Ben Harper, Jim James, Dovovan, Betty LaVette and Eddie Vedder Share in Beatles Reunion
The remaining Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited this past Saturday at the David Lynch Foundations star-studded Transcendental Meditation benefit. The collaboration-heavy show took place at New Yorks Radio City Music hall, featuring appearances by Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Betty LaVette, Sheryl Crow, Jim James, Donovan, Moby and Beach Boys singer Mike Love. Event co-host Laura Dern and entertainers like Jerry Seinfeld and Howard Stern also took the stage at various points throughout the night, though in many respects the entire evenings festivities were just a warm-up for the ex-Beatles first onstage collaboration since Londons Concert for George in 2002.
Throughout the night, numerous performers touched upon the Beatles famed 1968 trip to India to study meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as part of an extended entourage that included both Donovan and Love. Crow and Harper offered the evenings first Beatles-related song, sharing a duet on George Harrisons My Sweet Lord, and Crow latter returned with Vedder to sing Yellow Submarine with Starr. The Beatles drummer also nodded to Harrison during his brief set before playing It Don’t Come Easy, a song he wrote with Beatles guitarist. McCartney ended the night with a 12-song performance that included a mixture of solo and Beatles hits like Blackbird, Band on the Run, Let it Be and Jet. He also nodded to John Lennon by playing Here Today, an original written about his slain friend.
After being introduced by his Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band alias Billy Shears, Starr took the stage
to sing A Little Help From My Friends with his ex-bandmate. Starr then moved behind the drum kit and most of the evenings cast then returned for an encore that included And Remember To Be … Cosmically Conscious, a song McCartney wrote on the Beatles trip to India in 1968 and released as a b-side in 1968, and the hit I Saw Her Standing There.
The night featured a number of other interesting collaborations: Harper and Vedder covered Queen and David Bowies Under Pressure, LaVette and Moby reworked a version of the latter musicians ‘Natural Blues’ and James sat in with Donovan on both Hurdy Gurdy Man and Wear Your Love Like Heaven. McCartney will appear next at Indio, CAs Coachella Music & Arts Festival on April 17.