1972: 44 years ago. I was a late-night DJ in the south tower of Neely Auditorium, taking requests on the graveyard shift, midnight to two. Requests would come in, sad people wanting plaintive songs. Tapestry: Will you still love me, You’ve got a friend, So far away.
2016: Carole King played to over 55,000 people in Hyde Park last evening, the first time she’d ever done ‘Tapestry’ live. We were off to her right, half-way back. It was a lovely show, she had enthusiasm for the work and affection for the crowd. The evening was warm and the shifting hues of the sunset mirrored the crowd, who sang along with every track.
I used to wonder where the boomers would find their role models as they grew older, those who kept purpose and dignity. Unexpectedly, it seems to be among the singers, who retain their voices, their poise, their humor, their relevance well into their 70s.
Among reviews, the FT, ironically, captured her best: ‘bouncing up and down on the piano stool, hair flying’, ‘“Up On the Roof” made the most of a summer night, and a final reworking of “You’ve Got a Friend” included the line “I love you, England”, at a time when England needs all the friends it can get.
It was all mellow gin and tonic, delight at watching the crowd follow her, singing along with the best of the album, remembering a distant time made present. It was a thoroughly charming and happy evening together.