Is Eleanor Rigby picking up rice off the ground because she’s a poor lady and wants to cook and eat the rice?
The true power of Mark Knopfler’s dead pan emphatic stage presence (and the TRUE power of extended Sax solos) is that nearly 3 minutes passes before the camera pulls in tight to reveal that Eric Clapton is on stage, playing rhythm guitar.
1992. Head bands. Dad jeans. Another big sax solo. Huge daytime crowd, hands waving above their heads. The song relents when the verse, “all I do is miss you”, as the organ takes over. Then it all stops and Chris White steps forward and brings it home.
An abridged version. This is a live studio performance for television, in 1980. Mark Knopfler was already into his 30’s before he gained any broad success. So, there’s like hope for me, too.
How the National Guitar found its way into song.
A very moving orchestral intro. A drummer who is rocking. Mark changes fucking guitars late in the song for a solo. The most emotional I’ve seen him. Imagine spending 30+ years with a song. Tons of artists do it, and it has to be hard to keep it fresh, stay connected. How MK and his band do it, I don’t know. For me, my first contact with this song came through Empire Records (a film that moved me deeply to, like, be the kind of character that would be in the movie), and when Mark feather dusts the ballerinas foot, I was hooked.
I mean, this is a very sad song, and, if you’re like me and you listen to it too much, one of two things can happen; (and this of course depends on who you really are as a person, too) you can become immune to this story, about two kids who came up on different streets, but fell in love just the same. You’ll let the lyrics move away like the remnants of a shore-break wave, it just goes back out the way it came in and you don’t even try to stop it—hold it near you. Or, you can let your eyes well up, let the heaviness of the “It was just the time was wrong” wash over you until you’re sure you’re in love, and really, anyway what you gonna do about it?
And so these are the Top 5 live performances of Romeo & Juliet. Enjoy, Won’t You?