Tribute bands are a longstanding tradition in rock music. Groups like House of Floyd, Dark Star Orchestra and Zepparella have become hot tickets on the concert tour scene of late. Locally we have Full Moon Fever and The Solitary Men providing tributes to Tom Petty and Neil Diamond respectively.
And what rock band deserves a tribute more than The Beatles, arguably the most influential rock 'n' roll act in history. Saturday's Come Together: The Beatles Concert Experience is assembled by West Coast Performing Arts Presenters, an outfit that specializes in tributes. They count their own Neil Diamond act, the "Pink Floyd Laser Extravaganza," "The Long Run: A Tribute to the Eagles," "Ventura Highway: A Tribute to America" (the band not the country) and "The Ultimate Elvis Tribute" among the offerings in their catalog.
The "Come Together" tribute covers the musical history of the Fab Four from the days of the British Invasion to "The End" and beyond with a multi-media presentation, costume changes, etc. The 35-plus songs encompass early hits like "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (feel free to scream along), following the band's magical mystery tour through the '60s into the '70s including forays into solo work by all four Beatles and a special salute to my personal favorite, John Lennon.
If you've been paying attention, you know that the Journal has a few tickets to the show that we're giving away as prizes in a Beatles trivia contest. Round 3 can be found in this week's edition. Rounds 1 & 2 are now officially closed since we're about to lay out the answers to the intentionally difficult questions.
1. Who was the "clean old man" and why did they call him that?
2. Why is Robert Whitaker important to collectors of Beatles memorabilia?
3. Only one of The Beatles has performed in Humboldt County. Which one, and who was the bass player in the band he brought here?
Answers, as supplied by David Boyd, who was the first to respond, got everything right and did the same thing for Round 2 (he gets a pair of tickets).
1 "Clean Old Man" refers to Paul McCartney's fictional grandfather in the movie A Hard Day's Night. The grandfather was played by Wilfrid Brambell, a British TV actor who also played Albert Steptoe in a BBC series called Steptoe and Son, in which he was regularly referred to as a "dirty old man."
2. Robert Whitaker was a photographer of the Beatles, who did the [very collectible] original cover of the Yesterday & Today album (also known as the "Butcher Cover").
3. Ringo Starr performed in Eureka at the Muni on March 4, 1999 with the All Starrs. The bass player was Jack Bruce. [The All Starrs also included Todd Rundgren, Gary Brooker from Procol Harum, Simon Kirke from Free and Bad Company and Timmy Cappello from Tina Turner's band.]
1. What did George call his hairstyle?
2. What does it say on the mausoleum for the keyboardist known as "the Fifth Beatle"?
3. Where was the final official concert by The Beatles, and who else played the show that day? Bonus credit: What was unusual about the set by the band that played right before the Beatles?
1. Arthur (in a press interview that is reproduced in A Hard Day's Night).
2. Keyboardist Billy Preston was known as "The Fifth Beatle" (so was Stuart Sutcliffe, but he played bass, as well as record producer Sir George Martin, again, not a keyboardist). As David Boyd noted, Preston "died in 2006, and is interred in Inglewood Park Cemetery in California. Written on his mausoleum is "Billy Preston, 1946-2006, We Love You," followed by a short musical staff.
3. The Beatles' last official concert (but not their final public performance) was on Aug. 29, 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco with opening sets by The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes. Ronettes' lead singer Veronica Bennett (later known as Ronnie Spector) was not on the tour. She was seeing the band's very possessive producer Phil Spector (who married her in 1968) and he insisted she stay home in his L.A. apartment. Her cousin Nedra Talley sang lead in her place.
Ready for Round 3? You'll find four questions elsewhere in this issue. This time the first to respond correctly wins a pair of tickets. Send answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject line: Come Together 3.
Come Together: The Beatles Concert Experience comes together at Arkley Center for the Performing Arts (412 G St., Eureka) on Saturday, March 5. Showtime 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $38, $36 for seniors, students and the military, $20 for children (plus $1 facility surcharge). Call 442-1956 or go to www.arkleycenter.com for reservations or further information.