It was, of course, the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon last Wednesday. No cause for celebration, of course, but certainly some sort of a communal gathering of remembrance seemed to be called for.
And if that was indeed the case, then the Nippertown place to be for the evening was Savannah’s in downtown Albany.
As usual, Wednesday was Capital Underground Live night at Savannah’s, but organizer Ralph Renna had something special on tap for the special night – Tom Raider doing the solo version of his John Lennon tribute, Imagining Lennon.
It was no slick, polished production – just Raider armed with his guitar, singing those Beatle classics and chatting between tunes with the crowd, in his faux Liverpudlian accent, of course. But Raider’s been doing the Lennon thing so well for so long that it all sounds very natural.
It wasn’t a particularly somber evening, either, although I will admit a few tears welled up in my eyes during “In My Life.” No, this was a celebration of the music. And while old-timers bellied up to the bar and regaled each other with stories of where they were that fateful night 30 years earlier, the pub-like atmosphere lent itself to hearty sing-alongs throughout the night, especially on such audience-participation-required gems as “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “Help!”
Photographs by Al Goldberg