My Little Red Book
Photos: Lisa Rosenberg
Just wanted to be the first of many to tell you how GREAT Arthur and the band were tonight in New York. As usual, they rocked the house; Arthur took a song or two to hit his stride, but he was as ever the power man he always he. I was speaking to Mike Randle after the show, and said he he felt it was close to as good a show as the Bowery show in NY this summer (which was legendary in my book). I felt the difference with this show was at the summer show, they were much more raw excitement, as they were trying out new songs, etc. This time it was relaxed, fun tight and if they had half as much fun as the audience we all had a great time!
The December 21, 2002 show at the Warsaw Club was the perfect holiday treat,
it was Love’s gift to all of the fans in this area. I just want to begin by
giving a little background on the club itself. The Warsaw Club is located in the
Greenpoint area of Brooklyn, which was an area where many Polish immigrants had
settled in the first half of the 20th century, and still carries a wonderful
Polish flavor to it. My grandfather’s favorite Polish deli was located in
Greenpoint, which he went to every Christmas to buy kielbasa and other
traditional fare for the family. The Warsaw was great, you have to love a club
where pierogi and blintzes are served, you’re not going to find those treats
at most other clubs. I really liked this club, the staff was very friendly, they
really made us feel at home, it was a very relaxed atmosphere, there wasn’t
any of that NY attitude that unfortunately pervades many of the other clubs in
the NY metro area.
After getting a Zywiec (Polish beer) from a very nice woman who looked like she could have been one of my relatives, we settled in the main hall, which was decorated with Christmas lights. At about 11:00 PM, Love appeared and the crowd erupted. For the first half of the show, Arthur was all business, minimal chit chat, he hammered out the songs one after another. “7 and 7 Is” was great as Arthur grabbed his guitar and belted out the song with incredible energy. The crowd was bowled over with the perfectly done “Alone Again Or.” Starting with “Red Telephone,” we got the second half of the show which was a little different from the first.
When Arthur introduced “Red Telephone”, he said “When you pick up the red telephone, the war is on.” Then he said something about Saddam Hussein says that when you sacrifice you don’t lose, at least 3 miles into the Earth. I couldn’t quite hear that last part but it was something to that effect. Then Arthur really got the audience laughing when he said that we have satellites where we can see an ant pissing on a piece of cotton, but we can’t find Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein! At the end of the song, Arthur really got the whole crowd to shout “freedom!”
Before “Live and Let Live”, he said that he almost forget that one and wanted to explain why he wrote it. He said that he had been smoking a joint and I think that he said that an ash fell on his pants and it looked liked it turned into crystal.
The “Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This” was a lot of fun. There might have been some flubs with the lyrics, but it was terrific anyway. At one point, I don’t know if Rusty was struggling with the words a little bit or what, but Arthur glided over to him and took over his microphone and started singing, it was a cute moment.
After this song, Arthur told the audience that he is hoping to bring the orchestra back this way for the Forever Changes Anniversary shows. He talked briefly about doing the new album and said that he was trying to do his best. Then he said “I have a special request from my friend Frank, and his twin brother and twin sister, triplets, it tripped me out!” Then the group launched into a rousing “Stephanie Knows Who.”
After the final song, “Singing Cowboy,” I couldn’t believe that the show was over already. Thank you Arthur, Mike, Rusty, Dave, and David for a wonderful show. What they say is true, Love is the best gift at Christmas!