Greg Godovitz is a legendary Canadian vocalist/blues guitarist/bassist, Goddo founder (and ex-Ronnie Hawkins bassist), as well as major John Lennon/Beatles fan and memorabilia collector. So it’s as natural as apple pie and ice cream, that Godovitz should perform an extremely special musical tribute to the late and absolutely great Beatle, John Lennon, on the 25th anniversary of Lennon’s untimely passing, Thurs. Dec. 8, 2005.
Godovitz was backed this night by drummer and good friend Doug Inglis, (Goddo/ex-Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks). Also featured was the enchanting talent of Brad ‘Mr. Anger’ Lovatt on keyboards and David Love (of the Carpet Frogs) on rhythm and some lead guitar.
The Healey’s audience was hanging off every note and bluesy musical phrase that Godovitz played on his vintage ’63 Epiphone. Not to mention Jeff Healey’s always magnificent guitar playing and clear as a bell, perfectly in tune vocals. Jeff’s clear-sounding singing blends well with Godovitz’s scorching, and pleasantly piercing vocals. Greg’s vocals sound similar at times to John Lennon’s (in his early rock ‘n’ roll/"Dizzy Miss Lizzy" days); but are unique to himself, and mesmerizing in their intensity and energetic drive. Such too are his melodic and well-thought-out guitar leads that scream out from somewhere ‘beyond the blues horizon’.
Godovitz at times stood at the edge of the stage near the audience, and played some deeply inspired guitar solos, which garnered him well-deserved, spontaneous standing ovations. The audience applauded with the same energetic enthusiasm after some of Jeff’s solos too, as well as those of Mr. Anger on the ivory 88’s. Some in the audience were dancing away their own inspired muse in front of the band, including major Goddo fan and singer/actor Max Brand along with a beautiful blonde Suzanne, who hung out with Max, as well as keyboard/Mellotron/'Theremin' player Chris Dale and others front row center.
This very special John Lennon Tribute featured three impeccable sets. The first was all Beatles tunes -- the second, a John Lennon Tribute set, featuring songs that were all his. And the third was a major bonus, which went wild on everything imaginable, including some bluesy Rolling Stones, Lennon, Beatles and even a spacey Greg Godovitz original to finish off this evening’s musical festivities with a bang!
The evening began with Godovitz’s intoxicating vocals screaming out George Harrison’s "I Need You," as only he can. (Harrison would feel proud to hear this rendition!) Also included was an emotional version of "Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying" with Godovitz on lead vocals. This song was repeated in the third set, with Jeff singing a beautifully clear, resonant version, that hit some high notes, while all the while staying in perfect pitch. Jeff also sang a memorable version of the Ricky Nelson hit "Poor Little Fool" -- that rekindled pleasant memories of Ricky in his early days in the late 50s and early 60s showcasing his band on his parents’ long-running Ozzie & Harriet TV Show, with Elvis/Jerry Lee Lewis guitarist James Burton and others.
Both Healey and Godovitz shared the spotlight at this Lennon Tribute each playing some mind-boggling, bluesy leads -- then quickly backing each other on hard driving rhythm guitar. The beautiful three-part vocal harmonies shared by Healey, Godovitz and Love, were outstanding as well, on many of the tunes featured this night.
Doug Inglis’ drumming was exceptional -- in the pocket and in the groove, as good as it gets, throughout this rockin’ good time. Inglis kept an eagle eye on Greg and Jeff, following their every note and beat as well as grooving with bassist Mike Pellarin and guitarist David Love. Love and Pellarin were playing off each other on occasion. This was reminiscent of when this writer saw Malcolm Young of AC/DC groovin’ with Rolling Stones bassist Daryl Jones on legendary blues guitarist B.B. King’s "Rock Me Baby," at Sarstock in Toronto in July 2003, in front of 490,000 fans. (This writer and his lady, were only 20 people from the stage, during this historic Stones concert). Jeff Healey also performed at Sarstock 2003, with singer Sass Jordan. (Rolling Stones at Sarstock is available on DVD -- 2 DVD's in the 'Canadian Editon').
Some of the other highlights at Healey’s, included Godovitz singing a rousing version of the Stones’ "Route 66", followed by an intoxicating "Oh Carol" and equally captivating "Spider & The Fly". (L.A. guitarist/singer/composer Cosmo St. Clair performs a similar version of ‘Spider’ on his Now Blues For Now People CD. http://www.cosmostclair.com/
Healey, although he intended to ‘cut in’ at some point in this awesome blues medley, thrilled the audience afterwards with some scorching guitar riffs, in an intro to a ballistically rockin’ "Run, Run Rudolf." This incredible Chuck Berry rock ‘n’ roll Christmas classic, sent this fine blues establishment into music heaven, and was the ideal finale and musical ‘Xmas present’ from Jeff to his loyal following at Healey’s.
This very special night honors the memory of one of the greatest legends in music this world will ever know John Winston Lennon. John Lennon’s known the world over as a member of the Beatles, and by some as a gifted artist (painter). He’s also remembered by a few on a personal level, as a good family man and musical humanitarian whose music and art is a legacy that lives on to help this world be a better place to live in.