Did anyone else see Junior Walker and the All Stars at The Beacon Theater in 1989?

5 Jan

I was lucky enough to see Junior Walker and the All Stars live in concert the second night I was ever in New York City in July of 1989.  My friend and I arrived on a Friday night, I picked up a copy of The Village Voice and saw that there was a soul music concert the next night at The Beacon Theater, $25 a ticket to see Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Picket and Junior Walker.  Coming from Australia, this was unbelievable to me, but it was real and that specific concert is undoubtedly one of the experiences that compelled me to find a way to live in this magical musical city.  To see Percy sing When A Man Loves A Woman, Eddie knock knock knock knock knocking on wood for around 15 minutes and Wilson Pickett resentfully churning out performances of a dozen of his hits thrilled me half to death, but when Junior Walker came out swinging with his own band, The All Stars, and literally jumped right into Shotgun I broke down and wept.  Junior Walker has been one of my favorite sax players as long as I’ve had favorite sax players and his concert was one of the best I’ve seen in my life.  I couldn’t find any lengthier snippet of live footage than this clip of him and the band playing at the Ram Jam Club in London in 1967, but you get the idea of what I experienced and why he’s one of my faves in the first 10 seconds.

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