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  • bobette

    Um why the hell is michael jackson or the jackson 5 not on this list?

    • We can only have 10 items on a list. These are older performances. Maybe we should do a top 10 musical performances from the 80s? Anybody up for that?

  • Jonathan Hopkins

    I hafta agree. Michael's performance on "Motown 25" was as iconic as they come.

  • Al

    When it comes to Jimi Hendrix, I'd say antoher equally historical performance from him is the Woodstock '69 gig where he played Star-Spangled Banner. I'm pretty sure you considered that too, but as you've said earlier, you can have only 10 items in the list.

  • Xavier

    What about the George Harrison concert for Bangladesh in 1971.

    With Bod Dylan, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston and Ravi Shankar.

    Besides the performers quality, the purpose of raising money for a country is important too

    • Thanks for all the comments. I really needed a Top 50 for this one!

  • Dail

    I cannot believe you left out the Allman Brothers Band, live, at Fillmore East, in 1970.

    • I like the Allman Brothers but, forgive my ignorance, why was it historic? What happened?

  • led zeppelin 1973 in manhattan must be there!!!

  • Larry Caplan

    Pink Floyd/ Roger Waters doing the Wall at the Brandenburg Gate in Germany. I read and saw on CD that there were approx 1 million people in attendance.

  • Anon

    Not to denigrate the huge influence the Sex Pistols had on the evolution of punk, but it was the Ramones who were the pioneers (and pied pipers) of the genre. The basic sound and style of punk was invented in NYC in the mid 70's. From there it spread to disaffected youth in underground rock scenes all over the world. The Brits simply added their own twist to this basic style, much like they had done with rock n roll and the blues in earlier decades.

    A fledgling Sex Pistols doing a weak cover of a Stooges song (No Fun) doesn't quite make for a compelling historical video. They were still a year away from ruling the punk rock roost.

    • Yes, punk / new wave – whatever you want to call it – started at the CBGBs. I guess you're referring to that. A lot of Brits don't realise that and don't give credit so thanks for bringing it up.

      All I want to add is Horses! Horses!

  • Acrobat

    Live Aid would have been epic too

    • Morrison

      I'd agree.

      Specifically U2's performance, which truly catapulted them to greater and greater heights, and Queen's performance. The vista of the crowd clapping in unison during 'Radio Ga-Ga' always gives me goosepimples.

  • Todd Stockslager

    Good list. Two for consideration:

    Dylan’s Rolling Stone at the Manchester Free Trade Hall (the “Judas” performance)–the angriest howl directed at an audience I’ve ever heard. It makes my hair stand on end every time I hear it. Honorable mention would be Tambourine Man from the acoustic portion that concert, where the quietly tense and self-contained performance reveals that these lyrics are much more literal than we realized.

    Springsteen’s Land of Hope and Dreams on the Live in New York City album. It can bring me to tears of joy and hope on the right day (like the day after my Steelers lost the Super Bowl!). Bruce has never been more desirable as both one of us and our Pastor of Rock and Roll as he is on this song, and Mighty Max drives the thing with his persistent rhythm that is deceptively complex yet sounds so simple and perfect it alone brightens the heart.

  • Rupert King

    Nirvana, live from Reading 1992?

  • bluejeanparka

    Elvis Presley debuting “If I Can Dream” on NBC’s “Elvis” special, 1968.

  • I was at that James Brown Concert. I lived about 12 blocks from the Apollo. So I saw everybody there. I cannot tell you how intimate that Theatre is. You had the Orchestra, The lower Balcony and the Upper Balcony. And that Upper Balcony would literally Rock. You will never see a Top act today in a small auditorium like the Apollo. And the attendees will never have an experience like the one’s enjoyed at The Apollo and other local Theaters. I remember as a child, Dee Dee Sharp came to the edge of the stage and looked down into my eyes and sang “I really love you, baby, baby, baby, yes I do!”. I cannot begin to tell you how impactful that type of experience is. At that young age I was able to connect with a Star. Even now I say Wow! I saw a lot of acts at the Apollo, but James Brown was the only act I ever saw that had a line that started in front of The Apollo and went west to 8th Ave, Up to 126th Street, back to 7th Ave back down to 125th St and back to the front of the Apollo. And if you got there at the right time, you could sit so close to James Brown that his sweat would land on you.

    • Anne Iredale

      Thank you so much for that, George. Reading first hand experiences like that is so much more valuable.

  • mattd

    johnny cash at folsom prison?