CURTIS MAYFIELD 1990 - LAST SHOW EVER

August 18, 2011 – 12:05 pm

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

CURTIS MAYFIELD
Central Park 1990 [no label, 1CD]

Live on Summerstage, Central Park, NYC; July 7, 1990. Very good to excellent soundboard. Last show ever.

Could Curtis Mayfield have known that one month later after this 1990 concert at Central Park, he would be struck down by a lightning rig and left paralysed?

Thinking bad thoughts just wasn’t in the habit for Mayfield even if much of his oeuvre consisted of dark social reality, of murders (Billy Jack), crime (Superfly) n drug abuse (Pusherman). You see, Mayfield’s signature perspective was that when there is nothing, there could only be hope.

Hence, his other signature song - Don’t Worry, If There’s A Hell Below (We’re All Gonna Go) - has missing words (in the song’s title) that you can make up yourself. As he yells out at the song’s end: “I’ll see you when you get there.” So hey, there’s hope yet, another chance to see Mayfield, after his death in 1999.

The slew of tribute albums and even a Remix project after his accident and later after his death show how indelible and transcendental his music had been. Few film soundtracks have mattered more than the film it accompanies than Superfly (1972). The fact that the music commented so much on the film’s narrative meant that it had its own independent life. These songs - Superfly, Freddie’s Dead, Pusherman - have consistently remained in his live concerts, and significantly featured here again.

In fact, Superfly opens this last concert show. His “other” soundtrack, that of the musical narrative to the ’60s civil rights movement, is also highly present in all his shows and you can hear these classics here again in People Get Ready and It’s Alright.

But his double narrative on I’m So Proud, which speaks of love as much as Black Pride is a romantic jewel that Mayfield continues to invest care and feeling during performances. There’s nothing throwaway here. It’s all emotion. It’s a song that continually needs getting into.

His band understands that. Frank Amato (keyboards), Lebron Scott (bass), Luis Stefanel (percussion) and Lee Goodness (drums) provide the space and rich detail that his songs feed off. It’s perhaps an ironic track when Mayfield ends the show with When Seasons Change from There’s No Place Like America Today (1975):

“So I might live the life - a little bit longer
So many changes - going in and out of my life
How can anyone survive
When everybody’s been made a sacrifice?”

Fearing being misunderstood, Mayfield calls out at the end, “This is not a sad song, only words of inspiration…” You see, Mayfield was incapable of bringing anyone down. His life was one long testament of looking up. - Philip Cheah

On August 14, 1990, Curtis Mayfield became paralysed from the neck down when a lighting rig fell on top of him at a concert in Brooklyn, NY. He died December 26, 1999 at the age of 57.

Thanks to cicada who shared the tracks at Traders Den.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (sample rate of 224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at mybigo@bigozine.com if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Superfly (6.5MB)
Track 02. It’s Allright (7.0MB)
Track 03. I’m So Proud (5.7MB)
Track 04. Freddie’s Dead (9.9MB)
Click here if you reside in North America
Click here if you reside outside North America
Track 05. Pusherman (12.3MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 05. Pusherman (megaupload link)
Track 06. Billy Jack (13.0MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 06. Billy Jack (megaupload link)
Track 07. We’ve Gotta Have Peace (9.0MB)
Track 08. People Get Ready (4.6MB)
Track 09. Give Me Your Love (7.6MB)
Track 10. band intros / Do Be Down (7.8MB)
Track 11. To Be Invisible (6.7MB)
Track 12. Don’t Worry, If There’s A Hell Below (We’re All Gonna Go) (12.4MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 12. Don’t Worry, If There’s A Hell Below (megaupload link)
Track 13. When Seasons Change (8.8MB)
Track 14. audience cheering and fade out (429k)

Click on the link to order Curtis Mayfield releases.

  1. 10 Responses to “CURTIS MAYFIELD 1990 - LAST SHOW EVER”

  2. thank you so much!!!!

    By sluggo on Aug 18, 2011

  3. Great post, thanks for sharing :)

    BTw.. if he was injured at a concert on Aug 14 1990, then how can a July 1990 concert be his last ever concert? LOL

    Just teasing ya… thanks for another great post, you guys rock :)

    By Smarty-Pants on Aug 19, 2011

  4. He really was truly inspirational to black and white alike, ‘Theres No Place Like America’ is worth checking out . A Beautiful album.
    Thanx

    By BLUEFOOD on Aug 19, 2011

  5. Smarty…maybe the august concert had not started when he was injured.

    By chris on Aug 19, 2011

  6. Yes, Curtis was hurt during the soundcheck for the outdoor concert.

    By Kevin on Aug 19, 2011

  7. YET ANOTHER MAGNIFICENT POST FROM BIG-O!

    By TDC on Aug 19, 2011

  8. it actually wasnt during the soundcheck. it was during the 6th or 8th song of the actual show. i was at the show.. i took pictures there. the soundcheck was at 330 that afternoon. the stage rigging came down 3 or 4 hrs later. the winds were pretty bad but not like they were for the indiana concert last week that killed 5 at the state fair. the last full length completed concert is this one here on this page. altho im surprised that he didnt do other shows in the month and a week between these dates.
    im big on historically significant shows. so this particular item is a biggie for me.
    people get ready is my fave song by him. when beck and rod covered it it brought back memories for me. then when curtis got hurt that really hurt me. then when he died i was deeply hurt. then beck did a show in la a couple of years ago and rod came out for 2 songs at this theatre and one was that song again. its on youtube for yall to find. el rayo theatre or something like that. the next day rod called jeff up and suggested an album together. jeff told him that hes not serious enough to do an all blues album again and he laughed at him. in more recent months it seems that they have been talking again about this happening. everytime i hear them do people get ready it does get me all choked up. im not sure if its because of curtis or what. i sure do miss curtis a lot tho.

    By darth on Aug 19, 2011

  9. Would love to see pictures of that show, before the rigging came down. Maybe you could send a scan to BIG-O

    We sometimes forget how great the groove was for artists like CM. Great to listen to. I miss him as well, even though he was kind of before my time.

    By Daiku on Aug 23, 2011

  10. Kept getting a tiny yellow “explosion” symbol. Worked 5 mins later. Thanks! LOVE Curtis w/ and without the Impressions.

    By BigLou on Aug 23, 2011

  11. Darth, thanks for the post. I remember when Superfly first came out. I knew a lot of guys who found their life’s dream…for good and bad! Tremendous soundtrack and album.

    By chris on Aug 24, 2011

Post a Comment