An event that first came together under dire circumstances in 1980, Curtiss A’s 41st annual tribute to John Lennon at First Avenue will shine on in 2020 as the club’s first livestreamed performance of the pandemic.
First Ave announced details of the Dec. 8 virtual concert Tuesday after some last-minute uncertainty due to the latest tightening in Minnesota’s COVID-19 safety guidelines announced last week.
“While this year has been turned upside down, there are some traditions we can’t skip,” reads First Ave’s announcement of the musical marathon, which features songs from throughout Lennon’s Beatles years and solo career.
Tickets to view the show are on sale now via the livestreaming site NoonChorus.com at a discounted price of $12. After 9 a.m. Wednesday, they go up to $15.
Buyers will have have a 72-hour window to rewatch the performance after Dec. 8. No audience members will be permitted to view the show in person.
The first Lennon tribute was held in First Ave’s smaller 7th St. Entry room the night after Lennon’s Dec. 8 murder. Club regular Curt “Curtiss A” Almsted was called in on a few hours’ notice to sing Beatles tunes with his guitarist pal Bob Dunlap (aka Slim Dunlap, later of Replacements fame) and that night’s scheduled band, Safety Last. It’s been held every year since then.
Due to COVID safety protocol, this year’s performance will have to be scaled back from the usual army of musicians that Almsted enlists for the show, but his core band Jerks of Fate will take part. Curt also has a new John Fields-produced album with the band coming next month, his first in over a decade.
Lennon would have celebrated his 80th birthday this year, which marks the 40th anniversary of his tragic death and his final album, “Double Fantasy.” His youngest of two sons Sean Lennon oversaw a new collection, “Gimme Some Truth,” featuring remixes of many of the best-known songs from his solo career.