By Damian Fanelli
A lot of anniversaries have been celebrated this month, but I wanted to make sure we didn’t forget to mention the ARMS Charity Concerts, a series of talent-heavy events that raised large wads of cash for multiple sclerosis research.
The first show took place September 20, 1983, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, followed by a few subsequent concerts, including three sold-out performances at San Francisco’s Cow Palace December 3.
But it was the original show at the Albert Hall that was the most impressive in terms of talent/fame per square inch.
Take the clip below, for instance. It features Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck on stage at the same time, performing Clapton’s “Layla.” The all-star band is rounded out by Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Kenney Jones, Paul Rodgers, Chris Stainton, Ray Cooper, Andy Fairweather Low and other luminaries (and semi-luminaries). And is that drummer Simon Phillips back there somewhere? I think it is …
If you keep watching, you’ll see Joe Cocker step up to the mic to sing “With a Little Help from My Friends,” followed by Ronnie Lane’s rendition of “Goodnight Irene” with Page (with his B-bender-equipped Telecaster), Beck, Clapton and Wood trading guitar solos.
The idea for the concert was envisaged by Lane, former bassist for the Small Faces and the Faces, himself a casualty of multiple sclerosis.