Jerry Lee Lewis : Town Hall, New York City, NY 3/25/08

What an odd crowd filing in: old-money-three-piece-suits with their silicon-filled wives, hippies, yuppies, rockabilly’s, a priest with mutton chops, cowboy hats covering hair pieces, kids and record executives…a wild cast of characters to see the last living legend from Sun Studios’ Million Dollar Quartet rockin’ and a rollin’ on the stage.  Music sure has changed, times sure have changed, but the wingman for Jerry Lee Lewis hasn’t, Ken Lovelace has been playing with Lewis for 40-plus years.  He and The Memphis Beats kicked off the set with a few blues/country/rock standards: “Big Bossman” and “Woolly Bully” getting the crowd warmed up for the main act as JJL walked out and took his seat at the Steinway and Sons Piano. 

Let’s cut to the chase: you cannot get the nickname “The Killer” if you aren’t the best at what you do.  Jerry Lee is now 72 years old and has lived a hard life, but the only thing that looks like it will stop him now is the grave.  Hunched and heavier, his hands still knew all the fanny wiggling runs to play in his set opening “Roll Over Beethoven.”  Gaining steam, a clearer sound and a stronger voice on the Hank Williams ballad “You Win Again,” Jerry Lee shined and even took a request for his original “End of the Road,” so what if he had to ask what key it was in?   There were no boots on the piano, and his time on stage was about 40 minutes, but the final run of “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lot of Shaking Going On” is what everyone came to see and The Killer delivered, requesting the ladies shake it for him and letting them know, even if he was old, he can still give it to them.

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