Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Good to see John, George, Paul and Ringo again...

 It has been quite a while since I last saw the Beatles in concert.

It was 1965 in San Diego.

I was working as a staff photographer for the Union-Tribune newspapers and used my press pass to enter the downtown rather small football stadium for the evening show.

I had covered the press conference that morning when they first arrived in town. It was a stop on their way up to Los Angeles.

The paper a while back did a "50 years ago" recap story and used some of my morning photos..and even included my Photo By Chuck Boyd byline.

My more recent time with the Fab Four was a few nights ago when this widely-acclaimed Tribute Troupe came to the Charleston Music Hall.

The talented foursome said they had been in Florida the night before and would be in the Raleigh-Durham area next. Part of their Southern Tour.

We all were invited to tag along. I was really tempted..they were that good.

The evening started when the spotlight shone on "Ed Sullivan" and he introduced the talented performers we all were there to see and hear.

They did not disappoint.

("Sullivan" also did a fair comic impression of "Tricky" Dick Nixon. Hmmm, had not seen the resemblance before.)

Ringo set the beat and the show kicked off with early Beatles hits like "Love Me Do," "I wanna Hold Your Hand," and other "bubble gum" wonders.

Actually, that was closer to the 32-minute show I had covered in San Diego 54 years ago.

But, this time you could hear the lyrics without the screaming emotional young girls!

I was seated in the 8th row this night so had a good view of the overall stage with projected actual Beatles crowds and reaction images as a backdrop.

Added a lot to the show.

Later, toward the end, we were invited to come on down close to the stage.

I sprinted forward because no "real" cameras were allowed and I was using my cellphone one which did a manageable job for the evening.

We were informed that these four young men were actually playing each instrument, sang with similar voices and really looked the part.

Also, we were told there were no recordings, hidden tapes or CDs.

The last mention caused the man playing Paul to ask aloud "Eh, so wot's a CD?"

A rare moment when they stepped out of well-trained character but it got the expected laugh.

Others humorous reactions happened when "Sullivan" remarked about "all the young people in the audience."

Looking around at all the gray hair and bald heads, it obviously was a comment the real Ed Sullivan made back in the 1960s.

 But there was a large family seated near me that qualified as young and who were very much moved by the music.

The two youngest stood and danced for most of the nearly 2-hour show.

Ah, Youth and stamina!

There was a tender moment when "John" sang about "Give Peace a chance."

He was wearing the white suit often seen on the original Beatle and dramatic lighting culminated in forming a word that epitomized his intent.

There were other moving reminders of the loss of two key members of the original group.

Lennon and George Harrison performed songs closely affiliated with them.

The audience was totally in tune with the intent of the evening to bring back warm memories.

A costume change produced long applause to salute the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Band and even moments of life in a Yellow Submarine.

The Beatles' 1967 album SgtPepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has a widely recognized album cover that depicts several dozen celebrities and other images. 

... It was created by Jann Haworth and Peter Blake, who in 1967 won the Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts for their work on it.

Here George and John team up for a colorful reminder of how great the album was.

And the imaginative outfits produced for it.

When we were invited to come closer, there was a lot of good-natured mugging for the cameras - er - cellphones.

I had seen Sir Paul McCartney twice in recent years, performing with an energy level that answered the question:  "Will you still love me when I'm 64?"

This man's version of Paul McCartney added charm and chuckles to the evening.

We all had a chance to get up close and I even held up my palm to receive an offered guitar pick.

I was forgetting for the moment these men were recreating an era from long ago.

(I do have picks handed to me by Buddy Guy, BB King, and c.d.lang.)

 All in all, it was a fun, fanciful evening at the Charleston Music Hall.

In a few days, I will be there again to enjoy another evening with The Taj Mahal Trio.

Don't think it's hard to see that I am a supporter of live music.

Doing my share to keep 'em coming by being part of an appreciative audience.

(Click on the photos and links for more details.)

Thanks for coming with me to an evening of live music and great memories. I wish us all many more.

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At Tue Feb 12, 10:16:00 PM , Blogger Judy Reeves said...

Thanks for the report, both musically and visually. Ah weren't those the days. Sir Paul will be in San Diego later this Spring at Petco Park, I think. Hope to be there (or be square.)

At Thu Feb 14, 11:36:00 PM , Blogger RobEades said...

In the first pic, take the glasses off "john" and he looks more like Pete Hamm of Badfinger !?!?

At Fri Feb 15, 12:26:00 AM , Blogger chuckography said...

I had to look it up but, sure, I agree.


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