When Johnny Cash went to the San Quentin prison on February 24th 1969 he displayed his wild ability to perform. (Watch it here.) Before he struck into the opening notes of his classic "I Walk the Line" he told the prisoners,
"You know we've been on tour for about a week now after our last recording session and they say old Johnny Cash works good under pressure.
(Strums the guitar)
Put the screws on me and I'm gonna screw right out from under you, that's what I'm gonna do. You know that?
I'm tired of all that shit.
(Strums as the prisoners hoot, holler, and whistle)
ALRIGHT! I'll tell you what. The show is being recorded and televised for England. And they told me, they said um...they said you gotta do this song, you gotta do that song, you gotta stand like this or act like this but I just don't get it man, you know, I'm here to do what you want me to and what I want to do.
(Hoots, hollers, and screams from the prisoners)
OK? SO WHAT DO YOU WANNA HEAR?
(Prisoners go wild and yell out the names of their favorite songs. Walk the Line is shouted the most.)
Alright. I walk the line."
And away old Johnny Cash goes!! No wonder we miss the Man in Black. He was a performer. The audio of this famous concert kind of reminds me of the Cold Play jamboree I went to last Wednesday in Hong Kong. Oh me, oh my can those guys play! Two-plus hours of all-out energy and all that jazz. Big yellow balloons filled with confetti falling during "Yellow." Chris Martin running wild around a u-shaped stage then hunkering down with his head so far into his piano you thought he was a headless key man. Halfway through they took off up through the 11,000 in what they called "the biggest room we have ever seen. It's in two time zones." From the back they busked a couple of ditties and Martin asked for the lights to be shut off while we lit up our cell phones and started a big wave (like at the baseball park). 11,000 doctors, lawyers, teachers, students, and business people all suited up and standing on our chairs like teenagers at a Miley Cyrus appearance. It was wild and fun and one darn good concert. On the train ride home revelers yelled in shouted hum the chorus of Viva La Vida and a dance train formed down the center aisle of our ride down the rails. Unseen in Hong Kong unless you've come from a performance!
Humanity cries out to the performer
Don't stop your trick and treat
We won't go home, we won't settle
Now that you have tested your mettle and it works