Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 | musiX
Don Kirshner—”The Man With the Golden Ear”—had his hands in all things rock ‘n’ roll since the ’50s, working with songwriters from New York’s fabled Brill Building, who in turn provided some of the early hits for The Monkees. He later helped provide the tunes for the Archies ‘toons.
But Kirshner, at least for me, will always be known as the driving force (if not the simply the name) behind Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. The show, which ran from 1973 to 1981, shirked the typical pre-recorded lip-synced performances in favor of gritty live performances from a wide range of artists including Sly & the Family Stone, the Ramones, KISS, UFO, Ike & Tina, Sparks, George Harrison, Weather Report, Brian Ferry … wow.
Kirshner died yesterday from heart failure at the age of 76.
I leave you with this 1975 performance from Black Sabbath on Rock Concert, which you gotta think scared the bejesus out of America. Just listen to Tony Iommi’s guitar tone, for fuck’s sakes.