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One of the Last Concerts
I was fortunate to attend Harry's last concerts at Anna Bananas in
Honolulu in July 1981. Anna Bananas is a small coffee shop near the
University of Hawaii and he put on three shows a night for 2 consecutive
I was the Honolulu Community Coordinator of The Hunger Project and we
briefly talked after the first night's shows about our work in ending
The last concert the second night was fantastic. He played all his best
songs and the audience was ecstatic. On his last song, he walked around
the room, strumming and singing. The room had ten rows of wooden tables
running toward the stage. When he got to the back of the hall, he started
coming down my row. He stopped right in front of where I was sitting as he
finished the song. His right hand went up in the air, and with the
crescendo fo the song,it came down.
I wasn't sure what he intended, but found my right hand rising to meet
his. As the concert ended, we were clasping hands.
It was very sad to hear, the next week that his VW bug had been hit by a
truck in New York. But I have a memory of him that I'll never forget.
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"Oh, if a man tried to take his time on earth and prove before he died what one man's life could be worth, I wonder what would happen to this world?" -- Harry Chapin, 1942-1981.
The Latest Release
Sniper & Other Love Songs
In 1972, Harry released
Sniper & Other Love Songs.
Thirty years would pass before the album would ever reach the CD format. Sniper was finally re-released in June, 2002.
Originally given a working title of Sweet City Suite, the album tells the story of various characters one might run into in
a city. The album features the original studio versions of Chapin classics "A Better Place to Be" and "Circle." But
perhaps more importantly (as those songs are already well-distributed on compilation CDs), the album features seemingly
lost Chapin stories, including "And the Baby Never Cries," "Burning Herself," "Barefoot Boy," and "Woman Child."
Sniper is for the seasoned Chapin fan. New fans would do better to check out
Live. But for Chapin fans who have reached the level of the
Dance Band on the Titanic album, this is the next step. Slightly over-produced and having a little of the "forced"
feel that some of Harry's studio albums possess, this album does not capture the powerfully live Harry Chapin. Nonetheless,
it captures Harry's great iconoclastic songwriting--Harry takes the story song to new heights here. But the album works best
for those ready for it; don't buy it until you are ready to appreciate it!