‘I’ll Never Dance With Another . . .’

Right around this time in 1975, during an hour or two between classes at St. Cloud State, I wandered from The Table over to the jukebox in the Atwood Center snack bar. I started scanning titles, and I’m pretty sure I saw all of the records listed in the Billboard Top Ten from March 29, 1975:

“Lady Marmalade” by LaBelle
“Lovin’ You” by Minnie Riperton
“Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John
“Express” by B.T. Express
“You Are So Beautiful/
      It’s A Sin When You Love Somebody” by Joe Cocker
“No No Song/Snookeroo” by Ringo Starr
“Poetry Man” by Phoebe Snow
“My Eyes Adored You” by Frankie Valli
“Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You” by Sugarloaf/Jerry Corbetta
“Have You Never Been Mellow” by Olivia Newton-John

Keeping in mind that 1975 ranks pretty high on my list of years, that’s not a great Top Ten. “Lovin’ You” hasn’t aged well, nor has Ringo’s “No No Song.” I’ve never cared for the Valli tune or the Sugarloaf/Corbetta record. And I could take or leave “Philadelphia Freedom.” So as I looked over the titles in the jukebox, I was likely looking for something different and interesting.

And I happened to notice the B-side of “Philadelphia Freedom.” Startled, I wanted to find out exactly what it was, so I dropped in a quarter, punched in its number and added two more songs. And this is what came out of the jukebox:

The story is well-known: While working on Lennon’s single “Whatever Gets You Through The Night,” Elton John asked the former Beatle to appear on stage with him. Lennon promised to do so if the record went to No. 1. And after the single topped the chart in mid-November of 1974, John asked Lennon to join him on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Thanksgiving night.

In what turned out to be Lennon’s last appearance on stage, he and John performed three numbers: Lennon’s “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” which had been a No. 1 hit for John in early January 1975, “Whatever Gets You Through The Night” and “I Saw Here Standing There.” And when John released “Philadelphia Freedom” in early 1975, he put the performance of “I Saw Her Standing There” on the B-side of the single.

I have no idea how many times I played that record on the Atwood jukebox that spring, but it was a lot. Though the performance was a little ragged, it was history, and I recognized that.

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One Response to “‘I’ll Never Dance With Another . . .’”

  1. Paco Malo says:

    Wow! A great track and a true piece of rock ‘n’ roll history. I love the look — and sound — of that Strat in John’s hands. Thanks, man, thanks.

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