Like many Beatles fan, I took the news of a Cirque du Soleil show featuring Beatles music with a healthy dose of skepticism, even though the idea developed as a result of a friendship between George Harrison and Guy Laliberte, founder of the group.
So, I was much encouraged reading about the project both in last Saturday's Wall Street Journal (page A-2), and in the May-June issue of Beatlefan magazine, issue 160. The show, currently in previews, opens tomorrow in a "$130 million, 2,013-seat theater at the Mirage featuring 360-degree-in-the-round seating and advanced high definition video projections with 100-foot digital moving images."
The Beatles' legendary producer Sir George Martin and his son Giles, who helped create the "authorized mash-up", were on hand when the press, stripped of their cellphones and tape recorders, heard 15 minutes of the 90-minute presentation, which included:
Strawberry Fields (Anthology demo) morphing into an outtake, then the official version at its original speed, with riffs from at least a dozen other Beatles songs: Sgt. Pepper brass section, In My Life keyboards, the Hawaiian chant from Hello, Goodbye, plus Piggies and Penny Lane.
Within You Without You vocal to backing track, and monks, from Tomorrow Never Knows, with snippets of Got To Get You Into My Life.
Lucy In The Sky extended intro before the song.
Orchestration from Good Night with vocal from Octopus's Garden, plus bits of Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, Lady Madonna, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
According to the WSJ, there will be "30 recognizable songs with snippets from 150 more." There will be a soundtrack by the end of the year, which I most certainly will want to get (somebody tell my wife, please). Giles Martin said he won't know what it'll sound like until "his bosses", Ringo, Paul, Olivia Harrison and Yoko Ono give the final word.
So, as I said, I'm encouraged.
Not so incidentally, my subscription to Beatlefan has a strange genesis:
Friend Fred had spent months trying to nag me to order a subscription. Then one day, about a month before my birthday, a copy arrives in the mail. I mentioned it to Fred, and, well...
ME: I thought to subscribe, and I'm in SUCH a fog, that I figured that
I MUST have, but I don't think I probably got around to it. (There
are LOTS of things I do I don't remember doing.) So, THANK YOU very much!
FRED: That's pretty funny! I tried imagining your shock and surprise when that first, unexpected issue showed up, you wondering HOW could this be, and then maybe figuring out yours truly was the one responsible, and gratitude would instantly overwhelm you!
Instead, it comes in, and you figure, "Gee, guess I did subscribe after all!..."
Honestly, that just cracks me up!
But you're gonna love it! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
And I HAVE. So, thanks, Fred! Glad to bring some humor to your life.
CBS Sunday Morning piece on Paul McCartney, with a sidebar audio by early Beatles proponent DJ Cousin Bruce Morrow, on the significance of "When I'm 64."
Mild-mannered reporter, journalism scandal?
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