Friday, January 18, 2013

Happiness is a Warm Civic Auditorium Filled with Music of Lennon and McCartney

The British are still coming! Saturday night, January 19th, the 2013 KSO Pops series kicks off with the Classical Mystery Tour, a Lennon/McCartney tribute show that has held up for an amazingly long run.

I guess there are a few people out there who don’t like the Beatles, and even fewer who aren’t familiar with them. So this blog probably won’t interest them. Preparation for this installment of the British invasion consists of listening to the soundtrack of my past, as it exists in my mind’s musical memory bank. Christmas of 1966 is about where I started to see things clearly, when one of my sisters, or maybe all of them, received the Rubber Soul LP as a gift. In my humble opinion, this is one of the best POP albums ever made, and my second favorite Beatles album after Abbey Road. That thing got played and played and played. Unlike the currently available Rubber Soul CD, side1 started with I’ve Just Seen a Face, instead of Drive My Car. Side 1 ended with Michelle; being the last song on the side, and a lullaby at that, it probably sang millions of people to sleep at some time or another. Put that disc on, and by the end, the record player would turn off and, with any luck, either you or your child was asleep. Side 2 started with It’s Only Love, a 1-1/2 minute song that is currently on the Help! CD. If I Needed Someone, What Goes On, and Nowhere Man were nowhere, man, on the original LP.

Fast forward to June of 1979, my senior year in high school. My school chamber orchestra, Ars Musicus, traveled from Newington, Conn. to New York to compete in a festival of orchestras of that type. We had the time of our life; four nights in the Taft (now the Michelangelo) Hotel, dinner at Mama Leone’s, performances at Damrosch Park and Washington Square Park, a Circle Line tour (which left me green with motion sickness), and... a theatre outing to see Beatlemania. This remains the only Broadway show that I have ever seen, on Broadway proper, at least. So you could imagine it was shocking in the most pleasant of ways to perform with the ORIGINAL cast of these shows when they performed here about four years ago, and even more pleasantly shocking to see them in attendance at the Bistro by the Bijou after the concert, where my gypsy jazz band was playing! Sadly, they didn’t remember me as an audience member from 1979.

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