The Ronettes – live at The Brooklyn Fox Theatre – Murray the K’s Holiday Show – September 4, 1963 –
I will freely admit, this is too much. Losing people right and left this year so far. Icons – unforgettables – milestones and touchstones of youth (you know who you are). Listening to a Ronettes record immediately cast you back to another time – the familiar one where everything was laced with possibilities, where all the feelings and pangs and joys got laid out in one place. And it was Ronnie Spector’s voice – that voice you knew from a million miles away that launched it all.
Ronnie Spector epitomized everything that characterized the early 60s. Impossibly teased hair, that razor-thin edge of innocence and worldly sensual – the look that implied and conjured and sent pulses racing, yet never spelled it out in neon letters – she knew and you knew she knew and she sang words that burned into your memory, to forever stay there. She was at once the girl next door and the woman lifetimes beyond your reach. She was everything you loved about life.
And so comes the crushing reality that she’s gone and you spend hours thinking back when you first heard her – when you turned the radio up everytime a Ronettes song came on and how those songs became indelible imprints of places and times that fairly defined the cusp of your entry into adolescence – that time when everything becomes synonymous with everything else and it becomes nostalgia.
Sadly, there aren’t any complete concerts by The Ronettes during this formative period. This was taken from one of the many Murray the K shows he put on during the early 1960s. During a time when an artist or band would be limited to play one or two numbers in order to cram as many acts on one stage as possible. That was how you saw bands in concert those days, before The Beatles showed up, before going to a concert meant seeing one or two bands, three at the most. So we only get one song, Be My Baby. A song that, in September of that year was less than two months old and racing up the charts. This show comes from September 4, 1963.
Three minutes and its over – just long enough to be burned into your memory for the rest of your life.
Ronnie Spector was one of a kind – there’s not going to be another one. There may be similarities in image and sound (Amy Winehouse came close), but she was the first and she was the real deal and she will be missed.
No more words.
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