No, you didn’t see her on the actual telecast – unless you were at our house….
As we do every year, Ann and I had a few friends over to our house to watch the Oscars telecast this past Sunday night. Oddly, the highlight of the evening was not actually part of the show that we sat through for more than 4 hours (including the whole ridiculous “who are you wearing” red-carpet pre-show….).
No, rather, the highlight came via YouTube AppleTV and Airplay, the feature that lets you watch whatever is on your iPhone on your big TeeVee.
About two-thirds through the Oscar marathon, we were all scratching our heads after Pink’s performance of “Over the Rainbow.” Excuse me but, ummm, “somewhere” is one word. Why the big breath between “some” and “where”? Yes, the woman has got some impressive pipes, and I’m familiar with the concept of Creative Phrasing, but this wasn’t that.
After Pink was done chopping up the word some…where, some… body in the room asked if any of us had seen Katy Perry’s performance of “Yesterday” during the 50th-Anniversary of The Beatles on Ed Sullivan tribute show that aired last month.
Why, yes, we had, and it was gratifying to learn that Ann and I were not the only ones who were genuinely impressed with that one performance. With a bit of further discussion, a consensus quickly formed among us that that particular performance was the surprise highlight of a show that was pretty much filled with highlights – they were, after all, all Beatles songs…
Fortuitously, we’d reached a bit of an impasse in the evening’s programming. We were watching the Oscarcast via our TiVo; Having started the playback about 30 minutes late, we could skip through all the commercials. But just about the time Pink was done grinding Judy Garland’s rainbow into breathy little bits, the TiVo recording caught up to real time. There was no buffer left for commercial skipping.
So, for the benefit of the few people in the room who hadn’t seen the Beatles thing, I pulled out my iPhone, went to YouTube, searched for “katy perry yesterday” and found a recording of her performance from that night; Then I flipped the signal from the iPhone to the AppleTV to the flat panel HDTV via Airplay (Lefsetz just discovered this feature recently; we’ve been using it for a couple of years).
And so it came to pass that a living room full of boomers watched and listened to a contemporary cheesecake pop star deliver a song that we’ve been hearing since it was new – with a measure of heart and soul that we probably haven’t heard in that song… well, since it was new. And mind you, “Yesterday” may be the most covered, and most broadcast, song of all time. I think that song along has made Paul McCartney a billionaire. So we’ve all heard it at least a million times.
But this delivery of this old chestnut was remarkable and noteworthy, even for a living room full of tired old baby boomers.
This was a very different Katy Perry from the one we’ve seen before, in magazines or on the Grammy show. She wasn’t prancing around the stage with fireworks blasting from her boobs. Quite the contrary, she wore some kind of billowing, flowered robe that looked like something that you could tuck a circus under. And then she just stood there – and knocked the fucking song out of the park.
So here, for the benefit of anybody who might have missed it, is Katy Perry’s performance of “Yesterday” from the “Grammy Salutes The Beatles” show that was broadcast on the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on Feb 9, 1964. Do yourself a favor and listen to it on some real speakers….