- The Concert for New York City
The Concert for New York City
Poster for the concert
Location(s) Madison Square Garden Founded by Paul McCartney Date(s) October 20, 2001 Genre Benefit concert
The Concert for New York City was a benefit concert, featuring many famous musicians, that took place on October 20, 2001 at Madison Square Garden in New York City in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Aside from performing for charity, the concert was an attempt to honor the first responders from the New York Fire Department and New York Police Department, their families, and those lost in the attacks and those who had worked in the ongoing rescue and recovery efforts in the weeks since that time.
The concert was organized by Paul McCartney and included many of his legendary British contemporaries, including The Who, Rolling Stones bandmates Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, David Bowie, Elton John, and Eric Clapton. American artists included Bon Jovi, Jay-Z, Destiny's Child, the Backstreet Boys, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Melissa Etheridge, Five for Fighting, Goo Goo Dolls, John Mellencamp with Kid Rock, and a humorous performance by Adam Sandler as "Operaman," singing a medley covering the events of 9/11, the greatness of New York City, and about Osama Bin Laden being a coward. Paul Shaffer acted as Musical Director for the show and various celebrities and political figures including Howard Stern and Rudy Giuliani appeared between the acts.
Many athletes also appeared between the acts including Joe Torre, whose Yankees were on their way to competing in their fourth consecutive World Series. The concert also included several short films made by New York City's most notable filmmakers such as Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee.
Over 60 stars that participated in the concert signed unique memorabilia backstage at Madison Square Garden that was later auctioned off on Ebay to support The Robin Hood Relief Fund. The autographed items included 3 large posters of the concert and 3 customized 24" drumheads. Other items included a complete drumset and guitar.
Much of the crowd itself was extremely emotional, with victims' family members and colleagues holding up portraits of the dead. Three speakers were booed: actress Susan Sarandon (for plugging New York mayoralty candidate Mark Green), actor Richard Gere (for speaking about non-violent tolerance), and New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (before saying anything at all). Hillary Clinton did not overtly acknowledge the reaction, and spoke over the noise of the crowd by raising her voice. (In contrast, her husband former President Bill Clinton also appeared, but was very positively received by the crowd.) Richard Gere did acknowledge the crowd's jeering at his pacifist stance, stating, "That's apparently unpopular right now, but that's all right." The repeats and DVD version were digitally edited to remove the booing, and replaced it with dubbed cheering for Hillary Clinton.
Adam Sandler's performance of Operaman was considered by many to be one of the highlights of the night. He sang a humorous song about Rudy Giuliani's term as mayor ending, the New York Yankees who were about to start playing in the 2001 ALCS, the musical acts of the night so far (which included how Destiny's Child gave Adam Sandler a "boner"), and how Osama Bin Laden is a coward which included the line "Osama says he's tough, Osama says he's brave/Then tell me why Osama is shitting in a cave!"
Musically, the audience responded most fervently to The Who, roaring as they came on stage with a roiling "Who Are You", drowning out the band on the famous "It's only teenage wasteland" refrain of "Baba O'Riley," and reaching a peak of excitement with "Won't Get Fooled Again." The backdrop for the band consisted of an American flag alongside the British flag, showing solidarity. Vocalist Roger Daltrey's final words to the crowd of first responders and their families were: "We could never follow what you did." This performance would turn out to be bassist John Entwistle's final performance in America with the Who; he died of a heart attack only eight months later. Multi-instrumentalist Jon Carin, who had worked with the band during the group's 1996–1997 tours, played keyboards at this performance in place of longtime keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick.
Other highlights included David Bowie's opening tandem of Paul Simon's "America" and his own "Heroes", dedicated to his local ladder company, and New York's own Billy Joel's "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)" where Joel says after singing it, "I wrote that song 25 years ago as a science fiction song. I never thought it would really happen. But unlike the end of that song... we ain't going anywhere!" Elton John's sentimental "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" was also well received, among other performances.
Lineup and songs
In order of appearance:
- David Bowie - Performance: "America", "Heroes"
- Billy Crystal - Comedy Routine
- Tom Daschle - Speech
- Bon Jovi - Performance: "Livin' on a Prayer", "Wanted Dead Or Alive", "It's My Life"
- Mark Wahlberg - Jay-Z's Introduction
- Jay-Z - Performance: "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)"
- Goo Goo Dolls - Performance: "American Girl", "Iris"
- Susan Sarandon - Speech
- Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro - Introduce Martin Scorsese short film
- Martin Scorsese – Short film: "The Neighborhood"
- Billy Joel - Performance: "Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)", "New York State of Mind"
- Will Ferrell - (as President George W. Bush) - Comedy Routine: On The Taliban
- Chris Kattan - Introduce Destiny's Child
- Destiny's Child- Performance: "Emotion", "Walk With Me (Gospel Medley)"
- Harrison Ford - Thank you to Sponsors, Introduce Eric Clapton
- Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy - Performance: "Hoochie Coochie Man"
- Christy Turlington - Introduce Edward Burns short film
- Edward Burns - Short film: "Lovely Day"
- James Lipton - Introduce Operaman
- Adam Sandler - (as Operaman) - Sings Operaman
- Meg Ryan - Introduce Backstreet Boys
- Backstreet Boys - Performance: "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)"
- David Spade - Introduce Melissa Etheridge
- Melissa Etheridge - Performance: "Come To My Window", "Born To Run"
- Halle Berry - Introduce Spike Lee short film
- Spike Lee - Short film: "Come Rain or Come Shine"
- John Cusack - Introduce The Who
- The Who - Performance: "Who Are You", "Baba O'Riley", "Behind Blue Eyes" "Won't Get Fooled Again"
- George Pataki - Speech
- John Cusack - Introduce Woody Allen short film
- Woody Allen - Short film: "Sounds from the Town I Love"
- Mike Myers - Introduce Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
- Mick Jagger and Keith Richards - Performance: "Salt of the Earth", "Miss You"
- Howard Stern - Introduce short film: "I Am A New Yorker"
- Julia Styles - Introduce Macy Gray
- Macy Gray - Performance: "With A Little Help From My Friends"
- Hillary Clinton - Introduce Jerry Seinfeld short film
- Jerry Seinfeld - Short film: "The Greatest City on Earth"
- Bill Clinton - Introduce James Taylor
- James Taylor - Performance: "Fire and Rain", "Up on the Roof"
- Michael J. Fox- Introduce Rudy Giuliani
- Rudy Giuliani - Speech
- Jimmy Fallon - 80's Hits to "You Can't Touch This"
- Jon Bon Jovi - Introduce Kevin Smith short film
- Kevin Smith - Short film: "Why I Love #$%&@ New York"
- John Mellencamp - Performance: "Peaceful World"
- John Mellencamp and Kid Rock - Performance: "Pink Houses"
- Hilary Swank - Introduce Five For Fighting
- Five For Fighting - Performance: "Superman (It's Not Easy)"
- Janet Jackson - Performance: "Together Again"
- Elton John - Performance: "I Want Love", "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters"
- Elton John and Billy Joel - Performance: "Your Song"
- Jim Carrey - Introduce Paul McCartney
- Paul McCartney - Performance: "I'm Down", "Lonely Road", "From a Lover to a Friend", "Yesterday", "Freedom" (new song), "Let It Be" and "Freedom" (reprise)
The following short films were shown during the concert, here sorted by director:
- Woody Allen – "Sounds from a Town I Love"
- Edward Burns – "Lovely Day"
- Ric Burns – "New York: A Documentary Film"
- Christian Charles – "The Greatest City on Earth"
- Spike Lee – "Come Rain or Come Shine"
- Martin Scorsese – "The Neighborhood"
- Jerry Seinfeld – "The Greatest City on Earth"
- Kevin Smith – "Why I Love New #*$%!&@ York"
Sounds from a Town I Love
Sounds from a Town I Love (sometimes incorrectly referred to as Sounds from the Town I Love) is a 2001 comedy film of approximately three minutes, written and directed by Woody Allen. The film was first shown during The Concert for New York City. The film consists purely of cell-phone conversation snippets of twenty-two random people walking through the streets of New York City. Ranging from complainers to neurotic worriers conversing about bizarre or amusing situations, they and their comments are unrelated to one another. The film ends with a message from Woody Allen: "I love this town."
John Cusack introduced the film with a message from Woody Allen: "I apologize in advance for my short movie. The cause was so worthwhile that I could not say no when approached to contribute something to this wonderful show. I did the best I could. If you hate it, I will try to make it up to you somehow in the future." In addition to longtime Allen collaborators Marshall Brickman and Tony Roberts[disambiguation needed ], among the people seen in the film are Austin Pendleton, Griffin Dunne, Michael Emerson, Bebe Neuwirth, and Celia Weston.
In 2004 Rolling Stone magazine selected this concert, along with the earlier America: A Tribute to Heroes telethon, as one of the 50 moments that changed rock and roll. It was also voted the #4 greatest moment in the history of Madison Square Garden. On December 7, 2008, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey of The Who received Kennedy Center Honors from the President of the United States, and after several musicians performed their music, the finale was a surprise chorus of New York City police officers and rescue personnel who had been touched by their performance.
The concert was broadcast live on VH1 October 20, 2001, and over $35 million was raised. An additional $275,000 was also raised with a connecting auction. The five hour broadcast was executive produced by Greg Sills & Fred Graver. The producer was Paul Flattery and the director was Louis J Horvitz (who has directed many of the Oscar broadcasts). It was written by Stephen Pouliot and Paul Flattery.
The entire uncut version of the 51⁄2 hour concert was rebroadcast on VH1 Classic January 1, 2008. It was nominated for an EMMY for best music/comedy special (Greg Sills, Fred Graver and Paul Flattery) and for best production design (by SNL vet Keith Raywood).
An encore of the entire concert ran on September 11th, 2011 to commemorate the 10th anniversary, commercial free and unedited, from 4-10pm.
DVD and VHS release
The concert was released by Sony both on DVD and VHS on January 29, 2002, both only in NTSC format for the US/Canadian market. The two-tape VHS set has a total running time of 296 minutes, while the double DVD is 245 minutes, i.e. 51 minutes shorter.
- America: A Tribute to Heroes
- United We Stand: What More Can I Give
- The September Concert
- The Who Tours and Performances
- ^ Booing of Hillary Transformed into Applause
- ^ a b c Seibert, Perry. "The Concert For New York City [2 Discs"]. All Movie Guide. http://www.allmovie.com/dvd/the-concert-for-new-york-city-2-discs-23498/chapters. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
- ^ "The Concert For New York City". barnesandnoble.com. http://video.barnesandnoble.com/DVD/The-Concert-For-New-York-City/Woody-Allen/e/74645420592. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- ^ "CONCERT FOR NY (DVD) DVD". bestprices.com. http://www.bestprices.com/cgi-bin/vlink/074645420592.html. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- ^ "Concert for New York City DVDs (2001)". cduniverse.com. http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=1087442. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- ^ a b "Sounds From a Town I Love (2001)". geocities.com. Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.geocities.com/sunsetstrip/club/9542/sounds.html&date=2009-10-25+22:30:51. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- ^ Woody Allen on Woody Allen (revised, illustrated ed.). Grove Atlantic Press. 2005. ISBN 0802142036. OCLC 9780802142030. http://books.google.com/books?id=52ktj6Vd_FsC&pg=PA388&dq=%22Sounds+from+a+Town+I+Love%22,+Woody+Allen&ei=GZyASoaBNoqukAS-oKXmCw#v=onepage&q=%22Sounds%20from%20a%20Town%20I%20Love%22%2C%20Woody%20Allen&f=false.
- ^ MSG 50 Greatest Moments
- ^ Rollig Stone Magazine December 8, 2008: Dave Grohl, Chris Cornell Pay Tribute to the Who at Kennedy Center Retreieved 2011-09-14
- ^ Amazon: The Concert for New York City CD Retrieved 2011-09-14
- ^ Amazon: The Concert for New York City DVD Retrieved 2011-09-14
- ^ Amazon: The Concert for New York City VHS Retrieved 2011-09-14
- The Concert For New York City Website As of April 9, 2010, the original website no longer exists.
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