The Benefit for John Wicks and a Powerpop Thanksgiving (video)
Just a few weeks ago, many powerpop fans (including myself) got together in Los Angeles CA to celebrate the immense talent and continued health of John Wicks. For those few who don’t know, The Records’ lead singer and songwriter, the guy who sang and co-wrote all those memorable hits like Starry Eyes” and Teenerama”, has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
As all of us know, one must fight not only the disease but the inevitable medical bills that accompany recovery. Led by Paul Rock and headlined by the likes of pop luminaries such as Denny Laine, Al Stewart, The Bangles and Peter Case, John’s friends came together for a fabulous night of rock n roll – clearly the highlight of this year’s live performances – anywhere.
I recall speaking with John about his weight loss in August and hadn’t known what to expect upon seeing him again. I am pleased to report that he looks great. Not only that, JW sounds great. This was in evidence when John and The Records performed the final set that very memorable night of October 8, 2015. I’ve captured his set below as well as sets from any of the talent from the benefit, which you’ll find included in the “powerpop version” of the night’s footage. The Records’ set included Teenerama, All Messed Up & Ready to Go, Guitars in the Sky and the anthem of our youths, Starry Eyes.
“Powerpop Version featuring The Records, Bangles, Case & More
The Records’ entire set
I was not able to capture every set as I was shooting the footage from an old iPad which, surprisingly, sounds pretty good. But alas, iPad memory is limited so not all the great performances were capture. Still, there were some incredible highlights. Denny Laine performed “Go Now” with the Bangles and did a killer version of “Live and Let Die”. Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat” and Peter Asher’s “A World Without Love” were awesome to hear live. But the ultimate highlights for powerpop fans had to be sets by The Bangles, Peter Case and of course, The Records.
Here’s the full 45+ minute version:
For those of us in attendance, it was about a great deal more than the performances. Not only did we have the opportunity to spend time with John and other friends I hadn’t seen in a couple of years (folks who flew in from all around the country) but I had the good fortune to run into David Bash of International Pop Overthrow fame. I hadn’t seen David in some time but, donning the black hat (which is often his identifier), he was hard to miss. You’ll be happy to know that David has recovered well from his earlier health issues. Faces in the crowd included the greatest drummer on the planet, Clem Burke, as well as another great Record, Jude Cole. The room was packed to the brim with folks ready to celebrate the moment with John.
Watch the full version of the show (about 45 minutes in length) as well as an abbreviated “powerpop version” featuring the bands that most fit in that genre (about 30 minutes). It’s your choice. Either way, you’ll be treated to the best live rock n roll show of 2015. Enjoy and give thanks for health and rock and roll.