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Anniversary of Lennon’s Only Solo Show

John Lennon
Hulton Archive / Getty Images

It was 41 years ago today (August 30th, 1972) that John Lennon and Yoko Ono performed their only publicly announced, full-length concerts at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. The two shows, known as the One To One concerts, included an afternoon matinee and an evening performance, and benefited the Willowbrook House, with the proceeds from the concerts going to help establish new accommodations for the mentally handicapped inhabitants of the former Willowbrook institution in Long Island, New York.

The shows also included performances by Sha-Na-Na, Stevie Wonder, and Roberta Flack. John and Yoko closed both shows with a full concert set, featuring songs by each of them, backed by their then-band the Elephant’s Memory. Lennon, decked out in iconic army fatigues, cowboy boots, and blue-tinted granny-glasses, played both guitar and electric piano. Yoko contributed some keyboard work, as well. The set featured mostly material from John and Yoko’s early ’70s solo albums, as well as material their recently released joint album Some Time In New York City. The couple was introduced by Geraldo Rivera, who organized the benefit.

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