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Re: BTW was Jimmy's performance a live one?

But a question came to my mind: are we absolutely sure it was live and not pre-recorded?

My guess is it was mimed. No amps with him, no pedals at his feet. See here:


A patch cord is visible in the following pic, but it doesn't seem to lead anywhere (although it could be connected to a direct box/ wireless transmitter worn on his person, it could also just be for show):


The distinctive downward-slide riff in the chorus, which Jimmy never reproduced live until the O2 concert, was audible yesterday. Unless I'm very much mistaken, this sound was achieved at the O2 with a pitch-shift pedal. However, as mentioned above, no pedals were visible on top of the bus in Beijing, so if he was playing live, how did he activate that sound?

I haven't watched the performance since it was broadcast, but I don't recall Jimmy making any volume or tone adjustments on the guitar while playing, which he normally would have done, especially just before the solo. I could be wrong. Also, he normally is much more concentrated and "on the edge" when he plays, especially in the past 15 years or so. Absolutely no offense to the man and his skills, but this performance seemed too relaxed from him. Apart from a few classic pursed-lip grimaces... but those are to be expected. He's good at miming, that's all. Any professional musician is; they do it all the time for videos.

The rest of the band and orchestra were not to be seen anywhere, ergo their parts were probably pre-recorded. I don't think they were hiding inside the bus. It looks like there would have been too much machinery inside it, to operate the clamshell doors that opened up and then the hydraulic lifts on which LL, JP, DB et al. appeared. So if the accompanying musicians were pre-recorded, the two featured performers probably were as well. Although it's possible that they were the only two who were really playing live.

Jimmy had only a monitor at his feet; this could well have been for him to hear the pre-recorded mix and play along to it. Again, I could be wrong; maybe he was playing live and the monitor was for him to hear the orchestra lead-in, so he would know when to come in with the starting riff, and then the bass, drums and vocals.

Note also that all of the performances at the Opening Ceremonies had been lip-synched or mimed (you may recall there was that controversy about the little girl who sang the theme song, who was not the girl who originally performed the song--she had been deemed "not pretty enough"). I don't see why things would have been any different for the Closing Ceremonies. And, as I mentioned in another post yesterday, at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, even Pavarotti lip- synched the "Nessun Dorma" aria from Turandot, because he knew he wouldn't have been able to sing it in the cold. There is too much riding on events of this scale to run the risk of a glitch, technical or otherwise.

Lastly, I now suspect that Guy Pratt's blog post about playing WLL with Jimmy and Leona referred to the fact that they had just finished pre-recording it. It wasn't a "watch for me at the Olympics" message; he knew he wouldn't be seen at the Closing Ceremonies, and so he felt compelled to tell his fans (both of them :-P ) about his involvement.

I wonder if we'll ever find out who was on drums...