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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Random thoughts of a Beatle fanatic

  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band's liner notes ends with a simple, “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”“Splendid” is definitely the best word to describe last Thursday night's performance by the Liverpool Legends. I simply can't resist taking this opportunity to praise Warfield Concerts fo...
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  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band's liner notes ends with a simple, “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.” “Splendid” is definitely the best word to describe last Thursday night's performance by the Liverpool Legends. I simply can't resist taking this opportunity to praise Warfield Concerts for bringing the “Fab Four” back to life for one magnificent evening. The Warfield Concerts Committee of Maureen Jones and Don Etherly simply outdid themselves this go-round. For a Beatles' addict like myself, listening to their music is simply a wonderful way to escape the problems of the day. No bad words or suggestive lyrics, the songs of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, are all about love, peace and happiness. Indeed it is very difficult to listen to a Beatles' tune and stay depressed very long. Someone once tried to put me on the spot and asked me, “Just what is your favorite Beatles' song?” To which I simply replied, “Whatever one is playing on the stereo, radio, or in my head at the time.” February will mark the 50th anniversary of The Beatles arrival in America. Riding the waves of their first American chart-topper, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the boys arrived for a series of performances on The Ed Sullivan Show. Frankly, I don't remember a whole lot about early Beatlemania. At the time I was more interested in sports. I have read that the night they first appeared on the Sullivan show, crime in New York City dropped to its lowest level in recorded history at that time. I didn't have the opportunity to see John, Paul, George and Ringo in concert for several reasons. First of all, a ticket was almost impossible to get your hands on even if you had connections with the ticket office. Also, during their ever-so-brief 9-year tenure, The Beatles made only one appearance in Memphis at the then brand new Mid-South Coliseum. In some respects, the Liverpool Legends concert may actually have been better than a real Beatles concert. After all, you could actually hear the music. With all the screaming girls, the noise level at a Beatles concert was almost unbearable. The group often complained that they could not even hear themselves play. At one venue, John reportedly screamed at the top of his lungs, “Shut up, shut up, shut up” and not a soul heard him. If you watch Beatle concert footage, you frequently see the foursome literally laughing out loud at the audience. The Beatles stopped touring in 1966 and concentrated on turning out the best albums possible. Many of their songs from Sgt. Pepper's onward were never performed live by the band itself, though the individuals played a few of the tunes during their solo concerts. I am not one of those who take pleasure in bragging about his material possessions. I consider myself quite wealthy in other aspects of live. However, one of my most prized possessions is my collection of Beatles recordings. Over the years, I have managed to collect them all on vinyl, cassette tape and CD. Frankly, I never get tired of listening to them. Their music is timeless, as relevant today as it was way back in 1964. Amazingly, their music also is as popular today as it was during Beatlemania. Thursday night's audience was a mix of young and old. I know there was one there as young as 10 and I imagine there was probably some as old as 90. What a perfect example of how music crosses all generations and pulls people together. Recently, a new collection of some of The Beatles' live performances on the BBC was released for yet another generation to cherish. Yes, more splendid times are yet to come.

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