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Remembering the Main Point, 1964 – 1981

on July 9, 2017 No comments


WXPN

by William Kates

Begining in 1964, The Main Point in Bryn Mawr provided the Philadelphia area with one of its most enjoyable venues for live music. Although it started as a folk based coffeehouse, all styles of music were presented over the years. Financial problems continually plagued the Main Point, and in spite of frequent benefit shows by artists who loved the place as much as the audience, the club finally closed in 1981. The following brief history is contained in an obituary of Jeanette O. Campbell, one of the founders and owners of the Main Point who died on October 22, 2006, written by Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer Sally A. Downey as reprinted on the Save Ardmore Coalition website.

Jeanette Orndoff Campbell, 89, former owner of the Main Point, a music hall in Bryn Mawr where young talents including Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and James Taylor were introduced to local audiences, died of complications from hip surgery Oct. 22 at Stapeley, a retirement residence in Germantown.

Mrs. Campbell booked acts, baked gingerbread and brownies, made the coffee and cider, and offered bed and board to performers at the Main Point from its opening night in a 1964 blizzard until it closed in 1981. By then, the club was operating in the red, and musicians, grateful that Mrs. Campbell had given them a chance, raised money to pay her bills at benefit concerts, her granddaughter, Heather Fowler, said.

“My life began at 46, when my husband and I got the idea that the Main Line needed a place for nice folk music after we were at the Philadelphia Folk Festival,” she told a reporter in 1975. “It was a really spiritual awakening for me. So we pooled our money with four other couples and opened the Main Point.”

After the other couples gave up their interests and she and her husband, William Campbell, divorced, Mrs. Campbell said, the Main Point became her “entire life.”

The Main Point – Jeanette Campbell Tribute

This was put together with interviews we shot for the documentary. It was put together as a tribute to Jeanette.

Geplaatst door Kevin Mattice op dinsdag 15 september 2009

 

Riding the crest of the acoustic music boom, the club welcomed then-obscure artists like Joni Mitchell and Arlo Guthrie. Bruce Springsteen sang “It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City,” “Hey Santa Ana,” “Secret to the Blues,” and “New York City Serenade” at the Main Point as the opening act on Jan. 3, 1973. He returned to the club several times as a headliner.

I’m not entirely certain why there are no photos in my archive from the Main Point, since I have shots of many of the Main Point artists playing other venues during the same time period. My best guess is that the Main Point may have had a no camera policy. Considering all the amazing performances that took place there, it’s sad that the photographic legacy is almost non-existent. Except for the menu reproduced below, all of the photos and graphics included here come from a 1974 publication called The Main Point 10 Years On… A Special 10th Anniversary Publication.

Steve Goodman played the Main Point numerous times, but I’m going to guess that the this photo was taken in January 1972, based on the artist list below. According to the anniversary publication, Steve Goodman (far right) after completing his set invited John Prine (center) up to the stage for the encore, and they sang a twenty minute set of Hank Williams tunes. After leaving the stage, they obliged the thundering ovation from the audience with another encore and brought out the opening act (far left) Trevor Veitch and Andy Kulberg.

“When the extra mikes were set and everyone situated, Trevor leaned into the mike and announced, “Will you please welcome Bonnie Raitt!”

More Hank Williams tunes followed and the performance concluded with a rendition of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”.

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SoulmanRemembering the Main Point, 1964 – 1981

A Love Letter To My Other Woman

on July 30, 2016 No comments

Joe Galliani

by Joe Galliani, aka the Creative Greenius

This is my love letter to Bonnie Raitt – the other woman in my life.

I am here in Santa Barbara with Deb, celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, having driven up the coast 100 miles from our home in Redondo Beach to see Bonnie play at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

Bonnie doesn’t know I’m here. I didn’t let her know I was coming. Didn’t even send her a text or leave a voicemail.

Even if I had it wouldn’t have made any difference. She wouldn’t care, believe me. How could she? Bonnie Raitt doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know I’m here to celebrate our 35th anniversary.

She doesn’t know that on my birthday next month it will be the 36th anniversary of the day in 1980 I proposed to Debra at a Bonnie Raitt concert at the Universal Ampitheatre. Not just any Bonnie concert – the one with Sippie Wallace!

Bonnie doesn’t know that six years earlier, Deb helped produce a performance Bonnie did at the Kiva while Deb was a college student at Michigan State in 1974. Or that the poster from that gig at the MSU Kiva hung proudly in Deb’s Seal Beach apartment when I first met her.

Bonnie has no way of knowing she was the indelible and non-stop soundtrack for my earliest years in California, as a 20-year-old seeking movie screenwriting fame and fortune in Hollywood.

It was 1977 and I was living on Romaine Avenue off of Vine, between Melrose and Santa Monica, in the gritty low income side of Tinseltown. I roomed with my screenwriting partner who had 4 cassette tapes and a stereo tape deck.

Two of those cassettes were Bonnie’s first two albums and songs like Women Be Wise” “Finest Loving Man” “Big Road” “Give It Up Or Let Me Go” “I Know” “Love Me Like A Man and You Got To Really Know How were not only giving me a lesson in the blues, but were also preparing me to appreciate and cherish strong, talented, independent women, who can and will give as good as they get. Just like the one I fell in love with and married 35 years ago.

So maybe it’s no surprise that I have spent the last 39 years choosing to work with and befriend exactly those kind of women – in every area of my life. Or that today at 58, the vast majority of my closest friends and colleagues are almost exclusively women I admire, respect and want to spend my time with.

I know Bonnie wouldn’t take the credit for any of that. How could she? We’ve never talked about it.

Just as we’ve never discussed how much I always loved watching Bonnie sing with her father, Broadway legend, John Raitt. They sang duets at almost every Los Angeles area concert she played for years. The joy they shared filled the hearts of all who heard them. And they meant something uniquely special to me.

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SoulmanA Love Letter To My Other Woman

James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt make a pretty good pair at PPG Paints Arena

on July 16, 2017 No comments


Scott Mervis / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

James Taylor gives a thumbs up to the crowd as he walks on stage.Saturday, July 15, 2017 at PPG Paints Arena in Uptown. Bonnie Raitt performed before Taylor. © Rebecca Droke /Post-Gazette

“You’re still sexy!”

It was just a lone voice from the crowd, directed not at New Kids on the Block — that was two weeks ago — but James Taylor, who brought a churning urn of burning funk to the PPG Paints Arena on Saturday night.

The set-up for that come-on was Taylor backing the song “Sunny Skies” with a video of him frolicking around with lovable pug.

“Shameless footage of a dog,” he said in his wry manner. “When you give up on sexy, you gotta go cute.”

Apparently, he doesn’t have to give up on sexy completely. James Taylor, at 69, can still woo fans with those tender folk/pop songs, just sitting on a stool in the middle of an arena picking an acoustic guitar.

Those were just a few parts of the show, although that’s the image most people have of his concerts. When I told someone I was going to see James Taylor, he said, “Why, are you not sleeping well lately?”

JT and his crack 10-piece band do plenty to keep us awake. In fact, by the end, he had his crowd (of about 7,000) up and dancing like it was a wedding.

The first thing Taylor did to keep people alert was to bring along Bonnie Raitt, whom he stepped out to introduce as “my favorite singer in the world.”

Bonnie Raitt performes … Saturday, July 15, 2017 at PPG Paints Arena in Uptown. © Rebecca Droke /Post-Gazette

If you just saw Bonnie Raitt walking down the street, you’d probably think she looks pretty cool. Accessorize her with a beat-up Strat and she enters an almost untouchable realm of cool. With her red hair and that shock of white, she stands on stage like a queen — upright and poised — and plays slide guitar like a devil. Over her 45-year Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career, she’s demonstrated time again that she can trade licks with anybody. She continues to do it now with another skilled player in George Marinelli, from blazing solos to slow burners.

She packed a lot of greatness into her hour with staples like “Something to Talk About” and her stunning cover of John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery,” which she dedicated to the millions of women in the world who don’t enjoy the freedoms and choices that American women do.

After the lovely “Take My Love With You,” she said “Nothing like a sweet one…followed by a sour one,” leading her into a fiery “Spit of Love” with one of her meanest jams.

She has swagger to burn. In her cover of INXS’s “Need You Tonight,” she sang, “There’s something about you, baby …. that makes me sweat,” at which point she stopped for a second to glare at the audience. You had to be there to feel it.

At the piano, she took “Nick of Time” to church with gospel singer Arnold McCuller from JT’s band. “It’s a song I wrote when it was 39 and worried about turning 40,” she said. “It’s funny to think about that now.” The 67-year-old guitarist said that when she was carousing with the old blues guys all those years ago, “I never thought I’d still be here now.” We’re lucky to have her.

She ended her set with Taylor back for a rousing duet on John Hiatt’s “Thing Called Love” with three guitars flaring.

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SoulmanJames Taylor and Bonnie Raitt make a pretty good pair at PPG Paints Arena

Taylor and Raitt strike a harmonious note in Newark The veteran singer-songwriters share a bill, and the stage, at the Prudential Center.

on July 7, 2017 No comments

by Jay Lustig, Special to The Record

  © Michael Karas /Northjersey.com

 

James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt’s first show together was in 1970, at the Sanders Theatre in Cambridge, Mass. He headlined and she, still a junior at Radcliffe College, opened.

Their paths have continued to cross over the years. Most famously, perhaps, they both performed at the “No Nukes” protest concerts at Madison Square Garden in 1979. And on Thursday night, Taylor, 69, and Raitt, 67, kicked off a joint tour at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Taylor pronounced it a “dream come true” moments before they performed one of their three numbers together: His tender ballad “You Can Close Your Eyes,” which they sang while sitting close to each other on stools, backed only by his acoustic guitar.

It was Taylor’s third encore. For the first, he and Raitt, backed by his full band, sang Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” as a tribute to the late rock icon, with Raitt on slide guitar and Taylor’s guitarist Michael Landau both taking solos.

They sang that, as well as “You Can Close Your Eyes,” in unison, harmonizing throughout instead of taking different lines or verses. They had performed together at the end of Raitt’s opening set, too, on Raitt’s 1989 John Hiatt-written hit “Thing Called Love,” trading verses and harmonizing on the choruses. And though it wasn’t a duet, Raitt made sure to include her cover of Taylor’s “Rainy Day Man” in her set.

The collaborations made the evening unique, though on a more basic level, the tour is simply an opportunity to see two formidable artists, both backed by top-notch bands, in the same evening. And by teaming up, Taylor and Raitt can play bigger venues – arenas and stadiums – than the amphitheaters and theaters where they usually can be found.

“This is a trip,” Raitt said, staring out at the vast expanses of the Prudential Center.

In his nearly two-hour set, Taylor sang the mellow masterpieces he is best known for: “Fire and Rain,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Sweet Baby James,” “Carolina in My Mind” and so on. But he also had plenty of room for more upbeat hits such as “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You),” “Your Smiling Face,” “Mexico” (with more of a salsa feel than in the studio version) and the gospelly “Shed a Little Light,” and he worked in some less familiar songs, including “Montana,” “Sunny Skies” and “Jump Up Behind Me.”
Virtually everyone in his large band — including such session giants as the drummer Steve Gadd, the percussionist Luis Conte and the saxophonist “Blue Lou” Marini — got at least one spotlight solo, with some enthusiastic praise from Taylor and even a photo display, for each musician, on the video screens. Taylor made much use of those screens, showing lots of old photos and video footage of himself during songs, and well as other video sequences meant to complement the material. It added a busy visual component to music that was calm and centered and soulful, and I wonder if the show would have been even more powerful without it (or with the screens used more sparingly).

Raitt had less time to work with, but still included lots of trademark songs (including “Something to Talk About” and an achingly slow “Angel From Montgomery”) and covers ranging from Los Lobos’ “Shakin’ Shakin’ Shakes” to Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House” and INXS’ “Need You Tonight.”

She also ventured into reggae for “Have a Heart” and dove deep into the blues for an acoustic “Love Me Like a Man” and a blistering electric “Spit of Love.”

“Thank you,” she said after “Spit of Love.” “Glad I got that off my chest.”

Before “Angel From Montgomery,” which was written by John Prine, she mentioned that she, Taylor, Prine, Emmylou Harris, Maria Muldaur and many other singer-songwriters all started out together around the same time, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“Who would have thought that 50 years later, we’d all still be doing it?” she asked.

Source: © Copyright NorthJersey.com

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SoulmanTaylor and Raitt strike a harmonious note in Newark The veteran singer-songwriters share a bill, and the stage, at the Prudential Center.