The rock world was represented by a handful of heavyweights on Saturday night (April 18th) during the multimedia One World: Together At Home special. Paul McCartney was filmed performing solo at his Hog Hill studio in Sussex, England, tackling “Lady Madonna” on a Wurlitzer electric piano. He explained how his late-mother Mary was a nurse and midwife, before dedicating the revamped jazzy version of the tune to medical workers battling COVID-19.
The Rolling Stones performed “You Can't Always Get What You Want” linked via the Internet, having each recorded their parts via cell phone at home. Charlie Watts undoubtedly stole the show by performing sans a drum set, and utilizing the virtual drum kit app called Freedrum, which only needs drumsticks to register a beat.
In addition to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards on acoustic guitars, Ron Wood handled lead guitar duties on a Fender Stratocaster. Although his guitar work was all but inaudible, it was a nice change to hear some backing vocals from Richards — and Saturday's performance marked the first time Richards has played the Stones' classic in standard guitar tuning since 1968. The Stones were also playing along to a previously prepared backing track, which included organ, percussion, and a sample of the choir from the original recording.
Stevie Wonder performed an emotional tribute to the late-Bill Withers with a medley of his chestnut “Lean On Me” in medley with Wonder's 1976 Songs In The Key Of Life opener, “Love's In Need Of Love Today.”
Elton John, who reportedly had no grand piano in his L.A. home, was supplied with one, which sat out near his driveway as he was filmed performing his 1983 classic “I'm Still Standing.” Eddie Vedder gave a stirring rendition of Pearl Jam's recent Gigaton track “River Cross” alone on a pump organ, with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong singing the band's American Idiot standout, “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”
All told, the One World: Together At Home raised over $127 million for COVID-19 relief.