Tonight, we saw A Poem is a Naked Person, Les Blank's long lost film about (sort of) Leon Russell, made back in the heyday, in 1974, which was when I loved Leon Russell. Lots of people did. He was a session musician in Los Angeles, working with the famous Wrecking Crew and playing sessions with an amazing array of people (George Harrison, J.J. Cale, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra). He had a pretty great solo career for about ten years, after which it slowed down quite a bit.
Apparently Blank and Russell had some creative--and personal--differences, which meant that this film never was released until now. It was a gift tonight, to listen to the music again, in filmed studio sessions and in concert. A reminder of what a powerful performer he was. I saw him once in the 80s, with Edgar Winter (remember, RH?), in a small club in the mid valley. He was still great at the piano and in good voice.
A boy in my Mormon ward gave me a copy of Carney because it was his favorite album, and we were flirting a little bit, and maybe kind of were together for about a half an hour or a month. I listened to it constantly. I still have it in my limited collection of LPs from that era.
Nothing, nothing like music to bring back everything you felt, everything you were, when you were young and you knew nothing, and a boy gave you music as a gift, and forty years later you are still that girl, listening to an album in the dark.
Here's Rita Coolidge singing 'Superstar,' written by Russell and Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett (that's Russell's piano):