Take a ‘cyber mystery tour’ of Cheap Trick’s Sgt. Pepper’s at 40

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11884119405306.jpg’, ‘Photo by Mike Graham’, ‘Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen performs at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Aug. 11. The local rock heroes were the featured band in a two-night sell-out tribute to the 40th anniversary of the release of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Along with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Conductor Edwin Outwater, Joan Osborne, Aimee Mann, Rob Laufer, Ian Ball, Al Jourgensen, Danny Louis, Bill Lloyd, and the Indian Ensemble, Cheap Trick performed the album. Sgt. Pepper’s producer Sir George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick helped choose Cheap Trick as the featured band. Emerick was Live Sound Counsultant for the show.‘);

YouTube video offers glimpse of Cheap Trick’s historic performance

Ready for a cyberspace reading and listening mystery tour? If you can, sit down at your computer. You’re going to Sgt. Pepper’s at 40…a Beatles Celebration featuring Cheap Trick at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles via some history and the Web. If you don’t have a computer handy, you can come along anyway.

Bring up your Internet browser and type in www.hollywoodbowl.com, Cruise around the site, get to know the place. Under the section “About the Bowl, Bowl FAQ,” you find this statement: “Pollstar magazine’s Best Major Outdoor Venue (three years in a row), the Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the United States.”

The beauty of the art deco design is stupendous, with the diminishing stepped arches of the stark white proscenium over the stage and the surrounding park where you can picnic before the show. Be sure to say hello to the “Muse” sculpture. Come early and bring a bottle of wine and dinner, or you can dine right in front of the stage in the box seats. Click on the “Dining” button for all your options.

Check your budget and choose your seating for the show. Click on the “Tickets” button and go to the seating chart. Find “Click here to see the view from any section on SeatAdvisor.com.” Yes, you can literally see how close to the stage and how big it will look from your seat.

If you’re a press person, you’ll probably speak to Lisa White, a lovely woman in all ways, and very professional.

Get ready for the show, Sgt. Pepper’s at 40…a Beatles Celebration featuring Cheap Trick and special guests. It’s Aug. 10-11, 2007.

The Beatles themselves performed at the Hollywood Bowl Aug. 23, 1964, and Aug. 29, 1965, which resulted in The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl, a live album, released in May 1977. (See http:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_at_the_Hollywood_Bowl)

Geoff Emerick, the original recording engineer on Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s, The White Album and Abbey Road and Beatles producer Sir George Martin compiled this album and were instrumental in consulting on and arranging this 2007 show. Emerick himself was at the soundboard as the Live Sound Counsultant for the 2007 show.

Since his Beatles days, Emerick has produced or engineered for Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Art Garfunkel, America, Supertramp, Zombies, Badfinger, Split Enz, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Tim Hardin, Jeff Beck, Nellie McKay and Robin Trower. He has won four Grammys.

With journalist Howard Massey, Emerick wrote his memoir, Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles, Gotham Books, 2006.

“On April 3, 2007 it was announced that Emerick would be in charge of a re-recording of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by contemporary artists, including Oasis, The Killers, Travis and Razorlight. Emerick used the original equipment to record the new versions of the songs, and the results were broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on June 2, marking the album’s 40th anniversary,” concludes the http://en.wikipedia.org article.

The recording saga of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is far from over, more on that in future articles.

Sir Martin, the producer of that album, was made a Knight Bachelor of the British Empire in 1996 and appointed C.B.E. (Commander of the British Empire) in 1988. He wrote the following telling statement for the program notes (click on Hollywood Bowl’s “Calender” button, find the show under “Aug. 10” and hit “Please read the program notes here.”): “The celebration of the 40th anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band conjures up many memories for me, and I am delighted that the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra along with Cheap Trick are performing these tribute concerts. Many in the audience will be too young to have remembered the event, but to me it is as clear as daylight. It was such an exciting time, a signal to all the youth of our nations that it was OK to be adventurous, OK to be daring, and OK to attempt to create something that had not been done before. In a way it gave young people a freedom that we were looking for, and I am sure in a small way it changed forever the way we all thought about pop music.

“I just wish I could be with you all, listening to our music; I will certainly be with you in spirit.”

Visit www.georgemartinmusic.com to learn more about Sir Martin, truly a remarkable human being. Wait until you see the artists in his credits, his company and Air Studios. He has won five Grammys.

Sir Martin, with William Pearson, wrote about recording the historic Sgt. Pepper’s album in Summer of Love With a Little Help from My Friends: The Making of Sgt. Pepper, Little Brown & Co. (T); 1st U.S. Ed edition. 1995.

In the Bowl’s program notes by Rick Nielsen, you’ll also see that Emerick and Sir Martin also worked on Cheap Trick’s 1979 release All Shook Up. Rick also tells of the two Air Studios and his and Bun E. Carlos’ work with John Lennon and his Double Fantasy album in 1980. His statement is a “must read.”

Cheap Trick has an intricate history with the Beatles’ music. Many fans have heard Cheap Trick play the Fab Four’s music before. You can watch them perform “Magical Mystery Tour” in a 1992 Tokyo concert at www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk0Tl-E9bKQ.

This YouTube URL address also shows videos that were all probably taken by cell phones at the Aug. 10-11, 2007, Hollywood Bowl concert. While they are all “shaky” in visual and audio quality, they are nonetheless a record of the event.

What looks to be a 16 millimeter film of the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl in 1965 is also posted at this address in several different forms along with a segment from the “Late August 1966, Interview with the Beatles about Jesus statement, shows, and Vietnam war,” plus many interesting links that help to keep the air of that era in our consciousness.

Some other homemade productions at this site and its links are very interesting. My favorite is “Beatles Tribute Pre-Show, 03:43,” which also gives a great view from the upper seats of the Bowl.

Your seats are in Section E, Row 9, Seat 35 for the Friday, Aug. 10, show; and Section E, Row 5, Seat 13 for the Saturday, Aug. 11, show. Remember how to find your seats at the Bowl Web site? Be sure to keep your ticket when you go out for refreshments at intermission, or they won’t let you back in to see the rest of the show.

The following numbers are available at the YouTube address www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lk0Tl-E9bKQ. Select them in this order of performance, according to the actual set lists which we published last week:

1. “Beatles’ Tribute; ‘Lady Madonna’ 01:26”—Joan Osborne

2. “Beatles’ Tribute; ‘She’s So Heavy’

02:30”—Al Jourgensen and Sin Quirin

3. “Beatles’ Tribute; ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ 01:11”—Ian Ball

4. “Beatles’ Tribute; ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ 02:29”—Joan Osborne

5. “Beatles’ Tribute At The Hollywood Bowl; ‘Lovely Rita’ 02:33”—Aimee Mann

6. “A Beatles’ Tribute; ‘All You Need Is Love’ (Aug. 11, 2007) 02:07”­—Encore, all artists.

Unfortunately, none of these clips really features Cheap Trick, who definitely ruled the show. As Aimee Mann exclaimed during the Saturday show, “Cheap Trick is the best band in the world!”

Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Conductor Edwin Outwater said on his blog: “Robin Zander is one of the greatest singers I have worked with in any genre. In addition—I am a Cheap Trick mega-fan for life. They are the real thing.”

Hope this little “cyber mystery tour” has been “real” for you. More next week.

from the Aug. 29-Sept. 4, 2007, issue

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