Whilst watching the Concert For George DVD last night, I happened to notice a gray-haired figure standing in the shadows of the stage behind the rest of the band, playing bass, completely anonymous. I was a bit surprised to discover that this was none other than Klaus Voormann.
Most people, unless they're big Beatles or Nilsson fans (and I certainly am guilty as charged on both counts), have no idea who Voormann is. But fortunately, for the purposes of this post, I do. He's the fellow who introduced Astrid Kircherr to the Beatles in the Hamburg days, and remained their friend for life. He is an excellent illustrator, who drew the cover to the Fabs' Revolver and the wonderful charcoal illustrations that graced the lyric booklet that came with Ringo's 1973 Ringo album. He played bass in John's Plastic Ono Band, and went on to play on nearly all the 70's solo albums for not only Lennon, but George and Ringo too. He also played bass on many of Harry Nilsson's best albums, and many other Apple musicians' sessions and records. All this certainly earns him honorary Fifth Beatle status as well as a place in Johnny Bacardi Valhalla as well.
Anyway, while it was nice to see him playing bass again, and I certainly wouldn't think it was right if he hadn't been there, I was disappointed to see that he was relegated to the shadows, next to the drum set of another Apple session stalwart, Jim Keltner. It would have been nice to see him on the main stage once in a while. But that's the way it goes...besides, it might have been the way Klaus wanted it.
Anywho, more on the Concert DVD later. Click on the picture of Klaus above to go to his official website, which is loaded with his witty, excellent artwork in the Gallery section.
The picture was poached from the site of another important figure (and it was a nice one, too) in 70s Beatle history, Lennon companion May Pang's www.maypang.com. Check it, yo.