Paul McCartney and Rockestra
The second Spotlight Album Review that I wrote for my website Rarebird’s Rock and Roll Rarity Reviews was for a Various Artists live album called Concerts for the People of Kampuchea, released in 1981. This double-LP, which has never been released on CD, was culled from four nights of concerts at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in December of 1979. These concerts were organized by Paul McCartney and Kurt Waldheim (who was then Secretary-General of the U.N.) to benefit victims of Pol Pot’s reign of terror in Cambodia. More information about the concerts and the album can be found on the review page.
There was a documentary film called Rock For Kampuchea made about the event, but to the best of my knowledge it has never been available on DVD. For the first eight years after I created the review page for the album, my review ended with the words: “So how about a DVD release?” Apparently, my wish has never been granted. Some are predicting that the DVD format will soon be obsolete anyway. But, would someone consider releasing Rock For Kampuchea on Blu-Ray? Maybe as a streaming Netflix video? Any format at all?
Anyway, my main reason for wanting to see the documentary was to see performance footage of Rockestra, a McCartney-led ensemble of at least 20 musicians. (The full credited list appears at the bottom of the review page). Fortunately, YouTube currently has good quality videos for all three of the Rockestra numbers. They are embedded below for your viewing pleasure.
To paraphrase what Mr. McCartney said at the end of the last video, Happy New Year!