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Buddha's picture
Last seen: 9 years 4 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 10:24am
The animated corpse of Leon Russell.

News item:

The animated corpse of Leon Russell sat in state tonight in a small club in Las Vegas.

Voted the top concert act in the world by Billboard Magazine in 1973, Leon evidently dies sometime in the mid-80's and some evil carney (album pun) has been traveling around putting him on display since then.

He did appear remarkably lifelike, but this concert goer was not fooled.

There were several telltale bits of evidence that gave the illusion away:

He played keyboards with the same verve that Brian Wilson has been showing on his recent tours.

He left his Casio set to "synthesizer" the whole evening.

He did fewer Leon songs than a Leon tribute band playing a double-wide trailer bar.

Songs of his he did:

Delta Lady


Lady Blue

This Song For You (or whatever the name, you know the one)

Back to the Island

He may have done a few others, but not that were recognizable.

Songs he didn't do:

Roll Away the Stone

This Masquerade


Shoot Out at the Plantation

Stranger in a Strange land


I only mention the songs he didn't do because there are others that he did, like...

A disco synthesizer version of Wild Horses

A synthesizer wash special of It's a Hard Rain Gonna Fall that makes Bryan Ferry's version seem deep and sincere.

A synthesizer violin section version of Georgia

An almost indecipherable cover of Let the Good Times Roll

Horror of horrors, a medley...

Jumpin' Jack Flash done Gloria Gaynor meets Howard Jones style, segueing into Papa Was a Rolling Stone, which bled into an instrumental pastiche of Paint It Black, and ending up with Kansas City.

Throughout, he was maybe mercifully under-mic'd.

I think the only member of the band who showed up for sound check must have been his back up singer and tambourine shaker - she came through loud and clear.

For the encore, he came out and said his first words of the show, "Blah blah blah Las Vegas...something something...this last song was first done by a man who taught me the meaning of the word grace..."

...and he did a lounge rave up version of Great Balls of Fire.

What the Hell?

What the Hell one: Great Balls of Fire as the last tune at a Leon Russell "concert," and...

What the Hell two: Jerry Lee Lewis taught him the meaning of the word grace?

Was Grace one of Jerry Lee's 13 year old cousins or something?

Now, to cut Leon some slack, I'm familiar with his having been in Jerry Lee's band back in the day, and he's known for having once done a good cover of Jumpin' Jack Flash, etc...but he put less into that show than Dr. John did at Hi Fi 2006.

He would have to have kicked it up three notches to reach the level of "phoning it in."

As Stephen would write in his blog if he had had the misfortune of attending this show:



Big Mike said it was worse than the time we got loaded and went to an "Emerson Lake Powell" concert!

Cheers, y'all.

Tomorrow night is James Lee there's hope.

mjalazard's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 4:38pm
Re: The animated corpse of Leon Russell.

"Leon, you owe us 90 minutes!!" Buddha exclaimed. The sound man was kicking back with his feet up on the console...I appreciate people hiring the hearing-impaired, but come on! Leon's keyboard was mic'ed so poorly that I'm gonna have nightmares about Lowther drivers and Tractrix horns. I told Buddha that I've never heard keyboards sound out of phase at a concert before. I don't think there's enough alcohol (without killing ourselves) to make us right again.

Brian E
Brian E's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 22 2007 - 2:27am
Re: The animated corpse of Leon Russell.

That sucks. He showed up near where I live as the lead-in act for a Crosby, Stills and Nash show and by himself he was impressive. Of course, that was in the early 1990s.

Somewhere I still have some photos of him back in the day playing in G'ville, Florida. That was also a great concert but I myself was not there.

59mga's picture
Last seen: 2 years 3 months ago
Joined: Jun 21 2006 - 6:52am
Re: The animated corpse of Leon Russell.

What ever did happen to Leon? He's become a "Stranger in a Strange Land".

dsahm's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 24 2008 - 7:42pm
Re: The animated corpse of Leon Russell.

Buddha & Friends

We attended a Leon Russell 'concert' at the new Roanoke Rapids (NC) Theatre this last Saturday night (3/22/08) Many of the same issues cited in this thread were alive and well here.

Long story short, worse factor was the incredibly damaging volume of the drummer and the 2nd keyboard player. We had 2nd row center seats at $80 and STILL left after leaving said seats trying to find a decent spot elsewhere in the largely vacant theatre. It would almost seem as if they are intentionally drowning Leon out!

Others were also in the lobby with 'bleeding' ears, one guy was dead set on hanging around the lobby waiting for a song or two. Not us... we had had enough abuse, even if it meant the $80 was a compleat waste. We couldn't wait to leave.

Check his website, You'll see that this 'concert' was the last of a week or so long run. No wonder there were no pauses between songs or that Leon dissed the standing ovation when he suddenly appeared onstage.

Bottom line: if you like Leon, buy a CD, watch him on You Tube, but don't attempt going to the concert if it comes your way. You'll be sorry

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