When Yoko Ono decided to put together an evening celebrating John Lennon's life and career, she had no idea his peaceful lyrics and pleas for compassion would be so timely.
An all-star list of performers, including Dave Matthews, Alanis Morissette and Stone Temple Pilots singing "Revolution" are set for the Radio City Music Hall event Tuesday night in what's bound to be an emotionally charged celebration of the late Beatle's life. None of the remaining Beatles are scheduled to attend.
The event was initially set to air on Lennon's birthday, Oct. 9, with producers changing the schedule after the Sept. 11 attacks. It's now airing live on TNT Tuesday night and will raise funds for the Red Cross and various charities.
"It's an enormous situation," Ono told The Associated Press. "I hope that singing John's songs, songs that were written by someone who was also a victim of violence, will somehow help people."
Lennon Still Comfort to New Yorkers
Ever since the attack, Lennon's words have been showing up around New York City. "Give peace a chance" and other famous quotes were scrawled on papers at vigils, like the massive one at Union Square, just days after the stunning events.
"The appropriateness of John Lennon's words, message and music is even more timely now," said Ken Ehrlich, co-executive producer of the event billed as "Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words & Music."
"New York City identified and shared a mutual love affair with John and Yoko," said Ehrlich. "Now more than ever, that unbreakable bond grows even stronger in this time of healing."
Kevin Spacey hosts the evening dedicated to the city of New York. Stars from all generations will revive Lennon's words amidst heightened security.
Matthews is expected to perform "In My Life," Cyndi Lauper offers "Strawberry Fields," and Marc Anthony will perform "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." Lou Reed, Nelly Furtado, Shelby Lynne, Moby, Sean Lennon and Ben Stiller as well as The Sopranos stars James Gandolfini and Edie Falco are also expected to participate.
Ono hopes those performing will do more than help people heal. She wants them to have a good time.
"This is a time when we need a sense of humor as well," said Ono. "Not just mourning."