Roland Janes, the great guitar man on so many Sun Records hits, once said that not even Jerry Lee knows how good Jerry Lee is.
One magical night back in November of 1989, Jerry Lee Lewis brought together some of his talented rock n’ roll friends for a performance that’s delighting fans to this day.
This concert footage is from a live performance at London’s Hammersmith Apollo. That evening “the Killer” performed several of his famous tracks, such as Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, What I’d Say, and Great Balls Of Fire, all delivered in his classic signature style.
An eager crowd awaits as Lewis’ fingers glide effortlessly across the keys, giving them just a little tease before the familiar “bum bum – bum bum”. When Jerry Lee let’s out the the first line, “You shake my nerves…”, the crowd automatically erupts in applause and cheers. Just watch:
Jerry Lee Lewis is one of the founding fathers of Rock ‘n’ Roll. He was one of the original Sun Records quartet along with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash who between them defined the music of a generation. His recording career has stretched from the mid-50’s to the present day and his unique style of piano playing has influenced scores of musicians over the years.
Jerry’s life has been as extraordinary as the performances he delivers. He has survived boycotts, riots, scandals and a rollercoaster career. His fascinating authorized biography, “Jerry Lee Lewis; Lost and Found”, by Joe Bonomo, is full of tales of “The Killer”.
Sam Phillips of Sun Records, a man who knows a thing or two about a hit, called him “the most talented man I ever worked with, black or white… one of the most talented human beings to walk God’s earth.”.
Lewis crashed a dozen Cadillacs in one year and played the Apollo. With racial hatred burning in the headlines, the audience danced in the seats to a white boy from the bottomland, backed by pickers who talked like Ernest Tubbs. “James Brown kissed me on my cheek,” Lewis said. “Top that.”
This performance shows an older Lewis than the rock n’ roll badboy referred to in most stories. Although time may have slightly softened Lewis’ harder edges, he puts on a show that exudes his dynamic personality along with his stunning signature style.
Tell me what you think of this live performance. Would you like to see more of this special night in concert?