Drew Harrison plans to sing “Imagine” on Dec. 31, just as he has done each New Year’s Eve for the past 38 years. In many ways, he feels it to be the perfect song for fresh starts. It is, as he says, “about possibilities, and it means as much to me now as it ever has.”
Harrison is the John Lennon of the Sun Kings, one of many Beatles tribute bands out there, but one he says is different from the others. Rain, for instance, looks back at the history of the band. The Sun Kings, in its own way, looks forward.
“We try to answer the question, ‘What would it have been like if they had not broken up in 1971?’” he says. “We create the experience you would have had, and we make the music as authentic as we can.”
Calling from a pub in the Czech Republic, Harrison and his bandmates are set to play Harrah’s Tahoe on Saturday (7:30 p.m.; $22; Ticketmaster).
Harrison first heard the Beatles when he was a youth at a recreation camp. His counselor put on “The White Album” and he fell in love with it, especially with his favorite Beatles song, “Dear Prudence.” He went on to earn a degree from UC Berkeley in peace and conflict studies. Then he started singing Beatles songs professionally, and the Sun Kings resulted 15 years ago.
“The Beatles are a genre, a genre to themselves,” he says. “There are so many people out there who love them. The songs are so much about the power and effect they have had on us.
“In live concert, it was not so much that they were talking to you. It was as if they were talking with you. The fourth wall came down and that is what we offer. A Sun Kings concert is an interactive experience.”
The band also includes James Funk, who handles the Paul McCartney vocals; Bruce Coe (George Harrison); Steve Scarpelli (Ringo Starr); and Ruben Salis, who accompanies with all sorts of instruments, sort of in the role of Billy Preston. The full name of the concert is “The Sun Kings, A Beatles Tribute as Nature Intended.”
RARE autographs of the Beatles, collected by a fan who spotted them staying in Newquay during their Magical Mystery Tour almost 50 years ago, are to go on sale at a London auction house today.
The signatures of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison all feature on a page torn from an old address book which once belonged to a fan named Stella.
After learning that the Fab Four were staying at the town's Atlantic Hotel in September 1967 after filming in Bodmin, Stella approached three of the band members for their autographs.
In The Complete Beatles Chronicle, author Mark Lewisohn wrote: "The Beatles intended to stop here [Newquay] for just one night, but after considerable private discussion, in which they weighed up the merits of either moving on to a new hotel each day or staying put in one location and using it as a base, they opted for the latter alternative and decided to remain at the Atlantic for three nights, Tuesday to Thursday – September 12-14, 1967 – staying in four holiday flats. Much filming was done on Wednesday, September 13, beginning in the late morning when the Beatles and some of the actors set out in the coach, north along the B3276, to nearby Watergate Bay."
The signatures, in blue ballpoint pen, have now been put up for sale by Stella's granddaughter, and are expected to reach £1,800 to £2,200 at Bonhams in London.
John Lennon signed Stella's scrap of paper: "To Stella, love from The Beatles," before drawing a heart around the three autographs.
If drummer Ringo Starr had also signed the paper, the item could have been even more valuable.
Devolver Digital Films is proud to announce the digital VOD release of The Beatles tribute documentary, Come Together. Directed by Steve Ison and John Scofield, Come Together features performances by ten of an estimated 8,000 international Beatles tribute bands keeping the legacy of The Fab Four alive around the world. Come Together was filmed primarily in and around Liverpool, the birthplace of The Beatles -- including the world famous Cavern Club where they were discovered -- during International Beatleweek, five decades after the band was formed in 1960. Julia Baird, the sister of John Lennon, narrated the film. In addition to entertaining viewers, Come Together demonstrates the impact of The Beatles on global culture. Watch the trailer below!
The film's digital VOD release is scheduled for February 3, 2015 via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video HD, PlayStation, Xbox, VUDU, Vimeo on Demand, VHX, Gumroad, Google Play, YouTube Rentals, and others. For additional information, visit www.cometogethermovie.com.
"The idea for the documentary came when I went to Liverpool several years ago with a friend who performed as John Lennon in one of the featured tribute bands. I had never seen anything like it! 300,000 people, like me, with the same connection... the music of The Beatles," says Steve Ison, who co-directed the film. "The quality and diversity of the bands was unbelievable. We had to share this story with others."
Hundreds of people braved the cold and wet weather in Croydon, south London, to watch the 28-year-old perform on stage after he was introduced by his mentor.
Fellow finalist Fleur East, who is also in Simon's over-25s category, has received high praise from the music mogul who described her performance last Saturday as "one of the top three performances" in X Factor history.
But speaking ahead of his appearance in Croydon, Ben said Simon had offered "priceless" advice to him and the show judge was "confident" in both of his acts.
"I don't think he's biased," he said. "He's really excited for the both of us and happy we got this far.
"I think he believes in both of us as artists. I don't think he'd have a favourite there.
"I think he's just got two of us through and two people who have worked so hard really beforehand trying to make it in the music industry. I think he's confident in both of us."
Ben also claimed there was no "major competition" between The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing despite the BBC One show regularly winning the ratings battle this year. He added: "For me it's a completely different audience. I don't think there's any major competition in that way.
"Ratings wise I'm sure X Factor has done amazingly well. I think it's like 11 or 12 million which is not too bad if you ask me."
Ben performed his version of Come Together by The Beatles and John Lennon's Jealous Guy in front of his home town supporters. Simon told the audience beforehand that Ben was "representing Croydon" before bringing on stage the contestant's mother and grandmother.
X Factor hunk Ben Haenow insisted Simon Cowell does not have a "favourite" on the show as they visited the singer's home town to drum up support ahead of this weekend's eagerly anticipated final.
Hundreds of people braved the cold and wet weather in Croydon, south London, to watch the 28-year-old perform on stage after he was introduced by his mentor Cowell.
SELLER: Ringo Starr
LOCATION: Woody Creek, CO
SIZE: 3,192 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
YOUR MAMA'S NOTES: Two weeks ago Your Mama dissed and discussed the pretty well palatial, 200-acre-plus English country estate that Beatles drummer Ringo Starr has up for sale at an undisclosed price that circumstantial digital evidence suggests is right around £15,000,000. (That's $23,541,600 as per our handy-dandy currency conversion contraption.) Earlier this week, as we first heard from the eagle-eyed kids at Curbed, the vaunted veteran rock star and his long-time wife, former Bond girl Barbara Bach, hoisted their 15-ish-acre spread along the Roaring Fork river in Woody Creek, CO, back on the open market with an asking price of $3.85 million.
Our research shows the Starrs picked up their rustic-luxe Colorado mini-ranch, which they dubbed the Shoot N' Starr ranch according to the wooden sign that hangs on the fence out front, way back in 1991 for $1.164 million. This is not, some of the children may already know, the first time the Starrs have tried to unload their Rocky Mountain retreat; They unsuccessfully had the place on the open market in 2010 for $4.5 million and then again in late 2013 and early 2014 for the (familiar) asking price of $3.85 million.
John R. Waters sings the hits of the late Beatle at the Union Square Theatre.
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion, a theatrical tribute to the music of John Lennon, will end its run at the Union Square Theatre on January 11. The show began performances October 3 and opened October 15.
Created and performed by Australian actor/musician John R. Waters and singer/pianist Stewart D'Arrietta, the biographical concert show explores Lennon's life and talent through performances of 31 of his songs. The set list includes Beatles hits like "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and "Help," as well as Lennon solo hits like "Mother."
The Beatles top Billboard's Vinyl Albums chart for the fifth time with Long Tall Sally, a Black Friday Record Store Day exclusive. The limited-edition four-song 7" reissue also starts at No. 22 on Top Rock Albums, selling 6,000 copies (all on vinyl) in the week ending Nov. 30, according to Nielsen Music.
On the Billboard 200, the EP launches at No. 195, giving the Fab Four its 59th charting album, and third of 2014. It follows The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963 (No. 172, Jan. 4) and The U.S. Albums (No. 48, Feb. 8). The new EP's title track is a cover of Little Richard's 1956 classic "Long Tall Sally" and was originally released in the U.K. by the Beatles in 1964. Paul McCartney sings lead on the title cut, while three more tunes round out the set: John Lennon leads the original track "I Call Your Name" and a cover of Larry Williams' "Slow Down," while Ringo Starr sings a reworking of Carl Perkins' "Matchbox." ("Sally" was covered by another rock band in 1964: The Kinks released a cover of it as their first single.)
Speaking of the Beatles, a remake of one of their iconic songs debuts on Hot Rock Songs. NBC's The Voice contestant Taylor John Williams' cover of "Come Together" starts at No. 11 with 19,000 downloads sold. The Beatles' original peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 45 years ago (Nov. 29, 1969). The song returned to the Hot 100 in 1970 when Ike & Tina Turner covered the track (reaching No. 57) and again thanks to an Aerosmith redux in 1978 (No. 23). This is Williams' second entry on Hot Rock Songs; his version of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" hit No. 18 four weeks ago.
Songs with word by The Beatles have never failed to delight their listeners. Now many of those songs are delighting library-goers as well. Mark Phillips takes us browsing:
On a busy road in London sits the British Library, and its collection of about 170,000,000 literary works and historic documents.
Some of them are given pride of place in the Treasures Gallery. Oh, you know, original works of Shakespeare . . . handwritten musical scores by Beethoven . . . the Magna Carta, only the first recorded attempt at constitutional government . . .
And a collection of original lyrics of Beatles songs, scribbled on scraps of paper, or the backs of envelopes, or on a child's card. "Yesterday." "Ticket to Ride." "A Hard Day's Night."
The music seems everlasting. But the lyrics were disposable, throw-aways . . . until Hunter Davies picked them up.
'Well, the Beatles never seemed -- John and Paul, main writers, never seemed to have any paper in the house," Davies said. "They had these massive houses, but they never had stationery or notepads. The songs suddenly came to them, obviously the music, they played the guitar or the piano; but when it came to the words, they were going 'round the house going, 'Gimme some paper. Gimme a scrap.'"
Friday, December 5, 2014
AVALON, CATALINA ISLAND - This weekend the Avalon High School Theater Department will be presenting John Lennon and Me. This powerful theatrical piece is a touching story about friendship, love, life and loss, all through the eyes of teenagers.
The cast in this production is exceptional. The emotion of the show will speak to everyone. These are the types of live performances we encourage everyone to see. This is what theater is about and you won't want to miss it.
There are many events to choose from this weekend and the Theater Department hopes that supporting John Lennon and Me will be one of them.
McCartney, Springsteen, Zeppelin, The Stones, The Who & Clapton reside at the Montgomery Mall as Classic Rock 102.9 ‘MGK presents the 102.9 ‘MGK Classic Rock Art Show & Sale, Friday, Dec. 5 through Wednesday, Dec. 24 .
The Classic Rock Art Show features artwork created by rock stars, Famous rock photographs, album artwork, gold records, concert posters, animation art and more.
The show is at the Montgomery Mall, 230 Montgomery Mall in North Wales. Beatles animator Ron Campbell will be on hand on Friday, Dec. 12 through Sunday, Dec. 14. He will be exhibiting his original Beatles cartoon art as well as painting new works at the show. In addition to his Beatles past, Campbell has been involved with some of the most beloved cartoons including, Scooby Doo, Krazy Kat, George of the Jungle, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, the Smurfs, Goof Troop, Rugrats, Winnie the Pooh, Ed, Edd & Eddy and dozens more.