektra vinyl recording of the MC5’s Kick Out The Jams and I played it real loud.
The MC5 was rooted in hard-core revolutionary politics. They represented the thrash for the White Panther Party led by John Sinclair, who was their manager. You may recall John Sinclair from the song “John Sinclair” by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and Elephants Memory on the album, Sometime in New York City.
It is important to note that one of the founding members of MC5 was lead guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Smith number ninety-three in its list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. The band Sonic Youth took its name from Smith’s nickname.
Fred “Sonic” Smith was married to Patti Smith. They were introduced to each other by Lenny Kaye. Patti Smith wrote a song about her husband, entitled “Frederick” which appears on her Wave album.
I especially like how full circle Fred “Sonic” Smith’s activist vision became as a result of writing “People Have The Power” which is an anthem for protest. Fred “Sonic” Smith passed away at 46 years of age in 1994 of a heart attack.
Patti Smith performs this song with conviction and purpose. It speaks to the triumph of the human spirit and their symbiotic, eternal relationship.
According to Moonalice legend, John Lennon released the classic “Instant Karma” in the UK 41 years ago today. It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history, recorded the same day it was written, and arriving in stores only 10 days later. John remarked to the press, he “wrote it for breakfast, recorded it for lunch, and we’re putting it out for dinner.”
We would call that a viral music release in today’s world of the Web. When I hear or read about “Instant Karma” I always associate with my first college radio station show on WNHU-FM 88.7 in West Haven, Ct. It was 1973 and I was attending The University of New Haven, where I majored in business and minored in music. My goal when I graduated Brien McMahon High School in 1969 was to be a radio personality. I went right from high school to Career Academy Broadcasting School in New York City. I commuted on the New Haven Railroad from Norwalk, Ct. to Grand Central Terminal for four months. It was an exciting time in my life moving through the hustle and bustle to my school at 8 West 40th Street, which overlooked the New York Public Library and Bryant Park.
I was an inaugural year afternoon FM disk jockey on WNHU-FM. My radio show was entitled, “Instant Karma”. I would begin my Tuesday/Thursday 2-5 p.m. show with the 45 r.p.m. Apple Records single by John Lennon.
That was against the grain of the radio programming I had been taught because “Instant Karma” was a rock and roll vocal. You were supposed to use an instrumental to begin and end a radio show. I am a non-conformist what can I say 😉
“Instant Karma” by John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band never gets tired or old.