A Classic Concert – Cat Stevens, Tea For The Tillerman Live.
Anyone experiencing the summer of love might wonder how we reached the times we have now. If you’ve only heard of the summer of love your impression may concentrate on the gratuitous meaning of love. Yes it was a “Wild World” but 1968 also evoked a light and presence from the feeling of hope and opportunity in peoples psyche. Just as The Beatles had gone on to preach “All You need is Love” to the world in their flamboyant manner, experimenting with religion and other mind changing opportunities, there was a young man who’s life would be touched by fear and passion through illness and near death experiences.
In short, creating his own anthology. Steven Demetre Georgiou first emerged as “Steve Adams”, however an indulgent early success saw him spending time in hospital recovering from T.B. writing poetry, singing his songs and playing a Hagström 12 string acoustic guitar made in Sweden, the land of his mother.
His father’s striking Grecian looks, his mother’s Scandinavian outlook on life, and the atmosphere of the era produced a legend. Cat Stevens’ gentle and enquiring outlook touched the hearts of the world in a manner rarely seen in modern music.
Caught in the whirlwind of hope, certainly caught in the fruits of success – as any impressionable young man would be from the clutches of opportunity; most of all, he went on to cultivate his own ‘era of passion’ in those in the early 1970’s.
If you think I’m wrong, you must – I mean must – return to the albums he produced in those early heady days. Not evangelism, and no demarcation of uncertainty – he loved, he felt pain, he had hope. Tea for the Tillerman and Teaser and The Firecat may be gentle in these times, but “take your time, think a lot, think of everything you’ve got” and you will feel one of the strongest portrayals of simple love and passion ever known in recording history.
If you know the albums – and like me put them on your re-buy list when you first started buying CD’s - then you’ll know where I’m coming from.
Stepping out of the limelight left many puzzled, some lost, but maybe like other influential people, the time was right to move on. Whatever your take on the following years, you’ll hanker for an opportunity to peek into the bubble, feel that tingle, laugh and cry all at once and just soak up the sounds that were Cat Stevens.
Here is a very rare opportunity in a raw but perfectly composed live performance at the KCET studio Los Angeles filmed 8th June 1971. See the detail and subtle nuances of every note produced by Cat Stevens, with Alun Davies on second Guitar and Larry Steele on Bass and Congas. Those old vinyls will literally come to life!
No Hagström on stage in this presentation, (other UK recordings showed it still). The visual impression of the audience is dated of course, but the sounds are timeless and worthy of the same adulation they evoked when they were new.
If you were there – you were lucky. If you were around at the time you’ll rush to see this new DVD. If you missed the whole thing first time around – go get yourself one of the most influential renderings of a personal meaning of life at the time.
This live concert provides a wonderfully intimate performance of these classic songs: Moonshadow, On the Road to Find Out, Where Do the Children Play, Wild World, Miles From Nowhere, Longer Boats, Father and Son, Hard Headed Woman. At the end you are treated to the full evocative yet simple animation that accompanied the following album title Teaser and The Firecat.
A Classic Concert – Cat Stevens, Tea For The Tillerman Live is available from Wienerworld on DVD – Ref: WNRD2448, from the end of July 2008. (David Cox – www.hagstrom.org.uk)
Wienerworld, a leading UK independent DVD label, is proud to
be distributing A Classic Concert: Cat Stevens - Tea For The Tillerman Live!
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