Episode #102 – Jesus Christ Superstar (Part 5: The Movie)

Link to video on Cocoscope: https://www.cocoscope.com/watch?v=84472

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    A Note From Jeff Breis:

    • Hey Nate,
    • I just now finished listening to your 4 part series on Jesus Christ Superstar, an album that I only occasionally pulled out in the past four decades.
    • You guys did a wonderful job presenting this work.
    • As a Catholic up until 12th grade (38 years ago), I was inundated with these biblical stories, so I shied away from this album for many years.
    • I enjoyed the performances by everyone on it, but I didn’t really care about the subject matter much.
    • Well, you three guys brought a new light to an excellent piece of work, with Paul adding a lot to the story with his knowledge of the subject. Very well done.
    • Thanks for making me a fan of an album I didn’t know as well as all the other Deep Purple related music that I enjoy. I have been playing it all week.
    • One more thing, your friend Paul Hughes made me think of one of the voices inside the piano on Frank Zappa’s Lumpy Gravy album, and that’s a good thing.
    • All the best,
    • FOLLOW UP:
    • Because of your show, I ordered the JCSuperstar DVD. I have not seen it since I was a kid.
    • As for Paul, he sounds like the guy in the piano who seems like the leader, who tells the others about the ponies and pigs and the smoke, the big note.
    • Lumpy Gravy – Part One
    • Lumpy Gravy – Part Two (Paul’s vocal doppelganger starts up at the beginning of this one)
    • Check it out.

    Personal Memories:

    • Paul and John backstage on the 1993 Jesus Christ Superstar tour.
    John Mottola, Ted Neeley, Paul Hughes, unidentified backstage worker, and redacted.
    Paul Hughes, Carl Anderson, and John Mottola.
    John Mottola and Ted Neeley.
    Paul Hughes and Ted Neeley.


    • Reprising roles: Yvonna Elliman, Barry Dennen
    • Only Barry Dennen and Josh Mostel had ever been on camera before.
    • Dennen suggested to Norman Jewison that he should make a movie around this album.
    • Norman Jewison said he was very moved listening to the record.
    • Barry Dennen says that they were in Yugoslavia filming Fiddler on the Roof and he approached Barry Dennen about it after discovering the album.


    • Ted Neeley as Jesus Christ
      • Was playing the lead in Tommy.
      • He was wearing a false beard when he met Jewison to see how Jesus would look.
    • Carl Anderson as Judas Iscariot
      • Jewison says he had someone else in mind but ended up going with Carl Anderson.  He tested 4-5 other actors.
      • He was hesitant about casting Carl Anderson because he didn’t want it to come across that the black man was the traitor and the white man was the son of god.  Jewison eventually decided he couldn’t do that because it would be denying him the role because of being black.
      • Played Judas during pre-Broadway but wasn’t given the role.
      • Understudied for the role of Judas but wasn’t given part on Broadway under Ben Vereen as he had more star power.
      • Was on Stevie Wonder’s “Song in the Key of Life” album but is not credited.  Stevie performed two songs from the album at Anderson’s funeral.
    • Bob Bingham as Caiaphas
      • Was int he originally broadway version.
      • Mother passed away right before they were about to film then got sick with measles.
    • Larry Marshall as Simon Zealotes
      • He acted over the top at Jewison’s direction who thought he wasn’t being over the top enough.
    • Josh Mostel as King Herod
      • Talks about the Golan Heights and that they’d be shooting guns at them from a distance.
      • He’s wearing his high school basketball jersey when they get off the bus.
      • Talked abotu staying by pool and playing volleyball as he only had one scene.
    • Philip Toubus as Peter
      • Known as Paul Thomas.
      • Began acting in Hair.
      • Went on to a career as a porn star and moved to directing.

    Movie Tracks

    1. “Overture” – 5:26
    2. “Heaven on Their Minds” – 4:22
    3. “What’s the Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying” – 4:26
    4. “Then We Are Decided” – 2:32
    5. Everything’s Alright” – 3:36
    6. This Jesus Must Die” – 3:45
    7. “Hosanna” – 2:32
    8. “Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem” – 6:28
    9. “Pilate’s Dream” – 1:45
    10. “The Temple” – 5:26
    11. “Everything’s Alright (reprise)”/”I Don’t Know How to Love Him” – 3:55
    12. “Damned for All Time/Blood Money” – 4:37

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    1. “The Last Supper” – 7:12
    2. “Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)” – 5:39
    3. “The Arrest” – 3:15
    4. “Peter’s Denial” – 1:26
    5. “Pilate and Christ”/”Hosanna (reprise)” – 2:57
    6. “King Herod’s Song” – 3:13
    7. “Could We Start Again Please?” – 2:44
    8. “Judas’ Death” – 4:38
    9. “Trial Before Pilate (Including the 39 Lashes)” – 6:47
    10. Superstar” – 3:56
    11. “The Crucifixion” – 2:40
    12. “John 19:41” – 2:20

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