Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Liza Minnelli On How Legendary Concert with Judy Garland Came About: “My mother tricked me into doing the show”


Liza Minnelli has written new liner notes for the 50th anniversary edition of “Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli Live at the London Palladium” album. Universal is issuing a newly remastered vinyl edition for the occasion. The landmark concert took place on November 8 and 15, 1964 with studio retakes done in England later that month. The original recording was released by Capitol Records on August 2, 1965 as a two-LP set. The Universal Music Enterprises reissue is a remastered version of the 1965 release.

Here’s what Liza, who should do a book at this point, writes now.

How did the Palladium concert come about? My mother tricked me into doing the show. She asked me to come perform in London with her but I declined. I felt I wasn’t ready, I was too young. But Mama didn’t take no for an answer. She went ahead and announced the concert to the press. When I saw the announcement in the newspaper I knew there was no turning back.

I’d performed with Mama on her TV series, and as big as that was for me, it wasn’t anything liked standing and singing with her on a stage like the London Palladium. Listen, Mama owned whatever stage she was on. So we did it, and it was great and exhilarating and terrifying.

I don’t know that I had much of a style at that point, but I was young and fresh and, well — loud! I think Mama was a little startled. She was one of the most generous performers — ask anybody she worked with. She always gave, never took. But something slightly competitive came out that night, an energy I hadn’t seen before. Nerves be damned I was gonna give my all – all that I had in 1964 – and Mama was certainly going to give HER all. So there we were, the two of us, the ALL of us! I was thrilled to have done it, and survived it; there was great joy on the stage, and I’m so glad this recording survives.

After working with her, I was never nervous about appearing with anyone again. I had already appeared with the best. Its part of history I guess, though I don’t think of myself like that. I suppose, for me, it’s a personal history.

I hope that one day the complete concert will be released for everyone to enjoy. Until then, I hope you enjoy this new release of the original LP of my Palladium concert with Mama, who also happened to be Judy Garland. Thank you Mama … for everything!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News