POMPEY POP

Leon Russell RIP

7 Comments

It’s been a year hasn’t it?

Did he appear with his band once at the Guildhall?

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Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

7 thoughts on “Leon Russell RIP

  1. Leon was recovering from the heart bypass surgery he’d had in July and he’d been planning to resume touring in January. He was 74.

    I don’t recall Leon and his band being at The Guildhall, but it’s certainly possible that he appeared there as PART of a band. He played with an astounding array of musicians.

    Although mainly known as a keyboard player, Leon also played guitar and bass. He played keyboards for the Los Angeles studio team “The Wrecking Crew” , helping Phil Spector develop his ” wall of sound” in the 1960s.

    Leon played on The Beach Boys’ “California Girls” and the “Pet Sounds” album, Jan and Dean’s “Surf City,” The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby,” and The Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man.” He wrote Joe Cocker’s “Delta Lady” and in 1969 put together Cocker’s “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour, out of which came a double album and a feature film. He produced and played on recording sessions for Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, produced and arranged Ike and Tina Turners’ “River Deep, Mountain High”,appeared at “The Concert for Bangla Desh” – and John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison played on his first album, “Leon Russell.”

    Leon also recorded his own hit songs himself including “Tight Rope” and “Lady Blue”.

    In 1973, Billboard Magazine listed Leon as the top concert attraction in the world. About this time, he was the headline act with both Elton John and Willie Nelson.

    In 2011, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. and was also was honoured with an Award for Music Excellence from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg in an amazing career. R.I.P Leon – you were da biz.

  2. I think John is right, it was billed as Leon Russell and Friends (that may have included Delaney and Bonnie (not 100% certain). It was around 1971/1972 he toured and played at Pompey Guildhall. I regrettably missed the concert, but I do recall the next day those sixth form pals who went did not regret it. I understood that he got a good part of the audience on stage to join in (something that did not happen very often). RIP Leon Russell. What a terrible year.

  3. Yes he did in 1971, I have a feeling h had some big names with him, Rita Coolridge?, Joe Cocker? And some others

  4. Don’t remember Delaney & Bonnie or Joe Cocker being there,l think Rita Coolidge was. Yes there was a lot of the audience on stage with him at the end …great gig,still got my ticket somewhere!

  5. Yes – he played at the Guildhall on 2nd March 1971, and was a rocking gig. Support was Jonathan Swift.

  6. Thanks for that info everyone. I remember around then seeing the movie “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” which I certainly enjoyed. Early days of ‘rock’ that I managed to like.

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