Cleveland Circle, uncut

One of the most exciting articles I’ve written for my blog is the piece I did with Leo Yorkell, published on February 14, 2019. I remember my curiosity when he first contacted me through Twitter, and how fun it was to talk with him on the phone. He was so genuine and funny, and his love for Ben was unmistakable. I was thrilled with his insights into Ben’s life in the mid-90s and how he fit the puzzle pieces together of Ben’s softball-playing adventures. Then he really blew me away when he started digging around and unearthed old photos, videos, and newspaper clippings (like the one below) that had long been packed away, and generously shared them! 

Benfull cropped 2
Photo credit: Ethan Thomas, The Sentinel (Rochester), September 11, 1997

One of the treasures Leo had found was the video footage he shot of Ben playing in Cleveland Circle, Boston, in the summer of 1997. As part of this month’s #CelebratingBenjaminOrr tributes, we’ve uploaded Ben’s full 6-song set, uncut, including the previously unreleased performance of “Stay The Night.”

This short show is one hit after another, and is sprinkled liberally with Ben’s winning smiles. Beyond that, here are half a dozen other notable nuggets:

  1. 0:16 Ben cuts it close when mounting the stage and gets to the mic just in time for his first line, but remains unruffled even as his guitar strap refuses to cooperate.
  2. 1:45 The ORR band’s cool arrangement of “Let’s Go” has Rich Bartlett and John Kalishes trading guitar licks while Ben looks on.
  3. The run of Ben’s facial expressions between 5:20 and 5:30 is priceless.
  4. What a treat to catch glimpses of Edita and young Ben in the audience, and to see how even from the stage Ben adores his son. We can also see the late Dave Tedeschi at both the beginning and end of the show. 
  5. 12:24 Ben acknowledges someone else in the crowd. Does he say Vinny? Maybe Vin Kalishes is there? Is it the same person Brad smiles at at 10:18 and Ben at 10:30?
  6. At 15:20 Ben flubs the lyrics, and then tucks his arm behind his back, causing Tom to laugh. How much you wanna bet he was flipping the bird?

What else stands out to you? 

Enjoy the video, and please comment below to join me in giving a grateful shout out to Leo for his role in keeping Ben’s legacy alive! ❤ 

27 thoughts on “Cleveland Circle, uncut

    1. I agree. I finished my doctorate this month and Benjamin went with me on part of the journey. Whenever I wanted to give up, I thought about how hard he fought to the end and knew I absolutely would make it. Just popping on a video of the spectacular Benjamin in all his godly goodness provided an emenense amount of joy and comfort. And so I am now Dr. McRae and I will still pop on those videos and turn of the car radio!

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Congratulations Dr McRea !!!!! Lovely to read about this and how Benjamin inspired you to continue with your challenges during this journey. I know that the thought of Benjamin’s strength always helps me get through tough pain and some challenging diagnosis I received. As I was in the dentist chair today (Monday here, my better half’s birthday) and all weekend I was in agony from what turned out to be an abscess (periapical tooth abscess due to Sjogren’s Syndrome) and also knowing another root canal needed, all this is easier to cope with when you listen to Benjamin’s music and also know how courageously he battled cancer.

        Liked by 6 people

  1. I wonder if Ben knew how many people he has touched and in so many ways, I might have phrased that better, lol. The decency of others seems a testament of the Decency of Ben. Ty for helping me learn more, I have enjoyed the journey.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this treasure Leo 💜
    You’re the best. I miss Benjamin so much 😢 this makes me so very happy. Thank you Donna for posting this. Much Love
    Melissa

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Thank you for sharing this lovely video, so many wonderful moments to see and enjoy and indeed it would be wonderful if the other band members do recall any stories from this concert that stood out for them? And also do they have any treasures they may have forgotten but are lying somewhere , some photos , videos ( as this treasure was found so many years later) ?I am sorry if I sound greedy but all of us would love to see more. Thank you to Leo Yorkell for this treat. Donna you are so right about those moments you mentioned , the facial expressions are priceless and yes, the bird was flipped for sure 😉

    Liked by 6 people

  4. This is wonderful Donna, as usual thank you for sharing, and a huge thank you to Leo, this is a treasure.
    I agree that Ben seemed very happy and obviously adoring of his little son – it gives us another insight into this complex, fabulous man. Ah! the ‘agony and ecstacy’ of adoring Benjamin Orr. xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you CosmicStardust, this was very interesting to read. I became interested in astrology many years ago ( well researched charts taken properly ) and I after doing some studies I do believe it can sometimes be very insightful and helpful as well. This site you shared seems to have done a proper and correct chart and from what I quickly read through some of it is very much similar to what has been said about Benjamin. I wish you could read the whole lot and not have to pay for the detailed chart but I am going to look into it when I do get some time . ( If that ever happens 😉 ) Warm regards from Tasmania, Tia

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s a pretty good site. I’ve had my own chart drawn up from there. I’m very open minded person when it comes to these types of subjects. I like to study, research and learn about all different kinds of things.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I Loove This and I’m not sure but I think he’s saying “Hi Ben” to Little Ben in the audience before Drive..if he is….how sooo Sweet and Endearing!! 😃😘☺💖💓

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think Ben was definitely flipping the bird! loll! What stands out to me has nothing to do with the video, but that I didn’t know until reading “Let’s Go” that Elliot went to college in Brockport, my home town, for a year in 1972, and a friend of mine, that owns a music store in town, knew him and had several conversations with him, when he worked in a music store in NYC way back. When I put that together talking to him, we were both blown away!

    Liked by 1 person

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